Curran links up with Limerick

Manuel Pellegrini’s agent claims an intermediary representing

Chelsea has sounded him out about the availability of the Malaga


Jesus Martinez also told a Chilean newspaper that Pellegrini

would love to manage in the Barclays Premier League one day and

will make a decision about his future in the coming months.

Chilean Pellegrini, who has a contract with Malaga until June

2015, has been a huge success at the Spanish club since taking

charge two years ago.

The 59-year-old led them to a fourth-placed finish last season

and this term has guided them through to the last 16 of their

maiden Champions League campaign as well as keeping them near the

top of the Primera Division.

That has not gone unnoticed across Europe and, according to

Martinez, Roma were recently in contact following the sacking of

Zdenek Zeman.

Martinez also said other clubs had been in touch about the

former Real Madrid and Villarreal boss, including Chelsea, whose

interim manager Rafael Benitez’s contract runs out at the end of

the season.

Chelsea have been linked with Pellegrini in the past but the

club have not publicly acknowledged an interest, and Martinez

stressed he has not received an official approach from the


Martinez said in Chilean newspaper El Mercurio: “Manuel has a

contract with Malaga. I think that in April and May we will be

clear about what will happen with his future.

“Our first intention is to respect our commitment, but it also

depends on what the conditions are.

“We had a formal offer from Roma, but we rejected it. It was

less than 15 days ago, but we discarded it outright because we are

in the middle of the season.

“Chelsea and other clubs have asked, but only through

intermediaries, nothing official. Manuel would love to coach in the

English Premier League, as he would in Germany, Italy and other

important leagues.

“There’s plenty of time to analyse what we will do next


Lund, a midfielder who can also play in defence, will be

available for Saturday’s League Two fixture against promotion

rivals Northampton at Roots Hall.

Manager Paul Sturrock said: “Matthew has played a number of

games at this level already this season so he knows exactly what to


“We saw him play against us earlier in the season when we won

3-2 at Bristol Rovers and we knew then he was a good player.

“We are delighted to have been able to bring him in to help us

with all the injuries we have been suffering from of late.”

Lund began his career in the youth set-up at Crewe before

joining Stoke in 2009.

The 22-year-old has yet to make a senior appearance for Tony

Pulis’ side but has enjoyed loan spells at a number of clubs.

In 2010 he made three appearances for Hereford before making a

further three for Oldham.

In January 2012 Lund joined Bristol Rovers and played 13 times

for the club, scoring two goals. He returned to Rovers this summer

and has made 20 appearances for them in all competitions.

Forward Dani Lopez and defender Bondz N’Gala have both joined on

loan from Stevenage on initial one-month deals, while Belgian

defender Chiro N’Toko has been offered a contract until the end of

the campaign.

Lopez joined Boro at the start of the season after arriving from

Spain but failed to break into the side and spent three months at

Aldershot, where he scored six goals in 12 appearances.

N’Gala, another summer signing for Gary Smith’s League One side,

has played 19 times but has not featured since a 2-1 defeat to

Doncaster in January.

He began his career at West Ham, where he made one League Cup

appearance before joining Plymouth Argyle and then moving on to


N’Toko, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, made

14 appearances for Dutch side Den Haag last season.

Meanwhile, Harry Crawford has returned to Dartford on a

one-month loan.

The striker joined from the Blue Square Bet Premier side in

January, but has been allowed to return for first-team football

following the arrivals of Lopez and Craig Beattie at Underhill.

In this weekend’s only top-flight fixture, the Reds face the

Swans – who are in next Sunday’s Capital One Cup final – having

already played twice this week.

Rodgers’ men lost 2-0 at home to West Brom in the Premier League

on Monday evening and were then beaten by the same scoreline at

Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa

League last-32 tie – the second leg of which is next Thursday.

Asked about the timing of the match against his former club

Swansea, Rodgers said: “I was very disappointed with the Premier

League to be honest.

“To put it in on a week when we have played on a Monday and

played on a Thursday in an away trip to Russia, and put it in

between that and another important European game on Thursday…I

think it is another example of the Premier League in this country

not helping teams whatsoever.

“I think every other country in Europe will always try to help

their teams – some of them will play on a Friday before a European


“So for us to have it thrown in there when there were other free

weeks was bemusing to say the least.”

Liverpool have forward Daniel Sturridge and midfielder Philippe

Coutinho back available for Sunday’s game.

The pair return to the squad having both been ineligible for

Thursday’s match, with Rodgers confirming Sturridge – who has been

nursing a thigh problem – is fit to play.

Coutinho, a January signing from Inter Milan, made his Reds

debut as a substitute in the West Brom contest and asked if the

Brazil international might be in line for his first Liverpool start

this weekend, Rodgers said: “He is certainly in my thinking.

“He has come in and needed that little bit of time to adapt to

the new way of working and new life, but you can see the kid’s


“He has got good experience for a young player, so on Sunday we

will have a look.”

Daniel Agger, after criticising his own performance in the West

Brom defeat on Twitter, did not travel to Russia but Rodgers has

indicated the defender will be involved against Swansea and praised

the contribution he has made since the start of the campaign.

“He has been outstanding this season – he has that real warrior

spirit,” Rodgers said.

“We have just had a little run of games where as a team – and

for us, there is no blame on the individual – we haven’t defended

as well as what we had done.

“He is one of the top European centre-halves and we are very

happy to have him here.”

Rodgers feels the past four games – 2-2 league draws away

against Arsenal and Manchester City, followed by the two 2-0 losses

– have “typified” Liverpool’s campaign.

Lying ninth in the Premier League, the Reds are currently 12

points behind fourth place with 12 games to go and their manager

admits that after the West Brom result, while still theoretically

possible, securing a Champions League berth this term is going to

be “very, very difficult”.

Rodgers believes more maturity is required in the Merseysiders’

performances as they seek out some consistency.

But while his team might be a work a progress overall, the

Northern Irishman has stressed his players are already giving him

everything he could wish for with regard to their effort.

Rodgers said: “We may not be just good enough at the end of the


“We have some top players here and some world-class players, but

it might not be this year for us that we can make that jump.

“But certainly, what we will do in every game is give everything

and like we have seen in the last two games, in terms of the work

rate, intensity and effort the players are putting in, I can’t ask

for any more.”

The 17-year-old had attracted attention from a number of clubs

but has been snapped up by Gus Poyet’s side on a three-year deal

that will start in the summer.

Walton was still a scholar at Argyle and will complete his

apprenticeship under John Sheridan before turning professional when

he moves along the south coast.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” the youngster told Brighton’s

official website. “I just want to knuckle down, work hard and

hopefully one day I will break into the first-team squad.

“I was at the Amex on Tuesday night to watch Brighton play

Blackburn and I liked the way the team played, and with the

training ground on the way it’s a great opportunity for me.

“Tomasz Kuszczak is a great keeper and has a lot of experience

so I’m looking forward to learning off him and the other senior

keepers at the club.”

Argyle will receive a fee for the goalkeeper, as well as further

payments depending on how well he develops with the Championship


The 23-year-old will remain with the League of Ireland Premier

outfit until the end of June.

Curran arrived at Spotland in the summer after he had been

released by Carlisle.

The former Tranmere forward made five substitute appearances for

Dale before being sent-off during his first start against Bury in

the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Since then he has been unable to reclaim a place in the team and

joins the Irish side ahead of their league campaign, which begins

on March 9 against Cork.