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Liverpool target to sign new Valencia deal

Paco Alcacer is set to stay at the Mestalla. Credit: PA

Valencia are set to end Liverpool's pursuit of Paco Alcacer, by getting the striker to sign a new five-and-a-half year deal.

The Spanish outfit are also set to tie down fellow youngster Jose Gaya to a similar contract.

Alcacer's previous buyout clause was just £15million, but this is now set to increase to £59million.

There are still a few minor details yet to resolve after months of negotiations. But everything seems to indicate that fairly soon we will be able to announce that Paco Alcacer will be a Valencia player for five years more (from his current deal)."

– Francisco Rufete told Spanish TV station Canal+

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Liverpool boss: Sturridge looks back to normal

Brendan Rodgers has praised Daniel Sturridge after the Liverpool striker returned to training.

The former Chelsea striker has been out for five months after suffering an injury on international duty.

Rodgers is expected to leave the decision whether Sturridge will be part of Liverpool's League Cup semi-final squad late on after reviewing his fitness.

Daniel Sturridge is back in training. Credit: PA

"He had a training session with the team yesterday and he trained very, very well. It was as comfortable as he's looked, even when he was coming back before - he was maybe a little bit tentative. I thought yesterday he looked back to normal." Rodgers said.

"We won't risk it, that's for sure. He's been out for a long time, so we just need to make sure he is ready and feels ready, which is important, to come and contribute.

"I don't think he'll be 100 per cent when he comes back, that will only come when he's got his game time once he gets playing games."

Rodgers: Balotelli to stay and fight for Liverpool place

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Mario Balotelli will struggle to get into his side at the moment, but confirms the Italian striker will stay with the club.

Balotelli is yet to score in the league since joining from Milan in the summer, and has been left out of the matchday squad recently, but doesn't look set to leave in the January transfer window.

Mario Balotelli is a complex character. Credit: PA

"It's been a difficult period for Mario but he wants to fight for an opportunity here."

After Saturday's draw with Bolton, Rodgers confirmed that Balotelli has been absent as his style was not suited to Liverpool's tactics.

“We spent about an hour or so chatting. He understands where it is at. He knows what is required to get in the squad - the pressing and aggression - and if you can’t do that you are not going to be part of the team. We suffered in the first four months of the season and we can’t go back to that."

Fiorentina warn Chelsea off £27m winger

Fiorentina says Chelsea would have to pay £27million to sign winger Juan Cuadrado.

The Premier League leaders have shown an interest in the Colombian, but his release clause stands at £26.8million.

It is thought Chelsea have already offered £20million, which was rejected by the Italian club.

Juan Cuadrado has impressed at Fiorentina. Credit: Reuters

"The buy-out clause is there," Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle said.

"We put it (buy-out clause) high in order to keep him (Cuadrado).

"I hope he will stay with us for a long time."

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