• Premier League

Ayre expects Liverpool signings to become stars

ESPN staff
June 25, 2013

Liverpool are well poised to begin their ascent up the Premier League ladder after another successful summer signing in Iago Aspas, according to managing director Ian Ayre.

Aspas was unveiled at Anfield on Monday after joining the Reds from Celta Vigo on a long-term deal, following Kolo Toure and Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto to the club.

Liverpool's transfer dealings have come in for criticism in recent years, with many balking at the high price paid for the likes of Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll.

But Ayre believes the success of January signings Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, as well as the imminent arrival of more players this summer proves Liverpool are heading in the right direction.

"It's always important. It's not always possible but it's always important," Ayre told the club's official website. "Particularly from the playing perspective, the manager and the coaches and all of the staff want to know that they've got the squad together, particularly ahead of pre-season.

"We've worked tirelessly, a lot of people behind the scenes worked ahead of the transfer window to identify those players that interest us. Then the hard work starts, negotiating and bringing these deals together."

Ayre backed the arrival of Aspas, insisting the Spaniard is an important piece in the Liverpool puzzle.

"It's fantastic, the third signing of the summer and very early in the window," he said. "He's a great talent, one that Brendan identified a long time ago.

"The scouting network and everybody else have done a lot of hard work to get him here and I'm pleased that we've been able to get his signature and have him in the squad.

"As we've always said, we've got our targets. We will work as hard as we can to bring them in. As we've said before, it's always about getting the right players and the right deals for both sides.

"There's a lot of work going on, there's certainly no shortage of that. Hopefully we'll have some more success."

Ayre also pledged his support to a £260 million regeneration plan of the wider Anfield area which encompasses a redevelopment proposal to the stadium.

New housing, shopping facilities and a hotel are expected to be introduced in the area, with Liverpool City Council leading the project to improve the experience around Anfield.

"The unveiling of this vision for the wider regeneration of the Anfield area is another important step towards transforming the area for the better," he added. "The club has a track record of working successfully with LCC and others to drive forward improvements to the area, having made a major investment towards the transformation of Stanley Park.

"We are looking forward to working with the partnership and playing a part in the development of the regeneration vision and we strongly encourage local residents, businesses and community groups to get involved in the process and have their say.

"This is also an important milestone as we seek to investigate the feasibility of expanding our stadium. We will continue this work, which is just one part of the wider Anfield vision, and there is a great deal of work still to be done to bring those plans to fruition.

"We have always said that any stadium expansion will be subject to detailed economic and social feasibility studies and the community and home owners' support, which includes our ability to purchase the land for the proposed expansion.

"Any expansion is also subject to the club being able to navigate the planning landscape and we are pleased to say that very positive progress is being made."

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