Swansea City vs. Liverpool
January 22, 2018 — 8pm (GMT)
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Last Sunday’s 4-3 victory over Man City was a momentous occasion for the Reds, as they ended the league leaders’ unbeaten record in stunning fashion.
The win lifted Jurgen Klopp‘s side to third in the table, and with every game that passes the more they look like the second-best team in the country.
Their current level of focus cannot afford to let up on Monday evening, however, as Klopp and his players head to struggling Swansea.
On paper, Liverpool should have far too much for their relegation-threatened opponents, but we have seen them come unstuck in these matches in the past.
There is such confidence flowing through this Reds squad, though, whether it be the energetic Andrew Robertson, reborn Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or unplayable front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
They have started finding ways to win ugly, which is crucial, and the addition of Virgil van Dijk should shore things up greatly at the back.
All of Liverpool’s rivals will have played by the time the match kicks off, so they will know exactly how the top-four battle is shaping up.
Three points are essential against a Swans side who have only actually lost once in five matches since Carlos Carvalhal took charge last month.
Dropped points would hurt.
Last Meeting: Liverpool 5-0 Swansea CityTeam News
Joel Matip is expected to partner Van Dijk at the back, while the increasingly popular Robertson will again start at left-back.
The front three picks itself, with Klopp having no need to rest anyone at the moment.
Carvalhal has a near fully fit squad to choose from, and the hosts will be well prepared for the occasion after nine days without a match.Last 5 at Swansea City (All Competitions)
Swansea City 1-2 Liverpool – October 1, 2016 (Fer; Firmino, Milner pen)
Swansea City 3-1 Liverpool – May 1, 2016 (A. Ayew x2, Cork; Benteke)
Swansea City 0-1 Liverpool – March 16, 2015 (Henderson)
Swansea City 2-2 Liverpool – September 16, 2013 (Shelvey, Michu; Sturridge, Moses)
Swansea City 0-0 Liverpool – November 25, 2012
Away fans’ pubs: “A lot of away fans tend to head for the Harvester and outside bars for drinks near the stadium. The Landore Social Club is cheap and welcome to away fans,” Swans supporter Kevin Elphick told us.
One piece of advice for visiting fans: “Wind Street is full of pubs and bars and is worth a visit in the city centre before heading to the stadium.”Form
Swansea City – Last five results (all competitions)
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
If Salah scores against Swansea, it will be his 25th goal of the campaign.
It would mean the 25-year-old overtakes Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge‘s season-best tallies of 24 for Liverpool, in 2008/09 and 2013/14 respectively.Klopp’s View
Speaking at Melwood on Friday, Klopp spoke about Swansea, praising their recent improvement under Carvalhal and stressing the importance of not taking them lightly:
“They are bottom of the table, that’s how it is, but they are on a good way,” he said.
“It will be different, we have to look at other games since they changed manager.
“As a Liverpool player you can’t perform one week and then not the next. We need to do it consistently.
“There are no easy games in the Premier League and Swansea’s not easy.”TV & Live Blog Info
The match finishes off the Premier League‘s weekend action, with coverage on Sky Sports Main Event getting started at 7pm (GMT). Kickoff is at 8pm.
Out matchday live blog gets underway at 7.15pm, with Ben Twelves bringing you plenty of interesting content before the game, and minute-by-minute updates during it.
The Reds produced the result of the season in ending City’s dreams of an unbeaten league campaign—but the real work starts now.
Klopp’s side head to the Liberty Stadium needing to maximise the impact of that statement win and ensure none of the fine work is wasted by backing it up with a vital victory against the Swans.
Klopp will have full trust in his squad to avoid a classic case of after-the-Lord-Mayor’s-show in south Wales, and extend their superb 18-game unbeaten run.
And positively, a very strong group is available after some injury boosts, which gives Klopp a tough selection given the form displayed throughout the squad in recent months.Team News
[embedded content]Liverpool’s XI vs. The Swans
A welcome extended break to recharge after that monstrous effort against Pep Guardiola’s side means Liverpool should be able to go with the strongest possible lineup again.
Indeed, Klopp is extremely likely to keep changes to a minimum and the German’s selection seems relatively straightforward.
The excellent form of those in midfield and attack should see both units stay the same, while the solitary defensive switch decides itself after Van Dijk’s return to fitness.
The Dutchman will enter for his Reds league debut alongside Joel Matip, which would complete quite possibly Klopp’s strongest lineup—even taking absentees into consideration.
However, Klopp could make a small number of further changes to utilise the squad, keeping freshness in the team and all players ‘game ready’.
It’s vital the great work produced against City is not undone by a sloppy result against the bottom club, and the Reds must stay focussed to ensure another key three points arrives.
Dutch winger Bobby Adekanye produced a bright display as the Liverpool U23s sealed a 4-1 win over Charlton Athletic in the Premier League Cup.
Liverpool U23s 4-1 Charlton U23s
Premier League Cup, Deva Stadium
January 21, 2018
Goals: Adekanye 19′, 39′, Gomes 51′, Wilson 53′; Yanfam 45+2′
After the U18s’ 3-2 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup on Saturday afternoon, Neil Critchley’s U23s took to Chester in the pouring rain seeking to secure a cup victory.
Marred by a host of loan departures this month, Critchley named a experimental side that saw Adekanye and Yan Dhanda start as wing-backs in a 3-4-3 formation.
It proved to be an energising move for the duo, with Adekanye putting the young Reds ahead on 19 minutes, firing home from Dhanda’s cross.
Critchley was dealt another blow just after the half-hour mark when Portuguese midfielder Paulo Alves was forced off through injury, but his withdrawal provided young hopeful Luis Longstaff his U23 debut.
Liverpool kept up the momentum despite Alves’ early exit, and Adekanye soon doubled his tally and the hosts’ lead with a header from Herbie Kane’s delivery.
A physical Charlton side ensured they remained in the hunt just before the break, however, with former Stevenage winger Louis-Michel Yamfam reducing the deficit with seconds to spare.
The U23s continued their drive after half-time, though, with Toni Gomes—having returned from an ill-fated loan spell with Forest Green Rovers last month—restoring the two-goal lead six minutes from kickoff.
And shortly after Harry Wilson had added another, found one-on-one with Ashley Maynard-Brewer following Juanma’s exquisite long pass to dink it over the goalkeeper and in.
Liverpool produced a surprisingly strong display in miserable conditions, with the threat of the game being called off looming.
Critchley’s side nearly grabbed another in a penalty-box scramble as the clash entered its closing stages, but Maynard-Brewer was alive to the danger and gathered the loose ball.
And though the young Reds had to weather a late storm from the Addicks, they ended up comfortable victors on the cup stage.
TIA Man of the Match: Bobby Adekanye
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Masterson, Johnston, Juanma; Adekanye, Alves (Longstaff 34′), Kane, Ejaria, Dhanda; Wilson, Gomes
Subs not used: Grabara, Glennon, Sharif
Next Match: Derby County (H) – Premier League 2 – January 28
We round up the latest Liverpool transfer news and rumours, as the January window slowly nears its completion and Jurgen Klopp discusses his plans.
The Reds take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night, with Klopp’s side looking to keep up their current momentum.
Away from the pitch, speculation remains over both incomings and outgoings at Anfield, with supporters eager to see new faces arrive.
Here’s the latest from the rumour mill.Klopp On Reluctance to Replace Coutinho This Month
Liverpool received £142 million from Barcelona for the services of Philippe Coutinho, and fans are willing Klopp to use that money wisely in January.
The manager is never one to panic buy, however, and his recent comments would suggest he is happy to wait until the summer for new recruits.
“Obviously we don’t hesitate to spend the money, we did a few times, but it is not about the moment, it is about making the right decision,” he said.
“If anything obviously right would be there in the window then nobody would not do it and we say, OK, let’s go for it.
“But it is not about doing something to cool the situation down or show the people we don’t sleep. It is only about right or wrong and at this moment in this situation it is right.”
Whether this is a decision that backfires between now and May remains to be seen…‘No Liverpool Player Would Follow Alexis Move’
This is a decision Klopp clearly finds hard to justify, and believes it is a situation he would never find himself in at Liverpool.
“It’s how I see the commitment of the players.
“No player is here, and then says ‘OK, come on, in the middle of the season I go there or there’. I really can not see that situation.”
Togetherness is something Klopp sees as crucial in his management, and his comments are interesting, even though he says it is no criticism of Sanchez.
Team spirit is very much the order of the day, and his comments suggest he has created a very happy group of players, perhaps excluding the departed Coutinho.Grujic Has a Liverpool Future, Says Klopp
Marko Grujic has joined Championship outfit Cardiff City on loan until the end of the season, with the Serbian making his debut against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday evening.
Chances have been few and far between for the 21-year-old at Liverpool since his 2016 arrival from Red Star Belgrade, with just 14 appearances to his name.
Despite this, Klopp has backed the midfielder to enjoy a bright future at Anfield.
“We miss him already in the training group because he developed really in a fantastic way,” Klopp told LiverpoolFC.com.
“But because of the quality we have in the squad, it happened really often that he was not even in the squad. That’s not nice and he needs these 20 games in the Championship. I’m really happy for him.
“We had a long conversation about it and he’s looking forward to it. He wants to be a Liverpool player and I want him to be a Liverpool player.”Lemar Eyeing Barcelona Move?
Thomas Lemar is seen as Liverpool’s primary transfer target this summer, and there have even been rumours linking him with a January switch to Merseyside.
The £90 million-rated Monaco man is reportedly eyeing up a move to Barcelona, however, according to the relatively unreliable Mirror.
Chief football writer Steve Bates claims Lemar “has dashed the hopes of Liverpool and Arsenal by declaring Barcelona his No. 1 destination,” which if true is a big blow.
The 22-year-old would be an excellent replacement for Coutinho, but is the France international set to link up with him at Camp Nou instead?Sturridge To Replace Dzeko at Roma?
Daniel Sturridge is thought to be keen on a January exit from Liverpool, with the striker wary of missing out on England’s World Cup squad.
A host of clubs have expressed an interest in signing the 28-year-old, and the latest to join the party appear to be Roma, according to Corriere dello Sport.
With star man Edin Dzeko hotly tipped to join Chelsea this month, the Giallorossi will need a top-class replacement brought in.
Sturridge certainly fits the bill, despite constant fitness issues and fears that his best days are behind him, and he could thrive in the slightly slower Serie A.
His time at Anfield looks to be up, bringing an end to five years and plenty of ups and downs at the club, but he deserves to be remembered fondly by supporters.Sunderland Bullish About Signing Woodburn
Ben Woodburn is a footballer of enormous promise, having risen through the academy ranks at Liverpool to become of one of Britain’s most exciting young players.
The Black Cats don’t seem to be taking no for an answer, however, according to the Star—not the most reliable source.
The report states that Sunderland boss Chris Coleman, who managed the highly rated 18-year-old for Wales, “will try again to capture Woodburn if Liverpool bring in forward signings before the end of January.”
Klopp’s comments about the possibility of no new faces arriving in January makes this very unlikely to happen, and Woodburn may get some chances to shine for the Reds in the next four months.Kroos Latest Real Player Dubiously Linked With Reds
When discussing the best midfielders in world football right now, Toni Kroos is a player who will always merit a mention.
The three-time Champions League winner is strutting his stuff for Real Madrid, but reports claim he could be tempted to leave the reigning European champions for Liverpool.
These reports are to be taken with more than a pinch of a salt, particularly given the same publication also claimed the Reds could sign Gareth Bale on Saturday.
The Germany international moving to Anfield would be an unbelievable coup, but history suggests such a high-profile transfer will not materialise.
The Reds are unbeaten in 18 matches in all competitions and victory at Swansea on Monday would see him record a sixth successive win for the first time since he arrived at Anfield.
If they manage to avoid defeat it would also be the club’s longest unbeaten run for more than 21 years, when they went 20 games undefeated.
But the statistics matter little to the German.
“If nobody told me how often we didn’t lose, I’d have no idea about it. That’s all the past and I’m not really interested,” he said.
“You can look back on a season after the season, not during. It’s not important. We feel in a good moment.
“I see the boys training every day and it looks good, that’s the truth, that’s why we can play like we played so far. But we have to do it again.
“As a Liverpool player you cannot perform one week and then two weeks not—we need to deliver consistently, every day and each game.
“It’s only the next game and I can’t imagine any easy games in the Premier League and Swansea is for sure not an easy game.”
Despite ending Manchester City’s 30-match unbeaten league run last weekend Liverpool have struggled against the lesser sides who set up in a more defensive fashion.
Swansea may be adrift at the foot of the table but Klopp is taking nothing for granted even after the 5-0 Boxing Day victory.
“Life is a summary of challenges and that’s a big challenge,” added the Reds boss.
“We played against top of the table Manchester City and played a fantastic game.
“We played Swansea a few weeks ago with a caretaker manager and I said after the game it was much more difficult than the result could make you think so we know about the specific challenge in this game.
“They are bottom of the table but they are in a good way. What you have seen since the new manager has come in is a big improvement again: much better results and they won their FA Cup replay during the week.
“I’m not even sure if we’ll have a look at our game against Swansea because it will be different.
“We need to have a look at the games since they changed their manager. That’s a challenge to be honest but if you know about a challenge you can be prepared for it.
“That’s my job to do: that we go there and don’t think about the 5-0 or Man City, only think about what we have to do to keep them away from our goal and be as often as possible in front of their goal.”
Liverpool U18s lost 3-2 at home to Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup fourth round on Saturday afternoon, on Steven Gerrard’s debut in the Anfield dugout.
Liverpool U18s 2-3 Arsenal U18s
Fa Youth Cup Fourth Round, Anfield
January 20, 2018
Goals: Jones 42′, 49′; Burton 16′, Saka 85′, John-Jules 97′
The young Reds took to the first-team stadium at special request from Gerrard, who has overseen an excellent start to life as manager of the U18s.
Though deprived of Ben Woodburn due to senior involvement and Rhian Brewster due to injury, the 37-year-old was able to name a strong starting lineup on Saturday, with a place in the fifth round in sight.
Adam Lewis, Edvard Tagseth, Curtis Jones, Rafa Camacho and top goalscorer Liam Millar were among those to walk out the tunnel at Anfield, taking on an impressive Arsenal outfit.
The U18s were dealt a blow early on, however, with Gunners midfielder Robbie Burton firing beyond Vitezslav Jaros via a big deflection following the bright Xavier Amaechi’s free-kick.
Liverpool continued to push for an equaliser after, though, with Lewis in the thick of it throughout, avoiding a potentially serious injury following a nasty fall.
But it was the man ahead of Gerrard’s captain that played an influential role in the leveller, with Camacho teeing up Jones to fire home his 14th goal of the campaign to make it 1-1 at half-time.
It took just four minutes after play resumed for Jones to net his second of the afternoon, with the midfielder benefiting from a deflection to beat Joao Virginia and double his tally.
The young Reds kept up the pressure afterwards, and Millar saw a goal ruled out for offside following Lewis’ cross.
Arsenal also saw an effort disallowed shortly after, with Trae Coyle left disappointed as the ball was adjudged to have gone out in the buildup to his strike.
Anfield witnessed an end-to-end encounter throughout the second half, with both Virginia and Jaros tested on a number of occasions, before the Gunners equalised through Bukayo Saka.
Gerrard urged his side to push for a late winner, but they were left to play out extra time as they bid for progress.
And Arsenal struck early again as Tyreece John-Jules beat Jaros to edge the visitors ahead again, prompting Gerrard to make a handful of changes.
The young Reds forced the Gunners back as they sought an equaliser of their own, with substitute Yasser Larouci twice testing Virginia, but the full-time whistle blew to consign Gerrard’s side to an FA Youth Cup exit.
For many supporters, the afternoon was further marred by an inability to make it into the stadium before kickoff, with queues stretching outside long after 3pm.
The demand clearly exceeded Liverpool’s expectations, and the hope will be any problems are ironed out by the next time Gerrard’s side turn out at Anfield.
TIA Man of the Match: Curtis Jones
Liverpool U18s: Jaros; Clayton, R. Williams (Sharif 104′), Boyes; N. Williams (Larouci 95′), Tagseth, Dixon-Bonner, Lewis; Jones, Camacho, Millar (McAuley 106′)
Subs not used: Atherton, Glennon
We round up the latest Liverpool transfer news and rumours, with the Reds reportedly adding a new young left-back to their ranks in the winter window.
So what else can we expect from the Reds over the last 11 days of the window?
Here’s the latest from the rumour mill, including a potential new face from South America.Reds Sign Young Colombian Left-Back Arroyo
With Van Dijk highlighted as Liverpool’s big January signing, the arrival of 18-year-old left-back Anderson Arroyo from Fortaleza C.E.I.F. comes at the other end of the spectrum.
According to Majorcan publication Diario de Mallorca, the Reds have reached a deal with the Categoria Primera B side to sign the young defender.
Arroyo had previously spent time on trial at Kirkby in 2016, and Liverpool have reportedly firmed up their long-term interest, pipping Mallorca to his signature.
However, with Arroyo unable to secure a UK work permit at this stage, it has been suggested he could be loaned to the Spanish second-tier side until he is eligible.
When he does arrive on Merseyside, the powerful, right-footed full-back is likely to join Neil Critchley’s U23s side.Klopp Dismisses Butland Move Speculation
“My favourite solution, always, is that we do it with our boys,” he explained.
“They step up, they deliver, they improve. The problem they have is that everyone is watching them [through a magnifying glass] and saying ‘still not good enough!’
“I will only mention one name. Everyone talks about him with us and that is Butland. I only saw the [3-0 loss to Man United].
“Fantastic goalkeeper but was he perfect? No. He wasn’t in that game. But everyone says ‘still better than our boys!’”Oblak ‘Trying to Renew’ Atletico Contract
Meanwhile, another ‘keeper named as a possible target for the Reds next summer is Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.
The Slovenian has an £89 million release clause in his current contract with the Liga side, and while this would be a phenomenal outlay, it can be argued it would be worthwhile.
But according to Sky Sports‘ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, Oblak is not looking to leave the Wanda Metropolitano any time soon.
Instead, the 25-year-old is looking to extend his contract with Atletico, likely increasing his release clause further.
“He is trying to renew his contract with Atletico. PSG have shown interest but I have heard nothing from Liverpool,” Balague claimed.
If both Butland and Oblak have been ruled out, it could be that AS Roma goalkeeper Alisson is the most likely candidate to vie with Karius in the future.Sturridge ‘Agrees’ Inter Loan Deal
This comes due to the likely departure of Daniel Sturridge, with Klopp open to allowing the striker to leave as he bids for a place in the England squad for the World Cup.
Both Sevilla and Inter Milan are interested in a loan deal for the 28-year-old, and according to reports in Italy, Sturridge is open to joining the latter.
Calcio Mercato claim the striker has agreed terms with Inter, though the Serie A side are still negotiating with Liverpool.
The Reds are looking for a future fee of £30 million included in any deal, which Inter deem too high due to “Sturridge’s age, injury problems and the fact that his contract runs out in the summer of 2019.”Salah in ‘Secret Talks’ With Real
If Mohamed Salah finds the back of the net at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night, he will eclipse both Sturridge and Steven Gerrard’s best-ever goal tallies for a single campaign.
Given it has taken the Egyptian just five-and-a-half months to equal their 24 strikes for a season, his impact since joining from Roma is clear.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to speculation over a move away from Anfield, and already he is being touted with a switch to Real Madrid.
According to Spanish outlet El Chiringuito‘s Edu Aguirre, Salah’s agent has held “secret talks” with the Liga giants ahead of a possible switch.
Interest in Salah should be expected, but this is highly unlikely at this stage.Liverpool Touted With Unlikely Bale Pursuit
Finally, another shaky Spanish source has claimed Liverpool are pursuing Real’s Gareth Bale as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho.
Don Balon suggest the Reds are preparing a €100 million bid for the 28-year-old, who has struggled with fitness issues throughout his four-and-a-half-year spell in Madrid so far.
He is, however, rumoured to prefer a move to Man United, and Jose Mourinho’s side are undoubtedly a more feasible destination for the Welshman.
Liverpool have suffered plenty of injury problems in recent years, and statistics show which Reds players can and cannot be relied upon to stay fit.
For once, it is hard to complain about Liverpool’s current bill of health.
Injuries have, at times, plagued the Reds since Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield in October 2015, with the manager’s demanding training methods seen as problematic by some.
It has now been revealed which players have been sidelined the most in the last three years, thanks to Anfield Index‘s Simon Brundish, a sports scientist who appears on the excellent Under Pressure podcast.
Joe Gomez tops the pile, with the youngster’s cruciate ligament injury and Achilles problem seeing him miss 85 games, and therefore, a whopping 59 percent of Liverpool’s fixtures.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Henderson is second on the list, with the skipper continually blighted by a heel issue as well as other long-term knocks.
The 27-year-old has been unavailable for 55 matches (38%), which is a real concern moving forward, especially with him captaining the Reds.Liverpool Squad Injury Record, Past Three Years
Adam Lallana has also been absent a worrying amount—31 percent of games—and Clyne’s current issues have seen him out 23 percent of the time.
Many would expect Daniel Sturridge to be right at the top of the list, but he has ‘only’ been ruled out of 37 matches in the last 36 months.
It has been more a case of Klopp choosing not to pick the striker, rather than being without him.
On the flip side, it is plain to see who the physical machines are in Liverpool’s ranks—those who rarely ever find themselves on the treatment table.
Roberto Firmino, fast becoming Klopp’s most important player, has ensured the Reds have only had to make do without him four times (3%) over these last three years.
Liverpool must be careful not to underestimate Swansea in their next league encounter, however, undoing all their recent hard work at the same time.
Carlos Carvalhal’s side are favourites for relegation to the Championship, but they still have the ability to cause the visitors problems at the Liberty Stadium.
Ahead of the game, we spoke to Swans fan Kevin Elphick (@Kevin_Elphick) to get his thoughts on both sides’ seasons and Monday’s clash.Swansea are propping up the table as things stand—what have you made of their season?
Well, where do you start really?
It’s not been a surprise after our summer transfer window. We sold our two best players, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, for a combined total of about £57 million, and failed to re-invest that into the squad.
After watching us come close to relegation last season, it was obvious to anyone that even with those two players last year, the squad was barely good enough to stay up.
They’ve left huge holes that haven’t been filled and we have a Championship squad that deserves to be bottom of the pile.
The new American owners have given the fans both false hope and false promises, and there is growing frustration that we are being driven back into the wrong direction.Are you happy with the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal, and did Paul Clement deserve the sack?
Paul Clement definitely deserved the sack, and I felt it was about two months too late.
It was clear after losing 1-0 at home to Brighton in November that we needed a change if we wanted any chance of surviving, but we lost another five games before finally letting him go.
The football under him this season was some of the worst we have seen in the Premier League, and we desperately needed somebody to come in and give us some new energy, particularly going forward.
Carlos Carvalhal was an odd appointment but I’m not sure we could have done any better given the circumstances.
Some may also doubt the short-term contract, but I think it is a good thing as we have had to pay out for five managerial sackings in a row now, so it gives us an opportunity to consider the position at the end of the season.
He has brought us a new dynamic, and while we haven’t improved vastly overnight, there are plenty of signs there to suggest we might at least go down fighting.Who have been Swansea’s three best players so far this season, and why?
That’s a difficult question as we have lacked consistent performers all season.
Goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianski is immediately the first name I can think of, who will probably clean up at the end-of-season awards.
Another two players? That’s difficult. I can’t really think of anyone else that deserves a mention for performing consistently well since August.
Our captain Federico Fernandez started the season well but has declined in recent months, while Mike van der Hoorn is another player who has constantly been in and out of the squad, but has surprised us with his solid performances.
I’m clutching at straws.What have you made of Liverpool’s campaign so far?
It has been a bit hit-and-miss really, but I think that’s what it has been like under Jurgen Klopp.
Some weeks you look like top-two or top-three contenders, while other weeks you look ordinary, and struggle against the bottom-half sides.
Defence has always been a big problem, and Virgil van Dijk could do wonders for you, but I am amazed that you have still not solved the goalkeeper issue.
It would obviously have to be Mohamed Salah.
The player really is incredible, and we desperately need a player like him to be able to create something out of nothing.
We don’t have any attacking midfielders, but Salah is definitely good enough to rely on himself to score goals, even in our team!Looking ahead to Monday’s game, where do you see the key battles taking place?
I expect we will start off with five at the back and try to contain you for the first 45 to 60 minutes, like we did against Spurs, and hope to keep it at 0-0 before we open up a bit later on.
Getting the ball anything close to Spurs’ penalty area was a hard task when playing so deep and defensive, but I hope we can test your defence, which can still look vulnerable.
Can we frustrate you and keep you out for long enough? I’m not sure, especially after watching you against City, but maybe we will catch you on an off day.Finally, hit us with your prediction and how you think the game will pan out…
I think Liverpool will edge it 2-1.
You will dominate for most of the game, as is to be expected, and you will have too much quality for us to get something.
Much was made of the loss of Coutinho to Barcelona but the numbers being generated by his compatriot may mean the Reds move on quicker from that £142 million sale than anyone anticipated.
Firmino has long been a favourite of manager Jurgen Klopp because of his hard running and ability to press at the head of the attack and despite initial criticism he was not a centre-forward, the 26-year-old is also delivering where it matters.
In 88 league appearances since his £29 million move from Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015, Firmino has scored 31 times and provided 19 assists.
He is only 11 goals short of becoming the Premier League’s highest-scoring Brazilian—a record currently held by Coutinho who managed 41 in 152 (with 35 assists) albeit from a deeper position.
In the space of a few weeks a wider audience has become more aware of Firmino’s qualities but the praise now being heaped on the forward does not surprise Klopp.
“I don’t think that it’s possible that somebody could get more credit, compliments, praise, whatever you want to say as Roberto gets from us,” said the Reds boss ahead of Monday’s trip to bottom side Swansea.
“But it’s well deserved—everything. He’s a fantastic football player.
“You see him in training and think ‘what a work ethic, what an attitude’, and he brings it on the pitch as well.
“He never rests. You have to pull him out, you have to tell him ‘come on, stop, sit here, calm’.
“I hear in the stadium that people like him—good idea—but I have no real idea if anybody thinks he’s not important or whatever. I’m not too interested, to be honest.
“I’m pretty sure if I give the players the opportunity to have a free choice in training [to] build teams by themselves Bobby is one of the first they would pick.
“[It’s] nice to have him around—better to have him than in the other team. That’s maybe the best thing you can say about a football player.”
Another player who has raised his game over the last month is defender Andy Robertson.
The £8 million summer signing from Hull made only three appearances in the first four months of the season but injury to Alberto Moreno gave him an opportunity and his display in the 4-3 win over City was his best since arriving.
“He was a nice prospect, it was clear he was a big talent and offensively skilled.
“Andy stepped up and did a really fantastic job. It’s really nice as a manager to be part of it, to see a player do that.”
Naber met with Karius in Liverpool this week for German publication WELT and has kindly provided a translation of the interview for This Is Anfield.
Karius about his new role being No 1:
“I worked hard for this opportunity and I want to show now that it was the right decision. I’m happy that the manager trusts [me].”
Karius about the previous situation (sharing the job with Mignolet):
“I don’t want to call it being number 1A or number 1B but the situation wasn’t satisfying for me.
“Of course, I wanted to play every week. That’s my aspiration. But I knew that I`d get a new chance. Now I want to take this chance.”
Karius on his relation with Mignolet:
“It’s a professional relationship. We train together and respect each other. I don’t have any problem with him.
“In general I think that, nowadays, there are no such hostile relations between goalkeepers anymore. That’s maybe different than in the past.”
Karius on Klopp:
“We have a good relationship. I hold him in high regard as trainer and a person. You can always talk to him. He motivates us, especially in difficult situations and he helps me to get better every day.
“Before the summer break, I talked to him and he explained his perspective. I know that Klopp was always convinced of my skills. I always felt his trust. I never felt uneasy.”
Karius on how Klopp has changed Liverpool:
“I think he sets everyone an example of German virtues. I mean things like punctuality, discipline and team spirit. But he also focuses on a modern training philosophy and the right diet. In these things, he changed a lot.
“Klopp demands a lot from us, and he is on fire himself all the time. He works very closely with the team and he conducts every training.
“He is a very emotional coach who matches perfectly with this club.”
Karius about Liverpool’s ambitions:
“I understand the desire of the fans to win titles. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for so many years.
“It’s our goal to stay in the competitions as long as possible. To dream about the title is not forbidden, but it’s still a long way.”
* Follow Ibrahim on Twitter: @IbraNaber
We round up the latest Liverpool transfer news and rumours on Friday, with Jurgen Klopp set to oversee more departures than arrivals this January.
But while their focus will be on another three points against the bottom-dwellers, speculation continues over incomings and outgoings.
There are less than two weeks to go until the end of the winter transfer window, so who is set to leave and who could arrive before the deadline on January 31?
Here’s the latest from the rumour mill, as Klopp misses out on one of his midfield targets.Inter Lodge ‘Serious’ Offer for Sturridge
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s trip to south Wales, Klopp remained coy on Daniel Sturridge‘s future, saying “we don’t discuss the transfer market here.”
But it is widely reported that the 28-year-old will be allowed to leave the Reds if a satisfactory deal is agreed with another club.
Both Sevilla and Inter Milan are believed to be interested in signing Sturridge on loan, and according to Goal‘s Melissa Reddy, the latter have now made a “serious” offer.
This “includes a substantial loan fee, the full assumption of his salary and a path to making the deal permanent.”
However, Seville is said to be Sturridge’s preferred destination, so it is likely that Liverpool will wait for an offer from their Champions League group stage opponents before moving forward.Ings Set to Stay at Anfield
Sturridge’s future could have a major impact on the rest of Klopp’s attacking options, with a departure for the England striker depriving Danny Ings of a move of his own.
Ings has been touted with a temporary switch elsewhere, with the likes of Newcastle United and West Brom reportedly interested, but according to the Telegraph, he is now set to stay.
They also claim that a similar bid for Sturridge was also rejected, which may be due to the Reds not wishing to strengthen another Premier League side with a loan deal.Goretzka Confirmed As Bayern Player
Liverpool’s pursuit of Germany international Leon Goretzka seemed doomed from the start, as with both Bayern Munich and Juventus among the clubs pursuing the midfielder, they were an outside bet.
Nevertheless, the Reds made an approach to the 22-year-old’s representatives with a view to sealing a pre-contract agreement as his deal runs out with Schalke.
But the Bundesliga side confirmed on Friday morning that Goretzka would be joining Bayern on a free transfer on July 1.
“We are losing a very, very good player,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “We did everything we could to try and keep him.”
This could leave Liverpool searching for an alternative to a young player who would have brought further forward thrust from Klopp’s midfield.Grujic Loan Terms Guarantee Key Cardiff Role
It could be that Klopp’s alternative to Goretzka is Marko Grujic, with the Serbian joining Cardiff City on Wednesday on a six-month loan deal.
Grujic has struggled for opportunities under Klopp since joining from Red Star Belgrade in 2016, with his switch to the Championship hopefuls designed to provide him with regular senior football.
And according to Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, he will be given the chance to impress, with Liverpool imposing ‘financial punishments‘ if Grujic doesn’t play enough football.
“We haven’t had to give assurances, but we get financially ‘punished’ if we don’t,” he said.
“But that’s quite acceptable and, to be honest, a good deal or both parties, because I want to play him, I’m not signing him to make the numbers up. He’s a good lad, and a good player.”City Join Race to Sign Free Agent Can?
But the failure to sign Goretzka piles considerable pressure on Liverpool to convince Emre Can his future remains at Anfield.
Can is in a similar situation to his compatriot, able to discuss terms with other clubs ahead of a free transfer in the summer, with both Juventus and Borussia Dortmund interested.
The Reds are still hopeful Can will put pen to paper on an extended deal, but their efforts may be thwarted by the emergence of another suitor.
However, they also claim that Can is not interested in joining Juventus as he would rather return to Bayern, with Arsenal also suggested as a possible alternative…in what is a mess of tabloid detritus.Hoffenheim Target Out-of-Favour Markovic
Grujic’s chances of salvaging a career on Merseyside are vastly superior to those of his compatriot, Lazar Markovic.
Though he has trained regularly under Klopp at Melwood this season, Markovic has been afforded just once appearance as an unused substitute on the first-team stage.
Having failed to establish himself since joining from Benfica in 2014, the winger is likely to leave in the January window.
And surprisingly, according to Sky Germany, Hoffenheim could give Markovic a lifeline.Liverpool ‘Winning Race’ For Next Charlton Prospect
The rise of Joe Gomez this season has been remarkable, with the 20-year-old recovering from a long-term injury absence to become one of Klopp’s most consistent figures.
This is a testament to the quality within the academy ranks at Charlton Athletic, and it could be that he is joined by a fellow Valley alumni in the near future.
According to Kent Live, they are “leading the race” to sign Charlton’s young centre-back Ezri Konsa.
They are said to have moved ahead of Everton as “Addicks’ owner Roland Duchatelet looks to cash in on his prize asset,” who has already made 68 first-team appearances.Reds Youngster Linked With Championship Move
Finally, as Liverpool continue to trim the deadwood in their academy ranks, long-serving centre-back Lloyd Jones could be nearing a permanent exit.
According to HITC Sport, Jones is attracting interest from Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Bradford City and Oxford United ahead of a possible January move.
Jones has no chance of breaking through into the senior setup, and a move to a League One side like Oxford may be the boost his fledgling career needs.
Robertson endured a slow start to his Liverpool career, as he grew accustomed to life in Klopp’s system, and saw Alberto Moreno selected ahead of him.
The left-back has proven to be a very good summer signing from Hull City, however, and he has flourished in the first weeks of 2018 in particular.
Excellent back-to-back performances at home to Everton and Man City have seen him become a crowd favourite, with his lung-busting energy and quality down the left flank not going unnoticed by supporters.
Klopp admits he is delighted with how Robertson is faring at the moment, speaking of his importance to this Liverpool side after a slightly shaky start.
“[He is] very important,” Klopp told reporters at Melwood on Friday.
“He was a nice prospect and a really big talent offensively, but maybe a few gaps to close in his defending.
“He was cool earlier in the season when he didn’t play, he was not in my office asking, ‘why don’t I play?’
“Moreno played fantastic apart from the Sevilla game but then he got injured.
“But for a club like Liverpool, it’s unbelievably important to have someone who can [step in] and it’s not a big bounce [without Moreno].”
Moreno has missed the last 10 games with an ankle injury picked up in Liverpool’s 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow in December, and could return to the matchday squad at Swansea City on Monday night.
This presents Klopp with a long-term selection quandary, with both of his senior left-backs in excellent form this season, but the German is embracing it as a positive.
“With Moreno on the way back we have two very good players for that position,” he continued.
“Andy has stepped up and done a really fantastic job, and it’s really nice as a manager to be part of it.
“You come to a new club and everybody is expecting the best from you from the first second.
“Everybody needs time to adapt—I’m happy that he had the time and used the time, and played like he did in the past few games.”
It would be extremely harsh to leave Robertson out for the trip to Swansea, but equally, you couldn’t complain if Moreno returned as first choice.
If Liverpool are to challenge across all fronts for the remainder of 2017/18, they need both left-backs fit and firing.
At long last, there is genuine depth in that area of the pitch.
Even then the 24-year-old was criticised for being beaten at his near post when Leroy Sane made it 1-1 just before half-time.
“It is a difficult job being a goalkeeper or centre-half at Liverpool because no-one forgives you one mistake,” said Klopp.
“Obviously since I’m in [as manager] it feels like ‘wow’, if our goalkeeper makes a mistake it is a disaster and if any another goalkeeper makes a mistake he is still a fantastic goalkeeper and we should buy him.
“I am fine with our goalkeeper situation. Yes, Loris could have made a save for the first goal against Man City even though I thought it was a world-class finish.
“He is a really good goalkeeper and we brought him in because we wanted him to play.
“But of course Loris has to deliver and he knows that.”
Liverpool have already been linked with a move for another goalkeeper in the summer after Mignolet said earlier this week he was considering his future at the club, saying: “This situation cannot last too long.”
Klopp picked Karius as his goalkeeper for Champions League matches this season and he conceded just six goals—three of which came in 45 minutes against Sevilla—in as many games during the group stage.
However, his longest run in the side as first choice came last season when he started 10 Premier League matches in a row before being taken out of the firing line after criticism for mistakes against Bournemouth and West Ham.
At the time the Reds boss admitted he had done it to protect his compatriot from the glare of the spotlight after his mistakes were picked apart by pundits.
“I’m not interested in public pressure, I’m interested in the boy. There’s no reason to push him through the situation, he loses confidence,” Klopp said 13 months ago.
Karius did not feature in another league match after being dropped on December 14, 2016 but has started four times this season, including the wins against Arsenal and City and the FA Cup victory over Everton.
“There were a few difficulties but meanwhile he has settled as well,” Klopp said.
“There are a lot of really good things in his game which are natural and I like them and now he can show them.
“We changed a lot of positions during the year not only with the goalkeeper but it looks like we have to stick to our opinions for 20 years if we have made a decision one time.
“I changed not my opinion but I changed the situation and that is all.
“He is the No. 1 and that means he can play a game and can concede a goal against Man [City]—it’s not that we want that but it is possible—but all the good things I’d like to see again.
“I saw a lot of good things in the games he played in the last few weeks and that is why he is in.”
The Reds will fly to Cardiff before travelling down the M4 to south Wales looking to extend their unbeaten run to 19 games.
That stretch already includes a 5-0 victory at home to Swansea on Boxing Day, but since then the hosts have seen a new manager installed in Carlos Carvalhal.
As a result, the Swans will be something of an unknown quantity on Monday, and speaking at Melwood on Friday afternoon Klopp vowed his side would respect their opposition.
“What you’ve seen since the [new] manager is in is a big improvement,” he told reporters.
“They’re doing well, that’s all we think about. I’m not even sure if we can look at our game against Swansea [as reference].
“We don’t think about the 5-0, we don’t think about [beating] Man City [on Sunday], we just think about what we have to do.
“Monday night, still a few days to go, hopefully we can make a choice of the lineup from a full squad and use the basis of this season so far.”
And the German discussed the possibility of further January transfers, suggesting Liverpool had already made their “big” signing in Van Dijk.
Liverpool have won three of their last five meetings with Swansea, including a 2-1 victory in their last away trip, and their strong form will give them confidence ahead of next week.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s winning mentality remains undimmed now he is a coach and his under-18 players will not need reminding of that this weekend.
His side host Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup which, at Gerrard’s request, will be played at Anfield on Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.
The youth team boss wants to see how his players cope under the pressure of a big-game atmosphere, but more importantly he wants them to bring home some silverware this season.
“I’d love some of these players to go on and play for Liverpool’s first team, I’d be the proudest man in the city, but I’m not coming in and taking a job at this football club if it’s just about that,” he said.
“If we’re not teaching kids about the importance of winning at a young age then maybe someone should say to me ‘You’re not welcome here’.
“That doesn’t float my boat – turning up on the weekend and it’s just about getting one player to the first team.
“I’m doing a disservice to football and the game if I’m saying to these that winning doesn’t matter because it does.”
Gerrard will not be able to call on the injured Rhian Brewster, golden boot winner as England were victorious at last summer’s Under-17 World Cup, but he could receive a boost if senior Wales international Ben Woodburn is made available by Jurgen Klopp.
Brewster, who has spent most of the season with Liverpool’s Under-23s, was in Gerrard’s thoughts before an ankle injury in Friday’s defeat to Manchester City which is likely to rule out the 17-year-old for some time.
“I don’t know the full extent but it is going to be a good while. I do not know the complete time-scale. He has further tests (in London),” Gerrard added.
Asked about the availability of Woodburn, who has played for him in the UEFA Youth League this season, Gerrard said: “I haven’t asked the question and no-one has mentioned it to me thus far so, at the moment, it’s a no.
“That might change in the next 24 hours.”
– Tickets for Saturday’s tie cost £3 for adults and £1 for juniors, young adults and over-65s.
Liverpool’s long unbeaten run over winter is impressive, but key January departures have to be replaced if the Reds are to maintain their challenge on three fronts.
Of course, quality will dictate just how far any push for honours go, but quantity is important too: the squad depth must be tended to.
Much was made of the boss’ tendency to swap players with such frequency as the fixtures piled up, but the points tally speaks for itself.
Across November and December in particular, the switches came with regularity, putting Klopp way out in front for number of changes to his starting XI for the Premier League season.
Indeed, for most Premier League seasons.
59 – Liverpool have made 59 changes to their starting XI so far this season in the league; only one team have made more in their opening 16 games to a Premier League campaign (Man Utd; 68 in 2001-02). Tinker. pic.twitter.com/N9eGU9t6oI
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 12, 2017
But the results came, and fewer injuries were accumulated. Jordan Henderson suffered a spell out, and Daniel Sturridge has too, but few others: a week or so for Mohamed Salah, a short span for Dejan Lovren, a longer one for Alberto Moreno.
Considering the Reds played 15 matches in exactly two months, it was far from the devastation to the regular team it might have been.
And, it’s 18 matches unbeaten now since the fiasco at Wembley. With the likes of Swansea, West Brom and Huddersfield up next, it could go on a while longer yet.
Klopp has managed his squad well; even those who were out of the team for long stretches at the start of the campaign have been eased, or thrown, in to great effect.
For the first time in too long, it feels as though Liverpool almost have a deep squad which can cope with most injury build-ups…almost.
The defence had been stretched thin from time to time—notably with all three centre-backs on ice at one point—but Virgil van Dijk‘s arrival should fix those worries. Full-back is fine, with two on each side, James Milner as cover and others who can fill in.
It’s arguable that one more quality addition would be beneficial, particularly following Philippe Coutinho‘s departure, but it’s not essential for the pure numbers.
But in attack, the Reds’ situation is more precarious; that Coutinho departure leaves them on the brink.
The trio is unstoppable, exciting, relentless…and because of all that, they have to come out from time to time.
Their intensity and explosivity leaves them most prone to fatigue and injury, and there’s not a direct replacement in the squad for each other than shifting Oxlade-Chamberlain into the front line.
Sturridge, with his acceleration and scoring touch seemingly departed, just doesn’t offer the reliability or the reassurance that he can be the primary goal threat again, while Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke don’t have a goal between them.
Barring an unlikely return to prominence for Lazar Markovic, it’s in young talents that any further rotations most come from for Klopp, which makes it paramount that any further departures from the squad are replaced.
There have been rumours, concerning both Sturridge and Ings, that an Anfield exit could be imminent. Ovie Ejaria could leave on loan, Ben Woodburn has been sought after, even Harry Wilson would be snapped up by Championship sides if they were encouraged.
But the Reds cannot afford that, not without replacements.
One injury to a wide forward can just about be dealt with, now that Lallana is back and Henderson returning. The switch, both starting at times and in-game, to a 4-4-2 can also help in this regard.
But a rotation and an injury or suspension hitting at the same time will be tricky to deal with.
Up until the end of February, it won’t be much of an issue. One game a week for the most part, time to train, time to recover.
But come March, if the Reds progress past Porto and West Brom in each cup in turn, the pile-up will come fast once again.
Klopp has already shown he can switch personnel effectively—but only if he’s got the numbers there.
Coutinho’s departure will hit Liverpool hardest not when the remaining three-pronged front line are fit and healthy, but when one is missing.
No replacement midfield schemer isn’t the real issue, not right now at least, but Coutinho provided drive and a goal threat in the final third.
A single departure more and Liverpool, and Klopp, have to act.
The squad has worked wonders to get themselves into this position, but it has very much been a cumulative, group effort—and the same again will be needed in the final weeks and months.
Transfer rumours continue to circle over possible ins and outs at Liverpool before the January transfer window shuts.
While most winter windows tend to be filled with outlandish claims and improbable links, many of those featuring the Reds this season seem to be valid, or at least a good fit.
Here is a complete round-up of the latest rumours concerning the Anfield corridors…Juve confirm approach for Emre
At present there’s no agreement—Emre himself alluded to as much—but the Turin giants have clearly earmarked him as a key target.
Able to discuss terms freely now over a summer move, Can will doubtless be on the radars of several big clubs thanks to his soon-to-be ended contract.
The German international is, however, still open to the possibility of signing a new contract and extending his stay at Liverpool.
Continual progression, a key role in the team and a strong finish to the campaign could be vital to keeping him beyond summer 2018.Sturridge tipped for move to Europe
However, no official bid has yet been made and Liverpool are thought to want a permanent move which meets their demands.
Previous rumours have put those demands at around the £30 million mark, while Sturridge’s wages have also been cited as prohibitive for some clubs.
Inter Milan are credited with an interest again elsewhere, as they have been in recent weeks, but Sevilla may make more sense for Sturridge, who wants game time to secure a World Cup spot.
The Spanish side have rotated between Wissam Ben Yedder and Luis Muriel up front this term, but they have netted just five and three goals in La Liga respectively.
It seems a more realistic battle for Sturridge to find a starting role than by heading to Inter, where he would be up against 18-goal Mauro Icardi.Reds in a four-way battle for Seri
Much of summer 2017 centred around would-be moves by various clubs for Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri.
Barcelona had the strongest rumoured interest, though the Reds and other sides were also in the mix—only for the Ivory Coast international to remain in Ligue 1.
Now with just 18 months left on his deal and a €40 million release clause in place, he’s back on clubs’ radars.
While the suggestion is that the quartet will be in for Seri in the summer, that sort of figure—around £35 million—would barely register for most of those teams if they opted to move right now.
It’s a drop in the ocean compared to the fee received for Coutinho, or the potential money being spent on Alexis Sanchez by the Manchester clubs.
So it’s not entirely inconceivable that, if genuine, the interest could be brought forward by the Reds—particularly after not being able to bring in Naby Keita earlier than planned.Goretzka remaining in Bundesliga
One of the potential replacements for if Emre Can departed on a free transfer, Leon Goretzka shares similarities with the Reds’ No. 23 and his present situation.
He’s a German central midfielder, out of contract in the summer…and able to discuss terms now with new clubs.
Liverpool had been credited with an interest and made their feelings known to the Schalke man.
But Goretzka’s camp didn’t offer too much in the way of encouragement, report the Echo.
Instead, the Anfield club believe he’s likely to remain in the German top flight, making the switch instead to the league’s most powerful club, Bayern Munich.
It would follow a familiar pattern in the league where the best homegrown players are snapped up by Bayern, strengthening their own team and damaging their rivals at the same time.
Mario Gotze, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy have travelled that path of late and Liverpool look set to miss out as the trend continues.Klopp wants to keep Woodburn around
Young forward Ben Woodburn had been tipped for a loan move for the remainder of the season after playing just once this term for the seniors.
Sunderland was the most likely destination after Chris Coleman, his former boss with the Wales national team setup, took over at the Wearsiders.
But Sky Sports report that the move is now off.
If the above Sturridge rumours are true, of course, it stands to reason that the boss wants another attacking option available to him.
For now, Woodburn remains a Liverpool player, but he will certainly hope for more action in the second half of the season.
It was originally a possibility for the Reds to feature in a third-round clash using VAR technology—but a Merseyside derby against Everton, as it turned out to be, was thought to be too high-profile a game for a testing ground.
Now the FA have confirmed on Thursday that VAR will be in use at Anfield for the fourth round instead.
It will be only the fourth time the technology will have been in use this term as England trial VAR in the FA Cup.
The visit of West Brom comes after the Reds’ next fixture, away to Swansea on Monday night, and will be shown live on BT Sport.
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is a target for Sevilla, and the Spanish club have reportedly made contact with the Reds over a move.
The No. 15 has missed the last nine matches with injury and the Reds have not shown too many signs of missing him, roaring to a five-match win streak of late and scoring 15 goals in the process.
Now Sky Sports report Spanish side Sevilla want to take the England international on loan until the end of the campaign—though no official bid has been made yet.
Liverpool are thought to want a permanent move over a loan deal if Sturridge is to depart Anfield this month.
The striker has played only around 500 minutes this term, scoring three goals, the most recent of which came against Maribor on November 1.
It continues a downturn in fortunes for Sturridge, who had such an exciting and explosive start to his Liverpool career—but which could end in a disappointing fade-away.
The Reds could be left somewhat short in attack if he does indeed depart, following Philippe Coutinho‘s sale to Barcelona, but Sturridge wants more game time in the second half of the campaign to win himself a World Cup spot with England.
A permanent move might be best for all parties, but the Reds have yet to see any willing suitors come forward to match their demands.