Tuesday 12 December 2017

Reds boss refuses to be drawn on Adam Lallana deal

Southampton's English midfielder Adam Lallana celebrates scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Southampton at Craven Cottage. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Southampton's English midfielder Adam Lallana celebrates scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Southampton at Craven Cottage. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers says that Adam Lallana fits the criteria that he wants in a summer signing but refused to be drawn on whether a move for the Southampton player is close to completion.

"Our criteria is that we look for players with strong technique, football intelligence and they need to mentally have the attitude and the capacity to learn," said Rodgers when asked directly about the England international. "Certainly, Adam is a very good player but I'm not going to tell you (an update) and you can respect that."

Rodgers, who indicated that he expects his new contract to be tied up before the start of next season, suggested that his captain Steven Gerrard might have to face a decision on his England future after the World Cup.

"I think we'll assess it after the World Cup. He'll arrive in the World Cup at 34. He's been a brilliant captain for me, great leader, brilliant man. Many thought maybe he was on the way down but he'll arrive in to the Champions League next season as one of the playmakers of the tournament.

"His condition is terrific. He's in every day, eats the right foods and his body weight (is) right on the money. Next season there will be a big demand and if he comes and asks that (England future) I'll give an opinion on it. He loves playing for England, he'll go and concentrate on England now and we'll see what happens after that."

Rodgers also hinted that Fabio Borini, a goalscorer in the win over Shamrock Rovers, could yet have a first-team future at Anfield after returning from helping Sunderland successfully avoid relegation.

"I know him better than anyone," said Rodgers, who managed the Italian at Swansea. "He needed to go out and get games and we saw his pace and power tonight. He will come back next season and add to the quality that we already have."

Irish Independent

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