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Liverpool FC News, Opinion, Transfer Rumours and Discussion
Updated: 44 min 29 sec ago

German newspaper claims Liverpool submit €83m bid for Naby Keita

5 hours 17 min ago

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Reports in Germany on Monday night claim Liverpool have submitted a third bid for Naby Keita, this time offering RB Leipzig €83 million (£74.2 million) for the midfielder.


Keita, who was involved in a training ground altercation earlier on Monday after fouling a team mate, has been the subject of two bids from Liverpool already this summer – of £57 million and £66 million, both of which have been rejected by the German club.

That second bid was rejected late last week and reports then claimed a third and final offer of £75 million was being considered by the Reds’ hierarchy.

That bid has seemingly been made, according to German newspaper Bild.

It’s worth noting that Bild were first to report previous bids and have, in general, been correct on movements in this saga this summer.

Reports last week claimed that Liverpool’s final offer will include £40 million to be paid up front.

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All big money deals involve instalments and often the terms of payment are what prolong big money moves.

Keita, 22, has a £48 million release clause which can be activated next summer. Leipzig had been hoping to persuade him to sign a new contract in order to remove that release clause, but the Guinean appears keen to move to Merseyside and his frustrations seemingly boiled over in training on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp‘s squad are currently back on Merseyside after a week in Hong Kong, but travel to Germany on Wednesday, where they play three games and spend a 10-day training camp outside of Munich.


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Chaotic scenes at Molineux, as Bob Paisley wins his first league title in 1976

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 21:00

1960s Kop Crowd (PA Images)

One supporter who was there was a young Tony Lanigan. Here are his recollections of that incredible night:

“A mate got me a ticket at the last minute for the game. It was actually the first away game I’d been to. We went down by car and got to the ground fairly handy.

“Outside the away end, in what seemed like a really tight area, a crowd was building up gradually. I remember some people were being passed out over the crowd and it was all feeling a bit dangerous.

“Eventually one of the gates near the turnstiles gave way and loads of fans spilled into the ground. The press reported that the fans knocked the gate in, but I genuinely think it was just the sheer pressure of the crowd that forced it open. Something had to give in that packed space.

“As we entered the stadium, it was obvious that the vast majority inside were Liverpool fans. It was an incredible sight.

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“Although there were a few nerves, I think everyone was pretty confident about the result. I remember Steve Kindon scoring for Wolves early in the game and although we were on top, nerves were fraying as time ticked away.

“Eventually, with 15 minutes to go, Keegan scored and the place went mental. I got trapped against a barrier with the weight of the crowd behind me and I was pretty worried for a few seconds. At that point I lost sight of my mates, who I thought were just behind me.

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“The pressure was just easing when Toshack scored the second. The crowd exploded again and I was once more up against a barrier. I must have had ribs of steel back then. I’d learned my lesson by the time Ray Kennedy clinched it and avoided that barrier.

“I remember loads of fans on the pitch at full-time and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ being sung. Having lost my mates and the car, I decided to follow the crowd to the station and made my way home. I remember there were a few skirmishes along the way.”

 Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport

Succeeding Shankly had been a tall order. However, Bob was only concerned with maintaining the standards set by the great man and making the supporters happy. At the end of an incredible season he could reflect upon how he had delivered on both of those ambitions.

Talking to Michael Charters in the Liverpool Echo later, Paisley would say:

“When I took over the Liverpool management from Bill Shankly nearly two years ago, my philosophy was that if I could keep up the standards of success he had created, I would consider I had done my job.

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“Now at the end of what I believe our fans will consider has been a fair old season of entertaining play and success, I will stand by the creed.”

That the boss could describe winning the title and the UEFA Cup in the same year as “a fair old season” is a testament to his understated brilliance.

This was an extraordinary achievement by an incredibly modest genius.

Categories: LFC NEWS

The latest on Van Dijk, Keita, Can, Ojo & Szymanski – Liverpool FC Transfer News Roundup

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 18:00

Liverpool were handed a major boost in their hopes of signing Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk over the weekend, when Mauricio Pellegrino confirmed his captain had asked to leave St Mary’s.

Given the Reds were forced to publicly apologise and end their interest in the Dutchman in June, however, they are not in the best position to force through a move.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool are set to wait until given assurances from Southampton that they would be willing to open negotiations before they make an approach.

This leaves the club waiting to see how the Saints’ internal politics play out, though Van Dijk has been left out of Pellegrino’s squad for their pre-season training camp in France which certainly points to things not being right between club and player at present.

If Van Dijk has resolved to move this summer, the Reds may be able to broker a deal in the coming weeks.

Is Keita Pushing For Liverpool Move?

 JAN WOITAS/dpa

Reports on Sunday night suggested Liverpool would wait until next summer before reviving their interest in RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita – perhaps news that Liverpool pushed in order to have the German club accept their final offer.

The Telegraph claim that “unless there is major u-turn from the Bundesliga side,” the Reds will bid their time until Keita’s £48 million release clause becomes active.

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However, the 22-year-old may already been pushing for the exit, if reports from Leipzig training in Austria are to be believed.

Keita was involved in a training ground bust up with team mateDiego Demme, prompting manager Ralph Hasenhuttl to end his session abruptly.

Is this a sign of frustration from the Guinean? It remains pure conjecture at this stage…

Juventus Close to £31 Million Can Deal?

 Liverpool's Emre Can in action against Middlesbrough during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Speaking last week, Klopp said that he was “confident” of Liverpool reaching an agreement over a new contract for Emre Can.

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The German has one year left on his current deal, and his representatives have been in talks with the Reds for a lengthy period, as they look to seal an extension.

However, Serie A giants Juventus have been regularly linked with a move for Can, and according to Italian outlet Tuttosport, their interest may have developed.

They claim that the Turin side will make an offer worth up to £31 million for the 23-year-old, with Can hopeful of making the switch to Juventus Stadium.

However, if Can is looking to leave Liverpool, he could be forced to wait until his contract expires next summer.

Liverpool Target Young Polish Midfielder

While the summer transfer window has focused largely on a handful of high-profile names, one potential new target has emerged in the form of Legia Warsaw’s Sebastian Szymanski.

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According to the Polska Times, the Reds are interested in signing the 18-year-old midfielder.

Szymanski has only 15 appearances for the Legia first team so far, but has caught the eye, scoring in Wednesday’s 6-0 win over IFK Mariehamn in the second round of Champions League qualifiers.

Liverpool will avoid Legia in their play-off clash next month, as they seek to secure their place in Europe’s top tier this season.

But they should still be keeping tabs on Szymanski, who can play in both the middle of the park and on the right flank, where he shone against Mariehamn.

Villa Join Clubs Interested in Ojo

 Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo in action against Tranmere Rovers during a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo is certainly not short of suitors this summer, with the 20-year-old set to leave on loan for 2017/18.

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Fulham, Derby County and Middlesbrough have already had offers accepted by the Reds, while Newcastle United retain an interest in the youngster, who joined from MK Dons in 2011.

Now, according to the Mirror, Aston Villa have begun their own pursuit of Ojo, who will likely decide his next move in the near future.

It can be argued that Fulham will be his most suitable destination, with a former target, Ryan Sessegnon, proving the virtue of playing under Cottagers manager Slavisa Jokanovic.

Meanwhile, Jordon Ibe enjoyed a profitable loan spell with Derby in 2014/15, but the last Reds player to join Villa on a temporary basis, Tiago Ilori, failed to make an appearance.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch the full video of Liverpool target Naby Keita’s training ground bust-up

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 17:42

Liverpool target Naby Keita was involved in an altercation during RB Leipzig’s pre-season training on Monday, ending their session early.

Keita is part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Leipzig squad at a training camp in Austria this month, but speculation continues over his future with the Bundesliga side.

Liverpool are said to be considering whether to make a third bid for the midfielder, having already seen their offers of £57 million and £66 million rejected.

However, Leipzig are adamant Keita won’t be sold this summer, and reports on Thursday night claimed the Reds may wait until next year.

While Keita is not publicly agitating for a move away from the Red Bull Arena, despite his desire to join Jurgen Klopp‘s side, a fierce challenge in training on Monday morning suggests all is not well.

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 Jan Woitas/dpa

The 22-year-old objected to a strong tackle from fellow midfielder Diego Demme, responding with a scything effort of his own.

Demme was carried off the field injured, with Hasenhuttl cutting the session short, and the reaction of both Keita and his team-mates is particularly heated.

The Guinean does not seem like a popular figure in the Leipzig squad at present, and it remains to be seen whether this changes the club’s stance over his future.


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The madness and genius of King Luis – Reliving Suarez’s rollercoaster Liverpool career

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 15:00

Liverpool supporters simply adored the Uruguayan and adapted an old Depeche Mode song, ‘I Just Can’t Get Enough’, in his honour.

When he scores a volley

or when it’s with his head

I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough

He scores a goal and the Kop go wild

and I just can’t seem to get enough of

Suarez, do, do, do, do, do, do, Luis Suarez

It wasn’t long, though, before the player found himself mired in controversy once more. After a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Anfield, on October 15, 2011, Suarez was accused of racially abusing Patrice Evra.

He vehemently protested his innocence, and the club and supporters threw their weight behind him.

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Nevertheless a three-man FA panel found him guilty, banned him for eight games and fined him £40,000. Many Liverpool fans felt he had been unjustly treated and continued to support the player, while vocally opposing racism, singing “we’re not racists, we only hate Mancs.”

For many, this was a typically Scouse attempt at irreverence that really masked embarrassment at being associated with bigotry.

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It should be said though, that both players have maintained their respective positions on this, with Suarez continuing to maintain his innocence.

They are perhaps the only two people who know what was actually said that day.

Unfortunately, the pair would spark further media fury the next time they met, with Luis appearing to avoid shaking the Frenchman’s hand during the modern pre-match ritual for the cameras.

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For many this was a storm in a teacup, but both Suarez and his manager, Dalglish, were forced to apologise later.

Interestingly, in 2016, Suarez won the Golden Shoe for his exploits with Barcelona. Patrice Evra posted this comment on his Instagram page:

“In my Instagram there is only love and never hate!!! Luis, you’re a great player and the best No 9. Congratulations Luis @luissuarez9. I love this game !!! hahahaah.”

Whatever happened on the pitch at Anfield in 2011, Evra has been able to get past it and recognise Suarez’s brilliance as a player.

Suarez would win his only trophy for Liverpool in the spring of 2012, when he lifted the League Cup. He would also score an equaliser against Everton in the semi-final of the FA Cup in the same year. The Reds went on to the final, but lost to Chelsea.

A second bite incident occurred against Chelsea in the April of 2013, during a 2-2 draw at Anfield. Video evidence showed Suarez biting Branislav Ivanovic.

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Even the then-Prime Minister, David Cameron, jumped on the bandwagon at this point, urging the FA to act.

They obliged and banned Suarez for 10 games. The player decided enough was enough and openly declared his desire to leave, prompting a farcical approach from Arsenal.

This was rebuffed by Liverpool, whose principal owner suggested that the board at the Emirates might have been intoxicated:

What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?

— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013

In the end Luis accepted he was going nowhere, at least for a while. That was the thing with Suarez, no matter what was going on off the pitch or in his head, the player never gave anything less than 100 percent, either during training or in a game. That’s partly why Liverpool supporters love him.

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Suarez went on to play a pivotal role in the 2013/14 near miss, when the Reds fell at the final hurdle and narrowly missed out on a league title.

Luis finished top scorer and Player of the Season, having struck 31 times.

05.12.2012, Stadio Friuli, Udine, ITA, UEFA EL, Udinese Calcio vs FC Liverpool, Gruppe A, Training, FC Liverpool, im Bild Brendan Rodgers (Trainer, Liverpool FC), Luis Suarez (# 07, Liverpool FC) // Brendan Rodgers (Trainer, Liverpool FC), Luis Suarez (# 07, Liverpool FC) during Training of Liverpool FC before the UEFA Europa League group A match between Udinese Calcio and Liverpool .FC at the Stadio Friuli, Udinese, Italy on 2012/12/05. EXPA Pictures © 2012, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ Juergen Feichter

Rodgers would acknowledge his contribution, saying:

“He has shown in his time at Liverpool in the last year or so that he is near unplayable. He on his own can occupy a back four with his movement and his cleverness.”

In the end Liverpool couldn’t hang on to their troublesome star. A further biting incident during the 2014 FIFA World Cup saw him banned from all football activities for four months.

Such was his stock as a player though, Barcelona were still prepared to pay £75 million for his services.

He remains one of the top three strikers in world football today, and is still adored by Liverpool fans the world over.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Contemplating Coutinho: Debating the future of Liverpool’s playmaker

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 15:00
1. How bad would selling Coutinho be, given the progress made under Klopp in the last 18 months?

James: As well as losing one of their best footballers, Liverpool would be losing part of their modern identity if they sold Coutinho.

The Brazilian epitomises the best of the current set-up at the club. He was a player with great potential who, prior to joining Liverpool, hadn’t found the environment in which to fulfil it, so was therefore good value.

He’s now one of the best players at the club, and thanks to his rise to prominence for Brazil, and as indicated by interest from clubs like Barcelona, he’s one of the best in the world. Selling him could reduce morale in the dressing room as much as it would reduce the quality on the pitch.

 Liverpool's Phil Coutinho in action against Wigan Athletic during a preseason friendly match at the DW Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sachin: For a number of years, starting in 2009 with Xabi Alonso and running through to 2015 with Raheem Sterling, Liverpool have allowed their best players to leave one after the other and it’s not only weakened the side but weakened the club’s belief in itself and what it can achieve.

Standards have dipped and if we’re ever going to get back to where we want to be – league champions, one of Europe’s elite institutions – than we have to stand firm in regards to keeping key assets, and that includes Coutinho. He’s among Liverpool’s best three players, arguably the best, and, crucially, is under contract.

And anyone who says that it’s impossible to keep a player if he really wants to go (which isn’t necessarily the case with Coutinho) – remember Luis Suarez in 2013. He was forced to stay and was utterly sensational the following season.

Aaron: To lose Coutinho at this juncture would be a massive blow, symbolically as much as anything.

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A top four finish underlines the progress made under Jurgen Klopp, whose side can now kick on in the way Brendan Rodgers’ was never able to. The Northern Irishman’s tenure unravelled when his star player departed and, though this squad is better placed to deal with such an exit, you fear belief would ebb away if they had to.

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Hull City with team-mate Sadio Mane during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Karl: It would be a massive blow, not a devastating one which ends all hope of trophies and successes, but definitely, one which changes the entire approach of the team.

I think Coutinho is the only player in the squad whose loss would causes such an effect, but his movement, vision and technique is like nobody else—he’s creator and goalscorer, the only one Liverpool have in that style.

Jack: It’d be detrimental. He’s clearly fundamental to the way we play, and we typically play a lot worse without him, so selling him would just undermine the great work Klopp’s done so far.

There’s an abundance of attacking talent in the squad, but no player quite like Coutinho.

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Henry: It would be a huge blow, simple as that.

Liverpool are in a position where they cannot afford to be selling their best players, and don’t need to, and Coutinho is generally seen as the Reds’ star man.

He’s not as influential as Steven Gerrard or Luis Suarez in their prime, and is therefore not irreplaceable, but he’s not far off. It would be a real momentum-killer if he went.

2.a. Would you be okay with selling Coutinho if it meant we signed Van Dijk, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain? Would the overall squad be stronger?

James: Van Dijk and Oxlade-Chamberlain wouldn’t make up for the loss of Coutinho even if they add depth in other areas.

The squad needs to be strengthened from a position of existing strength in order to improve it, rather than weakened by sales and then returned to a previous state by bringing in new players. Plus there’s always the chance that new signings can flop, leaving the squad considerably weaker.

The only way to replace him would be to sign his successor — which Keita could possibly be — and then sell him next summer if there is still the interest from Barcelona and the player still wants to leave after helping Liverpool to the treble.

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Southampton's Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton.

Sachin: No, for the reasons outlined above. I want Liverpool to sign those three players while keeping Coutinho.

Aaron: No. The overall squad may indeed look stronger but a side wanting to compete for the biggest prizes cannot lose their totem figure. It sends the wrong message to the current squad, transfer targets, supporters and rivals alike. Liverpool are a huge football club and need to show as much.

Karl: The squad would be stronger by depth and physicality, but I don’t think we’d necessarily be better off because that magic wouldn’t have been replaced, the ability to shift from a team attacking with pace, to one breaking a team down by guile.

Coutinho gives both, as well as long-range shots, aggression and ingenuity. the defence would be better, the midfield would be better… we’d still struggle to score against certain teams, though.

Jack: That’s a tricky one, but I’d probably say yes. Van Dijk would solve long-standing problems at the back, Keita would make the midfield a completely different beast and Oxlade-Chamberlain would be useful in a variety of positions and systems.

Henry: I would consider it more than a lot of fans, which is not to say I don’t rate Coutinho very, very highly.

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Signing those three players would make the squad SO much stronger, and in Van Dijk and Keita, Liverpool would be bringing in two genuine game-changers.

It’s such a tricky question, but I’m going to say I’d sell him if it meant bringing in that trio. I feel terrible!

2.b. Would you be okay if we – somehow – signed Mbappe as his replacement?

James: Again, only if it happened next summer, but ideally you’d wan’t both in the same side.

If Liverpool signed players at the level of Mbappe or Keita, the results that brings would mean you couldn’t see Coutinho wanting to leave, and Neymar would then be getting his agent to arrange a move to Anfield to be Mbappe backup, rather than waiting for his buddy to join him at Barca.

Sachin: This is a mighty strange hypothetical world we’re entering but …. yes, to some extent.

Although how would that work tactically? And without Coutinho I fear Mbappe wouldn’t get the service he needs to thrive. Also, let’s not forget how young and inexperienced Mbappe is – 18 and has made just 29 starts for Monaco. Actually ignore what I said _ Coutinho stays, no matter what.

UEFA Champions League Semi-finals 1st leg match between AS Monaco 0-2 Juventus at Stade Louis II in Monaco. (Photo by Maurizio Borsari/AFLO)

Aaron: It would soften the blow, certainly but there is no guarantee Mbappe would rip up the Premier League.

Coutinho is proven in this country and approaching the peak years of his career. I’d rather we build our team around the Brazilian.

Karl: I’m not quite ready to crown Mbappe king of the world, so although it would be tremendously exciting, we’d still lack someone to actually feed him the through-balls and clever diagonals into the channels that Mbappe thrives on. Would be a more than reasonable consolation though!

Jack: Mbappe’s a great prospect, but no. Coutinho’s too ingrained in Klopp’s system, so just transplanting him out and Mbappe in wouldn’t guarantee any parity in terms of its efficiency.

It’d be a considerable risk, especially given Mbappe’s still only 18 and could go either way.

Henry: No. Mbappe is clearly a player of unbelievable promise, but the jury is still out with me, in terms of just how special he is.

Liverpool already have some superb attacking players in Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, and at 25, Coutinho should be about to hit his peak. Him leaving in place of a teenager would be a big risk.

If I knew Mbappe would become the world’s best striker I would do a swap, but I’m not totally sure about that.

3. Do you feel there’s an inevitability about Coutinho heading to Barca either this summer or next?

James: You don’t get that feeling this summer and you don’t get the impression that the player would force a move at this stage, but if Liverpool don’t improve in the coming season then it might be inevitable that he moves next summer, and you couldn’t blame him.

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia during the Premier League Asia Trophy match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sachin: Not this summer but it’s impossible to rule out a move in the future given Coutinho ‘cultural’ background and the fact that this is Barcelona we’re talking about. They’re a unique club with a unique pull.

Aaron: Sadly, yes but when that time does come I’m confident Coutinho will handle his exit in a classy manner. Angling for a move in late July – and thus throwing our plans into chaos – is undignified and out of character.

Karl: Not quite.

Ernesto Valverde taking over presents a tactical conundrum at Barca: he’s a long-term 4-2-3-1 man coming into a 4-3-3 base club. If he makes Messi his No. 10, there’s no room for Coutinho as a central midfielder (the expected role for him in Spain, an Iniesta replacement) as they’d need more physicality and tactical solidity in the double pivot.

If Neymar leaves there’s another argument for him, but there’s been as much talk about them signing Ousmane Dembele as Coutinho, and either could replace Neymar(’s position, not productivity/ability).

Jack: He’s South American, so yes. But I think signing that new contract in January suggests he’s not thinking about moving just yet.

Henry: Definitely. I just can’t see him not representing them one day, and I wouldn’t begrudge him his move at all. They a special club and South Americans idolise them growing up.

I would love Coutinho to see out his career at Liverpool, but let’s face it, there’s no way that’s happening. He just better not leave this summer!

4. In a word, will Coutinho be a Liverpool player on September 1st?

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia scores the second goal against Middlesbrough during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James: Yes

Sachin: I’ll use three words – He better be.

Aaron: Yes

Karl: Yes

Jack: Yes

Henry: Yes

Categories: LFC NEWS

110 Yards from Heaven: An Australian Red’s lifelong Liverpool dream coming true

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 13:00

As the years have gone on and coverage of football in Australia has improved, I have been able to watch more Liverpool games live and, unlike many supporters in the city itself, have appreciated early kickoffs and night games as these mean slightly fewer interruptions to a decent night’s sleep.

I have also been able to follow Liverpool news on the internet, whether through the club’s website or the numerous blogs that compete for attention. I also play YouTube highlights sometimes, mainly of Istanbul—a result I still cannot believe to this day.

I live in Hobart, Tasmania now and have adopted a club that my son plays youth football for. We go to nearly every senior team game at the ground, which has a significant crossfield slope on it, and for about £5 enjoy our wins and losses, as well as the goalscoring efforts of our own local Xabi Alonso.

However, I have always wanted to go to Anfield, perhaps having a pint before the game at The Albert and definitely paying my respects at the Hillsborough Memorial.

 Liverpool supporters in the Anfield Road stand before the Premier League match against Watford at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

So, when we decided to visit the UK at the end of this year, a visit to Harry Potter World was the No. 1 priority for my daughter, but there was only one thing my son and I were desperate to see: a game with real magicians at Anfield.

Having never been before, we entered the byzantine world of purchasing tickets, firstly making sure my son and I had the right membership cards, then making sure we linked our cards, and then finally reading everything we could on how the sales process works (or doesn’t work).

When the draw came out, we discovered that the two options were Leicester or Manchester City and we pretty much wrote off any hope of tickets to the latter. We also checked out the hospitality packages, just in case we missed out and were forced to pay a couple of hundred pounds for a meal to accompany our football tickets.

From about 5pm (our time) on the day of the sale my son and I furiously refreshed our browsers, maniacally clicking on ‘buy now’ and entering the queue. Although my device showed I had entered the queue first, we somehow managed to progress more quickly on my son’s and after 50 minutes we were in and selected the first area that we saw with good availability.

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Having heard the horror stories of people being kicked out after selecting tickets, I didn’t risk double-checking to see if there were any better tickets, but rammed my credit card details in as quickly possible and hit purchase.

 A Liverpool supporter buys a souvenir scarf outside Anfield ahead of the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Leeds United. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fortunately, we got our tickets and we will be there singing and cheering and singing some more at 3pm on December 30, or whatever date and time the game is moved to for broadcasting.

We won’t be viewing the game through a phone or hitting anyone with a selfie stick.

We will be truly happy watching and absorbing every moment from the Upper Anfield, as close as I will probably ever get to the Kop, only 110 yards away.

* This is a guest article for This Is Anfield. If you’d like to contribute a piece for consideration please see here.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

6 things Liverpool still need to sort this summer

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 12:30

Whatever happens in the next few weeks, this summer will forever be remembered as the one that saw Liverpool endlessly trying to sign Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita.

The Reds are reportedly willing to spend approximately £150 million on the highly-rated pair – signings which would be enormous statements of intent.

This week is expected to be pivotal in terms of Liverpool either making the signings or looking elsewhere – whatever happens, the situation needs to be clear sooner rather than later.

In an ideal world, both Van Dijk and Keita will join the Reds, with Southampton and RB Leipzig finally buckling, but it sounds too good to be true right now.

Alternatives must be lined up, should the transfers not come to fruition.

Players moved on

 Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho in action against Derby County during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Pride Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool may be looking to splash the cash this summer, but they should also receive some hefty sums of money for unwanted squad members.

Mamadou Sakho is the one who stands out the most in that respect, with Klopp making it clear the Frenchman is no part of his future plans.

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Lazar Markovic is another who must move on to pastures new, while Alberto Moreno and Jon Flanagan are also be deemed surplus to requirements.

Sheyi Ojo, Connor Randall and Adam Bogdan are others who are expected to depart either on loan or permanently.

Klopp’s squad is shaping up nicely, but making some good money for those not needed will further fine-tune matters.

First-choice gaolkeeper decided

 Joe Giddens/PA Wire.)

Klopp has stated that Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius and Danny Ward are essentially auditioning for the role of first-choice goalkeeper this summer.

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Supporters are divided on the matter, with Mignolet impressing greatly towards the end of last season, Karius an exciting prospect and Ward full of confidence after a promotion-winning season at Huddersfield Town.

It is vital that Klopp makes his decision with time to spare ahead of the opening weekend, allowing the chosen individual time to prepare fully for the role.

Mignolet appears to be the frontrunner, given his impressive spring form, but Klopp’s decision will rest on what he has seen, and will continue to see, in pre-season.

Philippe Coutinho remaining a Red

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia scores the second goal during the Premier League Asia Trophy final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If supporters were in any doubt about the brilliance of Philippe Coutinho, you just had to watch him in Saturday’s friendly against Leicester City.

The 25-year-old was magnificent against the Foxes, and looks like a player coming into his prime – his influence will be unrivalled for Liverpool next season.

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Barcelona continue to express their interest in Coutinho, however, and losing him now would be a devastating blow to Klopp and everyone involved with the club.

The Liverpool manager has publicly stated that his star man is going nowhere, though, so we should be witnessing more magic from the Brazilian for another season, at least.

Keeping Coutinho is just as important as bringing in Van Dijk and Keita.

New contract for Emre Can

 Liverpool's Emre Can in action against Middlesbrough during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It doesn’t feel like long ago that calls were being made for Emre Can to be sold this summer, but he outlined his importance with some excellent performances late last season.

The 23-year-old’s current Anfield deal expires next summer, and it is crucial he is awarded a new contract this summer. Klopp has said he is “confident” about his compatriot extending his stay on Merseyside.

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Can may still lack consistency and maturity, but he is a player of great potential who can go on to become one of the Premier League‘s best midfielders.

It would be a huge shame to lose a player of such quality, especially if it meant him moving on a free transfer in a year’s time. Liverpool cannot afford to sell key men if they want to return to the summit of English football.

New centre-back imperative

 Liverpool's Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Divock Origi during the FA Premier League match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Van Dijk is undoubtedly the dream centre-back signing for Liverpool, but if that move fails to materialise, it would be a travesty if Klopp trusts in what he has.

Joel Matip is the only player of real quality in that position – even certain doubts have crept in about just how good the Cameroonian is – with Dejan Lovren too erratic, Ragnar Klavan nothing more than a solid back-up and Joe Gomez still maturing.

The Reds have struggled at centre-back since the peak years of Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia, and if a top class defender doesn’t arrive, success will continue to evade them.

Goalkeepers, full-backs, midfield and attack all look strong enough, but the heart of the back-line is desperately in need of a major addition.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Virgil van Dijk left OUT of Southampton’s pre-season squad

Mon, 24/07/2017 - 12:08

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Liverpool have received a potential boost in their quest to sign Virgil van Dijk, with the Southampton captain excluded from their pre-season squad.


The Reds’ pursuit of Van Dijk has been one of the longest-running transfer sagas in recent memory, with Jurgen Klopp pencilling in the Dutchman as his ideal signing at centre-back.

A potential deal looked over earlier this summer, with Liverpool having to make an embarrassing apology over their handling of the deal, but speculation has continued since.

Southampton have now confirmed that Van Dijk is not part of their 25-man squad travelling to France for a training camp this week.

Saints boss and former Liverpool defender Mauricio Pellegrino has already confirmed that the 26-year-old was training away from the squad back in England, after Van Dijk made it clear he wanted to join the Reds.

??#SaintsFC are taking a 25-man squad to France for a training camp this week. Find out who is involved: https://t.co/I02JZYpU8r

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— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 24, 2017

This is a significant chapter in the Van Dijk affair, and the hope is that a record-breaking deal is now able to be put in place.

Various reports have claimed that this week will be pivotal in Liverpool’s attempts to bring in both Van Dijk and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita – this news could indicate that those claims are correct.

If the Southampton captain does become a Liverpool player, he is expected to smash the club’s transfer record, with a fee in the region of £70 million mooted in the past.

He would be an enormous signing for the Reds, who have struggled so much to solve their defensive woes this decade.


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Ian Rush’s 47 goals in a single season: The high point of a stellar Liverpool career

Sun, 23/07/2017 - 22:00

 Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport)

Thirty-two of Rush’s goals came in the league, two in the FA Cup, eight in the League Cup and five in the European Cup.

His predatory instincts in the First Division would see him score five in a 6-0 win over Luton Town, four in a 5-0 victory over Coventry City and a hat-trick against Aston Villa. He would grab a brace against four other teams.

In the game against Luton, Rush would become one of only five players in Liverpool history to score five goals in a single game.

It was a goalscoring masterclass that had supporters and journalists drooling.

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The ‘Welsh Wizard’ would inspire admiration in legends of the past and future alike. The great Roger Hunt, who saw his record fall after Rushy had burst onto the scene, would say this of the man who stole his crown:

“Records are there to be broken. I thought it’d last a bit longer when he went to Italy but then he came back! I wasn’t gutted when he resigned—if anyone had to break my record I’m glad it was Ian Rush.”

In 2005, one of Europe’s greatest strikers, Andriy Shevchenko, talked of the day he met his idol and a Liverpool legend, Ian Rush:

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“I was just 13 when I went with Dynamo Kiev boys team to play in a tournament in Wales. We won the tournament and I was named the best player. What made it special was that Ian Rush was there to give me my prize. I treasured those boots for years.

“It meant such a lot because everyone in Ukraine knew about Ian Rush, the legendary Liverpool player. Funnily enough, the boots were too small for me but I still tried to play in them—until my big toes poked through.”

He left Liverpool in 1996 on a free transfer to Leeds United. In his last game for the Reds, against Middlesbrough, both teams formed a guard of honour for the striker and at full-time he threw his No. 9 shirt into the Kop, as the away fans also chanted his name.

 Liverpool's Stan Collymore celebrates scoring the third of his hat-trick of goals with team-mate Ian Rush against Rochdale during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a final act of communion with supporters, who had witnessed him win 14 major honours, including five First Division titles, three FA Cups, five League Cups and a European Cup.

In his parting interview with the press, Rush would say this of his last game:

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“It was an emotional day but also a fantastic day for me. I had no idea of the reception I was going to get until Roy Evans told me before the game. It was a great surprise…I wanted to stay on the pitch forever.”

If only you could, Ian.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Jurgen Klopp hoping Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane can emulate Bayern Munich pair

Sun, 23/07/2017 - 21:01

“Mo can even play as the No. 9. He was the striker, the second striker, at times for Roma. We have lots of different options.

“Bayern Munich’s most successful time was with a left footer on the right wing and a right footer on the left wing. Ribery and Robben. That wasn’t the worst idea!

“Sadio has played on the left before. Most of the time it’s actually easier for players to play on the ‘other side’.

“These two players have the ability and the speed to play on either wing.

“Of course we’ve thought about it but in this moment it’s about having lots of different options.

“We will consider all of them and then make decisions for specific games.”

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

Mane’s return is a major boost to the Reds, with the 25-year-old scoring 13 goals and assisting a further eight in 29 appearances last season, after joining from Southampton.

His absence during the Africa Cup of Nations, and then later when he suffered a knee injury in April’s Merseyside derby, saw Liverpool’s ambitions derailed.

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And ahead of his side’s flight to Germany on Wednesday, Klopp expressed his delight at being able to call upon his No. 19 again.

“The plan is for Sadio to start team training this week. He trained on Friday for the first time with the little team—six players—at home,” Klopp explained.

“Everybody is positive that he’s there and finally we can use Sadio again which will be great.

“He’s been out for so long. After a crazy long time, it will be so good to have him back.”

With Mane part of the squad for the trip to Klopp’s homeland, it is likely he will feature at some stage, with Liverpool set to take on Hertha Berlin, Bayern Munich and one of Napoli or Atletico Madrid.

Hopefully, Klopp will be able field the Senegalese alongside his new attacking counterpart.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

“It’s no secret” – Jurgen Klopp confirms Lazar Markovic will leave Liverpool this summer

Sun, 23/07/2017 - 18:40

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Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic is able to leave the club this summer, having fallen out of favour in recent years.


Markovic joined the Reds from Benfica in 2014, with his £20 million price tag highlighting him as one of the most promising young players in Europe.

However, the Serbian’s spell on Merseyside has not seen him fulfil his potential, and Markovic has spent the last two seasons out on loan, with Fenerbahce, Sporting CP and Hull City.

Dogged by injury issues and unable to find rhythm without regular first-team football, the 23-year-old has dropped out of contention under Klopp, and is now set to seal his exit.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the German explained that it was “no secret” that Markovic is available this summer.

“With Lazar, it’s no secret that if he finds a club then we will negotiate. It was like this last year too,” he said.

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“He’s a really good player. I like him as a person. He’s now fit and another one who is in the best shape since I’ve known him.

“Before he had problems with his groin but now he’s good. There will be a club out there who needs him.”

 Liverpool's Lazar Markovic in action against Tranmere Rovers during a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though he featured in Liverpool’s opening pre-season friendly away to Tranmere Rovers earlier this month, the writing was on the wall for Markovic when he was left out against Wigan Athletic.

The winger then remained at Melwood while Klopp’s squad flew out to Hong Kong for clashes with Crystal Palace and Leicester City, training alongside the likes of Mamadou Sakho and Sadio Mane.

Having impressed while on loan with Hull City last season, Markovic is unlikely to struggle to find a new club this summer.

Watford are reportedly hopeful of securing a deal, with Marco Silva his manager at the KC Stadium last season, while Besiktas are said to be interested in a loan.

Liverpool had valued Markovic at £20 million this summer, but have since lowered their asking price to just £12 million.

Markovic’s fitness issues do still remain a red flag for potential suitors, though, with Klopp’s assertion that he is “in the best shape” likely a means to drum up interest.

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Latest on Coutinho, Can & Van Dijk – Liverpool FC Transfer News & Rumour Roundup

Sun, 23/07/2017 - 18:00

Philippe Coutinho scored the second goal in Saturday’s victory at the Hong Kong Stadium, underlining his importance to Klopp’s Liverpool.

There remains speculation over the Brazilian’s future, however, with Barcelona making a failed £72 million bid earlier this week and, according to the Mirror, now preparing an improved offer.

However, speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Klopp has stressed that Fenway Sports Group are backing his stance that Coutinho is not for sale.

“If I say he is not for selling, he is not for selling. There is nothing else to say. It’s a club decision, it’s my decision. That’s how it is,” he said.

“Whatever happens from their side, I say he is not for sale. You can say whatever you want. The answer is ‘not for sale’.”

Can Contract Talks Ongoing, Klopp “Confident”

 Liverpool's Emre Can celebrates scoring the second goal against Burnley during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is similarly emphatic about the future of another of his midfielders, with Emre Can still in talks with Liverpool regarding a contract extension.

Can’s current deal expires in 2018, and Klopp is “confident” his compatriot will agree improved terms in the near future, as he told the Liverpool Echo.

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“You can imagine we’re involved in talks and we all feel good and confident in this moment,” he said.

“Emre is a very important player for us. We don’t want to sell or lose players who are in our first line up or close to it.

“Emre is certainly one of them. We want to keep him and we’re having good talks.”

No Bid Made For Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool’s pursuit of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk came to an abrupt and embarrassing halt back in June when they were forced to publicly apologise for their advances.

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The Reds stated that they had ended their interest in the Dutchman, but that is unlikely to be the case behind the scenes.

Van Dijk has subsequently told Southampton he wants to leave the club, and is now training separate from the rest of the squad, as manager Mauricio Pellegrino confirmed on Friday.

However, Sky Sports’ Jim White has claimed that “no firm bids” have been made for the 26-year-old.

Chelsea and Arsenal have both been touted as possible destinations for Van Dijk, but Liverpool are said to remain his preference.

Klopp Confirms Markovic Can Leave

 Liverpool's substitute Lazar Markovic before a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Left out of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic, as well as Klopp’s touring squad in Hong Kong, Lazar Markovic is set to leave the club this summer.

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Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the German confirmed Markovic’s availability, saying it was “no secret” the winger would be able to depart.

“With Lazar, it’s no secret that if he finds a club then we will negotiate. It was like this last year too,” he said.

“He’s a really good player. I like him as a person. He’s now fit and another one who is in the best shape since I’ve known him.

“Before he had problems with his groin but now he’s good. There will be a club out there who needs him.”

While he has failed to make his mark during his three years with Liverpool, it will still be disappointing to see the Serbian leave.

Oxlade-Chamberlain Prepared to Leave Arsenal

 Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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Another player regularly linked with the Reds this summer is Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who like Can is in the final year of his contract.

While Can is expected to sign a new deal with Liverpool, however, Oxlade-Chamberlain is looking to leave in search of regular first-team football.

And according to the Mirror, the 23-year-old is “prepared to quit the Gunners this summer,” defying Arsene Wenger’s stance that he would “100 percent” stay this season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is said to have held talks with Wenger while on Arsenal‘s pre-season tour of Australia, but there is no suggestion he has requested a move yet.

Liverpool aren’t the only club interested, with Chelsea also mentioned as suitors.

Grabara Open to Summer Loan Move

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Kamil Grabara in action against Sunderland during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A welcome inclusion in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for pre-season this summer is academy goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, with the 18-year-old joining the Reds in Hong Kong this week.

Grabara also came on as a second-half substitute in the 4-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers this month, with Klopp giving the young Pole a taste of first-team action.

It has been suggested Grabara could leave Liverpool on loan this summer, in order to gain more experience, and speaking to This is Anfield he revealed he would be open to a move.

“I heard the rumours about a loan and I’m not rejecting the possibility,” he said.

“However, I am still young and it is a win-win situation for me regardless if I am loaned or stay to play for the reserves and continue to train with the first team.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Who is Kamil Grabara? – The young Liverpool goalkeeper “living the dream” this pre-season

Sun, 23/07/2017 - 16:00

“It was like living the dream,” Grabara told This is Anfield. “However, I was working hard over the last 18 months since I joined the Reds and it was my main aim [to train with the first team].

“I am happy to play some minutes in the friendly, but it was just a friendly. Now I look forward to making my debut in an official game.

“I wasn’t stressed. I train with those players on regular basis, so it was only a matter of recreating those movements, mechanisms we work over in Melwood which I already learned from my time with the first team.”

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Kamil Grabarac in action against Chelsea during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at the Recreation Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Grabara joined the Reds in January of 2016 from Ruch Chorzow, a team he supported for as long as he remembers.

His love for the Blues, Ruch’s nickname, was passed to him by his father, however, Kamil started his career at a small club, Wawel Wirek, who he joined when he was eight.

At the very beginning nobody knew what to do with the boy born in 1999 as their youngest players were two years older. Then, Jan Goszawski, a former goalkeeper and a coach of the team, asked Kamil where he wanted to play, to which he replied: “I want to be a goalkeeper!”

“Kamil’s dream was to play for Ruch Chorzow,” Agata Grabara, mother of Polish keeper, explains.

“He fulfilled the dream only partially as he hadn’t have a chance to debut in the first team, however, he was close to doing so a couple of times.”

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Grabara was 13 when he finally joined Ruch. His career started to blossom as he was called up to the Poland’s youth national teams. In 2015 the then-16-year-old was a key member of Poland’s U17 team competing in the Nordic Cup.

They missed qualifying for the European U17 Championship, but Grabara was the brightest player in the squad.

“We played well and it was just a bit of luck which we missed to qualify. But after the tournament Ruch started to receive enquires about me,” Grabara recalls.

“There was interest from both Manchester clubs, but Liverpool’s offer was the most specific. I was surprised with the interest, but I actually expected it. I live with the principle that if you do something with 100 percent commitment you will be rewarded.”

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius and goalkeeper Kamil Grabara walk out to warm-up before the FA Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Grabara joined the Reds’ youth system and he started to play for both the U18s and U23s. He started to train with the first team quite quickly and he enjoys the experience of working with Klopp and his staff.

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“I joined the first team’s training sessions really soon after my arrival at the club. I like to work with Jurgen as he has a great approach to the players. He speaks with us a lot,” he said.

“He monitors our progress during training, but he also trusts his staff and John [Achterberg, Liverpool’s goalkeeper coach] 100 percent, so everything is in great order.”

Former Liverpool U23s coach Michael Beale praised Grabara for his ability to collect crosses and his approach to training sessions.

“Kamil has a strong personality. He likes challenges and he shows it everywhere. He wants to be a great goalkeeper in the future,” Beale enthused.

“I am very excited about his prospects, although we need to remember that he is still young and he needs time for progress with no additional pressure.”

 Liverpool players Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Marko Grujic during a training session at the Mong Kok Stadium during the Premier League Asia Trophy 2017. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite returning from Hong Kong without stepping onto the field against either Crystal Palace or Leicester City, Grabara is hoping for another opportunity to shine this summer.

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“I would be delighted to play some more minutes [during pre-season] and I will do my best to convince the manager to give me a chance as every single minute on the pitch is like gold dust,” he said.

“I heard the rumours about a loan and I’m not rejecting the possibility. However, I am still young and it is a win-win situation for me regardless if I am loaned or stay to play for the reserves and continue to train with the first team.

“Let’s wait and we’ll see what will happen. I am being optimistic about my future.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Jurgen Klopp says “the door is always open” for Lucas Leiva at Liverpool

Sat, 22/07/2017 - 22:00

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After Lucas Leiva‘s £5 million move from Liverpool to Lazio, Jurgen Klopp has opened the door for the Brazilian to return as a coach in the future.


Lucas left after 10 years on Tuesday, sealing a switch to Rome to join Simone Inzaghi’s Serie A hopefuls having made 346 appearances for the Reds.

The Brazilian’s departure saw him garner widespread praise from supporters, players and ex-players alike, with Lucas fostering a strong bond with Merseyside over the past decade.

The 30-year-old clearly impressed Klopp, too, with the German telling ESPN FC that “the door is always open” for him at Liverpool.

Klopp tipped Lucas, who began working towards his coaching badges at the club’s academy in May, to become “a fantastic coach or manager” at the end of his playing career.

“He loves Liverpool. It’s unbelievable. He comes from Brazil—it’s a nice country and the weather is much better,” he said.

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“He could imagine staying in Liverpool for the rest of his life.

“I told him that the door is always open for him after his three years and [if] I’m still here, of course, then we will find a place for him. I’m sure he’ll be a fantastic coach or manager.”

 Liverpool's Emre Can, Lucas Leiva and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet pose for a photograph after the FA Premier League match against Middlesbrough at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lucas joining Lazio represents a sensible move for the midfielder, whose role on the pitch was diminishing as Klopp’s Liverpool move forward.

Behind the likes of Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum in the pecking order, Lucas sought to leave in search of regular first-team football, Klopp explained.

“Things change but Lucas is a special case. He asked for it,” he continued.

“I would say he’s a friend. He’s a fantastic person. How I know and how he knows, he has a few issues when he’s not playing!

“But we always had a very respectful understanding. It was really good. When he left, we both had a little tear in our eye. It was really a special moment.

“For the team, it’s difficult. It’s the age and it’s life.

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“He could sign a long-term contract in Rome and how can I say: ‘You stay here, but I don’t know if you sign a new contract and I don’t know how often you will play next year’. So you need to be honest, especially with a player like him.”

Klopp has already welcomed one ex-Red to his coaching staff in the form of Steven Gerrard.

It could be that the Liverpool legend is followed by his former team-mate in years to come.


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King Kenny seals the double as Liverpool’s first ever player-manager in 1986

Sat, 22/07/2017 - 21:00

The club needed a hero and it would reach into the dressing room and ask one of its greatest players, Kenny Dalglish, to step into the breach. As he would do time and again in the future, he said yes.

The club’s most successful manager, Bob Paisley, would act as his mentor.

It’s hard to underestimate the task facing the 34-year-old Dalglish; Liverpool’s reputation was in tatters.

The financial loss of missing out on Europe was enormous, but somehow the legend swept all that aside and rebuilt the Reds into the most feared and respected team in England once more.

The side Kenny inherited was full of players coming to the end of their Liverpool careers. This was a reconstruction job of epic proportions and the team would struggle to find its feet until the halfway stage.

1960s Kop Crowd (PA Images)

In fact, after a defeat to the Blues at Anfield, Liverpool were 13 points off first place. However, they kept plugging away and after a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at home on New Years’ Day, Liverpool lay in third, five points behind leaders Manchester United.

Everton were ahead of the Reds on goal difference only. They then won 12 out of their last 13 games win the title.

The drama reached its peal on an incredible Wednesday night, at the end of April. With three games remaining, Liverpool went to Leicester City. They were now two points clear of Everton at the top of the table.

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On the same night, the Blues were home to Oxford United and simply could not afford to lose. They would endure a miserable night of missed opportunities and conceded a late goal that silenced Goodison. Their dreams of retaining the title lay in tatters.

Liverpool beat Leicester 2-0 and were on the brink. A win in their next game, at Stamford Bridge, would hand them the title.

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Howard Kendall infamously declared himself a Chelsea supporter in his post-match interview, following his side’s defeat to Oxford. It drew scorn from the red half of the city.

So, the scene was set for one of the most memorable moments in Liverpool history, as the man who would be King would deliver the killer goal and secure Liverpool’s 16th title.

This is how captain Alan Hansen recalled Kenny’s moment of brilliance:

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“That was one of the great days. We had a horrific away record at Chelsea and when the fixtures came out at the start of that season everybody was saying ‘imagine us having to go to Chelsea on the final day and win the championship’, which of course is what happened.

“We went to Chelsea and our confidence was high. It was typical Dalglish, taking the ball on his chest and the next thing it’s in the back of the net.

“To win the championship in his first season as player-manager, especially after being so many points behind at one stage, was terrific.”

Kenny Dalglish, Jan Molby and Ronnie Whelan congratulate Ian Rush (second l) on one of his two goals vs. Everton in FA Cup Final 1986 (Picture by Peter Robinson EMPICS Sport)

Liverpool and Everton had gone toe-to-toe all season. The Reds had taken their championship back and now all that remained was to beat the Blues in the FA Cup final. That they did, with an emphatic 3-1 victory.

Kenny had secured a historic first double, of the First Division title and FA Cup in his first season in charge, at the age of 34.

He was the first player-manager to achieve such a feat, and forever cemented his place in the annals of football history.

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Video: Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester City in Hong Kong

Sat, 22/07/2017 - 19:00

Jurgen Klopp provided a positive view on Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the Far East, after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City in Hong Kong.

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Goals from Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho cancelled out Islam Slimani’s opener to seal the win for the Reds in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Jordan Henderson lifted the trophy at the end of the game, as Liverpool prepare to head back to Merseyside to continue their summer preparations.

This will see them take on Hertha Berlin, Bayern Munich and one of Atletico Madrid and Napoli in Germany, before heading to Dublin to finish pre-season against Athletic Bilbao.

Speaking to reporters after the game on Saturday, Klopp described the trip as “a real pre-season, [with] really hard games in the most difficult circumstances against very, very good opponents.”

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The German was forced to address speculation over Coutinho’s future, after Liverpool rejected a £72 million bid from Barcelona for the midfielder.

“Everybody knows Phil Coutinho is a key player for us, no doubt,” he said.

“I know that he feels completely more than fine, comfortable, whatever, in Liverpool. He loves the club, loves the city, all that is clear.”

Klopp was also cautious over a first-half injury to James Milner, saying “I hope [it is] nothing really serious, but we have to see.”

The Reds’ touring group will rejoin the rest of their team-mates for training at the start of next week, with new signing Andrew Robertson among those awaiting their return.


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Watch the goals and highlights from Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester City

Sat, 22/07/2017 - 18:33

Liverpool produced a strong showing as they defeated Leicester City 2-1 at the Hong Kong Stadium, securing the Premier League Asia Trophy.

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Having advanced to the ‘final’ of the pre-season tournament with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday, the Reds took on Craig Shakespeare’s Foxes.

Leicester opened the scoring through Islam Slimani, with the striker heading home at the far post after great work from left-back Christian Fuchs.

But Liverpool were soon back in it, and it was summer signing Mohamed Salah who levelled the tie, sweeping into the box to play a one-two with Philippe Coutinho before finishing.

Coutinho, who was subjected of failed £72 million bid from Barcelona earlier in the week, then sealed the win with a trademark strike.

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This was the Reds’ third victory of pre-season, as they continue to improve as the summer goes on.

They will now return to Merseyside for further training, as they link up with new arrival Andrew Robertson and the fit-again Sadio Mane, before heading to Germany for further friendlies.

Jurgen Klopp will be buoyed by his side’s display, with the Premier League Asia Trophy serving to highlight their progress.


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Best of the photos as Liverpool win the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong

Sat, 22/07/2017 - 18:30

A ferocious opening to the game saw Liverpool flying forward and playing with great creativity and confidence, and Leicester struggled to cope with the relentless nature of their football.

Despite their early dominance, however, the Reds founds themselves behind, thanks to Islam Slimani’s back-post header.

Fortunately, the Foxes’ lead didn’t last long, and Salah levelled the scores with an inch-perfect header of his own, following a delightful one-two with Coutinho.

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the first equalising goal during the Premier League Asia Trophy final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Celebrations with team-mates followed……

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the first equalising goal during the Premier League Asia Trophy final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trent Alexander-Arnold started in Nathaniel Clyne‘s absence, and the young right-back was once again a confident presence up and down the flank.

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the Premier League Asia Trophy final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Coutinho was the best player on the pitch, and his trademark stunner found the top corner to give Liverpool the lead shortly before half-time.

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 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia scores the second goal during the Premier League Asia Trophy final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The second half was a more low-key affair, but the Merseysiders saw the game out in relatively easy fashion. Klopp saluted the fans after the final whistle.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after beating Leicester City 2-0 during the Premier League Asia Trophy final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

All that was left to do was for Jordan Henderson to lift the trophy in front of the adoring supporters, as Liverpool’s productive summer continues.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson lifts the trophy after beating Leicester City 2-1 during the Premier League Asia Trophy final match between Liverpool and Leicester City at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Attention now turns to next Saturday’s friendly against Hertha Berlin in the German capital, as the Reds look to be in perfect shape come the start of the 2017/18 season.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Virgil van Dijk training alone after telling Southampton “he wants to leave”

Fri, 21/07/2017 - 19:14

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Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has confirmed Virgil van Dijk has told the club he wishes to leave this summer, and is now training alone.


Van Dijk is Jurgen Klopp‘s priority target at centre-back, with the German not believed to have identified any alternatives to the Netherlands international.

The Reds were forced to publicly apologise and end their interest in Van Dijk earlier in the summer, but this has not quelled speculation over a future move.

Now, Pellegrino has explained Van Dijk’s desire to leave St. Mary’s, and has been told to train alone, as relayed by the Southern Daily Echo on Friday.

The ex-Liverpool assistant manager did, however, stress that the club don’t plan to sell the 26-year-old.

“The boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave. This is the decision,” Pellegrino explained.

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“I had to say ‘if you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel OK then you have to train alone until this period of time happens’.

“My relationship with Virgil is excellent. I was clear with the boy, and I was talking from the first day with him.

“The club was clear. The club told me they will not sell Virgil.

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

“I translated the idea of the club to the player and for me it was easy because I had to manage the dynamic of the team.

“Now he is not involved with the team because psychologically he is not 100 per cent.

“If you are not 100 percent with the team I need to work with the players who are 1000 percent to defend Southampton. It’s easy for me.”

If Southampton fail to resolve their issue with Van Dijk, Liverpool could return with a new bid for the defender, who is valued at over £60 million.

However, it would be wise to note that Luis Suarez found himself in a similar situation in 2013, before opting to remain with Liverpool for another season.

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