Friday, 28 May 2010

KopStuff Fri 28th May - Heysel 25th Anniversary / Simao to Liverpool?

Friday 28th May.

This weekend will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster, when thirty-nine fans lost their lives at the 1985 European Cup Final. A two minutes’ silence will be held today at Liverpool Town Hall, followed by a service in remembrance of the victims of the tragedy. The town hall bells will ring thirty-nine times in their memory, with a repeat tomorrow, the anniversary day.

These are just part of a series of events being held in the run up to Saturday’s anniversary, following on from the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at Anfield on Wednesday. Representatives from Liverpool and Juventus were present at the corresponding service, including former captain Phil Neal and Juve Centre back Sergio Brio, both of whom played in the final.

Rumour: The Daily Star runs will a fairly interesting - and reasonably believable - rumour, that Rafa Benitez is weighing up a move for Atletico Madrid’s Portuguese winger Simao. Benitez has been linked with a move for the wide man before, with the left side of midfield proving to be a difficult position to fill. With just a year left on his contract, Atletico may just be interested in cashing in on the 30 year old, although Red’s fans will perhaps question an outlay of £8 million on a player who may not have too many seasons left in him.

News: TeamTalk covers the ongoing sale of the club, with co-owner Tom Hicks reported as stating that there are a large number of ‘interested buyers’. The Texan claimed yesterday that any sale could take up to twelve months, a timescale which will not be popular amongst Reds fans. Whilst none of the ‘interested buyers’ are named, Hicks hinted they may come from Asia or the Middle East where there are, apparently, ‘a number of wealthy people’. Whoever it is will certainly need big pockets, with the Americans still holding out for £800 million for the debt-laden club.

Rumour: The Guardian carries a story about future Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho’s summer transfer targets, naming Red’s captain Steven Gerrard as top of his wish list. The news will come as no surprise to Liverpool fans, as Mourinho has long been an admirer of Gerrard, attempting, unsuccessfully, to lure him to Chelsea three years ago. Whilst Benitez and the board remain adamant that Gerrard and Torres will be with the club next season, it will be interesting to see their resolve if a big money bid is tabled. Gerrard himself will look for assurances that the club intends to invest in new talent over the summer – otherwise, our talismanic captain may have his head turned by the lure of Champions League football in Spain.

News: Still on the topic of Steven Gerrard, the Mail reports that the midfielder limped out of an England training session yesterday, requiring treatment on his right calf. Gerrard isn’t the only Liverpool player struggling to be fit for England duties, with Glen Johnson missing training with a groin problem.

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