Liverpool Daily: Adam denied transfer as Liverpool must up bid, Babel’s move to Hoffenheim back on

Blackpool yesterday rejected Charlie Adam’s transfer request as the playmaker tries to engineer a move away from Bloomfield Road, amidst interest from Liverpool.

The 25-year-old’s agent confirmed the player wants to leave the Seasiders, who have already turned down a bid of £4m from the Anfield club. Blackpool manager Ian Holloway was unequivocal in response: “If I was the Liverpool manager I would want to buy him because they have never replaced Xabi Alonso,” he continued. “But you have to come up with the right amount of money. I don’t want to stand in his way, but they have to put up or shut up.” Holloway confirmed that Damien Comolli, the Liverpool director of football strategy, contacted the Tangerines on Sunday night, but failed to communicate his intentions: “He (Comolli) ummed and aahed and apparently did not make much sense.”

Meanwhile, in a dramatic development last night – after Kenny Dalglish had earlier said: “He’s staying here” – Ryan Babel will today fly to Germany to complete his protracted move to Hoffenheim, a deal which seemed to have collapsed due to the Dutchman failing to agree personal terms. However, a statement on the Liverpool website last night confirmed: “Ryan Babel has agreed to move to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.” The completion of the transfer will come seven days after Hoffenheim’s initial bid was accepted by the Merseyside club.

Initially Babel had been considered as part of a deal for Ajax’s Luis Suarez, a player the Reds have been linked with throughout the transfer window. Comolli travelled to Amsterdam on Monday to table a £12.7m bid for the Uruguay international, though the Dutch club stated they are waiting for a more ‘respectful’ bid for the 23-year-old striker.

Steven Gerrard returns on for the visit of Fulham on Wednesday night, and Dalglish believes having him back will provide the team with a further boost, whilst also hailing his inspirational captain as one of the greatest players in the club’s history: “What he’s done for this football club, he deserves to be up there in the folklore and the history of the club. He is a fantastic footballer that we’re very lucky to have at our disposal.” Gerrard returns to a side with renewed confidence, and the Reds manager confirmed that being able to call on his talismanic midfielder again is a massive bonus: “We had a great result and performance at Molineux on Saturday and we’ve got a very difficult game coming up against Fulham on Wednesday, so for us to have Steven back on the back of the performance and result we got at the weekend is a great boost for everybody.”

Dalglish is also impressed with Fernando Torres and yesterday the 59-year-old Scot has heaped praise on his striker. The Reds boss is as impressed with the Spaniard on the training ground as he is with him on the pitch. Dalglish remarked: “Certainly since I have come in here he has been nothing short of fantastic for us in the way he has applied himself in training and on the pitch,” he added. “I hope his (Torres’) best is yet to come.”

Probable line-up to play Fulham, in a 4-2-3-1 formation:
Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt, Maxi, Gerrard, Torres.

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