Liverpool lead chase to snap up £15m Allen
Liverpool will sign Swansea's Joe Allen due to a £15m exit clause triggered in the midfielder's contract.
It has emerged that the Welsh side are bound to allow Allen to leave if five clubs -- Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal -- meet the valuation they've placed on the player.
In what has become a complicated deal, other clubs outside those five could bid less for the 22-year-old and conclude a deal -- but it is clear reuniting with former manager Brendan Rodgers is the Welshman's intention.
Liverpool are hopeful they will not have to pay as much as £15m once Swansea accept the player is destined for Anfield, but they may now have to go that high to conclude negotiations.
Rodgers made it clear last week that if the player was subject to bids from elsewhere, he would make his move for the youngster, who is currently on Olympic duty with Great Britain.
It is a strange anomaly that Tottenham, who finished above Liverpool in the league for two years, could technically bid below the stipulated fee than the five clubs named in Allen's contract.
That has made Anfield officials push for a cheaper arrangement. Spurs have already scuppered a Liverpool deal -- that of Gylfi Sigurdsson -- by offering excessive wages.
Allen would be the second major signing of Rodgers' reign, joining Fabio Borini who joined the Liverpool squad for the first time when he landed in Boston on Monday. The transfer of Clint Dempsey from Fulham has stalled over the price, though.
Rodgers met Andy Carroll face-to-face for the first time on Monday. If a bid of £20m does not materialise, the 23-year-old will have the chance to prove himself, but initially as a squad player, having to reshape his game to a less direct style.
Meanwhile, Chelsea has confirmed the signing of Thorgan Hazard from French side Lens.
The 19-year-old midfielder is the younger brother of Eden Hazard, who joined the west London club earlier this summer from French side Lille. Thorgan Hazard will now join the Belgium U-21 side for pre-season training.
Chelsea said yesterday that the club is considering a loan move for the younger Hazard "to continue his development."
The club also confirmed deals for three young players to go on loan for the season. Attacking midfielder Ulises Davila will join Spanish second division team Sabadell, while striker Milan Lakovic and goalkeeper Matej Delac will play for Guimaraes of the Portuguese top flight.
Elsewhere, Joey Barton has suggested QPR are considering loaning him out at the start of the season -- something which might see him serve his 12-match ban more quickly than if he stayed put.
Barton is currently suspended until November after being sent off against Manchester City on the final day of the last Premier League campaign after clashing with Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany as he left the field.
But the 29-year-old midfielder, who is due to train with League Two club Fleetwood Town this week, could return to action in October if he is allowed to join a lower-league club on loan.
That is because they play more fixtures in August, September and October than Premier League teams.
However, it was unclear tonight whether the English FA would be willing to sanction such a move under those circumstances.
Barton wrote on his personal website: "The possibility of a loan move has been mentioned, where there's been interest from several European clubs and a lot of Championship clubs too, as you may expect.
"So, why would I train with Fleetwood?
In other news, Lucas Moura's agent has claimed a proposed move to Manchester United will not go through unless Alex Ferguson meets Sao Paulo's asking price. The Scot confirmed his interest in the 19-year-old winger in Shanghai on Monday, but denied claims that the two clubs had reached agreement over a £26m transfer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)