Liverpool target Elm could remain at AZ

Liverpool have suffered an early blow in their pre-season transfer plans after top target Rasmus Elm admitted he may decide to stay at AZ Alkmaar. 

Swedish international Elm is one of the most sought after players in Europe following an eye catching campaign at the AFAS Stadion that has seen him score 13 times in 36 games.

Reds boss Kenny Dalglish was hoping to steal a march on Premier League rivals Newcastle. Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United, who are also interested, and snap the 24-year-old up before the European Championships commence on June 8.

With just a year left on his contract many expect the the £7 million rated midfielder to leave the Eredivisie club although he has yet to make up his mind.

Free kick specialist Elm has dampened speculation that a switch to Merseyside is imminent insisting that he is happy at AZ and won’t be rushed into making a decision over his future opting to wait until later in the summer.

He told Voetbal International: “I say to all the clubs, I will wait until after the European Championships.

“I hope to take a step forward in my career, but it is far from certain I will leave this summer. I feel good at AZ.”

Dalglish is determined to inject some creativity into his midfield following a disappointing first year back in charge at Anfield that saw Liverpool finish below rivals Everton in eighth position.

Underwhelming performances from big money buys Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing coupled with Steven Gerrard’s injury record have convinced the 61-year-old that he urgently requires fresh blood.

It’s thought he will have to sell before he can buy meaning fringe players such as Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez are likely to be sold to lighten the wage bill ready for new recruits.