Last Updated: 27/04/18 12:11amJose Mourinho insists he was not the man behind Mohamed Salah's sale at Chelsea
Jose Mourinho has denied being the man behind Chelsea's sale of now PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah, but feels the forward was not physically or mentally ready at the time.
It was under Mourinho that Salah arrived in the Premier League with Chelsea after signing from Basel, but found first-team opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge.
After a season in England the Egyptian was loaned out to Fiorentina, before later undertaking a spell at Roma and signing permanently for the club.
Salah's rise since then has been meteoric and his return to English shores with Liverpool this season has produced 43 goals so far, with fixtures still to play.Salah returned to the Premier League with Liverpool and has been unstoppable
The highest individual accolade has been handed to Salah as a result, although Mourinho stands by his view that the 25-year-old was not ready for English football during his Chelsea days.
"People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite. I bought Salah," Mourinho told ESPN Brazil.
"It is the opposite. I was the one that bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah. It was with me in charge that Salah came to Chelsea.
"But he came as a young kid, physically he was not ready, mentally he was not ready, socially and culturally he was lost and everything was tough for him.
"We decided to put him on loan and he asked for that as well. He wanted to play more minutes, to mature, he wanted to go and we sent him on loan to Fiorentina, and at Fiorentina he started to mature."Mourinho maintains selling Salah wasn't a mistake because he wasn't ready for English football
Despite Salah now being spoken of as a potential future Ballon d'Or candidate, Mourinho suggested the decision to allow the player to leave was not a mistake.
"Chelsea decided to sell him, OK? And when they say that I was the one that sold him it is a lie. I bought him. I agreed to send him on loan, I thought it was necessary," said Mourinho.
"In football we make mistakes a lot of times. So many times some players develop in ways we were not expecting, some others don't reach another level like we thought they would, so I don't even think this is a mistake, it is just part of the job."Fantasy Six-a-Side
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Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal will not complain if Liverpool rest Mohamed Salah against their relegation rivals Stoke on Saturday.
Salah this week took his goal tally for the campaign to 43 with a brace in Liverpool’s 5-2 win against Roma in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
The Egyptian forward could be rested ahead of Wednesday’s second leg when Jurgen Klopp’s side entertain Stoke at Anfield.
But Carvalhal, whose side are four points clear of Stoke, said: “Liverpool is not just about Salah, they can win without this player.
“He is fantastic, the player of the season, but they do not depend on one player.
“It is about their dynamic and shape and they are very positive in this moment.
“Even if they make changes, they will have most of their same side.
“It is like what we did in the cup and we won games, and they have ambitions in the competition for second spot.”
Swansea are one place above the relegation zone and hold a four-point advantage over Southampton and Stoke, the latter having played a game more.
For too long Jordan Henderson has felt like a Liverpool captain who doesn’t entirely belong in the role, but he has grown to become an excellent leader.
Imagine being the man tasked with replacing Steven Gerrard as the skipper of Liverpool Football Club.
It is an almost impossible duty, when you look at what Gerrard achieved in over a decade leading the Reds: lifting a Champions League trophy, winning an FA Cup final on his own and cementing his status as perhaps the greatest player in the club’s history.
Anyone would struggle to convince as the man who steps in and fills that void, but when it is someone as divisive as Henderson, it’s even more difficult.
As soon as Brendan Rodgers handed him the captaincy in July 2015, the vultures were circling, waiting to tell the world that this “useless” footballer was not fit to be playing for Liverpool, let alone be skipper.
For the first couple of years in the role, Henderson did a solid job attempting to make it his own, always handling himself well on and off the pitch, and proving to be a far more influential individual than many give him credit for.
It always felt a little forced, though, and you rarely looked at him and thought, “he looks like a Liverpool captain.”
It was like watching George Clooney’s attempt to play Batman!
Henderson looked like someone trying to show the world that he was captain when, deep down, he didn’t think he merited such a prestigious honour.
This season, however, and particularly in 2018, Henderson has really stepped up—and his performance against Roma epitomised this new-found mentality.Fitting the bill at last
The Champions League semi-final clash was arguably the biggest night of Henderson’s career, despite some huge outings during the 2013/14 season, and a few high-profile matches for England at major tournaments.
Some fans were, predictably, disappointed to see him return after missing the quarter-final second leg at Man City through suspension, but he was magnificent and rose to the occasion.
After a below-par start, much like all of those around him—he was the only one being roundly criticised in those early exchanges, of course—the 27-year-old bossed a Roma midfield that contained three illustrious names in Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan.
In total, Henderson made 12 ball recoveries—more than anyone else on the pitch—won three tackles and generally harried the life out of his opponents. He was also effective on the ball, using it quickly and forcefully.
He looked extremely fit, which has frustratingly not been the case often enough throughout his career, and his influence was every bit as important as headline-grabbers Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and James Milner, who has racked up a record nine assists in a Champions League campaign.
Jordan Henderson has rarely played better than against Roma. Up against some serious class in particularly Nainggolan (Roma's best player) and De Rossi and loved the challenge. And he dominated Strootman. Henderson turning into a real leader on and off the pitch. #lfc
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 25, 2018
Good to see Jordan Henderson getting plenty of praise today. He was superb last night. Others scored the goals but there was no doubting that he was the leader of that Liverpool team.
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) April 25, 2018
Henderson the player is somebody who will always be disliked by many, with their stubbornness never allowing their opinion to change, while refusing to give him even an ounce of praise.
It is as a captain that we are seeing some alterations in supporters’ stances, however, and the praise coming the England international’s way is fully merited.
He looked like a true leader on Tuesday, strutting around the pitch and barking instructions, and he is carrying himself with a different aura.
If on the pitch that impact still only gets highlighted sporadically, it is impossible to deny the kind of effect he is having off it.
His authority as captain seemed to go up a gear around the turn of the year, and his classy social media message to the fans who experienced difficulty travelling to Porto was a lovely touch.
Similarly, his heartfelt note to Liverpool fan Sean Cox, left in a critical condition after being assaulted by Roma supporters on Tuesday, was dignified and well-timed.
Everybody at Liverpool thinks very highly of him as a role model, whether it be youngsters, senior players or employees at Melwood, and it is pleasing to see such a likeable figure realising his potential as captain.
His dominant showing against Roma was arguably his biggest statement yet leading the Reds, as he shone brightly in the biggest home game for a decade.
Whisper it quietly, but a legendary period may be on the horizon for Henderson in the coming weeks.Captain to legend?
“I’m getting off lads. I’m not putting myself through seeing Jordan f***ing Henderson lift the Champions League. No chance. Was nice knowing you all.”
Those were the words of a generic rival supporter on Twitter during the wonderful 5-2 win over Roma, and it was a post that sums up the bizarre negativity that heads in Henderson’s direction.
He has been mocked ever since his disappointing early days at Anfield in 2011, and no other English player has to deal with such levels of vitriol.
Quite why that is the case remains a mystery.
Yes, he has clear limitations as a footballer, and couldn’t be more of a football hipster’s nightmare if he tried, but it makes the current situation all the more heartwarming.
Henderson is a couple of matches away from becoming just the fifth Liverpool captain to lift a European Cup, following in the footsteps of Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness and Gerrard.
We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but that would be an achievement worthy of legendary status for him, regardless of how good or bad you think he is.
Gerrard echoed that sentiment, and there’s no disagreeing with the great man himself!
Captaining Liverpool to a Champions League triumph leaves no doubt about a player’s standing in the years that follow and Henderson will be desperate to etch his name into Reds folklore.
If we want to start straying into the realms of improbability, Henderson could even lift the World Cup this summer as well, although sensitive poster boy Harry Kane looks set to skipper the Three Lions.
They have next to no chance of winning the tournament anyway.
Henderson is somebody who is easy to root for. He is a long way from the flash stereotype of the modern footballer, he lives a grounded lifestyle and is someone his team-mates treasure.
Even his biggest detractor could not question his work ethic, and he fully ‘gets’ everything to do with representing Liverpool and skippering a club of such stature.
"I believe this Liverpool team are stronger with him in it…"
"If he delivers this Champions League he'll be a legend here forever."
Steven Gerrard passes verdict on Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson. pic.twitter.com/1nW7l3UWLn
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018
He will never come close to matching the playing feats of Gerrard, Souness and many, many more talented players who have come before him, but he is threatening to create a little piece of history of his own.
For the sheer fume it will cause among rivals should he hold ‘Ole Big Ears’ aloft in Kiev next month, Liverpool fans should all be cheering him on that little bit extra.
Is Henderson nailed on to start and be captain for years to come? Absolutely not.
He can be improved upon in the middle of the park, and Virgil van Dijk may end up a more reliable choice as skipper in terms of fitness levels and longevity.
Henderson is doing an admirable job these days, though, and Klopp’s words on him earlier in the season feel like a fitting place to finish.
“He is the captain here and that says everything about what I think of him.”
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish visited a local school this week to launch 'King Kenny', a new children’s book created by main sponsor Standard Chartered.
The former LFC player and manager met with young pupils at New Park Primary School - close to Anfield - to introduce the book and support the club's Red Neighbours programme, which creates memorable experiences for young people in the local area.
Following the event, signed copies of the book were donated to the school on behalf of Standard Chartered and the Marina Dalglish Appeal.
The ‘King Kenny’ book, and accompanying short film, form part of Standard Chartered's year-long Power of Numbers campaign, celebrating 125 years of Liverpool FC.
‘King Kenny’ tells the incredible story of one of football’s all-time greats, capturing valuable lessons from his inspiring journey, both on and off the pitch.
Written in rhyme, the book was penned by children’s author Gavin McCormack and aims to give young fans around the world a new perspective on the LFC legend.
Dalglish said: “It’s fantastic to get out into the local community, introduce the book to the children and encourage them to spend more time reading.
“I’m really pleased to be able to work with Standard Chartered and help support Red Neighbours - and their great work in the Anfield area - with this book.”
Emma Sheller, global head of brand and marketing at Standard Chartered, said: "We couldn’t mark LFC’s 125th birthday without celebrating the No.7.
“Kenny Dalglish is a man who has inspired LFC and its fans across generations. His passion, experience and influence has reached the hearts of many, and we created this children’s book and short film to celebrate this legacy.
“It is timeless. Full of tradition, virtue and lessons that we can learn from and develop within ourselves. It’s the type of legacy Standard Chartered wants to support our clients to leave behind for their own generations to come.”
‘King Kenny’ is available online as a free interactive e-book at www.sc.com/lfc125/kingkenny and fans can download a PDF copy of the book in six languages – English, traditional and simplified Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese and Korean. An audio version of the book is also available online.
Limited edition hard copies will also be available globally through LFC and Standard Chartered promotions throughout the year.
Jürgen Klopp will hold his pre-Stoke City press conference from 10.30am BST on Friday - tune in with our live and free stream from Melwood.
Liverpool return to Premier League duties when they host the Potters at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime, fresh from their Champions League win over AS Roma.
And you can see what Klopp has to say about the game, the condition of his squad and more by watching our broadcast of the media briefing.
Simply return to this page at 10.30am to access the live stream.
Another busy week for Liverpool on and off the pitch; here’s all the latest news regarding the Reds from Thursday’s media.
Gerrard linked with Rangers manager job
Liverpool U18s boss Steven Gerrard is being linked with a surprise move—to take over as head coach of Scottish side Rangers next season.
The Echo report the SPL chairman Dave King being at Anfield for the recent win over Roma, which Gerrard acted as a pundit during for BT Sport.
Gerrard is only in his first campaign as a youth manager, so it would be something of a surprise if he departed already to seek out a senior position.
He has never held back in his ambitions to become boss—eventually of the Reds’ first team—and Rangers are said to want a new manager next season.
The Glasgow Evening Times report that Gerrard is waiting to hear what financial backing he will get in the transfer market before accepting the offer.Injury updates: Mane and Oxlade-Chamberlain
There is hope that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may not have suffered ACL damage to his knee despite the Reds admitting his season was over.
Goal.com’s Neil Jones reports that the swelling is as yet still too severe around the affected area and that specialist medical advice will be taken in due course.
#LFC yet to give full diagnosis on Oxlade-Chamberlain injury, waiting for swelling in knee to go down and further advice from specialist. Ligament damage for certain, but hopeful he has avoided ACL tear, which would be a significant boost in terms of recovery time.
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) April 26, 2018
While a cruciate tear could result in nine months or more out, partially damaged or strained ligaments would be significantly less.
Meanwhile, Sadio Mane has sparked injury fears after he was seen attending the Spire Hospital in Liverpool.
The forward was there for around half an hour, report the Mail, though the club has not released any information regarding an injury.
Jurgen Klopp‘s pre-Stoke press conference on Friday may shed more light.Emre Can decision ‘imminent’
While the Reds remain rampant on the pitch thanks in no small part to an athletic and impressive midfield setup, one member has had to watch on from the sidelines of late.
Juventus have long been suitors and now they may finally get their answer, with Tuttosport claiming Can will inform them “imminently” of his plans for next season.
Bayern Munich have also been interested in signing the German international, who started out in their academy, but the report suggests Juve remain front-runners.Rumour mill: Max Meyer on a free
While Emre Can might leave on a free transfer, another German midfielder could yet take his place—also after running down his contract.
Schalke’s Max Meyer has played the deepest holding role for his side this term after having originally come through as an attacking midfielder.
He is out of contract in the summer and the Bundesliga runners-up-in-waiting have announced there will be no renewal of his deal, per Goal.
“Max will definitely leave Schalke in the summer. We are dealing with this situation professionally,” said sporting director Christian Heidel.
“The player is planning his future, we are currently planning Schalke’s future, and our plans head in different ways.”Lijnders on leaving the Reds
Former Liverpool coach Pepijn Lijnders is loving life as manager of NEC Nijmegen, but has noted the ongoing influence Jurgen Klopp has had on him.
In an interview with ESPN, Lijnders, who left the Reds midway through this season, describes his old boss as “one of the most important people in my career.”
The emphasis on playing the same way as Klopp has tried to with Liverpool is clear throughout.
Lijnders speaks on the identity of his team in a similar vein to the current Reds’ manager and plans to follow a similar approach.
“The style of playing 100 percent pressing and 100 percent counter-pressing is a style that doesn’t [arrive] in two, three weeks.
“I want to keep fighting to win prizes, but only in a certain way. I want people to feel the identity of my team every game, wherever we play, against whatever opposition.
“They have to feel that we dominate, press and are offensive and aggressive in defence.”
The new LFC 247 trainers from New Balance can be pre-ordered online and at official club stores from 9am BST on Friday April 27.
The 125 Year Anniversary edition of the special footwear have proved to be hugely popular and the new trainers have been updated ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
Once again, the LFC 247s are available in adult and children's sizes.
The stylish trainers can be pre-ordered online or in-store from 9am on Friday April 27 for delivery on their day of release, Friday May 11.
Join us at Anfield to watch Liverpool take on AS Roma in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Fans are invited to take a seat on the Kop, soak up the atmosphere and view the match on a giant screen in association with BT Sport, the exclusive live broadcaster of the UEFA Champions League in the UK.
The screening will take place Wednesday May 2, where supporters can enjoy pre-match entertainment including face painting, live music, an appearance from club mascot Mighty Red, and more.
Food and drink can also be purchased on the concourse and taken to seats to enjoy during the game.
Turnstiles will open at 6.15pm, with tickets available from £5 (16 years and under) to £10 (adults).
Tickets for the live screening are available from Liverpoolfc.com until 5pm on Tuesday May 1. After this time, we will not be able to accommodate any further sales.
Turnstiles will open at 6.15pm, with entry closing at 8pm.
For further information and to purchase tickets, please click here.
Liverpool were readying themselves for the weekend clash with Stoke City during their Thursday workout at Melwood - and our photographer was granted behind-the-scenes access to the session.
The Reds welcome the Potters to Anfield on Saturday aiming to consoldate their position in the top four as the conclusion of the 2017-18 Premier League season edges ever nearer.
Browse our gallery from the training ground below.
Like the training kit worn by Klopp and the players? Click here to check out the range and buy your own.
Photos by John Powell
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Last Updated: 26/04/18 10:51pmLiverpool remain concerned for the safety of their supporters heading to Rome
Liverpool have been forced to call "an extraordinary meeting" over concerns for the security of their supporters at the Champions League second leg in Rome next week.
After a serious incident at Anfield on Tuesday left a 53-year-old man in a critical condition, Reds supporters will have constant police protection in the Italian capital next Wednesday, according to Sky in Italy.
Yet Sky Sports News understands Liverpool remain concerned about the match-day security and operational plan after a frustrating and troubling process of obtaining what they consider to be basic and essential information.An aerial view of the Stadio Olimpico, where Liverpool will play Roma next week
It is understood UEFA, Roma and Liverpool have worked together collaboratively and exhaustively, sharing concerns in a process that began well in advance of the first leg and the events on Merseyside that have only heightened Liverpool's worry.
But the issue is understood to reside with the Italian authorities and a number of lingering concerns have forced the club to take "the exceptional measure of requesting an extraordinary meeting in the Italian capital on Friday, April 27".
Sky Sports News understands the Reds' concerns centre on a safe and secure shuttle service to the ground, safe walking routes, ticket enforcement procedures and what items of belongings can be taken into the ground.Mohamed Salah will return to his former club after the 5-2 first leg win
The Premier League club have offered to meet any additional costs in order to provide a shuttle service, and remain unsure which areas of the city their fans should avoid and what the safest routes to the stadium are if they are unable to use the service.
Liverpool also want confirmation of what time fans can arrive at the stadium and when the turnstiles will open, as well as clarity on whether supporters' names will appear on tickets, and what enforcement procedures will be in place.
The club are also not sure of whether bags will be permitted inside the Stadio Olimpico, which has implications for supporters on day-trips or those leaving straight from the match.A 53-year-old man was left in a critical condition after an incident outside Anfield
These have all arisen following a comprehensive reconnaissance undertaken before the first leg by senior club officials and Merseyside Police, who have confirmed that their own officers will also be on the ground in Rome.
Merseyside police confirmed on Thursday that two Italian men have been charged over the incident that left Sean Cox seriously injured earlier this week, and they have been remanded in custody following an appearance at South Sefton Magistrates Court.
Filippo Lombardi, 20, and Daniele Sciusco, 29, gave no indication of their pleas and were not granted bail, and the pair will appear at Liverpool Crown Court on May 24.Fantasy Six-a-Side
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Liverpool Football Club is continuing to do everything in its power to provide supporters travelling to Rome next week with the most comprehensive safety and security advice.
The club has taken the exceptional measure of requesting an extraordinary meeting in the Italian capital, which will take place on Friday April 27.
Present at the meeting will be all the major stakeholders who share responsibility for the wellbeing of Liverpool supporters making the journey to watch the Champions League tie.
At the behest of Liverpool, club officials will join AS Roma, UEFA and the relevant Italian police and security services to discuss specific ongoing concerns.
Liverpool have sought clarity on a number of issues surrounding the matchday operation since the draw was made and is hoping this extraordinary meeting will provide the necessary reassurances and essential information.
This, if provided, will allow the club to fully inform supporters of the measures that will be in place.
The club thanks its fans for their ongoing engagement on this issue and would hope to provide a detailed update following the meeting.
They’re used to communicating closely on the pitch, but Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren chatted in an altogether different manner at Melwood recently as they became the latest first-team stars to try their hands at Alternative Commentaries.
To mark the relaunch of LFCTV GO, the centre-backs took to the mic to describe the action from Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United at Anfield in March.
How did they react to Mohamed Salah’s customary goal? Or Sadio Mane’s celebration, which had a bit of a familiar look to it?
Or what about a first-half double chance for Lovren that he was unable to convert?
Find out by watching our entertaining clip below now.
The all-new LFCTV GO has launched, and you can take advantage of one month free by signing up now.