Dec 262010

25 Dec 2010 – 22:56:13Liverpool RSS news feedLiverpool’s rebuilding plans are being threatened by the refusal of several out-of-favour stars to walk away from fat contracts.
Stars like Ryan Babel, Milan Jovanovic and Joe Cole will not go unless their Anfield salaries are matched elsewhere.
The situation is frustrating manager Roy Hodgson and director of football strategy Damien Comolli, who want to free up space in the club’s 25-man Premier League squad.
Frustrated: Roy Hodgson is losing patience with his big name stars
It may even explain Hodgson’s extraordinary comment last week that Cole was not his original choice of signing.
The 29-year-old England international has struggled at Anfield and is wanted on loan for the rest of the season by his former club West Ham. Hamburg and Genoa are interested in Jovanovic, while Babel turned down moves last summer to Birmingham, Tottenham and West Ham because they could not match his £70,000-a-week wage.
Cole’s friend, Glen Johnson, would also like to leave after falling out with Hodgson but he is struggling to find another club prepared to offer the £120,000 a week he is paid.
It leaves Liverpool in a difficult position to reshape the squad and owners NESV are furious that previous managing- director, Christian Purslow, awarded several long-term contracts in the dying embers of the Tom Hicks-George Gillett regime.
Cole was given a four-year contract worth £90,000 a week last summer while 29-year-old Jovanovic arrived on a three-year deal at £60,000 a week.

£90,000 per week: Joe Cole
If neither goes, it adds up to a staggering financial commitment of £27million.
Hodgson will not name the players he wants to leave – although his comments about Cole were particularly revealing – but he did say he hoped out-of-favour players put ambition before money.
He said: ‘It’s the usual question – money versus playing. How much does playing mean to you and how much does money mean to you?
‘Some players not in the team will find other clubs want them, but the same sum of money [in wages] is not there. So the player has to ask if they are so uninterested in playing, will they sit for three years despite the fact that the club has made it perfectly clear they don’t want them and there’s no game for them.
‘If they want that for three years, they’ve virtually got to kiss [their career] goodbye. If you spend three years on your backside, not kicking a ball apart from the odd reserve game, you’ll find you’re not going to be a player at all.’
Hodgson has been under pressure from virtually the first day he succeeded Rafa Benitez, whose decision to spend Christmas on Merseyside in the house he bought when Liverpool manager is doing little to ease the situation.
There is certainly no chance that NESV will welcome back the Spaniard who has been sacked by Inter Milan, but Hodgson still has to improve on a record of just one away win all season if he is to keep his job.
Yet the Liverpool boss seems remarkably calm about his situation, saying even long-serving Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been under pressure in recent times.
‘If there is speculation about me, I’m in good company,’ he said. ‘It’s easier to name the people who aren’t in that position than those who are.
£70,000 per week: Ryan Babel
‘I remember going to Arsenal with Fulham a couple of years ago and after we held them 0-0 the booing [from Arsenal fans] towards their team was quite incredible.
‘Arsene was visibly upset and saddened by that reaction, and at that time people were suggesting he’d had a good run and it was time to bring in the man with the magic wand.
‘That’s what we have to live with, we have to live with the situation. People are quite happy to see changes on a very regular basis, and a fan will have no qualms about seeing three managers a year at his club, waiting for a man with a magic wand that can turn all of the ills that everyone has seen into something different.
‘Those of us who work in the game and have been working in the game a long time know that magic wands don’t exist. You work with the set of players you find at your club and before you can really say this is a team I put together, this is a club I have fashioned, you’re going to need quite a long time before that day will come around.
‘In the meantime, results give you that time or they might not and you might be in and out before you’ve had a chance to do that.’
With Jovanovic unlikely to accept a drop in wages to move on, Liverpool will have to decide whether to give him a ‘Golden Goodbye’ to get him out.
Hodgson at least is boosted by the return of captain Steve Gerrard at Blackpool today if the match survives the big freeze, and at home to Wolves next week.
£60,000 per week: Milan Jovanovic
But the manager’s New Year resolution is to pick up more away points after that one Barclays Premier League victory at Bolton.
In all, he has just one win in his last 27 away games as a manager in the top flight ‘We have to take more points away from home.
You can’t finish in the top four if you have so few away points as we took in 2010. That’s a no-brainer,’ he added.  Sir Alex Ferguson targets Pepe Reina: Manchester United boss keen to splash part of Glazers’ £50m on Liverpool goalkeeperInter turn to former Milan coach Leonardo after sacking BenitezBlackpool to hold pitch inspection at noon for Liverpool clashLIVERPOOL FC | Work At Home Jobs

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