Friday, 3 June 2011

Liverpool looking to steal a march on Arsenal in Jones chase

Liverpool are closing in on a £15million swoop for Blackburn defender Phil Jones.Liverpool are  ready to make a formal offer to Blackburn for £15m-rated Jones, though they face a battle for him with Arsenal and Tottenham.The move is part of Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish’s strategy of buying top English talent, having signed striker Andy Carroll in January for £35m from Newcastle.Liverpool’s move for Jones will alert Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has made it known he wants to build his back four around the 19-year-old. Wenger was prepared to wait a year while signing Jones’s Blackburn team-mate Chris Samba now.That deal is advanced but Liverpool’s move may force Wenger to rethink his plans for Jones, who has impressed in the centre of defence and midfield since making his Premier League debut against Chelsea in March last year. He signed a five-year deal that May and extended it by 12 months in February.
Blackburn would prefer to keep their prize asset and sell Samba but accept that they will not be able to stand in Jones’s way if the right offer comes in.Dalglish has already signalled a change of direction at Anfield since succeeding Roy Hodgson by handing first-team opportunities to 17-year-old Jack Robinson, 18-year-old John Flanagan and 21-year-old Martin Kelly, and giving a new deal to Jay Spearing, 22.

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