Liverpool are in the early stages of planning to merge the club’s first-team and academy training bases.
The news will come as no surprise to those who have followed events in recent months, with Jurgen Klopp himself speaking about the long-term ideal being to merge the two bases.
Klopp hinted at the intention shortly after signing a new long-term contract in the summer.
“We’re thinking about bringing the Academy and Melwood together, things like this,” said Klopp.
Klopp’s vision is in line with owners FSG, who had detailed their aim to merge the two bases not long after arriving at the club.
Now, the Express‘ Liverpool reporter Paul Joyce says plans are “at an embryonic stage with top level discussions ongoing at Liverpool, but a resolution to join the sites has been taken.”
Liverpool’s two options are either to merge Melwood with the academy in Kirkby, or develop a new facility. Expanding the academy seems the most likely and logical.
It will mean Liverpool leaving their Melwood training base, which has been home to the first-team since 1950.
Liverpool submitted plans for minor changes to Melwood’s entrance this past summer, but later removed the planning application around the same time of Klopp’s new contract. Clearly a decision was then made to move away from Melwood.
Having one site will bring many benefits, with Klopp then able to call up academy players to be included in first-team training at shorter notice and also able to keep an eye on talents coming through the ranks on a daily basis.
Liverpool could seek naming rights in order to fund the redeveloped academy facility. Man United sold their training ground naming rights to AON in 2013 for a reported £22.5 million per-year.