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Crystal Palace and West Ham chasing Christian Benteke after Batshuayi snub – report

Ср, 29/06/2016 - 23:13

Crystal Palace and West Ham United are said to be preparing bids for out-of-favour Liverpool striker Christian Benteke.

Palace and West Ham had both been pursuing moves to sign Marseille talent Michy Batshuayi, but with the 22-year-old likely to join Antonio Conte’s Chelsea this summer, their sights have shifted.

Alan Pardew’s side had agreed a £31 million fee for Batshuayi on Monday, but the Blues issued an improved bid the following day, turning Palace attentions to Benteke.

That is according to the Mirror, who claim that both Palace and West Ham are exploring the possibility of signing Benteke.

Both sides are in need of a proven, top-level centre-forward, and Benteke would provide an ideal solution.

With Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp having already added to his attacking options with a £30 million move for Sadio Mane, he will likely look to recoup much of this fee by sanctioning Benteke’s departure.

Benteke is behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings in Klopp’s attacking pecking order, while Roberto Firmino was also preferred to the former Aston Villa man in 2015/16.

For the striker, who is currently with Batshuayi and the rest of the Belgium squad at Euro 2016, a move away from Merseyside would provide a much-needed outlet.

Far from a gamble for Palace or West Ham, Benteke simply struggled to adjust to Klopp’s high-intensity attacking ideals, and slotting into a more direct, physical system would suit his qualities.

Having signed Benteke for £32.5 million last summer, the Reds are likely to seek a similar fee ahead of 2016/17, though his £120,000-a-week wages may prove a stumbling block.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Martin Skrtel apologises after ‘calling Klopp a dickhead’

Ср, 29/06/2016 - 21:17

Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel has been forced to take to social media to apologise for comments regarding manager Jurgen Klopp.

The 31-year-old is set to leave the club this summer, and a recent post on his friend’s Instagram account included the hashtag “#KloppJeKKT,” believed to translate roughly to “Klopp the dickhead.”

As is the nature with modern football supporters, Skrtel’s supportive comments below this post led to something of an uproar, prompting the Slovak to apologise.

Taking to his personal Instagram account, Skrtel issued a statement saying his friend “did not realise how serious the comments may appear.”

Skrtel Klopp Dickhead

Skrtel also claimed that “when I am very busy I have my close friend to help me manage my social media profiles,” providing a new take on Joleon Lescott’s infamous ‘pocket tweet‘ in February.

Shortly after Liverpool’s 6-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park, Lescott posted a picture of a Mercedes, with supporters questioning his commitment as a result.

Whether either should be a issue is debatable, but this once again provokes the question as to why high-profile players utilise social media to engage with supporters, given the level of scrutiny.

Skrtel is set to seal a £5 million to Fenerbahce on his return from Euro 2016 this summer, with only personal terms left to be agreed.

This will end his eight-and-a-half-year spell with the Reds, after falling down the centre-back pecking order under Klopp.

Klopp has already signed Skrtel’s replacement in Cameroon international Joel Matip, with the ex-Schalke man set to compete with Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez for a starting role.

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Liverpool Transfer News Roundup: Skrtel, Canos, Ward & Bogdan

Ср, 29/06/2016 - 18:22

With Jurgen Klopp‘s summer plans taking shape, we round up the latest Liverpool transfer news, including Martin Skrtel‘s impending departure.

As we hurtle towards a busy pre-season for the Reds, Klopp is looking to seal the majority of his transfer business early, allowing he and his new backroom staff to begin work in earnest.

Following the early arrivals of Marko Grujic and Joel Matip, German goalkeeper Loris Karius and, most recently, £30 million forward Sadio Mane have been added to Klopp’s squad, while bids have been made for both Piotr Zielinski and Ben Chilwell.

There are likely to be a host of incomings and outgoings in the coming weeks, and here we round up the latest from Melwood, as Skrtel looks set to leave after eight-and-a-half years.

Skrtel to Fenerbahce “Almost Done”

 Liverpool's Martin Skrtel in action against Chelsea during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After outlasting four Liverpool managers in Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers, Skrtel’s time on Merseyside looks to have finally come to an end.

A muted half-season under Klopp is now poised to be the Slovak’s last with the club, as Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim has confirmed.

The Turkish side have agreed a £5 million deal with the Reds to secure Skrtel’s services, with only personal terms to be finalised.

Skrtel will be joined by Paris Saint-Germain right-back Gregory van der Wiel, with Yildirim revealing that both transfers are “almost done.”

The 31-year-old will leave behind a mixed legacy at Liverpool, though few supporters are likely to bemoan his departure.

Norwich Make Offer for Canos

 Liverpool's Sergi Canos in action against West Bromwich Albion during the final Premier League match of the season at the Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite making his debut for the Reds in the final day of the 2015/16 Premier League season, Spanish winger Sergi Canos is poised to leave the club this summer.

This comes after an impasse in contract talks, with Liverpool unwilling to match Canos’ £10,000-a-week wage demands—and with only a year left on his contract, they are looking to cut their losses.

According to reports on Monday, Championship side Bristol City have agreed a £2.5 million fee with the Reds, who are said to have pushed for a buy-back option in any deal.

Now, as relayed by the Eastern Daily Press, newly relegated Norwich City are also said to be looking to match this offer, as Alex Neil builds for a promotion push.

Canos’ departure would be a disappointment, but following Mane’s arrival it seems a sensible juncture.

Ward Set For Contract Talks

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Danny Ward after the 2-1 victory over Bournemouth during the FA Premier League match at Dean Court. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Karius’ arrival is likely to see the German assume the role of first-choice goalkeeper, leaving the position of last season’s No. 1, Simon Mignolet, under question.

But with Mignolet set to serve as Karius’ deputy on his adjustment to life in the Premier League, last season’s returning loanee, Danny Ward, is set to leave the club on another temporary deal.

With Huddersfield Town his likely destination, Ward could link up with Klopp’s former team-mate, David Wagner, who took the reins at the John Smith’s Stadium towards the end of 2015.

But before Ward departs Merseyside again, the Wales international should sign a new, improved contract.

That is according to Goal’s Melissa Reddy, who suggests that Ward’s promising displays in the second half of 2015/16 have earned him a long-term role under Klopp at Anfield.

Bogdan Looking to Leave on Loan

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Adam Bogdan warms up before the Premier League match against Watford at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joining Ward, and potentially U21s goalkeeper Ryan Fulton, through the Anfield exit this summer could be Adam Bogdan—just one year after signing for the club from Bolton Wanderers.

The Hungarian joined Liverpool on a free transfer ahead of 2015/16, but after making just six appearances last season and losing his place on the substitutes’ to Ward, he is pushing for a summer loan move.

“My goal is to get a loan deal as soon as possible,” he said this week.

“There is not much point going to the USA after my last half-year, plus the new arrival of a goalkeeper shows that they don’t count on me.

“I want to rebuild my good form. I want to play games weekly and get back to the national team.”

Liverpool’s pre-season opponents, Wigan Athletic, are said to be interested in agreeing a deal for the 28-year-old, though he could still remain on Merseyside as third-choice goalkeeper.

Higuain Linked…Again

 Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain before the International Friendly match against Portugal at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mane’s arrival sees the former Southampton attacker join Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Christian Benteke, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Jordon Ibe, Sheyi Ojo, Luis Alberto and Lazar Markovic in swelling Klopp’s forward ranks.

But, despite this, Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain has once again been linked with a big-money move to Merseyside.

After the Argentina international’s agent revealed Higuain would not extend his contract with the Serie A side, with a departure mooted at the end of 2017/18, talkSPORT claim Liverpool have been put on “red alert.”

This could fuel rumours from the beginning of June that Klopp had met with Nicolas Higuain to discuss a possible move, but the striker’s brother and representative quashed speculation on Wednesday.

Don’t expect to see Higuain in a Liverpool shirt any time soon.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

The Reds’ most exciting, attractive and attacking team – Liverpool’s 1987/88 title success

Ср, 29/06/2016 - 18:17

In 1987/88 Liverpool went top of the table in November and stayed there for the rest of the season. Many Reds believe it was the most exciting and attacking team to ever win the league; Neil Poole is one of them and shares his memories.


The 1987-88 season begins and ends with Ian Rush.

However, as part of football’s ongoing revelry in sod’s law, the man who scored 346 goals for the Reds played no part in what was the most exciting, attractive and attacking Liverpool side to ever win the league.

Prior to the 87/88 season everyone knew Rush was leaving for Juventus – he’d already been their player for a season but had remained at Liverpool on loan. This, however, didn’t prevent reports in the spring of ’87 that Liverpool supporters where petitioning and offering to contribute their own hard earned cash to keep him at the club. How much substance these claims had, I don’t know. But as a nine year old I vividly remember putting all my chickens in this basket and believing it could make the difference.

In the summer Rush finally left for Juventus and football kicked me in the nuts for the first time.

It would save its second kick for the season finale at Wembley. More of that later.

How did we solve a problem like Rush? Luckily for us, a damn sight better than we dealt with the problem of Luis Suarez leaving 27 years later. And for regular readers, yes, I am still banging that drum.

In came John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, and Ray Houghton for the princely and total sum of £3,625,000. We actually brought in Mike Marsh on a free from Kirby Town too, but that negates the overall picture of transfer-business-awesomeness I’m trying to paint so we’ll gloss over that.

Dalglish also had the luxury of throwing a readied John Aldridge into the mix. Having been weaned into the team and used sparingly since his acquisition around the midpoint of the previous season, Aldo was ready to justify his place among a squad already comprising a mix of experience, quality and grit with the likes of Grobbelaar, Hansen, Nicol, Molby and McMahon.

 Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport)

If you were between 6 and 16 in 1987 I’d wager John Barnes is your favourite ever Liverpool player. He would become mine before the season was out too. No explanations. Watch your old videos. Watch the DVDs. Search YouTube. Either remind yourself of Barnes, or if you’re too young, expose yourself to John Barnes today…no, not like that you dirty bastar…

However, from high on the Kop in my first season attending Anfield, I had my eye on John Aldridge from the very start. Like a man on the rebound, selecting his new girlfriend on nothing more than the specifications of a game of Guess Who I had unwavering faith in this universal equation: facial hair = goals

“Does she have a ‘tash…”

“Yes”

“This is on! Here’s 10p. Call your mum. You’ve pulled.”

Even without the doppelganger merits though, and with a goals-per-game ratio that actually surpassed Rush, albeit over a much shorter time, Aldo flourished scoring 29 goals in all competitions that season, and even went on to score the winning penalty against Wimbledon in the FA Cup final…oh…

 Dave Munden / EMPICS Sport)

Never personally a stats chap, the 87/88 was an early rogue exception. The obsession with surpassing Leeds’ existing record from the 73/74 season – unbeaten for the first 29 games – took root relatively early.

The realisation hit home that this was another very special Liverpool team. The belated blooming of Beardsley after a tricky start and the acquisition of Houghton in the autumn moved us further up the gears after Barnes and Aldridge had already hit the ground running; the former being the provider and the latter the goal-scorer for Liverpool’s first goal in the first game of the season against Arsenal at Highbury in a 2-1 victory.

Liverpool equalled the Leeds record, but the unbeaten run came to a halt at Goodison as we succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in the thirtieth game, or what decades later someone would call ‘Match-day 30’ as piece of you quietly died and malignant tears stung your eyes.

However, the title win was already a formality and my recollection is shrugging, and in doing so inadvertently engaging, for the first time, in the simple art of annoying Evertonians with apathy.

The standout game of the season came in April ’88 against Nottingham Forest. In the final, satisfying act of a trilogy which saw Liverpool play Forest three times in eleven days, Liverpool battered their wannabe peers 5-0 at Anfield under the lights.

[embedded content]

Regularly touted as one of the best displays of football ever, the words of Sir Tom Finney are always unimaginatively dug out as proof, as sure as night follows day. I’d hate to disappoint you with imagination…

“It was the finest exhibition I’ve seen the whole time I’ve played and watched the game,” the 66 year old said.

Interestingly this marks the first of several claims to accumulate over the next two decades in which Liverpool would seemingly become involved in the best versions of all the key games in football….ever.

After this, the best performance in ‘88, would come the best Premier League ever game in 1996 with our 4-3 victory over Newcastle. Next would be the best UEFA Cup final ever as we beat Alaves 5-4. 2005 saw the best Champions League Final in Istanbul. Finally, came the best ever FA Cup final against West Ham in 2006.

Putting aside the possibility that our heads may have disappeared up our own arses with one or two of our ‘best ever’ claims, the 5-0 win against Forest is distinctly different from those which followed.

Whilst the quality of the aforementioned post-88 games are measured by drama, passion and heroics remedying our own errors, the performance against Forest is pure and simple: we just oozed sheer class. No shipping of goals. No need for a comeback. No need for individuals. No tidying up. We were an efficient machine; an efficient machine, polished to a mirror finish and with luxurious add-ons.

Then we were beaten by Wimbledon in the FA Cup Final and John Aldridge missed a penalty depriving Kenny and Liverpool of their second double. Nut-kicking two.

It still pains me to this day. Still essentially a petulant 9 year old I don’t want to talk about it…just two things though…

Peter Beardsley, Liverpool

Firstly, Peter Beardsley opened the scoring with a perfectly good goal which was disallowed because the referee didn’t play the advantage. Secondly, all this bollocks about the Wimbledon players intimidating Liverpool in the tunnel is just that: the huge, pendulous, mythical gonads of a 90-year-old giant.

I’m not bitter.

They say that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. Rather worryingly then my memories of the 87/88 are largely a random collection of fleeting but vivid images: walking to the match, always in sunshine; lock-outs at 1.30pm; Steve Nicol’s hat-trick against Newcastle; McMahon keeping the ball in touch against Arsenal; men telling me I should come to Anfield every week because we never lose when I’m there (that changed!); hating Luton because of Steve Foster’s headband; John Barnes. John Barnes. And John Barnes; never really concentrating on the footy and just watching and listening to the crowd; 45 minute walks; sitting outside the Queens on Queens Drive watching the Reds in a bus parading the First Division League title.

I end though, not with a memory but an entirely unsubstantiated story I’ve heard and love. I’m of the opinion such things can be as important as facts and memories when reflecting on the past. It’s all part of the dance – It’s a joke. It’s a joke!

 Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport)

In the summer of ‘88, Kenny Dalglish held a press conference. To the total surprise of the Press he announced that Liverpool had re-signed Ian Rush from Juventus after only one year away. The following exchange took place:

“Kenny, how did you keep this a secret?”

“I didn’t tell anybody,” Kenny replied.

And so it was, the 88/89 season began with Liverpool and two men who looked like Ian Rush. It’s difficult to remember a happier time.

LIVERPOOL’S 1987/88 SEASON STATS:

League Position: First (90 points)
FA Cup: Runners Up
League Cup: 3rd round

Total games: 50
Games won: 32
Games drawn: 14
Games lost: 4
Clean sheets – league: 21
Clean sheets – overall: 27
Total goals: 99
Average Anfield attendance: 39,429

Previous Seasons in this Series:

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Adam Bogdan wants Liverpool exit, Wigan interested

Ср, 29/06/2016 - 16:35

Out-of-favour Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan has expressed a desire to leave on loan this summer, with Wigan Athletic among those interested.

Bogdan joined the Reds on a free transfer from Bolton Wanderers last summer, but after a season spent playing deputy to Simon Mignolet, the Hungarian could leave the club on loan.

Making just six appearances for the first team in 2015/16, including disastrous showings against Watford and Exeter City, Bogdan was demoted to the role of third-choice goalkeeper following the return of Danny Ward from Aberdeen.

But while Ward looks likely to leave Liverpool on another loan spell this summer, Bogdan is pushing for a temporary move of his own, according to Goal’s Melissa Reddy.

Wigan, one of Liverpool’s first opponents this pre-season, are said to have expressed an interest in securing Bogdan’s services.

This would suit the 28-year-old, who explained his situation ahead of a return to Melwood this weekend, where he will meet his competition for the first weeks of pre-season, Loris Karius.

“The goal is to get loaned out. I could stay but I would need incredible luck or a lot of injuries to climb the ladder,” he said.

“I can get out of this situation by performing well somewhere else. Then if life allows it, return to Liverpool.

“I need to go to prove my worth.”

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Adam Bogdan warms up before the Premier League match against Watford at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This could see Bogdan look to seal a move away before the Reds’ pre-season tour of the United States, with U21s talent Ryan Fulton also capable of operating in his role ahead of 2016/17.

“My goal is to get a loan deal as soon as possible,” he continued.

“There is not much point going to the USA after my last half-year, plus the new arrival of a goalkeeper shows that they don’t count on me.

“I want to rebuild my good form. I want to play games weekly and get back to the national team.”

Bogdan missed out on Hungary’s squad for Euro 2016, though his ambition to leave Liverpool in search of reputation-restoring first-team football may be quashed, Reddy suggests.

With Ward likely to depart for Huddersfield Town, possibly after signing a new, improved contract on Merseyside, Bogdan may remain with the club to serve as third-choice goalkeeper.

At this stage, Bogdan finds Karius, Mignolet and Ward all ahead of him in the pecking order, and it is likely that any appearance for Fulton would seal his fate.

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Martin Skrtel’s Liverpool exit “almost done”

Ср, 29/06/2016 - 13:10

Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel is close to joining Fenerbahce, bringing an end to his eight-and-a-half year stay on Merseyside.

The 31-year-old’s future was always likely to be decided once Slovakia were knocked out of Euro 2016 and there appears to progress after Germany sent them packing on Sunday afternoon.

It has looked as though Skrtel would leave Liverpool this summer since he lost his place in the team earlier this year, and it now appears as though the inevitable is close to happening.

Fenerbahce’s president, Aziz Yildirim, told AMK Spor that, “Van der Wiel and Slovak Skrtel transfers are almost done”, seemingly confirming the news in the process.

The Turkish giants have been strong favourites for his signature all summer, with a £5.5 million deal rumoured in recent weeks.

Should Skrtel move on, it will bring an end to nearly a decade of service at Anfield, having joined from Zenit St Petersburg for £6.5 million in January 2008.

 Liverpool's Martin Skrtel during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Final against Seville FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There have been plenty of ups and downs along the way, and as time has gone by, it has become more evident that the Slovakian is the weak-link in a consistently fragile back-line.

His first-team chances became increasingly limited under Jurgen Klopp last season, and he ended up only featuring in relatively meaningless Premier League games at the end of the campaign.

Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren are both now undoubtedly ahead of him in the pecking order – Sakho is still awaiting the verdict of a failed drugs test – and Joel Matip‘s arrival from Schalke further suggests Skrtel is not needed.

He has made 320 appearances for Liverpool in total, scoring 18 goals, and won the club’s Player of the Year award in 2011/12.

One big final move makes total sense for the big centre-back, before age really starts to catch up with him.

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Video: Sadio Mane breaks Robbie Fowler’s fastest Premier League hat-trick record

Ср, 29/06/2016 - 05:00

New Liverpool signing Sadio Mane broke Robbie Fowler‘s long-standing Premier League hat-trick record with three strikes against Aston Villa in 2015.

2m 56s – Relive the moment when Sadio Mane became a Premier League record-breaker…https://t.co/TRrsALPat8

— Premier League (@premierleague) 28 June 2016

The 24-year-old joined Liverpool in a £30 million deal on Tuesday afternoon, and promised goals from his favoured attacking role.

Reds supporters can hope for big things from Mane, who netted 25 times in 75 appearances for Southampton following his 2014 switch from Red Bull Salzburg, where he scored 45 goals in 87 games.

Three of Mane’s 25 goals for Southampton came against Villa in the Premier League towards the end of the 2014/15, scored in just two minutes and 56 seconds.

Latching onto Graziano Pelle’s knockdown for his first, Mane made the most of a fortunate break to beat Ron Vlaar and Shay Given before slotting home.

His second came following a poor Vlaar backpass and some typical industry from Shane Long, before he slotted into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area to seal his hat-trick.

This saw Mane break Fowler’s 21-year record, with the Liverpool striker scoring three times in four minutes and 32 seconds against Arsenal in 1994, and while he is unlikely to emulate the Reds legend’s heroics in the No. 9 role, this performance underlined his blossoming talent.

Speaking after Southampton’s 6-1 win, Mane described this record-breaking feat as his “best moment in football.”

The challenge now for the Reds’ new No. 19 is to eclipse this moment and enjoy success in a Liverpool shirt.

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Jurgen Klopp explains Sadio Mane signing, says he’s followed him for years

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 20:27

After landing the big-money signing of Sadio Mane from Southampton, Jurgen Klopp has expressed his delight at welcoming him to his squad.

Mane become the German’s fourth permanent signing since joining the Reds in October, and will link up with fellow summer arrivals Loris Karius, Joel Matip and Marko Grujic this pre-season.

Like the aforementioned trio, Mane had been on Klopp’s radar for a lengthy period, as the 49-year-old explained on Tuesday.

According to Klopp, his impressive displays for Senegal, Red Bull Salzburg and the Saints in recent years made him a priority target this summer.

“I have followed Sadio for a lot of years since his impressive performances in the Olympics in 2012, and then watched his development in Austria and in his time at Southampton,” he said.

“Since I came here I have spoken to the staff a lot about him and have always felt he could be a very good signing for us.

“He has a lot of quality, works hard and has a very good goalscoring record.

“When I spoke to him I could tell that he was passionate about joining the club and playing for our fantastic fans.

“I think they will be just as excited about seeing him put on a Liverpool shirt as I am.

“It is great that we have managed to sign him so he can work with us from the first day of pre-season.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Rubin Kazan. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s final word on securing his signings before pre-season is a salient one, as the ex-Borussia Dortmund manager is planning an intensive warmup schedule for his side.

As well as nine friendly fixtures—including a showcase clash with Barcelona at Wembley Stadium and a return to another former club in Mainz—Klopp is set to put his squad through a gruelling regime of triple training sessions.

This is designed to improve the fitness of his squad ahead of a crucial 2016/17 season, with the onus on challenging at the top end of the Premier League.

Speaking on his move to Anfield, Mane said that he was relishing pre-season, to ensure he is ready for a positive first campaign at Liverpool.

“It’s not easy if you start after [pre-season begins], but I’ve signed today and I will start with the team,” he told LFCTV.

“This makes me more happy, and I think I’ll be ready to work with my team-mates.”

Mane will now be looking to challenge the likes of Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Lazar Markovic for a key role under Klopp this season.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Mamadou Sakho welcomes Sadio Mane to a “fantastic club” after Liverpool move

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 20:15

Liverpool centre-back Mamaodou Sakho has hailed the signing of Sadio Mane from Southampton, welcoming the Senegalese attacker.

Mane joined the Reds on a five-year deal on Tuesday afternoon, with his former club receiving a £30 million fee.

The 24-year-old has spent the last two seasons with the Saints, but now follows Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren to Merseyside.

Moving from an upwardly mobile club to one seeking to challenge at the top end of the Premier League, Mane will be expected to deal with heightened expectations at Liverpool.

But speaking to Senegalese outlet RTS 1 en Direct, Sakho welcomed the arrival of the Sedhiou-born star to what he described as a “fantastic club.”

“We [have] met two or three times on the pitch and in the tunnel,” he said, with their last meeting coming in March’s 3-2 defeat at St. Mary’s.

“It’s already been four years that I’ve been at this fantastic club and he will discover that by himself.”

 Southampton's Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the winning their goal in a 3-2 victory over Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mane scored twice in that defeat on the south coast, providing both Sakho and Jurgen Klopp with a showcase of his attacking talents.

The former Red Bull Salzburg attacker regularly drifted inside from his left-sided role during that victory, scoring twice after missing a penalty, exploiting the flaws of Martin Skrtel.

Mane had already scored twice against the Reds in 2015/16, once in October’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, as well as a header in the first minute of Southampton’s eventual 6-1 defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mane hailed Klopp’s influence in his move to Liverpool, saying that it was “the right club, the right coach and the right moment to change.”

Sakho will certainly be pleased to line up alongside Mane rather than against him in 2016/17, and the Frenchman can hope for more goals from his new team-mate.

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Liverpool insist Sadio Mane fee is £30 million, despite contrary reports

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 20:12

Following some reports that Liverpool could pay over £38 million for new signing Sadio Mane, the club have insisted the fee is £30 million.

Prior to the completion of Mane’s move from Southampton to Merseyside, reports in the south suggested the 24-year-old could become the Reds’ most expensive signing ever.

Based on appearances and future successes, an initial fee of £34.5 million was reported to be set to rise to £38.5 million.

This would have eclipsed the £35 million paid to secure the signing of Andy Carroll from Newcastle United in 2011.

But according to the Express‘s Paul Joyce, the club have insisted that the fee paid to sign Mane is lower than that which brought Christian Benteke to Anfield from Aston Villa last summer.

Mane is said to have cost £30 million, making him the third-most expensive signing in the club’s history.

This also makes Mane the joint-second most expensive signing in the Premier League this summer, alongside Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly and behind Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, who is believed to have cost the Gunners up to £35 million.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Final against Seville FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While this fee remains an eye-watering outlay—particularly given supporters’ concerns over a long-standing relationship with Southampton—it is likely that the English top flight will see a plethora of similar fees emerge ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

Clubs are set to share £5.14 billion in TV money from Sky Sports and BT Sport alone, following a record deal for broadcasting rights in the UK. New overseas rights push that figure over £8 billion next season.

Furthermore, Klopp has previously suggested money won’t be an issue in securing his priority targets.

“Hopefully we will never talk about the money around signings,” he said in April.

“Not because it’s not a big number or something but because if we take a player it’s because we believe he fits what we need, not because he’s expensive or he’s cheap.

“Our owners are completely behind that and it’s really cool.”

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Lucas admits he could leave Liverpool this summer

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 17:23

Lucas Leiva admits he is unsure whether he will be a Liverpool player next season, after almost a decade on Merseyside.

The 29-year-old has been at the club since the summer of 2007, when he signed as a highly-rated young midfielder from Gremio, for £5million.

Having suffered a tough start to life at Anfield, which included him being booed during the 2008/09 season, he has matured into a dependable figure in the Reds midfield over a number of years.

He was named the club’s Player of the Year in May 2011, and has made 315 appearances in total.

Lucas admits that his future at Liverpool remains a little unclear, however, with Jurgen Klopp likely to make major changes to his squad in the coming weeks.

“It is the first transfer window that Klopp will participate in more actively in for Liverpool, so I’ll have a better idea when I return [for pre-season],” Lucas told Radio Jovem Pan.

“Whatever happens, the idea, as always, is to remain in Europe, mainly in England, which has a very strong and good league to play in.”

 Liverpool's Lucas Leiva celebrates his side's second goal after receiving abuse from Stoke City supporters during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

These don’t sound like the most convincing of words from the Brazilian, although he has often thrown his future into doubt in recent times.

He came extremely close to leaving Liverpool last August, following a reported falling out with Brendan Rodgers, and numerous transfer rumours linked him with an exit in the years that preceded it.

Lucas found his first-team opportunities limited under Klopp last season, and he was invariably used as an auxiliary centre-back when he was given a chance to shine.

That is likely to be nothing more than a short-term move by Klopp, though, with Joel Matip signed from Schalke to bolster the Reds’ defence.

Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and James Milner are all ahead of him in the midfield pecking order, Joe Allen could still potentially stay and Marko Grujic has arrived from Red Star Belgrade.

A move elsewhere would be a sensible decision by Liverpool’s longest-serving player, who has enjoyed a very productive nine years on Merseyside.

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The 4 games Mane will miss due to African Cup of Nations, including Man United away

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 16:32

New Liverpool signing Sadio Mane will miss four matches for the Reds next season, because of international commitments with Senegal.

The 24-year-old joined the Reds on Tuesday afternoon, in a deal worth a reported £30 million. He will wear the No.19 jersey at Anfield.

Mane has become Jurgen Klopp‘s fourth permanent signing since he became Liverpool manager last October, joining Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and Loris Karius in the squad ahead of pre-season, which starts on Saturday.

Unfortunately, the forward will be missing for the Reds for a chunk of January and February, due to the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Mane would miss a quartet of Premier League clashes – away to Man United (14th January) and Hull City (4th February), as well the home fixtures against Swansea (21st January) and Chelsea (1st February).

He would also not be available for the FA Cup fourth round and both legs of the League Cup semi-final, should Liverpool still be in both competitions at that point.

It is always a downside of signing African players – it has the potential to disrupt both the team’s progress and the individual’s once he returns.

There are slight doubts over whether Matip will also be missing, with the Cameroon international currently at loggerheads with manager Hugo Broos.

Broos claimed the centrte-back was “not motivated” for two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers earlier this year, and their rift is yet to be settled.

The tournament runs from 14th January to 5th February.

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Sadio Mane – Where he fits in Liverpool’s attacking options

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 16:00

Following confirmation of Sadio Mane’s £30 million move to Liverpool, we take a look at Jurgen Klopp’s array of attacking options and who the new arrival could replace in the starting XI.


Having struck a deal that sees Mane become the third most expensive signing in the club’s history, it’s safe to assume the Senegalese international is set for a starting place at Anfield.

While the hefty price tag doesn’t necessarily mean the 24-year-old will be a guaranteed starter, that Klopp is such a big admirer of Mane and has finally landed his man, adds weight to the assumption he will be.

Mane boosts the Reds’ attacking department in areas it is needed but is another addition to an already populated area of the squad.

This gives Klopp decisions to make over where he fits into the XI and who makes way for him in attacking midfield, with that seemingly where the ex-Saint will feature.

Options are aplenty, with Mane to battle against Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino – not to forget James Milner and other fringe players – for a starting berth.

Mane’s Anfield Role

 Southampton's Sadio Mane in action against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As always with a new signing, thoughts instantly focus on where Mane will fit into Klopp’s team.

The Senegalese has played all across the front throughout his career, but his two years at St Mary’s saw him operate primarily as a right winger or second striker – making 34 of his 40 appearances last season across the two positions.

With options in abundance for the central attacking midfield slot, Mane looks set to play right wing at Anfield, where he enjoyed a strong impact for Southampton last season, scoring nine of his 15 goals.

A genuine wide player, Mane will offer an extra dimension providing width, pace and goal-threat from the flanks – something Liverpool have lacked and Klopp revealed he wanted to address back in February:

“We have enough strikers but not too many wingers, just a few young ones with great potential.”

Able to operate centrally as well as from either side, Mane also adds increased flexibility to the Reds’ attacking sector.

But with Klopp’s comments and his team’s needs, it’s safe to assume Mane will primarily feature on the right next season, tasked with supplying the directness and goals that the Reds have been missing.

Flexible Attack

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the second goal against Manchester City with team-mate Adam Lallana during the Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been well documented that Liverpool are well stacked for attacking options, added to by returned loanees Luis Alberto and Lazar Markovic and not forgetting youngsters Jordon Ibe and Sheyi Ojo.

Mane’s arrival surely completes a wide-ranging and flexible set of offensive options filled with pace, creativity, skill, flair and – hopefully – goals.

Each senior player can play in different positions across the front, with Coutinho able to operate from the left or centrally and Firmino deployable as a No.10 or even an excellent striking option as shown last season.

Meanwhile, Lallana can play from both flanks and as a central support figure, with Milner, Ibe, and Ojo also capable of filling wide berths on either side, which Markovic can also offer.

Such flexibility will be vital throughout the season as Liverpool look for a strong league campaign, allowing Klopp to select depending on the game and situation in front of him.

Should the Reds boss feel width is essential, he can deploy Mane where expected as the man to maintain a wide threat, alongside dragging opponents out to open space for the likes of Firmino and Coutinho to enjoy.

Klopp first choice attack

This combination, behind Daniel Sturridge, seems most likely to become Klopp’s ‘first choice’ with the quality, productivity and balance afforded.

Mane’s familiarity operating on the left could also see him play from the opposite flank.

Should Klopp choose to utilise his new man this way, Coutinho could move into a central role where he can dictate from the middle of the pitch, allowing Lallana to offer energy from the right side.

Klopp option two

Operating in support of Sturridge, Divock Origi or even Firmino, if required, this is another exciting option at Klopp’s disposal.

There is also the option of using Mane as a second striker, where his directness and pace playing in support of Sturridge or Origi would be an excellent asset to blitz through opponents at speed – something perhaps to consider away from home.

Klopp option three

Options are plentiful for Klopp, but at the same time the Liverpool boss will want to assemble his first choice attacking unit, with the need for consistency and combinations to be established.

However, four, five, or however many players you want to consider as genuine options, doesn’t go into three – assuming Klopp sticks with 4-2-3-1 – so who will feature as the first choice trio?

First Choice Trio

 Southampton's Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the winning their goal in a 3-2 victory over Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With each player bringing quality, Klopp faces a tough decision as to who forms his trusted main attacking three.

For productivity, as outlined in our look at how Mane compares to his new teammates, quality and what Liverpool need most, Lallana should be the man to make way for the latest Southampton arrival.

Lallana’s output has been an issue since his move to Merseyside, and with just 12 goals and 13 assists over the last two years, it is still way behind that of the Brazilian duo, the level Mane showed at the Saints, and even Milner.

The 28-year-old plays an important role through his energy, setting the traps and tempo for Liverpool’s pressing game, but his lack of threat and production is an on-going issue.

Liverpool’s attacking midfield should therefore see Mane complement Firmino’s skill and work-rate and Coutinho’s brilliance, leaving Sturridge and Origi to fight for the striking berth – meaning Klopp’s strongest line up could indeed look like this:

Klopp first choice attack

However, the England international certainly has a role to play with the various ways Klopp can line up his attack, allowing him to select on what’s required to collect three points game-by-game.

Mane’s inclusion looks set to be central to those plans as Liverpool look for a strong league campaign without European distractions.

Klopp certainly has the options and quality to make it happen.

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Sadio Mane: “The right club, the right coach and the right moment”

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 15:44

Speaking on his £30 million move from Southampton, Sadio Mane says he is relishing life under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

The 24-year-old completed his big-money transfer on Tuesday afternoon, becoming the fourth arrival of the summer for Klopp.

Mane joins Marko Grujic, Joel Matip and Loris Karius at Melwood ahead of 2016/17, and is poised to take up a key role in the Reds’ attacking line.

Scoring twice in Southampton’s 3-2 comeback win over Liverpool in March, Mane provided a showcase of his talents, reinforcing Klopp’s belief that he would make a strong addition.

Speaking to LFCTV after signing a five-year deal with the Anfield club, Mane referenced Klopp’s influence on his move.

“I had some [other] opportunities but it’s the right club, the right coach and the right moment to change,” he said.

“I’m very happy to be a part of Liverpool Football Club.

“He [Klopp] played a big role in my coming to Liverpool, and I’m looking forward to working harder and to give my best for the club.

“I didn’t even need to ask myself, I said straight away ‘yes I’m interested’, as I’m convinced Liverpool is the right club for me, and the right coach as well.”

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Mane scored 15 goals in 43 games for Southampton in 2015/16, as well as laying on a further nine for his team-mates, and he continued to stress the importance of his output in front of goal.

“I’m a striker, all strikers it’s very important to score for your team,” said the Reds’ new No.19.

“Now I’m looking forward to working with my new team-mates and playing with my team and trying to help each other to push the club up.

“But the more important thing is that the team wins.”

As with most new signings at the club in recent years, Mane revealed his fond memories of watching Liverpool defeat AC Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul in 2005.

The Senegalese highlighted Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher as two of his heroes as a young player, and he will be hoping to emulate their success on Merseyside in the coming years.

Mane can now look forward to linking up with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge in the Liverpool attack.

The pressure of a significant price tag may make his transition more difficult, but Mane is set for a bright future under Klopp.

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“He’s exactly what we need” – Liverpool fans react to Sadio Mane signing

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 15:32
on 28.06.2016

Liverpool confirmed the signing of Sadio Mane from Southampton on Tuesday afternoon, with supporters welcoming the new No. 19 to the club.

The 24-year-old has officially joined the Reds in a year worth a reported £30 million, the Senegalese forward being Jurgen Klopp‘s fourth signing as manager.

Mane joins new recruits Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and Loris Karius in the squad as the Klopp revolution continues to gather pace.

While the news of Mane’s arrival hasn’t been met with resounding positivity, the majority of fans are still very pleased with the signing.

Here’s how some media and fans reacted to news of Mane’s arrival at Anfield:

Wonder if FSG ever ask themselves whether they should have bought Southampton instead.

— Simon Hughes (@Simon_Hughes__) June 27, 2016

#lfc have signed every #saintsfc player to score at Anfield since they returned to the Premier League. Scouting.

— Chris Rann (@crstig) June 28, 2016

I'm deeply concerned about Mane, not one lean on the photos i've seen!

— Ste Davies (@StevenD1977) June 28, 2016

Welcome to Liverpool Football Club, Sadio Mane. You're going to absolutely love it.

— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) June 28, 2016

Buzzing to have signed Sadio Mané, he's exactly what we need!

Another good deal done. Onto the next now, @LFC!

— Matt (@FalseFirmino) June 28, 2016

Sadio Mané is a #LFC player – good acquisition by Klopp, top money for #SaintsFC. St Mary's was constructed for less

— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) June 28, 2016

Mané holds the record for the fastest ever Premier League hat trick

— Indigo (@IndigoLFC) June 28, 2016

Good job Mane has no social media accounts so our wankers can't abuse him for not being Reus.

— Paul (@Kolology) June 28, 2016

Klopp wanted Mane.
Mane is dead good at football.
He outscored every one of our players last season.
We've signed him.

— Robbo (@RobV96) June 28, 2016

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“Give the Liverpool lads credit, they did warn you” – Fans react to Roy Hodgson’s ineptitude

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 13:39
on 28.06.2016

England suffered arguably the most embarrassing result in their history on Monday evening, losing to Iceland 2-1 in the Round of 16 at Euro 2016.

England have endured some miserable nights over the years, but none felt quite as humiliating and pathetic as their loss to a country with a population of just 323,000.

Roy Hodgson resigned (well, his contract was up anyway) following the match, bringing to an end a shocking four-year reign as England manager, in which he won just two games in three major tournaments.

Hodgson in 2002: "My track record, if people bothered to study it, would put me in the same category as [Sir Alex] Ferguson enjoys today."

— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) June 27, 2016

We as Liverpool fans know exactly how out of his depth Hodgson is, and finally it would appear the footballing world has also taken note.

Reds supporters ironically chanted “Hodgson for England” back in December 2010, and the FA did the unthinkable and listened to them. What an inspired decision that turned out to be!

Twitter predictably erupted after the final whistle, with Hodgson coming in for plenty of criticism and ridicule.

Here’s the best of the reaction:

More preparation in Roy Hodgson's resignation speech than during the rest of his reign.

— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) June 27, 2016

Worst result in the history of the English national football team.

— Simon Hughes (@Simon_Hughes__) June 27, 2016

When the Kopites sang 'Hodgson For England' in 2010 they didn't really think anyone would take them serous. How has the man had 4 years?

— Chris Maguire (@chrismaguire73) June 27, 2016

Hodgson should never have been anywhere near either the Liverpool or England jobs. Still dining out on that 2001 Danish Super Cup win.

— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) June 27, 2016

The worst part of this, and I don't say it lightly, is how right the LFC fans look re Roy.

— Arse2Mouse (@arse2mouse) June 27, 2016

Roberto Carlos on Roy Hodgson:

"He told me I would never succeed as left back. I told him that he doesn't understand football."

— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats2) June 28, 2016

England only beat one of Russia, Wales, Slovakia and Iceland.

— Tom McMahon (@TomMc_Sports) June 27, 2016

A written statement incase we lost to Iceland. Jesus wept. Sums up how low Hodgson's standards and expectations are.

— Tim Bolton (@timbolton1) June 27, 2016

Lots of fume and disdain at Hodgson from pundits/columnists today, but where was it post-WC2014? Equally inept, clueless. Wasted 2 years.

— Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) June 28, 2016

Now perhaps all will realise just why #LFC fans were so desperate to rid of Roy Hodgson!! ?

— Anfield Talk (@Anfield_Talk) June 28, 2016

Still can't get over Hodgson trying to copy the Spurs system but decided against using a Dembele type and played Rooney instead.

— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) June 28, 2016

#LFC supporters found Hodgson out in about four weeks.
Odd that it's taken England fans four years.

— Not Brian Kettle (@briankettle) June 28, 2016

Talking about #ENG & all jokes aside, how did the rest of the world not see what #LFC fans always knew? Roy Hodgson is not a good manager.

— Steve Gennaro (@_sgennaro) June 28, 2016

Always said it: Hodgson – like Moyes – fine in a job where expectation is low. Can't handle pressure of having to win. See: #LFC.

— Dan (@LfcDan) June 27, 2016

Give the Liverpool lads credit, they did warn you.

— Jamie Dalton (@JamieDalton82) June 27, 2016

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England 1–2 Iceland: Daniel Sturridge features as England suffer embarrassing Euro 2016 exit

Втр, 28/06/2016 - 01:42

England crashed out of Euro 2016 at the last-16 stage with a humiliating but deserved 2-1 loss to Iceland, with Daniel Sturridge the only Liverpool player to feature.

The Three Lions suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in English football history as they chucked away an early lead to miss out on a quarter-final clash with host nation France.

Wayne Rooney’s penalty just four minutes in after Raheem Sterling was fouled gave Hodgson’s side the perfect start, and what looked to be a routine evening.

But a shambolic display thereafter, combined with a monumental effort from the European Championship debutants, with first-half goals from Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, earned a historic win for the minnows.

Under mounting pressure following the spineless exit, the result prompted Hodgson to resign from his position as England manager immediately after the match.

Producing an abject performance in the final group game goalless draw against Slovakia – blamed on six changes the English boss made – Hodgson recalled the ‘big-guns’, which saw an even worse display play out, with Sturridge the only Red to feature.

The Liverpool striker completed the full 90 minutes, while Anfield teammates Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne were all unused substitutes in Nice.

Sturridge was the only bright spot on a shameful night for England, showing his class once again – at least in the first half – which actually left you feeling sorry for him with the sheer lack of quality to assist.

With Hodgson refusing to move away from his 4-3-3 formation, the Reds striker was shafted in a wide right role, where, in a move that defied belief from the England boss, he stayed for the duration.

England's Daniel Sturridge, front, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between England and Wales at the Bollaert stadium in Lens, France, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Behind are Marcus Rashford, left, and Jamie Vardy. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

While Harry Kane was preferred to lead the line, and Raheem Sterling operated on the opposite flank, Sturridge still showed his unrivalled ability as England’s best player, making the perfect contribution after just three minutes.

Picking up the ball on the right touchline, facing inside on his left foot, he displayed excellent vision and execution to find Raheem Sterling’s inside run with a through-ball that cut right through Iceland’s defence.

Sterling latched onto the pass, and won a penalty under a challenge from Iceland goalkeeper Hans Thor Halldorsson, which Rooney converted.

England’s orchestrator in the final third in the first 45 minutes, Sturridge later created a great chance for Kane with an inch perfect cross that the Tottenham striker volleyed well but was tipped over the bar before half-time.

With the Three Lions visibly panicking at being behind after the break, the 26-year-old was less influential in the second period, but he still provided a great opportunity for Dele Alli to equalise.

Again skipping inside on his left foot, Sturridge’s pin-point ball in from the right found the Spurs midfielder, who lashed wildly over the bar when well placed.

It was the only real moment of promise in a flat second half for the team and individually for Sturridge, whose impact was restricted by being left out wide as England slumped to a desperate defeat.

Sturridge and his Liverpool teammates now turn their attention to a refreshing break before returning to pre-season training at Melwood. They’ll be given three weeks off from now, meaning they should join up with the rest of the squad when they travel to America in late July.

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Brendan Rodgers turned down the chance to bring Sadio Mane to Liverpool

Пнд, 27/06/2016 - 20:04

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers reportedly turned down the opportunity to sign Sadio Mane two years ago, when he joined Southampton for £12 million.

According to Kristian Walsh of the Liverpool Echo, the Liverpool transfer committee identified Mane as a transfer target during his Red Bull Salzburg days.

The Senegal forward had shone during the 2013/14 season, scoring 13 of his side’s 110 goals, in what was a hugely impressive campaign for the Austrian club.

Although the collective transfer committee at Liverpool felt Mane was the ideal fit for Rodgers’ fluent, attacking side, the Ulsterman himself was not convinced.

Mane instead moved to Southampton for £12 million in the summer of 2014, where he has enjoyed two excellent seasons.

Now, two years down the line, Jurgen Klopp is closing in on the signing of a player he has admired since his time at Borussia Dortmund – but at triple the price.

 Southampton's Sadio Mane in action against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is likely that Mane will cost well over £30 million, with certain reports even suggesting the forward will become Liverpool’s most expensive signing in history.

The 24-year-old had a medical on Merseyside on Monday and his move to Liverpool is expected to be completed on Tuesday.

Mane will become the Reds’ fourth arrival of the summer, as the German tries to really start stamping his authority on his team.

Joel Matip and Marko Grujic signed in January, from Schalke and Red Star Belgrade respectively, while Loris Karius arrived from Mainz last month.

Mane will bring much-needed speed, versatility and end product to Liverpool next season, and Reds supporters witnessed his quality firsthand last season, when he scored four goals against their team.

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Liverpool reject West Brom enquiry for Jordon Ibe

Пнд, 27/06/2016 - 19:42

Liverpool have reportedly turned down an enquiry from West Brom for winger Jordon Ibe.

The Mirror‘s David Anderson claims that Baggies manager Tony Pulis “has had an enquiry knocked back by Liverpool”, as he looks to add quality to his squad ahead of next season.

Pulis was reportedly impressed with Ibe on the final day of the Premier League season, when the 20-year-old weaved his way past the West Brom defence and scored an excellent solo goal at the Hawthorns.

It is believed that Ibe is still part of Jurgen Klopp‘s plans moving forward, although a loan move to West Brom or another Premier League club may be a possibility still.

The youngster’s chances of regular first-team football at Anfield next season look fairly slim currently, unless he has an impressive pre-season and finds form from there.

The Englishman was disappointing in 2015/16, failing to build on an impressive pre-season, and he managed just four goals in 41 appearances.

With Sadio Mane on the verge of joining Liverpool and other recruitments expected, Ibe may well find himself further down the pecking order – and without European football on offer, there’s fewer opportunities for players such as him on the fringe of the squad.

A move elsewhere, at least on loan, would make sense for both the player and the club, although Klopp may feel confident of the winger offering more next year.

Given Pulis’ love of defence-minded football and hard-working wingers, it would certainly be a test of Ibe’s intelligence and work ethic, were he to join West Brom.

Ibe has previously been linked with a move to Watford.

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Sadio Mane could become Liverpool’s most expensive ever signing

Пнд, 27/06/2016 - 18:43

Sadio Mane is closing in on a big-money move to Liverpool, and the Southampton forward could end up becoming the most expensive Reds player in history.

Mane is undergoing a medical in Liverpool on Monday afternoon, ahead of what may well be Liverpool’s most significant signing of the summer.

The Senegal international was always going to command a hefty price-tag, but not many were expecting him to potentially become the Reds’ most expensive ever purchase.

Sam Wallace of the Telegraph claims the 24-year-old could end up costing Liverpool as much as £38.5million, “if the targets laid out for him in the agreement between the two clubs are achieved.”

The Reds were expected to have to fork out around £30million for one of Southampton’s most prized assets, and an up-front payment of £34.5million has reportedly been made.

That figure is expected to rise to between £36million and £38.5million, depending on Mane’s appearances next season, and Liverpool qualifying for the Champions League in 2017/18.

Andy Carroll is the club’s most expensive current signing, with the striker joining from Newcastle for £35million in January 2011.

 Southampton's Sadio Mane in action against Manchester City during the Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Should Liverpool complete the purchase of Mane, he will become Jurgen Klopp‘s fourth signing since taking over at Anfield last October.

Marko Grujic, Joel Matip and Loris Karius have already been brought in, and further new faces should arrive between now and the start of next season.

Klopp is keen to get the majority of his transfer business done by the beginning of pre-season, in order to have his entire squad prepared for 2016/17.

Mane would be the fifth Southampton player to move to Anfield in the last two years, with Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert all making the move from St Mary’s in that time.

The speedy forward scored four goals against Liverpool last season – three times in the Premier League and once in the League Cup.

He has scored 25 goals in 75 appearances for the Saints, since joining from Salzburg in 2014.

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