Transfer tracker: Liverpool want £15m from Fulham for Wilson, Leeds agree fee for Bate

the Athletic - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 14:18
Between now and the transfer window closing on August 31, The Athletic team will keep you informed of all the significant developments we hear. Whether that’s the latest from the Premier League or the EFL, the biggest moves around Europe or any significant business around the world, we’ll have coverage of every interesting deal that takes place.

Not a subscriber to The Athletic? You can sign up for our award-winning journalism here: https://theathletic.com/subscribe

We won’t bring you gossip or rumours, just what is really happening and why.

July 20


Liverpool have told Fulham they want £15 million for winger Harry Wilson, reports James Pearce.

The London club, who are looking to bounce back following relegation from the Premier League last season, are keen to sign the Wales international.

Discussions are ongoing with no official bid on the table but Liverpool insist £15 million is a fair price. They point to the fact that Fulham have previously paid that amount for fellow widemen Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert. They view Wilson as comparable in terms of his profile.

Liverpool turned down a bid of around £12 million for Wilson from Burnley last season and believe he’s progressed since then following a successful loan spell at Cardiff City where he scored seven goals and contributed 12 assists.

The 24-year-old accepts the time is right to secure a permanent move away from Anfield as he wants regular game time. As well as Cardiff, he has previously been loaned out to Crewe, Hull City, Derby County and Bournemouth.

Benfica, Brentford and West Bromwich Albion have also shown interest in Wilson this summer.

Wrexham-born Wilson has been on Liverpool’s books since under-nines level. His only senior appearances were against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup during the 2016-17 campaign and against Arsenal in the League Cup last season.

For the latest Liverpool transfer news click here.


Leeds United hope to complete the signing of Chelsea midfielder Lewis Bate before the end of the week after agreeing a fee with the west London club, reports Simon Johnson.

The Athletic has been told that personal terms are being discussed in view of Bate conducting a medical at Leeds on Wednesday. Chelsea have negotiated a sell-on clause as part of the switch, but have not inserted a buy back clause.

There is still the danger of one of the other interested clubs trying to hijack the move at the 11th hour. The Athletic reported on Monday that Leeds were the favourites to secure the 18-year-old’s signature, but faced competition from West Ham, Liverpool, Leicester City and Brighton. 

Time is running out for the others to make a bid though and the player has already given a major indication his mind is made up by following a number of Leeds players on Instagram. 

Chelsea have been left with no choice to negotiate with clubs over selling the youngster after Bate made it clear he wasn’t going to sign a contract extension.

The west London club opened talks with Bate before the end of last season and made a good offer, but the England Under-19 international rejected it because he is worried about the lack of a pathway to appearances in the first team.

That meant Chelsea had to discuss a sale because he has only one year left on his current deal and they’d only be entitled to a nominal amount in compensation if he left in 2022.

Bate is a very highly rated teenager, who has been compared with another Chelsea prodigy Billy Gilmour. He came close to making a senior debut under former manager Frank Lampard last year when he was named on the bench against Sheffield United and Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile, another academy graduate Ike Ugbo is hoping to complete a permanent transfer to Belgian club Genk FC in the next few days. Ugbo, who scored an impressive 16 goals in 32 appearances while on loan at Cercle Bruges last season, has already agreed a wage package.

The hold-up is being caused by the size of the fee. Chelsea want £5 million for the 22-year-old, but Genk aren’t willing to pay such a high sum for the forward because he has just one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

There is still optimism that a compromise will be reached so it can be finalised by the weekend.

July 15


Celtic have agreed to sell Kristoffer Ajer to Brentford for a fee believed to be around £12 million up-front with add-ons, reports Kieran Devlin.

Celtic rejected £10 million bids from Norwich City and Bayer Leverkusen in June for the Norwegian international’s services. Celtic informed interested parties that £15 million would be the fee required to separate them for their player. Last week Celtic rebuffed Brentford’s opening bid, which is believed to have been also £12 million up-front but totalling to £15 million with add-ons valued at roughly £3 million, a lower value than the finally agreed fee.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Match Centre: Live build-up as Reds play two pre-season friendlies

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 14:00
Visit our Match Centre now for live updates from Austria as Liverpool face FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart in 30-minute pre-season friendlies.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool's Grujic joins Porto on permanent deal

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 11:32

Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic has joined Porto on a permanent deal.

Grujic spent the 2020/21 season on loan with the Portuguese side, making 39 appearances and scoring two goals.

In their statement confirming the 25-year-old's departure, Liverpool said: "Everyone at Liverpool FC thanks Marko for his contributions to the club and wishes him the best in his future career."

Liverpool were understood to value Grujic - who was part of their pre-season training camp in Austria - at around £13m.

Serie A side Sassuolo were also interested in Grujic, with midfielder Manuel Locatelli possibly leaving the club this summer.

The Serbia international was Jurgen Klopp's first signing at Liverpool after replacing Brendan Rodgers as manager.

He agreed a move to Anfield in January 2016 and arrived at the club from Red Star Belgrade later that year.

However, Grujic failed to establish himself in Klopp's first team and made just 16 appearances for Liverpool during his five years at the club.

Instead, Grujic spent much of his time on loan, including spells with Cardiff and Hertha Berlin, as well as Porto.

Klopp: Van Dijk, Gomez 'look really good'

Liverpool centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both "look really good" as they build towards comebacks from long-term injuries, Klopp has said.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both suffered serious knee injuries last season Image: Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both suffered serious knee injuries last season

The duo are working on their fitness at Liverpool's pre-season training camp in Austria.

Klopp told the club's website: "Virg and Joe will not have double sessions now for the first few days with the team. They have a second session of the day but it's with the rehab department, physiotherapy - these kinds of things.

"That's for these two. [They] look really good. I don't know exactly when we can make the next steps but it will happen in the next four weeks. For sure, we will get a big step forward."

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Marko Grujic seals permanent transfer to FC Porto

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 10:59
Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic has today sealed a permanent move to FC Porto.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Diogo Jota to join Reds' Austrian training camp

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 09:29
Diogo Jota will become the latest player to join Liverpool's pre-season training camp when he reports for duty in Austria on Wednesday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp explains reasons for 30-minute friendlies

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 08:30
Jürgen Klopp has explained why Liverpool will begin their pre-season fixture schedule with back-to-back 30-minute matches this evening.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch live: Liverpool v Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 08:10
Watch Liverpool's first matches of pre-season live and exclusive on LFCTV GO today.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool to bank £11.5m profit as duo leave pre-season training camp

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 06:56

Liverpool have allowed both Taiwo Awoniyi and Marko Grujic to leave their pre-season training camp in Austria to finalise moves away from the club.

Awoniyi and Grujic were among the outcasts to join Jurgen Klopp‘s initial squad for pre-season in Austria, working alongside the first-team squad ahead of their warmup friendlies.

Both were expected to take part against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart on Tuesday, but instead they are on the brink of sealing their exit, according to Goal‘s Neil Jones.

The pair have both left Saalfelden on private flights after deals were agreed, which will reunite them with the clubs they spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan.

Union Berlin have landed a £6.5 million move for Awoniyi, who is now set to undergo a medical with the Bundesliga side, while Grujic is joining Porto for £10.5 million.

Neither figured in Klopp’s plans moving forward, and the club have been looking to move them on – along with the likes of Harry Wilson, Loris Karius and Sheyi Ojo – to boost their transfer funds.

Awoniyi’s move to Union is particularly lucrative given he arrived from the Imperial Soccer Academy in Nigeria for just £400,000 in 2015.

The 23-year-old failed to make a single appearance for Liverpool, either competitive or otherwise, during his six-year stay, with this summer the first time he has even joined the senior squad for pre-season.

Liverpool have managed to bank a £6.1 million profit on the striker due to his performances on loan with the likes of Royal Excel Mouscron, Mainz and Union.

Grujic’s impending move has made the Reds a profit of £5.4 million on the fee they paid to sign him from Red Star Belgrade in 2016.

The club have secured 10 percent sell-on clauses for the pair, too, which should protect their value in the future.

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Explained: How data and analytics are changing how clubs approach transfers – and why Man United should sign Camavinga next

the Athletic - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 05:15
Do you want the good news or the bad news first, Manchester United fans?

I’m going to assume you like to finish with a positive, so we’ll get the bad news out of the way.

The squad that finished second last season is projected to win eight fewer points in the next one, which gives them only a one in 80 chance of winning the Premier League title for the first time since 2013 and a likely finishing position of fourth, behind Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Says who? Says

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Liverpool know they can’t allow too many players to grow old together and that includes Salah, Mane and Firmino

the Athletic - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 05:09
There was an emotional reaction to the news that Jordan Henderson faces an uncertain future.

The idea that Liverpool wouldn’t move heaven and earth to ensure their inspirational captain remains at Anfield beyond the end of his current contract in the summer of 2023 doesn’t sit right with many supporters.

The Athletic revealed on Monday that talks this summer over a new deal haven’t progressed. What’s currently on the table from the club isn’t an attractive proposition for the player, and that has alerted Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid to his potential availability.

Henderson is 31 and will be 33 by the time the contract he’s on now expires.

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Alexander-Arnold: I'm fit, healthy and ready to play

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 20:08

Trent Alexander-Arnold says he feels "fit, healthy and ready to play" in Liverpool's opening pre-season friendlies on Tuesday.

England international Alexander-Arnold was ruled out of Euro 2020 after suffering a thigh injury in a warm-up match against Austria on June 2.

He has since returned to full training with Liverpool and could feature when the Reds play back-to-back 30-minute friendlies against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart on Tuesday.

"[I'm] fully pain-free. I've been doing a lot of rehab when we were off over the summer with the physios and the medical staff, which was good for me," Alexander-Arnold told Liverpool's website.

"I feel fit, I feel healthy and I'm back in full training now, so it's good. It's good for me. I've done quite a few sessions with the lads now, I feel fit enough to play.

PA - Trent Alexander-Arnold was injured on England duty and missed Euro 2020 Image: Alexander-Arnold suffered the thigh injury while playing for England in a warm-up match ahead of Euro 2020

"But the decision comes from the manager, the staff and obviously the medical staff, they need to talk and see if it's worth the risk.

"If not, there's a game on Friday as well, so whether it's a case of a few minutes on Tuesday and play a bit more on Friday, ease me in like that, who knows? Either way, I'll be ready to play."

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are also close to returning to full fitness after spells on the sidelines last season.

Football's Cult Heroes podcast 1:00 Football's Cult Heroes is a new podcast series exploring the stories of players that carried their clubs on their backs - on and off the pitch. Follow on Spotify.

Alexander-Arnold is particularly pleased to see the return of Van Dijk, as Liverpool prepare for their opening game of the new Premier League season against Norwich on August 14, live on Sky Sports.

"In and around the team, he's such a big difference for us," said Alexander-Arnold.

"Amazing guy, amazing player. But the impact he has on us is huge, he knows that himself and knows the role he needs to play within the team, as a leader and as one of the captains.

"He's a big part of the team and everyone is really pleased to see him back training and in and around the team."

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Liverpool FC pre-season: A quick guide to Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 18:00

Liverpool kick off their pre-season on Tuesday with two 30-minute friendlies against FC Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart, who provide interesting and varied opposition.

The Reds’ first two games of pre-season both fall on the same day, with Jurgen Klopp set to field the majority of his 32 fit and available players over a pair of 30-minute friendlies.

To be played behind closed doors, the games will provided Klopp with an early insight into the shape of his squad after a long summer break.

With Mainz and Hertha Berlin to come later in pre-season, before two Anfield clashes with Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, there is an opportunity for Liverpool to gradually build up the intensity over the coming weeks.

So who are Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart, and what can the Reds expect?

FC Wacker Innsbruck

 EXPA/ P.Rinderer

Manager: Daniel Bierofka
League: Austrian 2.Liga
Stadium: Tivoli-Neu
2020/21 finish: 4th

Formed in 2002 from the ashes of FC Tirol Innsbruck and the original FC Wacker Innsbruck, Liverpool’s Austrian opposition are based a two-hour drive from the training base at Saalfelden.

Their manager, Daniel Bierofka, is a former Bundesliga winger who enjoyed stints with 1860 Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Stuttgart, before moving into coaching with 1860.

Though currently playing in 2.Liga, Wacker Innsbruck spent a season in the Austrian top flight in 2018/19, suffering relegation after finishing bottom of the table.

Wacker Innsbruck’s season has already begun, warming up for their 30-minute clash with Liverpool by thrashing SVG Reichenau 8-0 in the first round of the Austrian Cup.

Key players?

There are no familiar faces in the Wacker Innsbruck squad, but striker Ronivaldo scored 13 goals in 32 games last season and is likely to be one of their main threats.

Midfielder Marco Holz and winger Joao Luiz both netted braces in the win over SVG Reichenau.

Liverpool connection?

Sadio Mane, Red Bull Salzburg (John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

In a run of four consecutive seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga from 2010/11 to 2013/14, Wacker Innsbruck found a regular scourge in Sadio Mane.

Mane, making a name for himself at Red Bull Salzburg, scored four goals and laid on two assists in seven meetings, winning five games and drawing the other two.

Naby Keita also came up against Wacker Innsbruck while playing for Salzburg in the Austrian Cup in 2014, while Takumi Minamino teed up the opening goal for Munas Dabbur in a 2-0 victory at the Tivoli-Neu in 2019.


04.02.2012, Bayarena, Leverkusen, GER, 1. FBL, Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs VFB Stuttgart, 20. Spieltag, im Bild Stuttgarter Jubeltraube nach dem spaeten Ausgleichstreffer, mitten drin Torschuetze Martin Harnik ( Nr 7 VFB Stuttgart/ Action/ Aktion ) // during the German Bundesliga Match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VFB Stuttgart at the Bayarena in Leverkusen, Germany, 2012/02/04. EXPA Pictures © 2012, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ Eibner/ Thomas Thienel..***** ATTENTION - OUT OF GER *****

Manager: Pellegrino Matarazzo
League: Bundesliga
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Arena
2020/21 finish: 9th

A more immediately recognisable name, Stuttgart provide a step up in quality of opposition for the second of Liverpool’s 30-minute friendlies.

Now back in the Bundesliga after a season away, Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side finished ninth in the German top flight last term, above both Mainz and Hertha Berlin, who the Reds will also face on tour.

Liverpool have played Stuttgart twice before in their history, but never in a competitive fixture, with their most recent meeting coming in pre-season last year.

Klopp’s side won 3-0 that day in Saalfelden, with Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Rhian Brewster scoring the goals, making it 1-1 between the clubs after a 3-2 friendly win for Stuttgart back in 1980.

Key players?

Stuttgart have already made a host of new signings including goalkeeper Florian Muller, winger Chris Fuhrich and midfielder Naouirou Ahamada, though their key players are likely to remain the same this time around.

Matarazzo can rely on a strong defensive core in centre-backs Marc Oliver Kempf and Waldemar Anton and defensive midfielder Wataru Endo, while young striker Sasa Kalajdzic will be their main source of goals.

Liverpool connection?

 Tom Weller/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the requirements of the DFL Deutsche Fu?ball Liga or the DFB Deutscher Fu?ball-Bund, it is prohibited to use or have used photographs taken in the stadium and/or the match in the form of sequence images and/or video-like photo sequences.

There is a strong bond between Liverpool and Stuttgart owing to the relationship of Klopp – a boyhood supporter of the German club – sporting director Sven Mislintat.

Mislintat worked as chief scout at Borussia Dortmund during Klopp’s time as manager, and it was through their connection that the loan deal for Nat Phillips was negotiated in 2019.

Phillips spent the 2019/20 campaign in Baden-Wurttemberg, and is one of seven players to feature for both clubs – including Markus Babbel and Sean Dundee, who were both signed from Stuttgart.

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Henderson departure claims & 5 Reds in line for quick exits – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 17:44

Considering we’re told Liverpool are likely to sell in order to buy this summer, it’s not a surprise – and probably a godo thing – that the Monday rumours centre around Anfield exits.

Sudden Henderson departure claims

Nobody would think Liverpool want to sell club captain Jordan Henderson. Fewer would think Hendo wants to leave Liverpool. And even after Monday’s rumours flew back and forth, we still have a hard job putting any amount of belief in any of it, truth be told.

But there it is: Dominic King of the Mail says there’s a “very real prospect” the skipper could leave this summer after earlier reports of something of a stand-off regarding a contract renewal.

Essentially, Hendo hasn’t signed the deal on offer and the Reds don’t want to lose him on a free a la Gini – so are suddenly countenancing a sale, potentially this summer.

Agent talk? Media mouthpieces? Scare tactics from one side or the other? We’ll leave you to decide and just assume Hendo has no part of it and will line up against Norwich or soon after.

Reds rumours of the day

 Wales' Harry Wilson during an international friendly match between France and Wales at the Stade Allianz Riviera ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. (Pic by Simone Arveda/Propaganda)

Latest Liverpool FC news

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the final FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Latest transfer chat elsewhere


Tweet of the day and match of the night

Jordan Henderson is hugely important to #LFC on and off the pitch. Extending his contract so he retires at the club is an absolute no brainer. He’s getting better as he gets older and will be a big part of Klopp’s plans to succeed in next few years. Great footballer and leader.

— Si Steers (@sisteers) July 19, 2021

No games tonight – but the Reds are back on Tuesday!

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Atletico president gives Saul Niguez transfer update

HEAD NEWS - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 16:35

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has provided an update on the future of Saul Niguez amid reported interest from Liverpool.

The Reds have been consistently linked with the Spain international in recent weeks, as they look for a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum.

It’s not just Liverpool that have been linked with the 26-year-old, though, with Barcelona also supposedly in the race for his signature.

Full story: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Atletico president gives Saul Niguez transfer update

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 16:35

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has provided an update on the future of Saul Niguez amid reported interest from Liverpool.

The Reds have been consistently linked with the Spain international in recent weeks, as they look for a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum.

It’s not just Liverpool that have been linked with the 26-year-old, though, with Barcelona also supposedly in the race for his signature.

Full story: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Atletico president gives Saul Niguez transfer update

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 16:35
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has provided an update on the future of Saul Niguez amid reported interest from Liverpool.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Brighton “step up” bid for Nat Phillips to replace £50m Ben White

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 15:52

Nat Phillips could be set to join Brighton as replacement for the Arsenal-bound Ben White, with the Seagulls expected to push ahead with a move for the centre-back.

Though Jurgen Klopp is open to Phillips staying as part of his Liverpool squad this season, there is an acceptance that the 24-year-old could move in search of a regular first-team role.

As it stands, he will be behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ibrahim Konate in the pecking order at Anfield, competing with the likes of Ben Davies, Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio.

Having proved himself in 20 appearances for the Reds last season, it comes as no surprise that he is attracting interest from other Premier League clubs.

Newcastle, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton have all been linked with a move for Phillips, with Liverpool valuing him at around £15 million.

According to The Athletic‘s Brighton correspondent Andy Naylor, the south-coast side are “poised to step up their interest” in Liverpool’s No. 48.

Phillips is described as “a leading choice” as Graham Potter looks to “restore the numbers” in his defence as White heads to Arsenal in a deal worth £50 million.

A move could certainly suit Phillips due to the defensive setup at Brighton, joining the likes of Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Dan Burn, and it would benefit Liverpool if they are able to seal a big-money fee for their fifth-choice centre-back.

 Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the final FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0 and finished 3rd in the table. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is widely reported that the Reds are required to sell in order to make any further signings, though it is questionable whether this is actually the case.

More likely is that, like many other clubs, Liverpool are waiting for the transfer market to open up before they finalise any further deals, with few high-profile moves completed so far across Europe.

Konate is still the fourth-most expensive signing of the summer, behind Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and Dayot Upamecano, with only 12 deals worth £10 million or more made in the Premier League.

Arsenal‘s impending deal for White, which would make him the second-most expensive English player of all time, could be one of those to kickstart activity.

There is interest in strengthening both in midfield and attack, with a replacement required for Gini Wijnaldum and more competition needed in the final third – particularly up front.

It is unlikely that a new signing would be made to take Phillips’ place, and instead Davies could be retained as a valuable homegrown option who, if all goes well, will not be needed to feature on a regular basis.

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Inside Training video | Passing, pressing, goals and counters in pre-season

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 15:04

Enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Liverpool's latest pre-season session in Austria by watching a new edition of Inside Training.

Ball work - in the form of passing, pressing, defending, attacking and countering drills - dominated the agenda on day eight in the state of Salzburg.

Watch the best bits of the Reds' high-tempo workout in the video above.

App users should tap here to watch.

  • Watch Liverpool's pre-season games against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart on Tuesday live and exclusive on LFCTV GO. Get the first month FREE with code 2122GOFREE. Find out more at www.liverpoolfc.com/watch. T&Cs apply.

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