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Alisson: Liverpool's world-record signing from Roma is 'goalkeeper of the future'

25 min 41 sec ago
Alisson

It has stood for 17 long years. But the 53m euros (£32.6m) Juventus paid Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001 is no longer a world record fee for a goalkeeper.

Implicit in the length of time it lasted is the confidence Juventus had in Buffon becoming an all-time great. A once-in-a-lifetime talent. But as the game grew richer and richer, the longevity of the record has been the cause of some surprise.

If anything, it symbolised the enduring undervaluation of the goalkeeping position. Undervalued it is no more.

Liverpool's decision to invest up to 75m euros (£66.8m) in Alisson looks an expensive one, because it goes against the conventional wisdom. This is the kind of money clubs are supposed to invest in goalscorers. Not goalkeepers.

But, judging by Alisson's performances for Roma last season, it seems entirely fair. The Brazil international wasn't just considered the best player in his position in Serie A, but the best in any position, such was his influence on Roma's play and results.

Alisson didn't just stop goals. He set them up. He played defence-splitting passes, inch-perfect long balls, completed more dribbles than a whole host of outfield players, and embarrassed opposition strikers with backheels under pressure and a 'sombrero' against Crotone.

At no point did Alisson's tricks cause a quick intake of breath or create a sense of panic. His actions were not frivolous. They were essential. The right decision under the circumstances.

Watch Alisson perform any of the skills listed above and you will not see a showman with a professional death wish, but a self-assured goalkeeper who has earned the complete trust of his team. "He's the goalkeeper of the future," Roma manager Eusebio di Francesco said. The evolution of the species in his position.

At least that is how Alisson is perceived in Serie A, where he distinguished himself as the most convincing interpreter of the sweeper-keeper role Italy has seen since Manuel Neuer made that style the benchmark by which goalkeepers are now judged.

Alisson

Alisson rushed off his line and cleared the ball 41 times this season. To put that into perspective, the next best goalkeeper in Italy when it comes to sweeping was Pepe Reina - he managed 20. Alisson proved crucial in enabling Roma to play with an aggressive high line in defence.

For all the attributes that mark Alisson out as a thoroughly modern goalkeeper, it is the old-fashioned stuff that makes him a traditionalist's favourite as well. Tall and broad shouldered, he has an imposing frame and can seem like a magnet for the ball.

Alisson made 109 saves last season and was the only goalkeeper in Serie A with a shots saved percentage of 79% or higher. Limit that to attempts inside the box and his record is the best in Italy over the past five years.

More impressively, Opta's advance metrics show that given the quality of chances Alisson faced, the average goalkeeper would have conceded 36.31 goals. Alisson is no ordinary goalkeeper. He allowed just 28; a difference of eight, the biggest in Serie A.

As Roma and Edin Dzeko did not score as freely as they had done the previous season, his interventions assumed greater significance. Some were jaw-dropping.

Alisson's first Champions League game of the season set the tone for the rest of the campaign. Roma were out-played by Atletico Madrid but held out for a 0-0 draw thanks to a goalkeeper who made nine saves.

In October, he had to tell the pundits in the Sky Italia studio to leave the comparisons with Gordon Banks alone. Adam Masina, now of Watford, thought he had scored for Bologna, just as Pele believed he had netted for Brazil against England at the 1970 World Cup. But Alisson was able to dive and flick the ball up and over, stopping a certain goal.

Roma goalkeeping coach Marco Savorani deserves a great share of the credit in the blossoming of Alisson.

Savorani was also behind Wojciech Szczesny's progression. The former Arsenal goalkeeper came on leaps and bounds under his guidance, so much so that Juventus chose him to be Buffon's successor.

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"He makes everything look easy," Savorani has said about Alisson. "He reads the game. He keeps very cool. Over the last 18 months he has refined his technique a lot. He's a champion with a capital C."

A bargain for the 8m euros (£6.7m) Roma paid Brazil's Internacional for him, Alisson will be one of the most profitable deals in the club's history, a parting gift from Walter Sabatini, Monchi's predecessor as sporting director.

Not that Roma fans are overly pleased with the idea of losing another star in the same summer as Radja Nainggolan's departure to Inter. That said, 11 new signings have come in and the bitterness is lessened by the confidence in Monchi and the process he started last year.

Roma did not need the money after a run to the Champions League semi-finals and the sponsorship it attracted, which helped free them from their Financial Fair Play settlement agreement with Uefa.

But when someone is willing to pay 22m euros (£19.6m) more than the existing record for a goalkeeper and can offer a salary outside the limits of your wage structure it is hard to turn them down.

At least this summer Roma benefit from the inflation the Neymar transfer provoked, which contributed to making the sale of Mohamed Salah look cheap when they sold him to Liverpool for £34m in 2017.

Liverpool can be confident Alisson will make as big an impact relative to his position as their last signing from the Eternal City.

A top-class goalkeeper was the missing piece in Jurgen Klopp's Anfield puzzle. But in Alisson, Liverpool look to have found it.

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Alisson: Liverpool make Brazilian world's most expensive keeper

1 hour 17 min ago
Alisson

Liverpool have made Roma's Alisson the world's most expensive goalkeeper after signing him on a six-year deal.

The Reds have not revealed how much they have paid for the Brazil number one but Roma said the deal is worth up to £66.8m (72.5m euros).

"In terms of my life and my career, it's a huge step for me being part of this club and this family," said the 25-year-old.

He has been at Roma for two years, and played 37 Serie A games in 2017-18.

'One of the world's best goalkeepers'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he has signed "a real personality".

"At one point in the last few weeks it came up, the opportunity to sign one of the world's best goalkeepers," he added. "The owners were quite excited, so we did it.

"He has nothing to do with the price, we have nothing to do with the price, it's the market, that's how it is and we will not think a lot about it.

"He needs to adapt to the English Premier League, that's how it is. The league is different, the refs are different, the goalkeeper's life is different in the Premier League.

"But that's not important now because again, we got him here because of his existing strengths, which is in all goalkeeper departments the highest level."

Alisson said the move was a "dream come true" and revealed Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who he used to play with at Roma, had sent him a message before he completed the move to Anfield.

"Yesterday, he sent me a message saying: 'Hey, what are you waiting for?' As the negotiations were at an advanced stage, I replied to him straight away saying: 'Calm down, I'm on my way!'

"I'm really happy to have the opportunity to play alongside him again. As well as being a great player, he is a huge character and a great person - which is the most important thing."

Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson

Alisson is Liverpool's fourth major signing since they finished the 2017-18 season fourth in the Premier League and were beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Brazil midfielder Fabinho, 24, has joined from Monaco in a deal which could be worth more than £40m, while Guinea midfielder Naby Keita, 23, has moved to the Merseyside club from German side RB Leipzig in a £48m deal.

Liverpool have also signed Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri, 26, from Stoke City after triggering his £13m release clause.

In addition, 26-year-old forward Salah - who has scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the club - signed a new five-year contract this summer.

World's most expensive goalkeepers

The previous record fee for a keeper was the 53m euros paid by Juventus to Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.

The Premier League record for a keeper is the 40m euros Manchester City paid Benfica for Ederson in June 2017.

Buffon's deal was worth £32.6m at the time, while Ederson's was worth £35m because of changing exchange rates, but as most deals between clubs in Europe, including the Premier League, are completed in euros Buffon's deal is recognised as the record.

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Premier League transfers: Your guide to the window so far

Thu, 19/07/2018 - 14:58

There have been plenty of Premier League transfers you might have missed this summer during the World Cup. So who have each team signed and sold - and who do they need to bring in?

Remember, the transfer deadline for top-flight English clubs is Thursday, 9 August this season for the first time.

All transfers correct as of 18 July 2018

Manchester City Riyad Mahrez is Manchester City's record signing

Position last season: champions

Transfers in: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) £60m

Transfers out: Angus Gunn (Southampton) £13.5m, Pablo Maffeo (Stuttgart) undisclosed, Angelino (PSV) undisclosed, Ashley Smith-Brown (Plymouth) undisclosed, Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (Peterborough) undisclosed, Matt Smith (Twente) loan, Edward Francis (Almere City) loan, Manu Garcia Alonso (Toulouse) loan, Paolo Fernandes (NAC Breda) loan, Yaya Toure (released)

BBC Radio Manchester's Andy Buckley: "City were pipped by Chelsea for Jorginho from Napoli but still have lots of midfield options. Pep Guardiola will be heartened that captain Vincent Kompany came through the World Cup unscathed and the City boss has the buying power to bring in defensive cover and an extra front-line striker if required.

"Manchester City aim to become the first club in a decade to make a successful defence of the Premier League title. It will be a much harder task this time round, though the signing of Riyad Mahrez signals their intentions."

Manchester United

Position last season: second

Transfers in: Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) £47m, Diogo Dalot (Porto) £19m, Lee Grant (Stoke) £1.5m

Transfers out: Daley Blind (Ajax) £14m, Sam Johnstone (West Brom) £6.5m, Joe Riley (Bradford) undisclosed, Michael Carrick (retired), Dean Henderson (Sheff Utd) loan

BBC Radio Manchester's Bill Rice: "The arrival of Brazilian midfielder Fred gives United added steel and grit in midfield, and should allow Paul Pogba to flourish further upfield on his return from a successful World Cup, while teenage full-back Diogo Dalot's arrival led to Daley Blind's departure after just four Premier League starts last season.

"A commanding central defender and another hardworking wide player are the areas manager Jose Mourinho will look to strengthen, with Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld and Chelsea's Willian among the names in the frame.

"Don't rule out a statement signing too, United - having opted not to pursue re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo nine years after he left the club for Spain - would surely be near the front of the queue if Gareth Bale also decides to leave Real Madrid this summer."

Tottenham

Position last season: third

Transfers in: None

Transfers out: Keanan Bennetts (Borussia Monchengladbach) undisclosed, Anton Walkes (Portsmouth) undisclosed

BBC Radio London's Andy Rowley: "As usual Tottenham are taking their time in the transfer market. Spurs got their biggest deals done before the World Cup by securing striker Harry Kane and manager Mauricio Pochettino to new contracts.

"There might be some re-shaping of the squad to be done if they decide to sell Belgium internationals Mousa Dembele and Toby Alderweireld. Fernando Llorente, Moussa Sissoko, Danny Rose and Vincent Janssen may also be departing.

"Depending on departures they require wide attacking options and cover for Harry Kane."

Liverpool

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Position last season: fourth

Transfers in: Fabinho (Monaco) £39m, Naby Keita (RB Leipzig) £52.75m, Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) £13m

Transfers out: Emre Can (Juventus) free, Jon Flanagan (Rangers) free, Yan Dhanda (Swansea) free, Ovie Ejaria (Rangers) loan, Adam Bogdan (Hibernian) loan, Harry Wilson (Derby) loan

BBC Radio Merseyside's Ian Kennedy: "The position everyone is talking about is the goalkeeper, as Liverpool close in on a £66.8m move for Roma's Alisson.

"Midfield has been been strengthened with Fabinho and Naby Keita, and now Xherdan Shaqiri too but many see Liverpool's striking options needing a boost, if only in terms of experience - but anyone coming to the club will know they'll have a job and half to play regularly ahead of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino."

Chelsea

Position last season: fifth

Transfers in: Jorginho (Napoli) £50m

Transfers out: Jonathan Panzo (Monaco) undisclosed, Mitchell Beeney (Sligo) free, Wallace Oliveira (released), Trevoh Chalobah (Ipswich) loan, Nathan Baxter (Yeovil) loan, Reece James (Wigan) loan, Dujon Sterling (Coventry) loan, Lewis Baker (Leeds) loan, Jake Clarke-Salter (Vitesse) loan, Danilo Pantic (Partizan) loan, Eduardo (Vitesse) loan, Kenedy (Newcastle) loan, Jhoao Rodriguez (Tenerife) loan, Jamal Blackman (Leeds) loan, Todd Kane (Hull) loan, Mason Mount (Derby) loan

BBC Radio London's Nick Godwin: "New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says the transfer market doesn't really interest him and other people at the club will decide who comes in and goes out, although Jorginho has followed him from Napoli.

"However he may have to contend with some potential departures. The futures of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois are far from certain.

"He did allow himself to suggest that he would like to see a bit more quality in midfield but that he could adapt players he currently has to do this."

Arsenal

Position last season: sixth

Transfers in: Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria) £26m, Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen) £19m, Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund) £16m, Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient) undisclosed, Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus) free

Transfers out: Per Mertesacker (retired), Jack Wilshere (West Ham) free, Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) free, Hugo Keto (Brighton) free, Tafari Moore (Plymouth) free, Chiori Johnson (Bolton) free, Yassin Fortune (Sion) free, Aaron Eyoma (Derby) free, Marc Bola (Blackpool) free, Vlad Dragomir, Ryan Huddart, Alex Crean (all released), Takuma Asano (Hannover) loan

BBC Radio London's Phil Parry: "For the first time in over two decades Arsenal head into a new season without Arsene Wenger at the helm which makes predictions a little difficult. The last campaign for the Frenchman proved very disappointing and his successor takes over with the club at its lowest league ebb on the pitch in years.

"Unai Emery's first objective will be to make the Gunners challenge for a top-four finish. The players who have left the squad are no major surprise while the business already done has started to fill a few of the cracks which have appeared in the last couple of years. Two experienced defenders will help and a new goalkeeper in Leno may signal a real challenge to Petr Cech in the battle for the gloves.

"Lucas Torreira looked impressive as a defensive midfielder for Uruguay in the World Cup and looks to be an astute acquisition. The front pair of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have the potential to provide goals but the Gunners could still do with some potency out wide. And at the back another dominant central defender and left sided player would be on fans' shopping lists. But perhaps after a stale end to the Wenger era this new direction will have an immediate impact."

Burnley

Position last season: seventh

Transfers in: None

Transfers out: Scott Arfield (Rangers) free, Tom Anderson (Doncaster) free, Josh Ginnelly (Walsall) free, Chris Long, Dean Marney (both released)

BBC Radio Lancashire's Scott Read: "They look a central defender light, having not strengthened since the sale of Michael Keane 12 months ago. Kevin Long was an able deputy for Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, but injury to either would leave them stretched at the back. A little extra pace and mobility, out wide and/or up front could also be a priority.

"The longer Burnley remain in the Europa League, the tougher they'll find the Premier League, at least that's how the theory goes. However, the Championship title, two consecutive years in the top flight and then securing European football has told me that theories, where Sean Dyche is concerned, often go out of the window."

Everton

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Position last season: eighth

Transfers in: None

Transfers out: Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal) undisclosed, Wayne Rooney (DC United) undisclosed, Joel Robles (Real Betis) free, Jose Baxter (Oldham) free, David Henen (released), Luke Garbutt (Oxford) loan, Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray) loan

BBC Radio Merseyside's Ian Kennedy: "I think Marco Silva and new director of football Marcel Brands will be aware of the lack of depth in the striking department. Cenk Tosun has proved to be a good signing, but he'll need support up top. Dominic Calvert-Lewin did well last season and we know Oumar Niasse can be a handful - but can Everton find an experienced top-class striker or two?

"Everton have holding midfielders - but may look for more creative midfielders. A fit again Gylfi Sigurdsson will be a bonus and it'll be interesting to see if Ademola Lookman is given more opportunities after coming back from his loan spell in Germany. The Blues squad is big, and may well require trimming down before any new signings come in. Last season proved tough for the likes of Davy Klaassen and Nikola Vlasic - but will the new manager give them an opportunity to impress?"

Leicester

Position last season: ninth

Transfers in: James Maddison (Norwich) £20m, Ricardo Pereira (Porto) £17.7m, Jonny Evans (West Brom) £3.5m

Transfers out: Riyad Mahrez (Man City) £60m, Connor Wood (Bradford) undisclosed, Ben Hamer (Huddersfield) free, Robert Huth (released), Elliott Moore (OH Leuven) loan

BBC Radio Leicester's Ian Stringer: "The Foxes will only really know what they need when they're sure the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire, Wilfred NDidi and Jamie Vardy won't be poached. Claude Puel may want another left back to assist youngster Ben Chilwell and Christian Fuchs.

"The central midfield is packed and there's options on the wings but yet another 'number 10' or creative player wouldn't surprise me.

"Jack Grealish was mentioned before Spurs showed interest but I'd expect the Foxes to spread their transfer tentacles far and wide. An overseas star wouldn't be strange; let's hope they're more successful than Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani."

Newcastle

Position last season: 10th

Transfers in: Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague) undisclosed, Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea) free, Kenedy (Chelsea) loan

Transfers out: Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad) undisclosed, Massadio Haidara (Lens) free, Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) free

BBC Radio Newcastle's Matthew Raisbeck: "Rafael Benitez is again frustrated by Newcastle's approach to transfers. He was hoping for more than the £45m that was spent last summer - but has again only been given a modest budget.

"The Spaniard knows he needs to sell players - and reduce the wage bill - in order to bring in more new faces; striker Aleksandar Mitrovic - wanted by Fulham - is his most saleable asset.

"Benitez needs at least one striker. West Brom's Salomon Rondon is the Magpies' top target after they missed out on Alassane Plea. The United boss also wants to re-sign winger Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace, and could finance that deal by allowing Matt Ritchie to join Stoke.

"Three players have arrived so far. But given that Kenedy and Martin Dubravka have returned after being on loan, and Ki Sung-yeung is a like-for-like replacement for Mikel Merino, Newcastle are effectively no stronger than they were last season."

Crystal Palace

Position last season: 11th

Transfers in: Vicente Guaita (Getafe) free

Transfers out: Yohan Cabaye (Al Nasr) free, Damien Delaney (Cork) free, Diego Cavalieri, Lee Chung-yong (both released)

BBC Radio London's Nick Godwin: "Things have been very quiet on the transfer front so far this summer which has alarmed some Palace supporters.

"Roy Hodgson produced a miracle last season given how lop-sided the squad was and the number of injuries suffered through the campaign.

"A new goalkeeper has finally been brought in [Guaita] but new recruits are required in midfield and up front.

"However most efforts are being targeted at keeping hold of Palace's current stars - particularly Wilfried Zaha."

Bournemouth

Position last season: 12th

Transfers in: David Brooks (Sheffield United) undisclosed

Transfers out: Benik Afobe (Wolves) £10m, Lewis Grabban (Nottingham Forest) £6m, Max Gradel (Toulouse) undisclosed, Adam Federici (Stoke) undisclosed, Rhoys Wiggins (retired), Ryan Allsop (Wycombe) free, Ollie Harfield (Dag & Red) free, Sam Matthews (Bristol Rovers) free, Joe Quigley (Maidstone) free, Baily Cargill, Patrick O'Flaherty (both released), Mikael Ndjoli (Kilmarnock) loan

BBC Radio Solent's Adam Blackmore: "It's been a quiet summer so far, but the Cherries are chasing Uruguayan international left-back Diego Laxalt, and Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma.

"If Eddie Howe can persuade Lerma and Laxalt to come to the Vitality stadium, then two of their key needs will have been addressed. Centre-back and/or right-back could also be positions that give Eddie Howe more strength in depth and formation options."

West Ham Felipe Anderson

Position last season: 13th

Transfers in: Felipe Anderson (Lazio) £36m, Issa Diop (Toulouse) £22m, Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) £7m, Andriy Yarmolenko (Borussia Dortmund) undisclosed, Fabian Balbuena (Corinthians) undisclosed, Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) free, Ryan Fredericks (Fulham) free

Transfers out: Ben Wells (QPR) undisclosed, Reece Burke (Hull) undisclosed, James Collins, Patrice Evra (both released)

BBC Radio London's Phil Parry: "Having appointed a new manager in the shape of Manuel Pellegrini the Hammers have done their transfer business early. And after calls from fans for the club to splash some of the Premier League cash the board have gone out and invested heavily this summer to strengthen areas identified by many observers as those needing to be addressed.

"Diop looks as a fine prospect in the heart of defence while Ryan Fredericks will match the energy and up and down style of Arthur Masuaku on the opposite full-back flank. With the arrival of Anderson and Yarmolenko the Irons' front four looks very strong and Jack Wilshere has the qualities to unlock defences [providing those injury doubts don't haunt him].

"I suppose there could still be a couple of exits if the squad seems a little too large and there's a suggestion that Marko Arnautovic could attract attention from elsewhere. But based on what has been done so far the supporters will be expecting a top-10 finish, a push for possible European qualification and a cup run."

Watford

Position last season: 14th

Transfers in: Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona) £11.5m, Adam Masina (Bologna) £3.5m, Marc Navarro (Espanyol) £1.8m, Ben Wilmot (Stevenage) undisclosed, Ken Sema (Ostersund) undisclosed, Ben Foster (West Brom) undisclosed

Transfers out: Costel Pantilimon (Nottingham Forest) undisclosed, Mauro Zarate (Boca Juniors) undisclosed, Brandon Mason (Coventry) free

BBC Three Counties Radio's Geoff Doyle: "It looks as though Watford have again been canny in the transfer market, not spending too much (about £25m so far) but bringing in players to strengthen last season's problem areas to bolster a squad which is already pretty strong but which was badly hampered by injuries last campaign.

"Ben Foster is an excellent goalkeeper choice, two full-backs were required and were brought in early, Gerard Deulofeu will continue to get better and the others could also make their mark.

"A striker is the one area that probably still needs strengthening. Troy Deeney's influence has lessened over the three Premier League years although injury hasn't helped and Andre Gray didn't quite hit the mark last season so proven back-up is probably needed if those two don't fire."

Brighton

Position last season: 15th

Transfers in: Bernardo (RB Leipzig) £9m, Florin Andone (Deportivo) undisclosed, Jason Steele (Sunderland) undisclosed, David Button (Fulham) undisclosed, Yves Bissouma (Lille) undisclosed, Leon Balogun (Mainz) free, Joseph Tomlinson (Yeovil) free, Hugo Keto (Arsenal) free

Transfers out: Jamie Murphy (Rangers) undisclosed, Connor Goldson (Rangers) undisclosed, Bailey Vose (Colchester) undisclosed, Henrik Bjordal (Zulte Waregem) undisclosed, Uwe Huenemeier (Paderborn) free, Steve Sidwell, Liam Rosenior, Niki Maenpaa (all released), Robert Sanchez (Forest Green Rovers) loan, Ben Hall (Notts County) loan, Christian Walton (Wigan) loan, Steven Alzate (Swindon) loan, Ales Mateju (Brescia) loan

BBC Sussex's Johnny Cantor: "The Seagulls moved quickly to secure long-term targets early in the window and opted for players with versatility like Leon Balogun and Bernardo who can play in a number of positions.

"Initially the main focus was on the defence and two new keepers but the spotlight has moved further up the pitch.

"The arrival of central midfielder Yves Bissouma may allow for different option of a 4-3-3 next season, a possible Plan B to improve on last year's away from home [11 points] but a creative number 10 or another wide player may complete the squad alongside the cut-price capture of Florin Andone earlier in the summer."

Huddersfield

Position last season: 16th

Transfers in: Terence Kongolo (Monaco) £17m, Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke) £5.7m, Juninho Bacuna (Groningen) undisclosed, Jonas Lossl (Mainz) undisclosed, Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund) undisclosed, Ben Hamer (Leicester) free

Transfers out: Dean Whitehead (retired), Dylan Cogill (Clyde) free, Jack Boyle (Clyde) free, Jack Payne (Bradford) loan, Robert Green, Denilson Carvalho, Luca Colville, Cameron Taylor (all released)

BBC Radio Leeds' Paul Ogden: "So far, a classic modern-day Huddersfield Town transfer window, with a nod towards the financial reward for having stayed in the Premier League at the first attempt.

"A new club transfer record has been set by the permanent acquisition of Terence Kongolo from Monaco, accompanied by a handful of other, more obscure, and typically bold bargain-hunter's captures.

"Egypt's Ramadan Sobhi for example, salvaged from the rubble of Stoke's relegation collapse, wouldn't have interested many other Premier League clubs. Head coach David Wagner however, will have seen something he liked in Sobhi as an opponent last season and believe he can get much more from the player than others have.

"Equally original is the arrival of ex-Germany international Erik Durm to add some much-needed nous to Huddersfield's left side. His low risk, short contract from Borussia Dortmund is a classic win-win."

Southampton

Position last season: 17th

Transfers in: Mohamed Elyounoussi (Basel) £16m, Angus Gunn (Man City) £13.5m, Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) £7m, Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach) undisclosed

Transfers out: Dusan Tadic (Ajax) £10m, Olufela Olomola (Scunthorpe) free, Florin Gardos (Universitatea Craiova) free, Armani Little (Oxford) free, Will Wood (Accrington) free, Jeremy Pied, Ollie Cook, Richard Bakary, Stuart Taylor (all released), Guido Carrillo (Leganes) loan, Ryan Seager (Telstar) loan

BBC Radio Solent's Adam Blackmore: "I expect further movement after a good summer so far for Saints. They could add a forward/winger but I suspect they will be keen to move Sofiane Boufal out on loan first. Goalkeeper Fraser Forster also looks set for a loan move away following the investment in Angus Gunn.

"Some supporters are calling for another striker, after struggling for goals in the last two seasons."

Wolves

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Position last season: champions (Championship)

Transfers in: Benik Afobe (Bournemouth) £10m, Willy Boly (Porto) £10m, Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon) fee not yet decided, Leo Bonatini (Al-Hilal) undisclosed, Ruben Vinagre (Monaco) undisclosed, Raul Jimenez (Benfica) loan, Diogo Jota (Atletico Madrid) undisclosed

Transfers out: Ben Marshall (Norwich) undisclosed, Duckens Nazon (STVV) undisclosed, Prince Oniangue (Caen) undisclosed, Jon Flatt (Scunthorpe) free, Hakeem Odoffin (Northampton) free, Jordan Allan, Dan Armstrong, Anthony Breslin, Nicu Carnat, Ross Finnie, Conor Levingston, Tomas Nogueira, Adam Osbourne, Ryan Rainey, Jose Xavier (all released), Benik Afobe (Stoke) loan, Christian Herc (Dunajska Streda) loan, Aaron Collins (Colchester) loan, Sherwin Seedorf (Bradford) loan, Roderick Miranda (Olympiakos) loan

BBC WM 95.6's Mike Taylor: "Wolves supporters expecting a wild summer of spending from their wealthy owners following promotion have so far been left, if not disappointed, then maybe a little unfulfilled. It's hard to believe that will stay the case for long. Much of the money so far laid out this summer has been to consolidate last year's squad by turning loans into permanent deals, most notably for the hugely popular Willy Boly and Diogo Jota, and they didn't come cheaply.

"The signing of the Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio may have been a little opportunistic, Wolves plucking him out of Sporting Lisbon's summer of chaos, to the clear annoyance of his former employers, who are determined to extract some sort of payment at least. There are suggestions that Sporting want £50m for the keeper! While his quality and value is beyond doubt, it could be argued that other areas of the squad more urgently require reinforcement.

"Raul Jimenez on loan is so far the forward new to the club, and although he's enjoyed success with Benfica, they have used him sparingly in view of their total outlay for him. If he proves to be a success or is joined by another striker, Benik Afobe's immediate departure to Stoke after signing a full deal will look less unusual. An additional central defender would seem to be a likely priority too, and it would be no surprise to see Wolves use the loan-with-a-view-to-permanent method extensively again in whatever remaining business they have in mind."

Cardiff

Position last season: second (Championship)

Transfers in: Josh Murphy (Norwich) £11m, Bobby Reid (Bristol City) £10m, Greg Cunningham (Preston) £4m, Alex Smithies (QPR) £3.5m,

Transfers out: None

BBC Wales' Dafydd Pritchard: "Owner Vincent Tan said Cardiff City would learn from their previous stint in the Premier League - which ended after a single tumultuous season in 2014 - and their spending this summer suggests they have done just that.

"Winger Josh Murphy, forward Bobby Reid, goalkeeper Alex Smithies and left-back Greg Cunningham have joined for less than £30m between them, adding quality to the squad which won promotion from the Championship in efficient fashion last season.

"Manager Neil Warnock has done his business early and with the exception of a few loan signings - Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic is in the frame to return - he seems unlikely to make many more additions."

Fulham

Position last season: third, play-off winners (Championship)

Transfers in: Jean Michael Seri (Nice) undisclosed, Maxime le Marchand (Nice) undisclosed.

Transfers out: David Button (Brighton) undisclosed, Ryan Fredericks (West Ham) free, Stephen Humphrys (Scunthorpe) loan, Elijah Adebayo (Swindon) loan

BBC Radio London's Andy Rowley: "Fulham fans are already hoping they have got the Ivorian Xavi as Jean Michael Seri has topped the Ligue 1 rankings for passes played and completed for the past two seasons. He should certainly fit in with the way they play their football under Slavisa Jokanovic, who will also be keen to bring Aleksandar Mitrovic and Matt Targett to Craven Cottage on permanent deals after the Southampton and Newcastle players impressed on loan in the second half of last season's promotion campaign.

"Fulham have also been busy tying key players to long-term deals with captain Tom Cairney and influential USA defender Tim Ream extending their contracts. This is good news after losing full-back Ryan Fredericks, who ran down his contract and moved to West Ham on a free transfer.

"They need to strengthen in central defence, at left-back and up front."

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Liverpool midfielder to miss most of 2018-19 season

Wed, 18/07/2018 - 20:57
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Liverpool and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to miss the majority of the 2018-19 season, says Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

The 24-year-old has not played since injuring a knee during the Champions League semi-final with Roma in April.

"It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox, this season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab," Klopp said.

"We have known this from pretty much the day after he got the injury."

Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the World Cup after damaging his knee ligaments tackling Roma's Aleksandar Kolarov at Anfield on 24 April.

Capped 32 times, he moved to Anfield from Arsenal last summer for £35m.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had "completely successful" surgery last season, but Klopp said the player did not want the severity of the injury disclosed then as he did not want to divert attention from Liverpool's Champions League campaign.

The Reds were beaten 3-1 in the final by Real Madrid.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

"There has been no change, no setback - it's exactly on the schedule we expected and planned for," said Klopp.

"The new information is that we're now giving more detail publicly. Typical of Ox, he didn't want the news to overshadow the end of the season and, to be quite honest, we thought we could wait and tell people at an appropriate time.

"His surgery - which he had on the day of our second leg in Roma - has been completely successful and his recovery has started superbly well.

"But the truth of the matter is that we are preparing this season knowing he will not be with us on the pitch for competitive matches for the majority of it. If we do see him back this season it will be a bonus."

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Alisson: Liverpool offer for Brazil goalkeeper accepted by Roma

Wed, 18/07/2018 - 13:57
Alisson

Liverpool have agreed a fee of about £66.8m for Roma goalkeeper Alisson.

The Premier League club are now expected to hold talks with the Brazil international.

The 25-year-old has been at Roma for two years, and played 37 Serie A games last season, after starting his career at Brazilian side Internacional.

Liverpool's bid, which is 70m euros, would overtake the current record for a keeper - 53m euros paid by Juventus to Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.

The Premier League record for a keeper is the 40m euros Manchester City paid Benfica for Ederson in June 2017.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was forced to defend goalkeeper Loris Karius last week after another mistake - this time in a pre-season friendly against Tranmere.

The 25-year-old German spilled a free-kick that allowed the hosts to score in Liverpool's 3-2 win at Prenton Park.

Karius was at fault for two goals in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League final, but it was later found that he had concussion.

Alisson played all five games, keeping three clean sheets, as Brazil were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup by Belgium.

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Liverpool: A 'matter of time' before Jurgen Klopp wins trophies, says Ian Ayre

Wed, 18/07/2018 - 10:27
Jurgen Klopp

It is only a "matter of time" before Jurgen Klopp starts to win trophies at Liverpool, says former chief executive Ian Ayre.

A lifelong Liverpool fan, Ayre was part of the management group that appointed Klopp to replace Brendan Rodgers in 2015.

Since then, Liverpool have been defeated in three cup finals, the latest in May when they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Success has proved elusive in the Premier League too.

But Ayre says it will not be long before the situation changes.

He told the BBC: "It is just a matter of time. There is definitely progress going on. Maybe luck has not followed Jurgen in the last few years but it will come."

'Jurgen has Liverpool DNA'

Since winning the FA Cup against West Ham on penalties in 2006, Liverpool have reached six major cup finals and won only one.

In the same period they have twice finished runners-up in the Premier League.

Klopp has presided over two fourth-placed finishes in his two full seasons in charge.

Yet, the manner of Liverpool's performances, particularly last season when forward Mohamed Salah broke the Premier League record for most goals in a 38-game season with 32, has generated a feelgood factor around Anfield.

Ian Ayre Jurgen Klopp

And Ayre, who this month took over as chief executive of the soon-to-be-launched Major League Soccer franchise in Nashville, is confident Klopp will soon be rewarded.

He said: "If you wrote what the DNA of a Liverpool manager might look like, Jurgen would be it.

"Success can be measured in different ways. Of course, it is a football club and I am a Liverpool supporter. Winning trophies is what we all want.

"But you can't underestimate the importance of progress and nobody can question Jurgen has made progress in his time at Liverpool.

"He is the most driven and self-disciplined individual I have ever met.

"I have no doubt be will bring real success, in terms of trophies and championships, to Liverpool sometime soon."

What lies ahead

Liverpool's trophy prospects have not been helped in recent years by the sales of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho for a combined sum of £266m.

But Liverpool have already spent around £100m on new players for the 2018-19 campaign.

Although the deal was done 12 months ago, midfielder Naby Keita has only just arrived from RB Leipzig, a transfer made slightly cheaper than the quoted £51m fee by the German club's failure to qualify for this season's Champions League.

In addition, Liverpool have signed midfielder Fabinho from Monaco for £39m and Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke after the Reds activated his £13m release clause last week.

After playing Blackburn in their fourth domestic pre-season friendly on Thursday, Liverpool head to the United States where they will play International Champions Cup matches against Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Manchester United.

They open their Premier League campaign against West Ham at Anfield on 12 August.

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Rhian Brewster: Liverpool forward signs new long-term contract

Tue, 17/07/2018 - 23:52
Rhian Brewster

Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster has signed a new five-year contract with the club.

The 18-year-old has yet to make his competitive senior debut and is recovering from an ankle ligament injury suffered in January.

"I'm looking forward to getting back fit and making some appearances," he told Liverpool's website.

Brewster helped England win the Under-17 World Cup last October, scoring eight times during the tournament.

He scored hat-tricks in the quarter-final against the United States and in England's semi-final against Brazil.

Brewster also scored in the 5-2 win over Spain in the final in India.

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Alisson: Liverpool make offer to sign Roma goalkeeper

Tue, 17/07/2018 - 18:09
.

Liverpool have made an offer to sign Roma's Alisson for a reported £62m, a world record fee for a goalkeeper.

Roma are considering the bid but no deal has been agreed and the Italian side are said to want £66m.

Alisson has recently returned from the World Cup in Russia where he appeared for Brazil.

The 25-year-old has been at Roma for two years, and played 37 Serie A games last season, after starting his career at Brazilian side Internacional.

Liverpool's bid, which is 70m euros, would overtake the current record for a keeper - 53m euros paid by Juventus to Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.

The Premier League record for a keeper is the 40m euros Manchester City paid Benfica for Ederson in June 2017.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was forced to defend goalkeeper Loris Karius last week after another mistake - this time in a pre-season friendly against Tranmere.

The 25-year-old German spilled a free-kick that allowed the hosts to score in Liverpool's 3-2 win at Prenton Park.

Karius was at fault for two goals in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League final, but it was later found that he had concussion.

Alisson played all five games, keeping three clean sheets, as Brazil were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup by Belgium.

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Marco Grujic: Cardiff boss Neil Warnock keen on loan move

Tue, 17/07/2018 - 08:18
Marco Grujic

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock is still hopeful of signing Liverpool's Marco Grujic on a season-long loan.

The Serbia international midfielder impressed on loan at Cardiff during the second half of the club's Championship promotion season.

Warnock admits he may have to wait to secure the services of the 22-year-old for the Bluebirds' return to the Premier League.

"It's a waiting game, but we won't wait forever," he said.

Warnock hopes former Red Star Belgrade player Grujic may yet be able to join his squad on their current pre-season tour to the West Country.

"I think his agent - as they do - probably thinks he is going to try and make more money somewhere else," said Warnock.

"Liverpool want him to come and I think it will be good for him. I think Marco does as well.

"We will see what happens by Friday this week. I never lose sleep over targets if I am honest.

"I always think it's their loss if they don't come."

Cardiff kicked off their pre-season tour of the south west with a 6-0 win over Tavistock on Monday.

Kenneth Zohore was missing for the game due to his wife giving birth. The Danish striker is set to link with the squad in midweek.

Warnock said he is keen to add two more signings to his squad - possibly both loans - ideally including Grujic.

But he dismissed reports linking West Bromwich Albion winger Matty Phillips with a move to Cardiff.

Warnock said: "I made one phone call to West Brom six weeks ago, they told me £15m and I have never spoken about him since."

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Xherdan Shaqiri: Liverpool sign Stoke forward after triggering release clause

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 23:24

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Liverpool have signed Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City on a five-year deal, after triggering his £13m release clause.

The 26-year-old was Stoke's top scorer last season with eight goals as they were relegated from the Premier League.

He joined the Potters from Inter Milan in August 2015 for a club record fee of £12m.

Shaqiri scored against Serbia at the World Cup as Switzerland reached the last 16, where they lost to Sweden.

In June, he was reported as saying he wanted to leave Stoke and sign for a Premier League club.

Liverpool have already strengthened their squad this summer with the £39m signing of Monaco midfielder Fabinho, and the arrival of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.

Shaqiri, who will wear the number 23 shirt, was linked with a move to Anfield in 2014 but Bayern Munich reportedly blocked the transfer.

"As a player you always want to be on the biggest stage in football," he said.

"A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn't happen. I'm really happy that now I'm finally here. I want to improve myself too, I want to be with the best and I want to win titles.

"It's a huge club with big history, big players and a fantastic coach. So I'm really glad and happy to be here."

Shaqiri won the Champions League with Bayern in 2013, and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: "I think the English phrase to explain the decision to sign Xherdan is a 'no-brainer'.

"I know him well from his time in Switzerland and especially Germany - I have been a long-time admirer. But the added bonus now is that he knows the Premier League and what it takes to perform in this uniquely intense environment.

"He has speed and ability, has the right amount of arrogance on the football pitch, real bravery to want the ball and influence things.

"He is someone who makes a big difference to the squad and team, because he can fit in so many positions in our system."

Xherdan Shaqiri and Jurgen Klopp

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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Xherdan Shaqiri: Liverpool in talks to sign Stoke midfielder

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 14:36

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Liverpool are in talks to sign Stoke's Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri and could trigger his release clause, believed to be more than £13m.

The 26-year-old scored against Serbia at the World Cup as Switzerland reached the last 16, where they lost to Sweden.

Shaqiri joined Stoke from Inter Milan in August 2015 for a club record fee of £12m.

He was the Potters' top scorer last season with eight goals as they were relegated from the Premier League.

In June, Shaqiri was reported as saying he wanted to leave Stoke and sign for a Premier League club.

Liverpool have already strengthened their squad this summer with the £39m signing of Monaco midfielder Fabinho and the arrival of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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Loris Karius: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp defends keeper after mistake in friendly

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 10:53
Lorius Karius

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has defended goalkeeper Loris Karius after another mistake - this time in a pre-season friendly against Tranmere.

The 25-year-old German spilled a free-kick that allowed the hosts to score in Liverpool's 3-2 win at Prenton Park.

Karius was at fault for two goals in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League final, but it was later revealed he had concussion.

"Mistakes will happen; I don't like it, he doesn't like it," said Klopp.

Klopp said Karius "could" have saved the shot, but that it was "not easy to deal with".

"Let's carry on and make the best of all these situations by learning from them," said Klopp.

The German added that Karius will continue to be criticised until "he has a few fantastic games".

Liverpool had led 3-0 at half-time after goals from Rafael Camacho, Sheyi Ojo and Adam Lallana, before Jonny Smith and Amadou Soukouna hit back for Tranmere.

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Harry Wilson: Liverpool midfielder signs new deal with club

Tue, 10/07/2018 - 21:04
Harry Wilson poses for a photo as he signs his Liverpool contract

Wales midfielder Harry Wilson has signed a new Liverpool deal, described as "long-term" by the club.

The 21-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Hull, where he scored seven goals in 13 Championship matches.

He won the first of his four Wales caps in 2013, at 16, and has made one substitute appearance for Liverpool.

"I think my short-term focus is to keep trying to impress the manager day in, day out in training," Wilson said.

"I feel if I do well enough here, everything else will take care of itself."

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Fernando Torres: Ex-Liverpool and Chelsea striker signs for Japan's Sagan Tosu

Tue, 10/07/2018 - 11:51
Fernando Torres

Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Spain striker Fernando Torres has signed for Japanese side Sagan Tosu.

His Atletico Madrid contract ran out this summer and was not renewed, with his final appearance as a 90th-minute substitute in the Europa League final defeat of Marseille.

The Spaniard, 34, rejoined his boyhood club in 2014 after a loan at AC Milan.

The World Cup and European Championship winner was part of Chelsea's Champions League-winning team in 2012.

He scored 126 goals in 314 matches in an eight-year spell in English football, including four years with Liverpool when he scored 81 times in only 142 games.

"I have had offers from France, Germany and even one from Spain but at no point did I ever think about going to another European team," Torres said on Tuesday.

"I wanted a new challenge in a completely different place."

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Loris Karius: Liverpool keeper influenced by Champions League final concussion - Jurgen Klopp

Fri, 06/07/2018 - 11:51
Karius is now back at pre-season training as Liverpool prepare for the 2018-19 campaign

Liverpool keeper Loris Karius was "100%" affected by a concussion in their Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, says manager Jurgen Klopp.

Errors by Karius, 25, led to the Spanish side's first and third goals in their 3-1 victory in Kiev in May.

Karius collided with Sergio Ramos with the score goalless, and five days later was discovered to have "26 of 30 markers for a concussion" in tests.

"We don't use it as an excuse, we use it as an explanation," said Klopp.

"For me, it is 100% the explanation [for his performance]. He was influenced by that knock - that is 100%."

In the days following the final, Karius told fans he was "infinitely sorry" for his performance and he later received death threats, prompting a police investigation.

A week later doctors confirmed he had suffered a concussion during the game but Klopp has not spoken about the injury until now.

"If you ask Loris, he says he didn't think about it and didn't use it for a second as an excuse," added Klopp, whose will take a squad including Karius to face Chester City in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

"From this point of view, from my side everything is fine. We don't think about that any more and we start completely new."

Beckenbauer input - 'We have to check'

Klopp explained that former Germany captain and manager Franz Beckenbauer told him that a highly-respected German doctor believed Karius had suffered the concussion during the defeat in Kiev.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss admitted the prospect had not crossed his mind but felt compelled to investigate following his friend's input.

Klopp added: "I got all the pictures from different perspectives, saw it and thought 'how can we all think that the boy who didn't show any weakness in that game until then made these big mistakes in a very important game and nobody thinks it's because of the knock he got?'

"How can we think that? That was, for me, the explanation and I thought: 'OK, come on, we need to check that.'

"I thought it was too late, you cannot check that. But now I know a concussion isn't coming and going in a day - if you have one, you see it days later. Five days after the final, Loris had 26 of 30 markers for a concussion still. That's clear."

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Hibernian: Adam Bogdan hopes reunion with Neil Lennon can reignite his career

Tue, 03/07/2018 - 17:22
Hibernian goalkeeper Adam Bogdan

Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan hopes being reunited with Neil Lennon at Easter Road can help reignite his career after a serious knee injury.

The 30-year-old Hungarian has signed a season-long loan with Hibernian.

He has not played a first-team game since November 2016, when he was on loan with Wigan Athletic.

"It was a rollercoaster, emotionally and fitness-wise as well," Bogdan said. "It's a chance to get back to training and playing."

Bogdan signed a four-year contract with Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool after leaving Bolton Wanderers in 2015 but has made only six top-team appearances for the Anfield club.

"But I've been fit for the last three or four months, since February," he said. "I had a good run until the end of the season."

Bogdan worked under head coach Lennon at Bolton but does not expect to be an automatic first choice despite last year's number one, Ofir Marciano, still returning to fitness after finger surgery.

"It was one of the reasons I came here," he said of teaming up again with his old boss.

"He gave me a call, told me about the club and told me I had an opportunity here. It was important and hopefully I can show my quality here.

"But I'm not going to come here and say I'm going to play just because I say it - you have make yourself available and show yourself in training and hopefully get a chance. That's my aim."

Adam Bogdan in action for Wigan Athletic

The Easter Road side's season begins next Thursday when they host Runavik of the Faroe Islands in the opening leg of the Europa League first qualifying round.

"It makes the season more colourful, a European run," Bogdan said.

"Being in Europe is exciting as a player - that's what we want and the fans want the same.

"Hopefully that goes hand-in-hand and we can celebrate many good victories and performances in Europe as well as Scotland.

"It's a long way from just the first round and a lot of hard work to be done, but once you're through, there's a lot of enjoyment coming with it.

"We're excited to be in the competition and we would like to get to the group stages."

Bogdan is also no stranger to the Edinburgh derby, having followed the progress of his fellow countrymen who have made the move to the capital.

"I know of the Edinburgh teams because a long time ago we had a Hungarian here, David Grof, and, maybe I shouldn't mention it, but we had a couple of Hungarians at Hearts as well," he explained.

"So I've always looked out for the results in Edinburgh."

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Liverpool and Croatia player Dejan Lovren had social media hacked

Tue, 03/07/2018 - 12:23

Croatian World Cup footballer Dejan Lovren had his social media accounts hacked by a fan living in the Scottish Borders, a court has heard.

Some of the Liverpool defender's family photos and an image of his identity card were found on the computer of Peter Doswell, 22, of Selkirk.

He admitted committing the offence at his home in April last year.

Doswell was ordered to carry out 225 hours unpaid work and put under supervision for 27 months.

Selkirk Sheriff Court heard how the Liverpool fan had accessed the private contact details of Lovren's Liverpool teammates Adam Lallana and Emre Can.

He had then sent messages on their personal social media accounts and mobile phones asking them questions.

Doswell pleaded guilty to knowingly causing a computer to perform a function with intent to secure unauthorised access to a program or data held on a computer.

His lawyer Mark Harrower described it as an "unusual case" and said his client was "not an experienced hacker."

He suggested a third party was involved given the level of expertise required but that Doswell had gone along with it and had carried out some of the actions himself.

An examination of Doswell's computer by Police Scotland's cyber crime unit found 155 video folders featuring Lovren and his family, eight text documents relating to Lovren's purchase of a property in London and a club letter from Liverpool - information that would not be publicly available.

Doswell's laptop contained details of phishing and software used to hack email accounts.

The court heard that it was after he contacted Can that the German had informed team manager Jurgen Klopp and at the same time Lovren realised his Facebook page had been compromised.

Merseyside Police were informed and Police Scotland contacted when all the evidence was traced to Doswell's home in Selkirk.

Mr Harrower admitted his client was guilty of a "huge intrusion" but added that the guilty plea had avoided the need for the Liverpool players to give evidence at a trial.

Sheriff Mark Thorley told Doswell it was a "serious offence".

As an alternative to prison he was placed under supervision with a conduct requirement restricting his use of the internet and ordered to carry out unpaid work as part of a community payback order.

Lovren has played in all four of Croatia's World Cup matches in Russia and is due to line-up against the host nation in the quarter finals this Saturday.

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Adam Bogdan: Liverpool goalkeeper joins Hibs on loan

Mon, 02/07/2018 - 17:13
Adam Bogdan in action for Wigan Athletic

Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan has joined Hibernian on a season-long loan.

The 30-year-old has not played a competitive game since picking up a knee ligament injury while on loan to Wigan Athletic in November 2016.

Bogdan, who has been capped for Hungary 20 times, joined Liverpool from Bolton Wanderers in 2015.

But he has only had six first-team appearances for the Reds, his last being in May 2016, and his last international was in March 2015.

Hibs were looking for cover with Ofir Marciano, who was last season's first choice, still recovering from summer surgery on a finger injury and back-up Cammy Bell having moved to Partick Thistle.

Bogdan began his career with Vasas in his homeland before spending eight years with Bolton, where he worked under Hibs head coach Neil Lennon.

He played 17 times for Wigan in the first half of a season in which they were relegated after finishing second bottom of the Championship.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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Mohamed Salah signs new five-year deal with Liverpool

Mon, 02/07/2018 - 10:52
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has signed a new five-year contract with the club.

The 26-year-old Egypt international joined the Reds for £34m from Roma last summer and has scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the club.

His new deal, which runs until 2023, does not contain a release clause.

"It demonstrates two things very clearly - his belief in Liverpool and our belief in him," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Salah was the top scorer in the Premier League last season, netting 32 goals - the most by a player in a 38-game campaign - to win the Golden Boot.

His performances also helped him win last season's Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award and Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

World Cup 2018Has crazy tournament left England as favourites to reach final?How Russia has been gripped by World Cup feverWatch the best goals of the World Cup group stage'When someone like Mo commits it speaks loudly'

"This news can be seen for what it is; rewarding a person who performed and contributed greatly for the team and the club last season," said Klopp.

"We want world-class talent to see they have a home at Anfield where they can fulfil all their professional dreams and ambitions - we are working hard together to achieve this.

"When someone like Mo Salah commits and says this place is my home now, it speaks very loudly I think.

"Equally, our commitment to him says we see his value and want him to grow even more and get even better within our environment."

Liverpool finished fourth in the league last season and lost the Champions League final 3-1 to Real Madrid.

Salah had to come off after half an hour against the Spanish giants in Kiev after suffering a shoulder injury.

The problem put his participation at the 2018 World Cup in doubt and he missed Egypt's opening game - a 1-0 defeat by Uruguay - before starting against Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Salah scored in both of those games but could not stop his country from losing and going out in the group stages.

Liverpool's players returned to pre-season training on Monday but Salah, other players involved at the World Cup and Netherlands duo Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum were not among them.

However, German keeper Loris Karius, who made two mistakes in the Champions League final and was later said to have been suffering from concussion after a collision earlier in the game, was one of the 26 back at Melwood.

New signings Naby Keita and Fabinho were also at the club.

Analysis

BBC Sport's Simon Stone

There is one thing that is virtually certain about Salah's new contract - it won't reach its conclusion.

One of two things will happen before 2023, either Salah will sign another Liverpool deal, or he will be sold. Liverpool will fervently hope it is the former.

The Egyptian scored so many goals in his debut campaign that the Reds hierarchy felt it was right to reward Salah. Salah is happy at Anfield, so extending his contract was a no-brainer.

It is a club protecting its asset and a player having his excellence acknowledged.

What Liverpool will try to do now is bridge the remaining gap between the undoubted progress made under Jurgen Klopp last season and what is needed to become consistent challengers for major honours - not just in one tournament in one season, but across the whole spectrum, every year.

If they do that, coupled with the club's standing as one of the most famous names in the global game, they can be confident about keeping players like Salah rather than selling them on, as was the case with Luis Suarez four years ago and Philippe Coutinho in January.

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Dominic Solanke: Liverpool and Chelsea agree fee for striker a year after move

Thu, 28/06/2018 - 14:59
Dominic Solanke in action for Liverpool against Chelsea

Liverpool and Chelsea have come to an agreement over the fee for striker Dominic Solanke.

The England Under-20 World Cup winner signed for the Reds in July 2017 but as 20-year-old Solanke's Chelsea contract had expired, the fee was due to be set by a tribunal.

That has been avoided, although the terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

It was reported at the time Liverpool wanted to pay around £3m but Chelsea were looking for £10m.

Solanke made five starts and 16 substitute appearances during his debut season on Merseyside, scoring once - on the final day in a 4-0 win over Brighton.

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