Liverpool to buy Dempsey to banish Carroll

Is Fulham forward Clint Dempsey going to be the one who ends Andy Carroll’s Liverpool career.

The news from Anfield seems to be that time has indeed run out for Carroll, one of the costliest footballer’s of all time, and several replacements are being lined up.

However, for manager Kenny Dalglish, Fulham’s Dempsey might be the one.

The American has scored 22 goals in all competitions for Craven Cottage,.

The Anfield club's co-owner Tom Werner was quoted as saying in The Daily Mail: “We never talk publicly about our transfer targets, however, any team would be lucky to have Clint Dempsey playing on their squad.”

Dalglish will be given funds to strengthen his squad after a disastrous league campaign that has seen Liverpool risk dropping out of the top 10.


Liverpool play Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday having beaten Cardiff on penalties to win the Carling Cup at Wembley in February.

Among the club's other transfer targets is Montpellier's Moroccan international Younes Belhanda, another player also on Arsenal's radar.

Liverpool could face competition for Dempsey's signature from Arsenal as well.

Liverpool, Chelsea misfits eye FA Cup glory

The FA Cup final could witness a battle of the misfits on Saturday as Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres look for Wembley redemption after enduring seasons to forget at Liverpool and Chelsea.

Carroll and Torres became entwined in one of the most dramatic transfer deals in history last year, when Torres's £50 million ($80m) exit from Liverpool to Chelsea triggered Carroll's £35 million departure from Newcastle United to Anfield.

Yet the dizzying price tags have appeared to weigh heavily on both strikers ever since that frenzied finale to the transfer window, with both suffering protracted scoring slumps with their new clubs.

Click to read Rooney pips Arsenal duo for top goal award

However, as Wembley looms even nearer, there are signs that both players are ready to start paying back their transfer fees in the currency they were hired to deliver: goals.

Torres, who could lay claim to being among the world's best strikers a few seasons ago, has suffered a horrendous first full season at Chelsea, his once lethal touch in front of goal replaced by a footballing equivalent of the yips.

The Spanish international went a staggering 1,541 minutes of game-time spanning a five-month period without a goal until he found the net twice in Chelsea's 5-2 win over Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final.

Click to read Van Persie to remain at Arsenal

Even that was not enough to earn Torres a place in interim manager Roberto Di Matteo's starting line-up, with the Chelsea coach relying on 34-year-old warhorse Didier Drogba in the club's biggest games.

However, Torres rose from the bench to score a memorable equaliser in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona last month, finishing with the sort of aplomb that was once his calling card.

Against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, it appeared as if Torres' Camp Nou heroics had removed a mental blockage as the striker scored his first Chelsea hat-trick in a 6-1 drubbing of their relegation-threatened opponents.

It is unclear, however, whether Torres' recent run of goals will be enough to dislodge Drogba from Di Matteo's starting XI, given the Ivorian international's remarkable scoring record at Wembley.

Drogba has scored seven goals in seven appearances at the stadium, including a wonderful strike that set Chelsea on the way to their 5-1 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals.

Like Torres, Carroll has shown only occasional glimpses of the sort of form that persuaded Liverpool to make him the most expensive English footballer in history, and many remain unconvinced that the 23-year-old was worth the money.

However, he has plugged away despite indifferent form, and popped up with the late goal that saw Liverpool into the final with a 2-1 win over Everton.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has been unstinting in his support of Carroll, insisting the tall striker and other members of his side thrive on criticism.

"Everyone has been battered," Dalglish said recently. "Maybe that is what we need to get ourselves going forward.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion but if you want to be a top player, you have to go through most of the emotions you get in football.

"Part of that is how you come back from criticism."

Liverpool aim for FA Cup swansong

Liverpool will bid to put a positive gloss on a lacklustre season on Saturday as they attempt to seal a rare domestic double against bitter rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Kenny Dalglish's return to Anfield last year and the subsequent lavish outlay in the transfer market had fuelled optimism among Liverpool fans that the club were poised to re-emerge as a force in English football.

But a frustratingly inconsistent Premier League campaign has raised more questions than answers about Dalglish's reign, with Liverpool's dreams of a swift return to the Champions League being extinguished weeks ago.

Click to read Rooney pips Arsenal duo for top goal award

Fulham became the latest side to ransack Anfield on Tuesday with a 1-0 win, a result that leaves Liverpool on course to register their worst record at home since the 1948-49 season.

Yet if Liverpool can overcome a weary Chelsea at Wembley, Dalglish will be able to point to a season that has yielded two pieces of silverware following his side's League Cup win over Cardiff City in February.

While the Premier League remains the priority, the Liverpool manager insists that a domestic cup double is proof that solid progress is being made.

Click to read Liverpool, Chelsea flops eye redemption

"Any competition you enter, you want to do the best you possibly can in," Dalglish said. "In the league it is 38 games and at the end you finish in a position which tells you how successful it has been.

"In cup competitions there are obviously not as many games and if you get beaten, you are out.

"There is an obsession with the Premier League simply because of what it holds for every club and the value financially for every club, the rewards you get for finishing in the top four and getting in the Champions League.

"But there is a satisfaction from winning a cup competition, which you don't get from finishing fifth or sixth in the league."

Click to read Van Persie to remain at Arsenal

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was adamant that while the club needs to "address the problem" of their league form, a win over Chelsea would allow the Merseysiders to look back on the season with pride.

"It is a successful season. This club is all about winning big trophies and the FA Cup certainly comes under that," said Gerrard.

"We will assess the season after the weekend. If we can look back and say we have won two cups, we will be happy."

Saturday's final is the 33rd meeting of the two teams since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and began to bankroll the most successful era in the London club's history.

Chelsea, however, could be forgiven for viewing Saturday's final as an unwanted nuisance, as interim manager Roberto Di Matteo attempts to juggle his resources on three different fronts.

The Blues' hopes of a top-four finish were dealt a severe blow on Wednesday after a 2-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United that left Di Matteo's men four points off the Champions League places with only two games left.

That defeat means Chelsea's passage to the final of the Champions League in Munich on May 19 has assumed even greater importance, with a victory over Bayern Munich now looking their best bet of a place in next season's competition.

While Di Matteo may be tempted to give a rest to key players with one eye on Munich, the Italian insists Chelsea will be motivated by the prospect of a successful day out at Wembley.

But Di Matteo, scorer of the second-fastest goal in FA Cup final history after scoring from long-range in Chelsea's 1997 win over Middlesbrough after only 42 seconds, acknowledged his side's schedule had taken a toll.

"My players have given everything," Di Matteo said. "We've been asking them to push and push and push and they've done well. We'll regroup and pick them up. We've got a big game, a great final, on Saturday and we'll go again.

"We'll look forward to the FA Cup final. It's a great event and the motivation is going to be there."

 

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