Brendan Rodgers looking on the bright side

Move for Yevhen Konoplyanka falls through but Liverpool boss believes squad can win title

Dimitar Berbatov’s colourful eight-year Premier League career came to a close as he left Fulham to join Ligue 1 title challengers Monaco on loan until the end of the season.

Dimitar Berbatov’s colourful eight-year Premier League career came to a close as he left Fulham to join Ligue 1 title challengers Monaco on loan until the end of the season.

Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 12:26

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes his current squad is strong enough to challenge for the Barclays Premier League title despite suffering transfer deadline day disappointment.

Rodgers was poised to land €20 million Ukraine forward Yevhen Konoplyanka before last minute complications with his club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk scuppered the deal.

Rodgers told liverpoolfc.com: “If you look at the position we’re in with 15 games to go, we have shown consistently that we have the squad to compete.

“The benefit of the second half of the season is that there is still a lot of development left in a lot of our young players.”

Title rivals Chelsea are also looking to the future after landing 19-year-old St Etienne defender Kurt Zouma on a five-and-a-half year deal — though Zouma will remain at his current club until at least the end of the season.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said: “If we don’t do it now, probably we can’t do it in the summer because other clubs were also very strong on him.”

Meanwhile Gael Kakuta joined Serie A Lazio on loan until the end of the season.

Arsene Wenger moved to strengthen Arsenal’s Barclays Premier League title push by sealing the loan signing of Spartak Moscow midfielder Kim Kallstrom until the end of the season.

Leaving the Gunners is midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, who has joined Championship side Barnsley in a permanent deal.

Dimitar Berbatov’s colourful eight-year Premier League career came to a close as he left Fulham to join Ligue 1 title challengers Monaco on loan until the end of the season.

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen responded by signing Lewis Holtby and John Heitinga on loan from Tottenham and Everton respectively, and Greek striker Kostas Mitroglu from Olympiacos for an undisclosed fee.

Crystal Palace snapped up Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley and Blackburn defender Scott Dann on permanent deals, and signed highly-rated Blackpool winger Tom Ince on loan until the end of the season.

In addition Eagles boss Tony Pulis signed Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and turned Jason Puncheon’s loan move from Southampton into a permanent deal.

Dani Osvaldo’s ill-fated five-month stay at Southampton is over at least for now, with the Saints’ club-record signing joining Juventus on loan with a view to a permanent move.

The Italy international penned a four-year deal but managed just 166 days at St Mary’s, with Saints cutting their losses after an altercation with team-mate Jose Fonte last week.

There were no moves for Joleon Lescott — who took to Twitter to deny rumours of an impending departure from Manchester City — or Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole, whose move to Stoke fell through despite reports of a fee having been agreed.

Black Cats boss Gus Poyet strengthened his squad by signing Scotland midfielder Liam Bridcutt from Brighton on a three-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Meanwhile, the long-anticipated loan deal for Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha to Cardiff finally went through.

The 21-year-old joined the Bluebirds for the rest of the season and should get a chance to prove his Premier League quality after a frustrating six months at United.

West Brom signed striker Thievy Bifouma on loan until the end of the season, with the France Under-21 international becoming manager Pepe Mel’s first signing since arriving at the club.

West Ham completed the loan signing of Napoli full-back Pablo Armero, with Razvan Rat and Modibo Maiga leaving the club.

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