LFC NEWS

LFC planning for Liverpool vs. Sheffield United as first Anfield game with fans

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 16:58

Liverpool are preparing for the return of supporters to Anfield, with a reduced capacity expected for the first game back against Sheffield United on October 24.

The Reds’ last game in front of fans at Anfield was the Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid on March 11, with the club taking a considerable loss due to new security measures.

But with the UK easing back towards normality amid the coronavirus pandemic, test events are ongoing across the country to allow supporters to return to football games.

Brighton hosted Chelsea in a pre-season friendly at the end of August in one such occasion, with 2,524 supporters in attendance, which encouraged Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.

The start of October has been pencilled in as the first date for fans to be permitted into games across the country, and for Liverpool, this means their next scheduled home game will land on October 24.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the club are now planning to welcome a reduced crowd back to Anfield for that clash with Sheffield United.

Around 12,500 supporters are expected to be granted entry, and all four stands are set to be opened, though it remains to be seen how tickets will be issued.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the club confirmed that they had suspended season-ticket renewals for 2020/21, with the expectation that the system will “return as normal for the 2021/22 season.”

 Images of Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah wearing the new Nike home shirt on the Spion Kop at Anfield. Liverpool's new kit supplier Nike replaces New Balance in a five year deal reported to be worth $39.5 per year. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We are working hard to ensure that, whilst maximising capacity, we provide a safe environment at Anfield for fans to support the team,” the statement continued, on the prospect of fans returning.

“This may require changes to access procedures, providing additional concourse facilities and managing fans’ departures in a different way.

“We will provide more information on this and any other changes in due course.”

Liverpool could even play in front of fans at Anfield before October 24, with a Champions League group game to be held in the midweek leading up to the Blades’ visit.

However, no fixtures have been scheduled as of yet, and there remains a chance the Reds will be drawn as the away side for that date.

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Supporter update on preparations for new season

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 16:29

As part of the club’s ongoing preparations for the new season, we would like to update supporters ahead of our first home game on Saturday September 12, set to be played behind closed doors against Leeds United.

It is expected that the opening fixtures of the new season will take place behind closed doors until at least October 1, 2020 at the earliest, with the likelihood that stadiums will initially operate at reduced capacity in line with social distancing measures when fans do return. This is subject to the successful completion of any pilot or test events.

We have been working with our fan forums and made a number of changes to ease any concerns around tickets.

These changes mean supporters will only pay for games they are able to attend rather than making upfront payments and, once government guidelines allow for people to return to stadiums, reassure those fans who may not want to attend matches straight away.

Here are the changes:

  • We will be temporarily suspending the renewal of season tickets for the 2020-21 season. Games will initially be sold on a match-by-match basis, with this to be reviewed before the end of the year. It is anticipated that season ticket renewals will return as normal for the 2021-22 season.
  • We will not be operating an auto cup scheme for any cup competitions in the 2020-21 season. Cup matches will also be sold on a game-by-game basis and the auto cup scheme will return for the 2021-22 season.
  • There will be no credits accrued for games purchased in the 2020-21 season. Members tickets will continue to be sold based on game history from previous seasons but any purchases in 2020-21 will not carry any credit. Games sold in 2021-22 will utilise history accrued before the 2020-21 season.
  • Further details for the purchase of seats by season ticket holders and qualifying official members will be issued once we have further clarification as to how the season will proceed.

With the possibility that we will have to initially operate at reduced capacity when supporters return, we are working hard to ensure that, whilst maximising capacity, we provide a safe environment at Anfield for fans to support the team. This may require changes to access procedures, providing additional concourse facilities and managing fans’ departures in a different way. We will provide more information on this and any other changes in due course.

Travel to and from Anfield stadium will also be a key consideration for when fans can return. We are working closely with all the key travel operators to ensure that when we can welcome supporters back to Anfield, we keep them as safe as possible during their journey.

Under current guidance, we ask that fans do not travel to the stadium whilst games are being played both at Anfield stadium and LFC away fixtures.

Phil Dutton, vice president, ticket and hospitality, Liverpool FC, said: “Over the past few months, the way we’re able to watch football and support our team has changed considerably. We recognise that some of our fans will be keen to get back into Anfield, while others may be more reluctant to do so due to the ongoing pandemic and uncertainty surrounding it.

“After listening to fan concerns and engaging with supporters at a dedicated fans forum, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the season ticket renewal process and the auto cup scheme for this season. This will ensure that supporters do not feel as though they need to make a decision on purchasing tickets immediately or they will lose their chance to come to Anfield later in the season.

“As the situation continues to evolve and remains subject to change, we are working closely with key city stakeholders to ensure that when spectators return to the stadium, we provide a safe environment before the game, during and post-match. We will continue to work hard to keep fans updated with any developments relating to the 2020-21 campaign with a commitment to adapt as and when necessary.”

We will continue to keep supporters updated with all 2020-21 season developments and we thank supporters for their patience and understanding.

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Supporter update on preparations for new season

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 16:29
As part of the club’s ongoing preparations for the new season, we would like to update supporters ahead of our first home game on Saturday September 12, set to be played behind closed doors against Leeds United.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Gallery: Henderson and Matip train as Reds continue 2020-21 preparations

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 14:15

As 2020-21 draws ever closer, work was ongoing at Melwood as Liverpool continue to gear up for the new campaign - and Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip were among those training on Thursday.

Those not on international duty were put through their paces by Jürgen Klopp and his backroom team at the club’s training complex.

Henderson and Matip were pictured taking part in the drills as they continue to work their way back to full fitness.

The champions take on Blackpool in a pre-season friendly on Saturday in a game you can watch live on LFCTV and LFCTVGO.

Our photographer was on hand at Melwood to capture the session and you see how it unfolded in our gallery below.

Photos by John Powell

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Gallery: Henderson and Matip train as Reds continue 2020-21 preparations

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 14:15
As 2020-21 draws ever closer, work was ongoing at Melwood as Liverpool continue to gear up for the new campaign - and Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip were among those training on Thursday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp planning midfield shake-up?

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 13:30
Nick Wright

Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

Barcelona are chasing Georginio Wijnaldum this summer while Liverpool hope to sign Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara. Is Jurgen Klopp plotting a midfield shake-up? And what's behind it?

Last Updated: 04/09/20 8:39am

It has been a quiet transfer window for Liverpool so far. Improving a title-winning side is not easy. In fact, sticking with what you already have is sometimes the best policy. Last season's success is proof of that.

But as summer turns to autumn and the October 5 deadline draws closer, speculation is intensifying that changes are coming. Specifically, in midfield. Liverpool's pursuit of Thiago Alcantara reportedly continues. Suggestions from Barcelona are that Georginio Wijnaldum could be the man to make way.

Thiago's starring performance in Bayern Munich's Champions League final win over Paris Saint-Germain raised excitement levels on Merseyside about the prospect of his arrival at Anfield. But at the same time the uncertainty around Wijnaldum's future has caused some trepidation.

Georginio Wijnaldum joined Liverpool from Newcastle in 2016 Georginio Wijnaldum joined Liverpool from Newcastle in 2016 Georginio Wijnaldum joined Liverpool from Newcastle in 2016

Outside of Liverpool, Wijnaldum does not receive anything like as much acclaim as many of his team-mates. He even tends to be overshadowed by his fellow midfielders. Jordan Henderson is their leader, the FWA Footballer of the Year. Fabinho and Naby Keita were nearly twice as expensive.

But Wijnaldum is arguably more important than any of them.

Since his arrival from Newcastle in 2016, he has played more minutes than any other Liverpool player except Roberto Firmino and it is no coincidence.

Wijnaldum has only missed four Premier League fixtures in the last two seasons. During that time-frame, Liverpool's win rate in all competitions drops from 77 per cent to 54 per cent in games he does not start.

Wijnaldum's contribution on the pitch can be difficult to measure.

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At Newcastle, and indeed in his first season at Liverpool, his value was most apparent in the stream of goals and assists he provided. He has had his moments since then - his double in last year's Champions League win over Barcelona will not be forgotten - but his overall numbers have dropped.

Wijnaldum plays further back now, on the left-hand side of a three-man midfield commonly described as workmanlike, and yet he does not rank highly for tackles or interceptions either.

Watch Wijnaldum play in this Liverpool side, however, and it soon becomes clear what he gives them - and why Klopp has previously described him as "the perfect midfielder".

If he does not make as many tackles as other players, it is only because he does not need to. Instead, Wijnaldum excels at putting himself in the right positions. When Andy Robertson bombs forward from left-back, he is there to provide cover behind him. When an attack breaks down in the final third, he is alert to the danger, shutting down passing lanes and preventing an opposition breakaway.

Wijnaldum boasts impressive resilience and immense stamina, allowing him to shuttle between his own box and the opposition's, covering more than 11km per game, contributing in both defence and attack, and exerting his influence with the ball as well as without it.

Indeed, while Wijnaldum is no longer a primary source of creativity for Liverpool, he remains one of their most technically skilled players. In fact, last season, his 91 per cent passing accuracy rate was the highest of any Liverpool player and the third-highest among Premier League midfielders behind only Manchester City pair Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan.

Even in Klopp's "heavy metal" Liverpool there is a need for composure, a need for someone who can knit the chaos together, and right now that someone is Wijnaldum. Klopp loves his ability to keep the ball in tight spaces. He feels the same way about his resistance to pressing.

The problem, of course, is that, if Liverpool do intend to buy Thiago, they must sell first, and Wijnaldum's contractual situation - he only has a year remaining on his current deal - coupled with the interest of Ronald Koeman at Barcelona, make him the most likely candidate for an exit.

Klopp will let him go reluctantly but, as Jamie Carragher recently put it on Sky Sports News: "Thiago would bring something different."

The Spain international is a playmaker of the highest order, a penetrative passer and someone who would add a new dimension to Liverpool's midfield. He would allow them to attack in a different way, perhaps even play in a different way. In addition to his imaginative distribution, he possesses outstanding dribbling ability.

He would also bring fresh impetus and plenty of excitement. Motivation has not been a problem for this Liverpool side, but there is a fine line between stability and going stale. Last year, it was about consolidation. This year, however, there is a feeling that more action is required.

1:47 Watch some of Thiago Alcantara's best long-range passes Watch some of Thiago Alcantara's best long-range passes

"The only worry for Liverpool is that the team hasn't changed too much," added Carragher. "Sometimes you just need a bit of freshness adding to it, mentally as much as anything."

Thiago, a serial trophy-winner whose leadership on the pitch was plain to see during last month's Champions League final, would certainly keep his Liverpool team-mates on their toes. It is also worth noting that, at Bayern, he has already shown he can thrive in a high-pressing team.

Thiago is rarely talked about for his off-the-ball work - in fact it is often framed as a weakness in his game - but what he lacks in outright athleticism, he makes up for in positional intelligence and work-rate.

Last season, in fact, he averaged more ball recoveries per 90 minutes than any of Liverpool's current midfielders. In the Bundesliga as a whole, he ranked second for possessions won in the middle third of the pitch.

Those numbers suggest that, as well as giving Liverpool something different, Thiago would fit in with principles Klopp has already put in place. It is why this midfield shake-up may be the best way to improve Liverpool - even if it means sacrificing a player as important as Wijnaldum.

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Media Watch: Read the latest LFC transfer rumours

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 11:36

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Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Media Watch: Read the latest LFC transfer rumours

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 11:36
Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Thiago set for "farewell match" as Liverpool transfer intent clear

HEAD NEWS - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 11:32

Thiago Alcantara will bid farewell to Germany tonight when he lines up for Spain in their UEFA Nations League clash in Stuttgart, according to local Munich media.

The Spanish international midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool all summer, with Manchester United also said to hold an interest in the 29-year-old prior to their signing of Donny van de Beek from Ajax.

It is the Premier League champions who are said to be Thiago's destination of choice though, with the former Barcelona star making it clear that he would like to move to Anfield this summer in order to experience life in the Premier League.

Full story: Mirror

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

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Thiago set for "farewell match" as Liverpool transfer intent clear

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 11:32

Thiago Alcantara will bid farewell to Germany tonight when he lines up for Spain in their UEFA Nations League clash in Stuttgart, according to local Munich media.

The Spanish international midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool all summer, with Manchester United also said to hold an interest in the 29-year-old prior to their signing of Donny van de Beek from Ajax.

It is the Premier League champions who are said to be Thiago's destination of choice though, with the former Barcelona star making it clear that he would like to move to Anfield this summer in order to experience life in the Premier League.

Full story: Mirror

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

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Thiago set for "farewell match" as Liverpool transfer intent clear

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 11:32
Thiago Alcantara will bid farewell to Germany tonight when he lines up for Spain in their UEFA Nations League clash in Stuttgart, according to local Munich media.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Vicky Jepson column: Boss on 2020-21 opener and encouraging pre-season signs

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 10:20

Ahead of Sunday's 2020-21 season opener against Durham, Liverpool FC Women manager Vicky Jepson outlines her hopes for the new campaign in her latest column ahead of the big kick-off.

Our new season starts on Sunday when we host Durham in our first game at Prenton Park... and it’s fair to say we are chomping at the bit waiting for that first whistle to go off!

It’s been a long time coming but we are really ready, we are focused and we are prepared. We’ve built great foundations during the pre-season and we are just looking forward to getting going now. The girls have worked so hard and adapted so well because, obviously, when we returned for pre-season training it wasn’t like any other pre-season we've experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had to go through the protocols to make sure that all of our players are safe and returned back safely in this pandemic. We have got through that and the girls have worked tirelessly hard; every time they’ve turned up to training they have pushed it to another level. The new players have come in and added fresh blood to the squad and also that positive energy around the team has been incredible. In addition, we announced a new captain in Niamh Fahey with Rachel Furness as vice-captain, so there have been lots of changes. We’ve even got the new kit and I’m feeling really positive ready to start the first game of the season.

Our main objective is to get promotion straight back to the Women’s Super League. We’ve got clear goals which we want to achieve, which we speak about and we keep in house. We know it’s going to be tough. The Championship has different challenges than the WSL. We know that some teams are part-time, but we can’t take that for granted and have to make sure that we out-work them and out-wit them in every single game that we play. We will also have challenges that when we travel away we will be playing on 3G pitches. The WSL moved away from that as no-one plays on a 3G anymore but in the Women’s Championship they do. That’s something we are going to have to get used to and the medical challenges as well that come with that. The ball also rolls and bounces differently on a 3G pitch so there are little things that we need to adapt, think about and make sure we control. We must make sure we don’t get overwhelmed by anything in the league and we have real clear strategies to overcome any challenges that is thrown at us during the season, but is it very clear what we want to achieve.

We are looking forward to playing at Prenton Park on Sunday. Tranmere Rovers have done a fantastic job with their new pitch. It’s a great surface and I’m delighted we will get the opportunity to play on it. It’s probably one of the best pitches in this league by far, so it’s incredible we get to play on that this season. We have played Durham previously in cup competitions and it’s always been a tough battle. Durham are a unique team and I say that because they have been together for so many years and it’s rare that they lose players. They always retain their squad so with that comes consistency in how they work for each other. We certainly won’t be taking them for granted because it’s important we keep our standards and prepare the right way for every single game. We know it’s going to be tough but we are really looking forward to the challenge on Sunday.

It is important to mention that, sadly due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are still playing behind closed doors. I personally am going to miss our fans because we have such a core group of loyal supporters who come to every game and hopefully in the not too distant future we will see them again soon. We will miss them but we know they are still there in the background supporting us from afar. I do feel that Liverpool as a club have the most special fans globally and we have one of the biggest fan bases, so it’s great that our female players can also feel that support. We need our fans' support more than ever now to rise back to where we belong and to do that our supporters will certainly help us and give us that extra bit of motivation to keep pushing on.

It’s been a busy close season for us with four new signings. Our goalkeeper Rachael Laws, who of course won the Women’s Super League title in her first spell here, she has been an incredible signing for us. She keeps the back four really calm and composed in the way we retain and build from the back and also she creates attacks for us as well as her distribution is phenomenal. Her maturity and her leadership has been incredible and she has really grabbed our goalkeeper’s union, as we call it, by the ears and taken them to a new level. Along with Rylee Foster, we also have a young England youth international goalkeeper with us who has really took on board the advice and inspiration Rachael has given her. I’m really pleased with the impact she has brought to our team.

Taylor Hinds, our left-back who we signed from Everton, has played in every minute of pre-season and is back on the pitch and doing what she does best. She is full of confidence and has grown in every single game and long may that continue for us. She is well liked amongst the group.

We have a new No.9 in Amalie Thestrup. It was great to see her get her first goal in a red shirt against Reading which was a phenomenal strike. She has played many minutes in pre-season, she has fitted in well and I’m sure she will get many goals for us this season. She is relentless with the intensity that she presses and plays in that final third so it’s exciting.

Last week we announced our new centre-half from New Zealand, Meikayla Moore. Meikayla trained twice last week and has been training this week so we’ve got to build her back up ready for her to make a return to the pitch. The reason why I wanted to sign Meikayla is because she comes with that international experience at centre-half. She has played for New Zealand and she has got really good core values and morals. She really buys into what we are about as a club and what we need to achieve as a team going forward. It’s an area we certainly needed to strengthen following the news that Sophie Bradley-Auckland will be missing for a while for the right reasons. Having had conversations with Meikayla and having a real high reference from her international manager Tom Sermanni she was certainly the right fit to come in. She will come in with great experience and a real determination to keep those clean sheets for us this season.

I would also like welcome Susan Black, who this week was appointed as executive director of Liverpool FC Women. I have known Susan for many years, she has always been a great sounding board and mentor, leading the way for women in football, while inspiring and empowering others. Every project Susan has picked up at the club she has excelled with – she is relentless in making sure all of her projects succeed. I can’t wait to have Susan on this journey with us and I have every confidence that she will be pivotal in laying down new foundations that allow us to strive for success. The future is looking bright for LFCW with a new chapter ahead.

We also had the Continental League Cup draw this week which sees us face a lot of local derbies against Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City. It does bring a different challenge for the girls. Some could look at it and say, 'Oh gosh, we are never going to get out of that group', but if you don’t see it you’ll never achieve it. I see it for us as an exciting challenge. We’ve always embraced playing against top teams. Last season we got points off Chelsea and narrowly lost out to Arsenal and Manchester City. We were also unlucky to lose to Everton at Anfield so they were close games. It’s good to be challenged out of comfort zone so we’ll take it on board, we’ll embrace it and we’ll give everything we can to get out of that group. If we don’t at least we’ll take a lot from it and we’ll grow again.

LFC Women begin their FA Women’s Championship campaign on Sunday against Durham, with fans reminded that this is a behind-closed-doors game due to the continuing restrictions regarding COVID-19. Kick-off at Prenton Park is at 2pm BST and fans can watch the game live on The FA Player.

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Vicky Jepson column: Boss on 2020-21 opener and encouraging pre-season signs

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 10:20
Ahead of Sunday's 2020-21 season opener against Durham, Liverpool FC Women manager Vicky Jepson outlines her hopes for the new campaign in her latest column ahead of the big kick-off.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Premier League trio register interest in Harry Wilson as Liverpool weigh up future

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 09:49

Three Premier League clubs are reported to have contacted Liverpool over a possible deal for Harry Wilson, who will either be sold or stay as a squad option at Anfield.

Wilson took in a mixed loan spell with Bournemouth last season, finishing as the Cherries’ second-top goalscorer but rarely playing the full 90 minutes as they suffered relegation.

It was designed as the 23-year-old’s breakthrough move, and a test of his capabilities at the highest stage, before a final decision could be made over his future at Liverpool.

Having missed the Reds’ pre-season training camp in Austria, and every pre-season friendly including Saturday’s upcoming clash with Blackpool as he is on international duty with Wales, Wilson is in a difficult situation.

All indications are the club would sell him if the right offer is presented, and the Liverpool Echo‘s Paul Gorst reports that Newcastle, Leeds and Southampton have all registered their interest.

But with Liverpool’s valuation at around £20 million, it remains to be seen if any of those clubs will meet this price tag.

If not, he would stay as a squad player, with Jurgen Klopp having “no hesitation” to use Wilson in a season that will more often than not see his side play two games a week.

 Liverpool's Harry Wilson during a pre-season friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though it is questionable whether the Welshman fits Klopp’s system stylistically, he could be useful option, especially in the FA Cup and League Cup, along with certain Premier League games.

With Liverpool facing a difficult period financially, Wilson already being on the books does at least boost his chances, with the winger tied down until 2023.

He could swap out for Xherdan Shaqiri, for example, if the Swiss attracts any bids, with the pair boasting a similar profile—not wholly suiting the Reds’ approach, but giving them a different outlet in particular scenarios.

Wilson is primarily a right winger, but can also play on the left or even as a No. 10, however the main issue with his time at Bournemouth was that he did not contribute enough off the ball.

Klopp could see him as a game-changer off the bench, but this does highlight him as more likely to be moved on if any bid close to that £20 million is received.

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Merseyside press claim Liverpool are “braced” for Barca’s Gini Wijnaldum bid

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 09:13

Following claims that Barcelona are making their move for Gini Wijnaldum, the Merseyside press have reported that Liverpool are “braced” for a bid this summer.

Wijnaldum’s departure has become a surprise headline of the transfer window at Anfield, with the Dutchman a key player under Jurgen Klopp for the past four years.

With his contract due to expire at the end of 2020/21, and with the club unwilling to offer him the four-year extension he is seeking, the two parties are left at an undesirable juncture.

As it stands, Wijnaldum will leave on a free transfer next year, but the appointment of Ronald Koeman has Barcelona manager has prompted interest from the Nou Camp.

On Wednesday, Spanish newspaper Sport claimed the two clubs were “well advanced” in talks, with the midfielder having agreed terms on a three-year contract with the Spanish side.

This was rebuffed by The Athletic’s James Pearce and Goal’s Neil Jones, with the club clearly briefing journalists that there had been “no contact,” but later in the day, Dutch publication De Telegraaf appeared to double down.

Now, both the Guardian‘s Andy Hunter and the Mail‘s Dominic King, prominent journalists on Merseyside, have reported that Liverpool are preparing themselves for an approach.

Hunter writes that the Reds are “reluctant to sell,” but a “sizeable offer” could alter their stance, with the club “braced” for a bid from an imploding Barcelona.

King adds that it is “debatable” whether Liverpool would allow Wijnaldum to run down his contract as with the likes of Emre Can, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana in recent years.

Interestingly, he suggests that the club would be looking to recoup the £25 million they paid to sign their No. 5 from Newcastle in 2016 “at the very least,” though The Athletic’s David Ornstein has written elsewhere it would not require a “huge fee” to seal the deal.

Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after the final whistle

Sport had claimed that Barcelona were not looking to pay over €20 million (£17.8m), offering a package worth an initial €15 million (13.3m) with add-ons.

This is similar to the way in which Liverpool’s situation with Bayern Munich over Thiago Alcantara has been reported in Germany, with the two sides’ valuations still a way off.

Both Hunter and King note that Wijnaldum’s exit could “pave the way” for the arrival of Thiago, with there being no claim that Liverpool’s interested has been fabricated.

In fact, the Liverpool Echo are the sole source to suggest that is the case, with Pearce even telling The Redmen TV this week that “no one’s ever said to be ‘absolutely no chance, it’s just agent talk’, because it’s not.”

It is likely this story runs long into the transfer window, particularly as both Wijnaldum and Thiago are currently on international duty and with quarantine measures complicating travel.

But Liverpool and Bayern in particular would surely prefer to have the situation settled before they kick off their league campaigns on September 12 and 18 respectively.

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12 Liverpool players who would benefit from a loan move this summer

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 07:00

Liverpool are likely to employ the loan market to give a number of players vital experience heading into 2020/21, and here are 12 players who could benefit from this.

It is an annual process for the Reds, with Jurgen Klopp, Michael Edwards and loan pathways manager Julian Ward mulling over who requires experience away from Anfield, and where.

Last season saw 17 players head out on a temporary basis, and this summer two have already followed suit, with Adam Lewis joining Ligue 2 side Amiens and Morgan Boyes moving to Fleetwood Town in League One.

They are unlikely to be the last, and those who will be under consideration for short-term switches stretch from the first team to the academy.

Here, we have highlighted the players who would benefit from a loan move in 2020/21, ignoring familiar faces such as Loris Karius, Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson, who are now at a stay-or-sell crossroads.

So how could Liverpool take advantage of the loan market this summer? Here are 12 options.

Caoimhin Kelleher

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season can be considered a formative one for Kelleher, who spent the entire campaign travelling and training with the first team, and made his senior debut.

But this summer will force the decision over whether training with Alisson day in, day out is more useful than the experience of 30-plus games away on loan, and the latter should certainly be considered.

Though Kamil Grabara endured a tough time at Huddersfield last season, the Pole will likely emerge a better goalkeeper for his time in the Championship, and Kelleher is arguably in a stronger position than his fellow academy stopper already.

Joining a club in England’s second tier could allow the young Irishman to make the next step, and perhaps stake his claim for the role of No. 2 at Liverpool upon the expiry of Adrian‘s contract in 2021.

Sepp van den Berg

 Liverpool's Sepp Van Den Berg during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The scale of Van den Berg’s fight for contention at Liverpool was underlined as he was omitted from the matchday squad for the Community Shield at the expense of 17-year-old Billy Koumetio.

Despite boasting considerably more experience than the Frenchman, Van den Berg was instead assigned to under-23s duty, scoring in a 4-1 win over Carlisle two days before the trip to Wembley.

Things haven’t gone quite in the lofty centre-back’s favour since he made the move to Merseyside from PEC Zwolle last summer, and it may be that he is required to prove himself at a lower level before he can work his way back in at Liverpool.

Perhaps a club in the Bundesliga, or back in the Eredivisie, would be willing to hand Van den Berg a starting role—if so, it would aid both the player and his parent club.

Ki-Jana Hoever

 Liverpool's Ki-Jana Hoever during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

Unlike Van den Berg, whose form throughout last season did little to convince he is ready for Liverpool’s first-team setup, Hoever’s pathway is instead blocked by his position.

Though the 18-year-old is being primed as a centre-back for the long term, for now, he views himself as a right-back, and having fallen behind Neco Williams in the pecking order, there will be few opportunities in that role at Anfield.

Speaking at the start of August, Hoever weighed up whether 30 games on loan would be more beneficial than 10 at Liverpool, saying “I know I’m ready to play men’s football.”

A test of his character, quality and fortitude would be a season in the Championship, or perhaps as has been suggested, the Scottish Premiership, with Celtic rumoured to be interested.

Anderson Arroyo

KAA Gent's new player Anderson Arroyo Cordoba pictured in action during a training session of Belgian soccer team KAA Gent, during the 2018-2019 Jupiler Pro League season, Friday 07 September 2018, in Gent. BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS

In many ways, Arroyo is a victim of circumstance.

Most Liverpool supporters would be forgiven for not knowing who the Colombian full-back is, as after joining from Fortaleza in 2018 he has barely set foot on Merseyside soil.

Instead, work permit issues similar to those of Allan Rodrigues and Taiwo Awoniyi in recent years have prompted a series of loans, first with Real Mallorca in Spain, then KAA Gent in Belgium and most recently Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic.

The compassionate route would be to sell Arroyo before he becomes a forgotten commodity, but having barely featured for Mlada Boleslav last season, another loan in a more established European league may be required to boost his profile.

Ben Woodburn

 Liverpool's Ben Woodburn during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As Liverpool gear up for their Premier League opener against Leeds, the side who Woodburn made history against as the club’s youngest-ever goalscorer back in 2016, the 20-year-old is forced with the reality that his future may not lie at Anfield.

It is, in part, the loan market that has stifled his dream, with a frustrating spell at Sheffield United in 2018 limiting his game time at a crucial period, but last season it was his body that failed him.

Two broken feet, at two separate points in the campaign, hampered what was an otherwise productive stint with Oxford United, but Woodburn showed during his time with the U’s that his ceiling is certainly higher than League One.

Clubs in England, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have all expressed an interest in the attacking midfielder this summer, and it could be that a short-term move abroad could revive his prospects.

Rhian Brewster

 Liverpool's substitute Rhian Brewster during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

One of the biggest conundrums facing Klopp in the final weeks of the transfer window is whether to keep Brewster at Anfield or to loan him out to another Premier League side.

The striker has no shortage of suitors with Sheffield United believed to be leading Aston Villa, Newcastle, Burnley, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Fulham in pursuit, which is a testament to his quality and potential.

There is a strong argument to be made that Brewster would be a better backup than Divock Origi, but with Klopp recently saying that “we want more in the game when he is on the pitch,” perhaps he is better off learning that as a regular elsewhere first.

Brewster would certainly benefit if any Premier League side is willing to entrust him with 38 top-flight games in a season in which he will turn 21, and it could ultimately be the making of him at Liverpool.

The Rest

 Liverpool's Elijah Dixon-Bonner celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate Neco Williams (R) during the UEFA Youth League Group E match between Liverpool FC Under-19's and SSC Napoli Under-19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In the academy, there are a number of players who could be gearing up for a season away from Liverpool, and for many it will be their first at senior level.

Tony Gallacher already has experience of life as a first-team regular at Falkirk, and is now attracting interest from MLS, which would be an interesting move a player who went from reliable squad player to staple starter for the under-23s last season.

While he may have signed a new contract with a view to staying on as an experienced figure at Kirkby, Liam Coyle will turn 21 in December and is in desperate need of senior football, with League One or League Two a realistic avenue.

Elijah Dixon-Bonner has more time on his side, but with the focus on Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain in the U23s’ midfield, the 19-year-old could prosper with a season away.

The same can be said of Luis Longstaff, who showed his versatility by standing in as a No. 9 last season, with his ability to shine across the forward line likely to attract interest from the Football League.

One player who finds himself in a similar position to Coyle is Joe Hardy, who was effectively signed to beef up the numbers, and provide much-needed goals, at U23 level in January, but not far off his 22nd birthday, he needs first-team experience.

Hardy was joined by Liam Millar in the young Reds’ attack in the second half of last season, after the strange decision to recall the Canadian midway through a promising spell with Kilmarnock.

The Championship should be the next port of call for Millar, who like many others could gain a host of admirers if he shines on loan in 2020/21.

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5 priorities for Liverpool FC for the rest of pre-season

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 09/02/2020 - 19:00

Liverpool have less than two weeks before their 2020/21 Premier League season starts, with a number of priorities to focus on between now and then.

The Reds’ defence of their league crown is edging closer, with newly promoted Leeds heading to Anfield on September 12.

Despite there being an international break underway, Jurgen Klopp‘s side will take to the pitch for one more friendly in preparation, with Blackpool the opponents on Saturday.

These next week-and-a-half will be particularly busy for the manager, therefore, with both on and off-field matters to attend to.

Here are five priorities for Liverpool to concentrate on during the rest of pre-season.

Minutes for Henderson & Matip

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Two key players who have been absent during pre-season are Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip.

While the fit-again Trent Alexander-Arnold is on England duty, the pair will be around to work on their respective recoveries.

Henderson has become a huge figure at the club and the midfield has missed his intensity and leadership ever since he limped off at Brighton in July.

The Leeds game may come too soon for him, in terms of match fitness, but simply having the now-legendary skipper back in the fold would be a boost for everyone.

Matip, meanwhile, is a vital squad player, with Liverpool now down to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez when it comes to fit, established centre-backs.

The Cameroonian’s constant injury issues are a concern, but it is imperative that he is up to speed ahead of the new campaign.

 Liverpool's substitute Joel Matip during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gomez’s performances have been patchy since the post-lockdown restart and a fit Matip is needed to put pressure on his younger team-mate.

With League One opposition heading to Anfield on September 5, Henderson and Matip could pick up some much-needed action against Blackpool.

More work on the 4-2-3-1

 Liverpool's Takumi Minamino during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

It was interesting to see Klopp switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation in the second half of the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal last weekend.

The Liverpool boss was a keen advocate of the system during his trophy-winning spell at Borussia Dortmund, and has used it sporadically throughout his reign at Anfield, too.

Should Klopp be considering a more permanent use of the 4-2-3-1 moving forward, this next week or so will be beneficial on the training ground.

Admittedly, the German will have to put up with first-team players being absent due to international duty, but he will still have a core of key men to work with.

Both Takumi Minamino and Naby Keita have exciting roles to play in this system, while Roberto Firmino also has the ability to thrive in a deeper position, allowing Mohamed Salah to lead the line.

It may be that Klopp sticks with his tried-and-tested 4-3-3 once the Leeds game arrives, but it is encouraging to see the boss contemplating new setups.

Deciding futures of several Reds

 Liverpool's substitute Rhian Brewster during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

The summer transfer window may be open until October 5, but Liverpool could be keen to part ways with certain individuals before the season starts.

Not only will it allow Klopp to thin down the numbers at Anfield, it could also generate the funds needed to bring in superior replacements.

Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson are two players who should justify lofty price tags, and with no future at Anfield apparent for either, selling them on is a priority.

Loris Karius is expected to be surplus to requirements, while Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi aren’t certainties to stay put.

The future of Rhian Brewster also needs to be decided – does Klopp trust him as a reliable squad player, or should he loan him out for another year?

It is no disaster if outgoing business isn’t completed in the next week-and-a-half, but it would be preferable.

Who is fourth-choice centre-back?

 Liverpool's substitute Billy Koumetio during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

The exit of Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg has left Liverpool with just three senior central defenders, which is a far-from-ideal situation.

It is still unknown whether or not the Reds will visit the market for a fourth-choice option, or if Fabinho is viewed as the man to fill in.

Such is Klopp’s faith in young players, it could be that he believes he already has the personnel to fill the void if Liverpool suffer an injury crisis at the back.

Seventeen-year-old Billy Koumetio has earned positive reviews from his colleagues, who have been “raving about” his talents during pre-season, while Dutch pair Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg are also in the mix.

The former has made it clear that he sees right-back as his preferred position currently, though, and the latter is yet to convince since joining from PEC Zwolle last summer.

Koumetio arguably looks the front-runner to nail down that fourth-choice spot, but it does feel risky, given his lack of experience.

Either way, the conundrum must be resolved, especially with Matip struggling with injuries and Gomez not short of layoffs, too.

Get the front three firing again

 Liverpool’s Sadio Mané (C) celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mates Mohamed Salah (L) and Roberto Firmino (R) during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When was the last time Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane all excelled together in the same game? It feels like a long time.

Saturday’s Community Shield loss to Arsenal was the latest example of an ineffective showing from the trio as a unit, with the Gunners’ defence rarely troubled during an insipid first half.

While Liverpool’s majestic front three remain priceless in their own right, there has been a worrying lack of cohesion between them for a while, dating back to before lockdown.

A combined 57 goals in 2019/20 may still be an admirable return, but compare that to 91 and 68 in 2017/18 and 2018/19 respectively, and it suggests they haven’t been as devastating.

Mane is comfortably the most exempt from criticism – he dragged Liverpool through so many games last season – but Salah and Firmino have been too hit-and-miss by their high standards.

The hope is that a natural drop in intensity is the main reason, but it is key that they click once the campaign begins.

All three will remain at Melwood during the international break, allowing them to fine-tune their skills before Leeds arrive for a hiding at Anfield.

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Highlights: LFC U18s 4-1 Leicester City

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 09/02/2020 - 18:40

Highlights of Liverpool U18s' 4-1 pre-season friendly win over Leicester City are now available to watch on LFCTV GO.

Tom Hill continued his excellent run with a double strike while Layton Stewart netted with a memorable lob from an acute angle.

Luke Chambers completed the scoring with Leicester City pulling a late goal back from the penalty spot.

Click play above to watch highlights of the game via LFCTV GO.

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Highlights: LFC U18s 4-1 Leicester City

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 09/02/2020 - 18:40
Highlights of Liverpool U18s' 4-1 pre-season friendly win over Leicester City are now available to watch on LFCTV GO.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Photo gallery: LFC Women prepare for Durham season-opener

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 09/02/2020 - 18:25

Liverpool FC Women stepped up their preparations for Sunday's 2020-21 season-opener against Durham with a training session at the Solar Campus.

Vicky Jepson's side will play their first game of the new FA Women's Championship campaign in a behind-closed-doors fixture at their home ground, Prenton Park.

Kick-off is at 2pm BST on Sunday and fans can watch the full match live on The FA Player.

Take a look at the Reds' latest pre-season workout below...

Photos by John Powell

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