Klopp gives injury update ahead of Brighton game


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that defender Joel Matip is likely to be out of the trip to face Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend.

The Cameroon international centre-back picked up a minor knock in the 3-0 victory over Stoke City on Wednesday night and is a doubt for the game against Chris Hughton’s side.

“It looks like Joel Matip is out, after the Stoke game he felt something, we have to make a final assessment before tomorrow.” he revealed.

England international Adam Lallana is not likely to feature either and a potential replacement for Matip in the shape of Ragnar Klavan could be unlikely too.

“Adam Lallana is still building up fitness, and Ragnar Klavan was ill, hopefully not anymore given the Matip situation, so we do not have many choices in defence.” Klopp said.

“We have a few knocks, with the Wednesday-Saturday there is not a lot of time to recover.” he continued.

Klopp went on to say that he thought his side had gotten away with one in the win over Stoke during the midweek fixtures when goalkeeper Simon Mignolet took out Mame Biram Diouf on the edge of the penalty area.

“It is the first time this season that we were lucky in a situation, we were lucky I admit.” the German said.

“I was 100% sure it was the right decision at the time, because I thought Gomez was in position, but I did not realise it would have been 100% a goal.

“If it had been red for Mignolet, we would not have complained.” he finished.

Mignolet was only booked for the foul and went on to keep a clean sheet as he stood in for captain Jordan Henderson.

Clement rules out Solanke move


Swansea City manager Paul Clement has ruled out making an offer to sign Dominic Solanke from Liverpool.

The England international had been linked with a loan move to the Welsh side for the second half of the season after struggling to get much game time at Anfield.

But the former Chelsea striker made his full debut in the 3-0 victory over Stoke City on Wednesday evening and it looks like his prospects of regular matches are good under Jurgen Klopp.

That has seen Swans boss Clement reveal that, despite rating Solanke, he is not going to press ahead with a move to try and secure his signature.

“He is a really good player but I can’t see that Liverpool would want to let him go.” he said.

“He is not a name we have highlighted because we see him as a player that’s doing really well at his own club.

“But when you see our goal-scoring record and our ability to create chances we have to strengthen in forward positions.

“How many players that will be it is difficult to say, but one or two players in the forward positions would be a big help for us.

“We are trying to identify them but it has to be players who are realistic targets to bring here.” he finished.

Solanke is likely to remain at Anfield for the rest of the season, while his fellow striker Danny Ings looks set to be allowed to make a temporary exit next month.

Icardi agent sends out warning over price


Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi could cost a world record fee if he is sold by the Italian club.

That is the opinion of the Argentina international’s agent, who is also his wife, after the twenty four year old’s outstanding start to the season for the Serie A club.

Icardi has bagged fifteen goals already this season and is being linked with a whole host of clubs from around Europe as Inter prepare to fend off interest in their talisman.

And a warning has been sent out by his wife that any potential suitors should be prepared to spend big to sign her husband.

“Mauro is an important player and these are top clubs who have been following him for some time,” Wanda Nara told Corriere dello Sport.

“It’s right that such an attacker, one of the most important number nines in the world, has big clubs who care about him and consider him for what he is worth.”

“I prefer not to tell you who is calling me. It is I who talks about these things while Mauro thinks of Inter and is happy to be here.

“The board know that he has rejected teams that other players would not refuse because he has in his heart the Nerazzurri colours.

“I do not deny that there are many teams interested in him – much more than are being said.” she finished.

Liverpool have been linked with an offer for Icardi in the past and he would be an ideal addition to Jurgen Klopp’s squad – but it looks highly likely that the club will be priced out of a deal.

Reds given boost in Van Dijk chase


Liverpool have received a boost in the race to sign Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

Rivals Manchester City are still monitoring the Dutchman closely, but have set their sights on a January offer to sign West Bromwich Albion centre-back Johnny Evans instead, according to The Telegraph.

It would be great news for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp to see counterpart Pep Guardiola go back for the Northern Irishman and clear the path to a deal for the Holland international.

The German remains very keen on bringing Van Dijk to Anfield after failing with a move in the Summer to make him part of the squad for this season and he is likely to seek a transfer in the new year.

Van Dijk remains keen on securing a move away from St Mary’s after seeing a transfer request turned down by the south coast club in August, but it is unclear where his preferred destination is now.

He had his sights set on a move to Liverpool in the Summer, but it has been feared by supporters that the fantastic start City have made to the season would turn his head.

But if Guardiola is going to make a move to reinforce his backline with Evans it would seem good news with regards to hopes of seeing Van Dijk finally becoming a Liverpool player.

It remains to be seen whether Southampton can be persuaded to let him head to Anfield, but relations between the two clubs are said to have thawed somewhat since the Summer.

City may also be cooling interest in Van Dijk temporarily as Southampton could well have made it clear that no deal will happen until the end of the season.

Evans would also be able to play in the Champions League knockout phase on top of becoming an extra defender for the rest of the domestic campaign.

Bierhoff says Can could join Juventus


Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is “60% to 80%” likely to sign for Juventus.

That’s according to Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff, who has been quoted by the Echo giving updates on the futures of Can and his compatriot Leon Goretzka.

Juventus have been strongly linked with a move for Can, who is about to enter the final six months of his contract at Anfield, and are set to make him a pre-contract offer in January.

Schalke midfielder Goretzka has been linked with a whole host of clubs, including both Liverpool and Juventus, and Bierhoff feels they would both be well suited to life in Italy.

“In this time England is the top spot for those players and after the Premier there is also the Spanish league as an option.” Bierhoff said.

“For sure both Emre Can and Goretzka could be successful in Serie A.

“Can is a number six and is physical, his way of playing is perfect for Italy.

“However, unless Inter Milan returns to the top of Italy, if one of these players had to choose Italy, he would only do it for Juventus.” he continued.

That sounds like a clear indication that a switch to join the Serie A champions is proving a very tempting prospect for Can, while Goretzka’s future is less clear at present.

“For Goretzka there is not much of a chance, perhaps not even 20%.” Bierhoff added.

“Emre Can, I think he has a lot more, I would say 60-80%.” he finished.

Can talks about his future


Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has spoken about his future.

The Germany international has told the Echo that he has not made a decision on where he will play next season yet and could still remain at Anfield.

“Why do you ask me this? Really, I concentrate on this season and let my agent handle all the rest.” he responded to the question.

“It is not about money, that’s all I can say.

“Yes I could (join another club), but tomorrow I could also sign for Liverpool. We’ll see.” he finished.

Liverpool supporters have been hearing conflicting reports and claims about what the delay is over a contract extension for the former Bayer Leverkusen player.

There have been some sources saying that Can wants a release clause inserted into any new deal so that he could make an escape from the club down the line if things don’t go to plan.

Others have said that the ex-Bayern Munich midfielder is seeking parity with the highest earners in the squad at Anfield – something his comment above refutes.

Can is about to enter the final six months of his contract and will be able to agree terms on a move to a foreign club in the new year – with Italian champions Juventus set to offer him a move to Serie A.

Premier League rivals Manchester City and Manchester United have also been linked with bids to take him away from Liverpool too.

Salah has brought the magic back


It’s been a while. Over three years now. But it’s back. Oh yes. It’s back.

Mohamed Salah has brought back that feeling of having a player in the side who is capable of winning a game on his own – something we’ve been lacking since Luis Suarez was sold to Barcelona in the Summer of 2014. When the Uruguay international left Anfield he took the ability to take on teams and beat them almost single-handedly and we’ve really missed having that star to make things happen that are beyond the vast majority of players.

Salah has been a revelation since he arrived from AS Roma in a deal worth somewhere around £35m in the Summer. Nobody predicted that he would break scoring records and be so prolific when he arrived. We all hoped that we had signed a player that would bring more pace and trickery, with some goal threat, to the team – but little did we know what was to come. The Egypt international has looked more a bargain with each game – most of which he is scoring goals in. His double against Stoke City on Wednesday evening took his tally to seventeen for the season and eight in the month of November – for which he is certain to win the player of the month award. And he was only a substitute at the bet365 Stadium.

His confidence has grown with each game and he has shaken off all the early criticism that he needed a handful of chances to score just once. His finishing has been getting better and better and his twelve Premier League goals have come from a shooting accuracy of 70% and from a total of 43 shots. It’s highly impressive work and he is outscoring the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Suarez too so far this season. We haven’t seen a player score this many goals in a season since Suarez departed and we are weeks away from Christmas. None of our top scorers since Suarez went have managed to get twenty goals in all competitions across a whole season. Salah is just three away in less than half a campaign. This could become very special indeed.

The match-winning quality he has added to the team has also softened the responsibility on previous star player Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian was looked to when the team needed a magic moment and that must’ve become heavy duty for the playmaker. It has also shown people that we can win games without the former Inter Milan player in the side, as shown on Wednesday, and going forward if he does complete his move to Barcelona in 2018. Coutinho has provided plenty of assists so far this season, but he hasn’t been looked to as the man to grab the goals that will snatch results – Salah has taken on that mantle already.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his scouts needed to persuade him that Salah was the man to bring in and how pleased he must be that he listened to them. Julian Brandt and Christian Pulisic were top of his list of targets as he sought out another winger to add to the pace and directness that Sadio Mane brought when he was signed during the Summer of 2016. You’d have to be highly optimistic to think that either of those players could have made the impact, either immediate or long-term, that Salah has so far.

How Chelsea fans must wonder what happened to the player who struggled for games and goals after joining them in January 2014 – ahead of Liverpool. We were all very disappointed to miss out on bringing him to Anfield from Swiss club Basel and thought Chelsea had beaten us to a very good player. But things didn’t work out for him there and he was sent out on loan to Fiorentina before joining Roma permanently. The Serie A club must be kicking themselves that they let him go – and so cheaply too. If the reported interest from Real Madrid is true, and they must be sitting up and taking notice more with each goal, then we could expect to get at least five times what we paid for him a matter of months ago. Rumours continue to circulate about the future of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu and Salah would be near the top of their shopping list should they need to find a replacement.

But we don’t want to even think about the prospect of such an exciting player being allowed to move on any time soon. He has captured the imagination of Liverpool supporters and long may it continue.

Pardew set to move for Ings


New West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew is set to make a raid on Anfield next month.

The new Baggies boss will launch a bid to sign Liverpool striker Danny Ings on loan in the January transfer window, according to a report by the Birmingham Mail.

Pardew took over the position from previous incumbent Tony Pulis this week as he returns to the Premier League following a spell as a pundit for Sky Sports.

And the former Newcastle United, West Ham United and Crystal Palace manager has immediately set about identifying the targets that he believes will help keep his new club in the top flight.

Former Burnley striker Ings is likely to be made available for loan in the second half of the season following a series of serious injuries which have limited his impact under Jurgen Klopp.

He has been restricted to just one substitute appearance in the Carabao Cup against Leicester City earlier this season as the Reds went out of the competition thanks to a 2-0 loss.

Aside from that outing he has been mostly playing for the under-23 side – and he has been impressing with some goals for the youth side.

Firmino missed out on bonus for goal


Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino missed out on a bonus payment for not stealing Sadio Mane’s goal against Stoke City.

The Brazil international had every opportunity to smash home the ball as it slowly crept towards the line after Mane’s dinked finish came off Stoke keeper Lee Grant.

But the former Hoffenheim man showed just what a team player he is by watching the ball roll over the line to leave the goal in the name of his team-mate.

Jurgen Klopp’s side went on to comfortably win the game 3-0 thanks to a late brace from substitute Mohamed Salah and Firmino didn’t manage to get his name on the scoresheet.

But he would have pocketed a cool £45,000 had he tapped the ball into the open goal after Mane’s chip, according to a report by Football Leaks.

Firmino apparently earns over £1m in bonus payments, so it isn’t like he can’t afford to miss out on this one, but it goes to show just how good his team ethic is that he left it.

Romelu Lukaku may want to take note after trying to steal former Everton team-mate Tom Davies’ goal against Manchester City last season.

Reds linked with Sporting winger again


Liverpool are preparing an offer to sign Gelson Martins from Champions League outfit Sporting Lisbon.

That is the claim being made in a report by Portuguese newspaper A Bola as clubs approach the winter transfer window next month.

Martins has impressed visiting scouts again this season and has a reported £53m release clause in his contract with his club, which the Reds are happy to meet according to the article.

Liverpool were linked with an offer for Martins back in the Summer, but it amounted to nothing as Egypt international Mohamed Salah was signed from AS Roma instead.

The former Chelsea man has been in blistering form for Jurgen Klopp’s team so far this season and he looks resoundingly like the right signing of the pair.

And that is what makes a bid, especially as the touted price, unlikely for Martins in the new year when Klopp has far bigger priorities than bringing in another wing option.

African attacker Sadio Mane remains one of the first names on the German’s teamsheet and is not going to be replaced by the twenty-two year old Martins any time soon.

The Mirror are claiming that interest in Salah from European champions Real Madrid has seen Liverpool consider alternatives, but there is no chance that contingency plans are being made for this exit after he arrived a matter of months ago.

This looks like wild transfer speculation that will become the norm between now and the end of January.