Dalglish: No transfers discussed yet
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists he has not discussed potential transfer targets for the current window and does not even know whether the subject is up for discussion with principal owner John Henry, who is in town for this weekend's Merseyside derby. The Reds have been linked with a host of players over the last few weeks but speculation increased when it became know Henry would be making his first visit to the city for two months.
However, Dalglish, who has been in charge for less than a week after flying in from a holiday in the Persian Gulf to replace Roy Hodgson on Saturday, has been busy focusing on his current players as he readies himself for a third match in a week at home to Everton on Sunday. And although he has a meeting scheduled with Henry, he said he has no idea what would crop up.
"It would be rude not to talk to them considering they employ us," said the 59-year-old Scot. "We will be having a conversation but I don't know what will be on the agenda. We have not even had a conversation about transfers so there is no way I am going to pre-judge anything that is going to happen because if no players come in, you'll say I'm getting my P45, so I can't win.
"I am delighted with the players we have here and there is not any movement one way or the other about players."
Dalglish batted away questions about players the club were being linked with, joking: "I don't know who has written what because I haven't had time to look at papers - but it must be true. We will take it as it comes and as soon as we have anything to report to anyone we won't be trying to withhold news, which we think is beneficial to everyone. We are not trying to be obtrusive in any way, it is just a fact."
It is fair to say there are no immediate deals in the offing as director of football strategy Damien Comolli took the day off today. "There has been plenty of speculation but we are not contributing to that - we have nothing to report," said Dalglish. "I don't need to agree with the speculation or respond to it."
Dalglish expressed a willingness to return to the old Liverpool way of dealing with matters which he was more used to in his spell as a player and manager, for the first time, at Anfield. In the last 18 months in particular the club has been torn apart from the inside with squabbles taking place at all levels.
Former manager Rafael Benitez, who left in June, continually complained about the club's hierarchy briefing the media against him in the final months of his reign. Having had his disagreements with former chief executive Rick Parry, the Spaniard's relationship with successor Christian Purslow - who has also now stepped down from his role following New England Sports Ventures £300m purchase in October - was even worse.
The turbulent ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett was typified by much public wrangling, which the media lapped up, but Dalglish is keen to put a lid on things. "There will not be any confidential preferences (in the media) for us in any way, shape or form," said the Reds boss, who is well aware that his every word is analysed and repeated to a huge audience. "I'll be exactly the same with everyone."
Dealing with the media is something Dalglish admits has changed since he quit the club almost 20 years ago. "The size of the club has changed and the demands on the manager in different areas is different from when I was manager before," he admitted. "If we had a press conference when I was working (at Liverpool last time) there were maybe two people with microphones.
"There are a lot of papers and TV and radio stations who have obligations to people and that reflects back on what the manager has to do. It is part of your responsibility to be as helpful and co-operative as you can but it also works both ways."
While Dalglish was giving his press conference, Liverpool were finalising a deal to sign former Arsenal and Blackburn winger Jason Banton to the club's academy until the end of the season. The 18-year-old has been training with the club for the last few weeks and has now been given a chance to prove himself.