Today's blurb can't quite make its mind up
There's quite a lot for Brendan "OK" Rodgers to get his teeth into this morning as the Channel 5 Friday night star, the possessor of an end-of-sentence verbal tic to rival Gordon Ramsay's "yes", Rafael Nadal's "no" and Cheryl Cole's "like", joins the rest of Britain in its national pastime of querying the worth of the BBC's Alan Shearer. The former Newcastle caretaker manager, now shouting "Cooee" and waving his hand so vigorously at Venky's it may fall off, gets the full treatment from Rodgers for doubting Joe Allen. "I saw something criticising Joe for not playing risk passes," he said. "Unbelievable. Our so-called pundits who don't know the dynamics of a team and how it functions. Joe will prove an absolute bargain." "So-called pundits" eh? That will chafe.
The Mirror has the latest leak from the colon crime Being: Liverpool, announcing that the next instalment contains Rodgers's pre-match talk before the West Bromwich Albion game. He tells his squad that he is holding three envelopes in which he has written the names of the Liverpool players and members of staff who, because they have fought everything, will let him down that season. "Make sure you're not the one in the envelope," he says.
Yikes. Does he now have four with Pepe Reina's name added? One name that won't be in the envelope next season is the former Wigan defender Andreas Granqvist. The Genoa player had been linked with a move to either Milan or Internazionale in the summer but is now hoping Liverpool come calling with a £5m bid in January. Sky Sources, or more accurately/astonishingly a named Sky Source, Gianluca Di Marzio, broke the story.
Finally on Liverpool, they're not going to let Arsenal have a free run at Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and allow the Gunners to sign their first Wilf since Rostron. Manchester City, however, are also flirting with the Z-man. If they are priced out of a bid, Rodgers may turn instead to Hamburg's South Korea forward Son Heung-min, reports the Mail. Hang on, it also says here that Liverpool's long-term interest in Mesut Ozil will be thwarted, as will Manchester United's, by the player's desire to stay at Real Madrid.
Sadly there is no word on their long-term interest in Lionel Messi and Carlos Slim.
While Zaha is rated at £12m Chelsea think they will have to go £3m higher to sign Paris Saint-Germain's Loïc Rémy when the window opens on New Year's Day. After Tuesday's "Chinese takeaway" analogy to herald rumours of Frank Lampard's possible summer move to Shanghai Shenhua or Beijing Guoan, the Sun's punning reaches illogical depths this morning, topping the Rémy story with "We Loic him", which works only if you have a pronunciation impediment.
Burnley's Charlie Austin, at whom Reading have been making eyes, is now the target of come-ons from Newcastle and Aston Villa. Paul Lambert also fancies Dynamo Moscow's Aleksandr Kokorin for the role of irritating Darren Bent.
Last year the current Leeds United owner Ken Bates said: "The rebuilding of Leeds is a bit like sex. In an age of instant gratification Leeds United is having a long, drawn out affair with plenty of foreplay and slow arousal."
The bromide then prescribed for the Elland Road executive tea urn has clearly not been working judging by the comments of the club's prospective new chairman, David Haigh, the founder of Conservatives in the Gulf and the front man for the protracted takeover bid that is in the middle of its fifth month. "Leeds is like a young Pamela Anderson. It's in great shape, with superb assets and a great future ahead of her," he said in an in no way scripted quip before rubbing his thighs like Vic Reeves as the only man in the world who equates executive boxes and banqueting suites with Baywatch breasts.