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Updated: 44 min 38 sec ago

Autism Hour at Liverpool FC's Anfield store

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 10:00

Liverpool FC will take extra steps to make its Anfield store 'autism-friendly' for 60 minutes on the last Thursday of every month.

Between 4pm and 5pm, the store will lower its music and the stadium will cease all tannoy announcements to create a shopping environment that is more comfortable for those with autism.

Autism Hour is supported by more than 8,000 UK retailers and service providers, which allocate 60 minutes to provide autistic people and their families with a break from overwhelming noise and bright lights - the common barriers autistic people face when accessing shops and facilities.

LFC is committed to making Anfield stadium accessible to all. Last year, the club launched a sensory room in the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand, which has a variety of specialist equipment for those with autism or other sensory needs, helping them to experience football matches in a comfortable environment suitable for their needs.

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Nicolas Pepe to Liverpool links 'pure lies'

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 09:32

The transfer speculation suggesting Liverpool are in concrete talks with Lille over the transfer of Nicolas Pepe is "pure lies".

The ECHO understands that this is the club's outright position on reports coming out of France suggesting discussions have taken place to bring the striker to Anfield.

Sporting director Michael Edwards personally reached out to Lille manager Christophe Galtier earlier this month to say that he did not know where these reports were coming from and that the Reds have zero interest in Pepe.

Liverpool have made it very clear that they will not be taking any interest in Pepe and feel that they are being used to escalate interest in the striker.

The versatile frontman emerged as one of Ligue 1's finest attackers last term, notching 22 goals for Christophe Galtier's side as they finished second to Paris Saint-Germain.

That tally was only bettered by Kylian Mbappe, who scored 33 times for the French champions, and Pepe has been linked to a host of top European clubs as a result of his fine form.

However claims of discussions with Liverpool for this player are totally untrue.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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Pro view: Conor Coady on Van Dijk, facing Liverpool and more

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 08:00

Conor Coady felt Liverpool's Champions League triumph was fitting reward for an exceptional season by his former club.

The 26-year-old, a graduate of the Reds’ Academy, faced Jürgen Klopp’s side on three occasions in 2018-19 as captain of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Liverpool were victorious in each of the two Premier League meetings between the sides en route to a total of 97 points that was one short of Manchester City in the title race.

And the nature of that domestic disappointment made glory in Madrid an especially deserved achievement for Klopp’s men, according to Coady.

Read our Q&A with the Wolves skipper below – discussing the Champions League final, his old team’s improvement in recent years, and the imperious displays of Virgil van Dijk…

Where did you watch the Champions League final and what did you make of it?

I was in Croatia, I was watching it with my family. It was a great night – not just for Liverpool fans but I think it was a great night for football because how well Liverpool had done in the season, I thought they deserved to win it. Tottenham are a brilliant team, a fantastic team. As a football fan it probably wasn’t the best of finals. But I think they deserved it after the season they had.

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You played against Liverpool three times last season – how difficult an opponent are they? And how impressive is it to get 97 points?

Anybody would tell you the same, not just Liverpool fans; the way they did it and how they played, they deserved to win the league. I just think City are an incredible football club – they are a fantastic team with brilliant footballers and a brilliant manager. The way Liverpool went about it and how they did it, they deserved to win the league. I think that’s why everybody is happy that they won the Champions League, because they deserved something from the season.

How hard is it to make such a step up from one season to another?

To be at that level for the whole season, it’s consistency. It’s the manager, who sets a team up and keeps them believing each and every game and makes sure it’s a game at a time they focus on. You’ve seen that they did that last season. To gather 97 points over a season is absolutely remarkable, they lost one game against Manchester City – which is ridiculous. The way they have gone about it, they can be proud.

You play in the same position as Virgil van Dijk. How impressed were you with his season?

Everybody realises how good he is as a footballer, what he has done for Liverpool in the last couple of years and how he has approached the football club and improved the defence and the whole team. The best thing about him is he is always in control of what he is doing, he is in control of an attacker, he is in control of how to defend a one-v-one. I remember when Son was running at him in the Champions League final, you always knew he was in control of what he was doing and he ended up making a tackle in the end – which he has done for the majority of the season. The way he has changed Liverpool has been brilliant to see.

How much are you looking forward to the new season with Wolves? Is the target to push towards the top six?

I can’t wait for the season, it’s exciting for all Wolves supporters and all Wolves players. I love being part of that football club, it’s absolutely fantastic, everything they do and the way the manager has come in and changed the football club. For us this season, it’s realising how tough it’s going to be – that’s what we do, we realise how tough it’s going to be as a team, knowing we have to improve to do well. There are no targets on the football club, there’s no saying we want to finish here or there. We just want to improve and get better and hopefully we can keep listening to the manager and do that.

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Liverpool in battle for Sepp van den Berg

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 15:28

Liverpool are battling a host of big European clubs for the signing of Dutch prospect Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle.

Bayern Munich are reported to be desperate to sign the 17-year-old centre-back, Sampdoria bid £2.5m for him in January and Ajax and PSV Eindhoven are also circling.

Liverpool already have four center-backs in Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren, but view Van Den Berg as a player they can develop for the long term, while also recognising he has the potential to play first-team football immediately if required.

It's understood the club view the player as a similar project and at a similar stage of development as Joe Gomez when he signed from Charlton in 2015.

Due to the stiff competition Liverpool face - Bayern need to replace Mats Hummels who has returned to Dortmund, Ajax are looking for a long-term replacement for Matthijs de Ligt - Van Den Berg's signing would represent a real coup for Michael Edwards and his transfer team.

The next 72 hours are likely to decide the future of the Dutch U19 international.

Source: Sky Sports

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Odds significantly slashed on Liverpool signing Bruno Fernandes

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 13:58

Liverpool have been tipped to sign Sporting and Portugal star Bruno Fernandes this summer.

Odds have been slashed for the Reds to land the highly-rated Sporting star following a flurry of large bets.

Liverpool are now at a short 1/9 to land the Portugal international with the price falling from 7/4.

That makes Jurgen Klopp's men stand-out favourites ahead of rivals Manchester United, who are at 3/1, followed by Atletico Madrid, priced at a longer 13/2.

It's believed Sporting's asking price for Fernandes is around £70 million with the midfielder having four years still remaining on his current contract.

That price will only have been elevated following Fernandes' success in the UEFA Nations League with Portugal, who won the inaugural edition of the tournament this summer.

And reports suggest that Manchester United will not not meet that valuation, and that has seen a number of bets placed on Liverpool to do a deal.

However, the ECHO understands Liverpool are highly unlikely to spend big money in this window, with Klopp happy with the options in his squad at present.

Fernandes netted 23 goals in 41 games across all competitions, helping his team to a third-place finish, and it's that sort of form which has seen him become subject to interest this summer.

The 24-year-old is currently on holiday following his international commitments, but talk of a move to the Premier League, particularly involving the Reds and Manchester United, just won't go away.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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Liverpool confident of finalising swift transfer deal for Sepp van den Berg

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 12:10

Liverpool remain hopeful of concluding a deal for Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg before the end of the week.

The Reds are currently locked in battle with Bayern Munich over the highly-rated 17-year-old, who made 16 first-team appearances for PEC Zwolle in the Eredivisie last term.

The teenager is also a target for PSV back in his homeland, while Dutch champions and Champions League semi-finalists Ajax are keen.

Sampdoria had a €2.5million rejected in January, but the Reds' biggest competition for Van den Berg comes in the shape of Bundesliga giants Bayern.

The ECHO understands that Liverpool are confident they can conclude a deal for the Dutch teen before the end of the week.

Van den Berg caught the eye last season where he made 16 appearances for Jaap Stam's PEC and honed a burgeoning reputation as one of the most talented youngsters in Holland.

Liverpool scouts have kept closes tabs on his development since he broke into the first team at Zwolle last year and have been hugely impressed by his displays.

The Reds see Van den Berg as a signing for the future, but feel his ceiling is high enough to see him fast-tracked into the fold under Jurgen Klopp.

It means Van den Berg could join up with Liverpool's first team immediately rather than continuing his progress with the club's Academy players at Kirkby.

The strong competition surrounding Van den Berg means his signature will be celebrated in the corridors of power at the club, with Anfield officials convinced he can develop into a top-class defender for years to come.

Chief scout Barry Hunter and head of recruitment Dave Fallows have been instrumental behind ensuring Liverpool have headed the pack above Bayern and Ajax in their attempts to land the exciting defensive prospect.

It's believed Van den Berg is viewed inside the club at a similar level to Joe Gomez's four years ago when the Reds paid Charlton £3.5m to land him as an England U19 international.

A series of long-term injuries stunted Gomez's progress somewhat, but the Three Lions international enjoyed a fine first-half of last season alongside Virgil van Dijk before suffering a leg fracture against Burnley in December.

At a time when Van Dijk is widely recognised as one of the world's best centre-backs and 19-year-old Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is being linked to Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, the Reds are aware of how Dutch football is continuing to produce high-quality centre-halves.

Van den Berg could become the second teenage Dutchman on the books after the the Reds brought the promising Ki-Jana Hoever to the club in September 2018.

Versatile defender Hoever made his senior debut for Klopp's Reds in a 2-1 defeat to Wolves in the FA Cup in January and was one of the side's standout performers on the night at Molineux.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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Liverpool keen on signing Sepp van den Berg

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:35

Liverpool are interested in signing PEC Zwolle's teenage centre-back Sepp van den Berg but face competition from Ajax, Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven.

Sampdoria were also interested in the 17-year-old and the next 72 hours could be crucial to the Reds signing the Netherlands U19 international.

Van den Berg made 15 appearances for PEC Zwolle in the Dutch top flight last season.

He would be Liverpool's first signing of the summer if he joins.

The Reds compare Van den Berg to being at about the same level as Joe Gomez when they signed the defender for £3.5m from Charlton in June 2015.

England international Gomez was a key part of Liverpool's defence last season before injury curtailed his season.

The Anfield club see Van den Berg as a player for the long term and, although there is a belief he could be with the first team from day one, the focus initially would be on his development and integration.

Source: BBC

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David Duckenfield to face Hillsborough retrial

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:35

The match commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, David Duckenfield, is to face a retrial.

Duckenfield had been charged with gross negligence manslaughter in relation to the deaths of 95 of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives at the tragedy on April 15, 1989.

Due to the law in 1989, the former chief superintendent had not been charged with the manslaughter of Tony Bland, because he died more than a year and a day after the disaster occurred.

However, in April of this year, a jury failed to reach a verdict after eight days of deliberations following the initial two-month trial.

The Crown Prosecution Service applied for a retrial following the conclusion of the initial trial, which was granted by Sir Peter Openshaw on Tuesday morning.

The retrial is due to begin on October 7 at Preston Crown Court.

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Sources: Liverpool to sign coveted Dutch defender

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:20

Liverpool are putting the final touches on signing PEC Zwolle's highly rated teenage defender Sepp van den Berg, sources have told ESPN.

PSV Eindhoven had been given permission to negotiate a deal for the 17-year-old, who has also been heavily monitored by Bayern Munich and Ajax, but the centre-back has opted for Anfield as his next destination.

The fee is expected to be in the region of £2 million for a player, entering the final year of his contract, touted as one of the brightest talents in Dutch football.

His Liverpool medical is pencilled in for Wednesday and an official announcement from the club is expected before Friday.

Van den Berg made his first-team debut for Zwolle in 2017-18, featuring seven times in their Eredivisie campaign, before making 16 appearances last season.

They had hoped to tie him to an extension, but could not compete with the clubs hoping to secure his services.

The Netherlands U19 international would initially go into Liverpool's academy set-up, but like his countryman Ki-Jana Hoever, is expected to ultimately push for first-team involvement.

Van den Berg, strong in the tackle and comfortable in possession, but needing to develop his ability to dominate in the air, will become the Reds' first signing this summer.

As reported by ESPN FC, Liverpool will be patient during the summer transfer window, a policy which allows them to recruit game changers should they become available.

Source: ESPN

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Liverpool fight off competition to sign Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:10

Liverpool have won the race to sign Dutch teenager Sepp van den Berg, with the defender due to undergo a medical on Wednesday ahead of a £1.79million move.

Bayern Munich and Ajax were both desperate to sign Van Den Berg, but Liverpool have convinced the Holland U19 international to move to Anfield from PEC Zwolle.

The 17-year-old will become Liverpool’s first signing of the summer and is expected to spend next season acclimatising and learning before trying to make an impression on the first-team squad.

Van Den Berg played 16 first-team Eredivisie games for Zwolle last season and is considered one of the brightest young prospects in Dutch football.

Sampdoria failed with a £2.25m bid for him in January. But with Van den Berg due to enter the final year of his contract, Liverpool have landed him for less ahead of Bayern and Ajax.

Source: Telegraph

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Media Watch: Latest LFC summer transfer rumours

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:05

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Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
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Liverpool line up bargain summer transfer deal

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:44

Liverpool hope they can see off the competition to sign West Brom youngster Rekeem Harper, who is out of contract this summer.

Jurgen Klopp is considering making a move for Harper, reports the Mirror, after the youngster failed to agree an extension with the Baggies.

The 19-year-old made 16 appearances for West Brom last season, as they finished fourth in the Championship before being losing to rivals Aston Villa in the play-off semi-finals.

Liverpool are likely to face competition for the midfielder with several clubs including Tottenham and Juventus also interested in signing the player.

Slaven Bilic was recently named as the new boss to replace Darren Moore at the Hawthorns and the Croatian wants to hold talks with the youngster to try and persuade him to stay on at the club.

The 50-year-old coach returns to English football after being sacked by West Ham in 2017 and is reportedly ready to offer the youngster a key role in his squad for next season.

However, if West Brom fail to convince Harper to stay on at the club they could only see a small compensation fee if he signs for another team.

Liverpool are not expected to be very active in the summer transfer window as they have focused on tying down players to new contracts but they are also reportedly interested in Real Betis defender Junior Firpo.

Source: Daily Express

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Liverpool look to complete signing of Netherlands U19 defender

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:26

Liverpool are hoping to complete the signing of teenage defender Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle, but will face competition from a host of top European clubs for the Netherlands youth international.

The Reds are keen to bring the 17-year-old centre-back to Anfield this summer, but Bayern Munich, Ajax and PSV Eindhoven are all keen on the Dutch under-19 star, while Sampdoria are understood to have bid €2.5m (£2.25m) for him in January.

After a 2017-18 in which he made his first-team debut with seven matches in the Eredvisie, Van den Berg enjoyed a breakthrough year at Zwolle last season, playing 16 Eredivisie games under former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam, helping them to a 13th-place finish in the Dutch top flight.

The defender would go into Liverpool’s Academy setup initially, playing for the under-18 and under-23 sides, with a view to progression to Melwood should he impress at that level.

Liverpool enjoyed success after recruiting another young Dutch defender, Ki-Jana Hoever, from Ajax last summer. Hoever shone at youth level and made a surprise senior debut in the FA Cup at Wolves in January. Reds chiefs hope the 6ft 3in van den Berg can follow in those footsteps.

Van den Berg's signing, although not yet confirmed, would be seen as a real coup for the Reds’ recruitment team, given the level of competition.

Dave Fallows, the head of recruitment, and chief scout Barry Hunter have in been particularly keen to pursue the deal, and believe significant progress has been made in the past few days.

Hunter was instrumental in the signing of Joe Gomez from Charlton in 2015.

Then, Liverpool recruited a young, promising defender with a view to developing him as a first-team player for the long-term. Gomez's impact on Merseyside was almost immediate, though injuries hampered his progress thereafter.

Liverpool's recruitment team are confident that van den Berg, who is about to enter the final year of his contract with Zwolle, is at a similar level to Gomez four years ago, and expect him to, like Hoever, push for a place in Jurgen Klopp's first-team squad before too long.

Like Hoever, he already speaks excellent English and the scouting reports and character references from the Netherlands have been overwhelmingly positive.

The defender, who does not turn 18 until December, has already represented the Netherlands at U19 level, playing for them three times and scoring once during the UEFA U19 championship qualifying rounds.

His younger brother, Rav, is also on Zwolle's books and has been previously linked with Liverpool, although sources have told Goal that Sepp is the only one the club are pursuing at present.


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Liverpool hope to beat Bayern Munich to transfer of Dutch wonderkid

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:13

Liverpool will go up against the likes of Bayern Munich and Ajax to try to sign Sepp van den Berg, who is seen as a hugely promising prospect for the future.

Van den Berg currently plies his trade at Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle, and has also won three caps for Netherlands U19.

Much like Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt he is yet another talented Dutch centre back defender, and although he is unlikely to break into the Liverpool first-team straight away if he signs, he would certainly be an interesting young player to watch out for in the coming years.

But the Champions League winners will face stiff competition for the signature of van den Berg. Serie A side Sampdoria reportedly bid €2.5m for the player in January, while other elite clubs could well enter the race for the signing such is his potential.

Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards and chief scout Barry Hunter are constantly on the lookout for young talent, and have pinpointed van den Berg as just the type of player who could develop into a first-team player at Anfield, much in the same way Joe Gomez has.

Gomez joined the club from Charlton Athletic in 2015 aged just 18 and has gone on to become a key player for Liverpool as well as winning seven caps for England.

The Reds have yet to make any signings this summer despite being linked with a number of high-profile players.

Source: Daily Mirror

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Naby Keita on Mohamed Salah: 'He looks after me like I'm his little brother'

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 08:00

Naby Keita has revealed how he was taken under Mohamed Salah's wing throughout his first season as a Liverpool player.

The No.8's adaptation from the Bundesliga to life in Jürgen Klopp's side was aided by the advisory role Salah served in 2018-19 in addition to his goalscoring duties.   

With his debut campaign on Merseyside now complete, Keita is temporarily residing in Salah's homeland for Guinea's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt.

Asked about the influence of the two-time African Footballer of the Year, Keita told CAF: "Very well, he always gives me some advice on the pitch in Liverpool.

"He's a nice guy who works hard. When he works at the gym, he always asks me to join him.

"He looks after me like I'm his little brother."

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