Agent casts doubt on Jovanovic deal

The Merseysiders were believed to be on the brink of securing a

pre-contract agreement with the Serbia forward, whose deal with the

Belgian club expires in the summer. However, the 28-year-old’s

agent Zoran Stojadinovic claims the player’s future has yet to be

decided, with reports suggesting Valencia were in advanced talks.

“There are many possibilities,” Stojadinovic told Spanish newspaper

Superdeporte. “The situation will be resolved soon, but he has not

signed for any club as yet. “There is plenty of interest from

Spain, but there are also a number of clubs from across Europe that

remain keen.” Despite concerns a deal for a player Rafael Benitez

has tracked for some time may be in doubt, the Liverpool manager

has more pressing matters to deal with, mainly the 213th Merseyside

derby at Anfield on Saturday. Liverpool are unbeaten in their

previous six league encounters against Everton and their last

defeat at home against their nearest rivals came in 1999. Without

injured striker Fernando Torres, who has scored three goals in the

last three league derbies he has played in, the Reds will look to

Dirk Kuyt to provide the threat up front. The Holland

international, who scored both goals in the 2-1 win at Goodison

Park back in 2007, has come into some form with three goals in as

many games and needs just one more to make it 50 for Liverpool. “It

would be nice for him to score in the derby and get his 50, but it

would be nice for anyone to score,” said assistant manager Sammy

Lee. “It’s good for us that we have got goals going in from

different areas. “We are without Fernando, which has been well

documented, but the lads are working hard and we have got players

like Dirk who can score.” Kuyt admits he has felt a greater need to

shoulder the burden in Torres’ absence but stressed it was the team

mentality which had kept the club on their six-match unbeaten run

in the league. “Of course you feel a responsibility. Everyone in

the team feels a responsibility and it is very hard when you are

missing your best players,” said the Dutchman. “We have missed

Torres for a while, Stevie (Gerrard) couldn’t play every game and

Glen Johnson has a bad injury – it makes it very difficult. “Any

other team – Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Man City – would

struggle as well but you can’t think about this. “You have to try

to do it with the players who are fit at the moment. “What we have

done really well is keep working hard. We have been a bit unlucky

with a couple of injuries but the players are coming back and we

are getting stronger and stronger. “Once they are back we will all

learn that it makes us stronger. “Things are definitely changing

but we can’t relax. We have to look forward and get the goals in.