We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Thursday, as the Reds wait to learn their Champions League group stage fate.
- 4 Liverpool players called into England squad for September
- Ojo completes season loan to Ligue 1 side
- A German Red’s experience of Anfield as a wheelchair user
- Alisson on how he “fitted perfectly in” at Liverpool
- Why City’s loss was Liverpool’s gain with “very humble” Joe Gomez
- Watch Firmino, Van Dijk & Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant prank on fans
Markovic Close to PAOK Move
PAOK’s defeat to Benfica on Wednesday saw them eliminated from the Champions League at the qualifying stage, putting Liverpool in Pot 3 of the draw in the process.
Now, SporTime claim the Greek outfit are “close to the acquisition” of Lazar Markovic, prior to Friday’s transfer deadline.
The Reds and PAOK are said to be in “advanced negotiations,” bringing an end to a forgettable four years on Merseyside for Markovic.
The Serb last played for Liverpool in May 2015.
Southgate Explains Lallana’s Call-Up
Gareth Southgate has included four Liverpool players in his squad for England’s clashes with Spain and Switzerland next month.
Along with World Cup stars Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson, both Joe Gomez and Adam Lallana return to the fold—with many questioning the latter’s inclusion.
But speaking at his press conference on Thursday afternoon, Southgate explained why Lallana was involved:
“All of that squad should be available for two years’ time—we only have 20 matches between now and the European Championships.
“We don’t want to waste time, we want to embed practises, we have to continue to progress but we’re working off a solid foundation.
“And Adam Lallana is a player who, if fully fit, would have come with us in the summer.”
Lallana has only played 489 minutes of senior football for club and country since this time last year.
Mane Promises More From Keita
Naby Keita has immediately caught the eye in a Liverpool shirt, slotting seamlessly into the midfield with his silky brilliance.
Great friend Sadio Mane says he will only get better, however, as he adjusts to life in the Premier League.
“I think he brings plenty in our team and I think it’s also not easy for the new players to come into the Premier League but for him, he’s unbelievable,” Mane told Premier League Productions.
“He’s started great and we are here to help him more to get to his best and I am sure he will do something special here.”
Keita will again get his chance to shine when the Reds visit Leicester City on Saturday lunchtime.
Naming Rights For New Training Ground?
Work on Liverpool’s new training ground in Kirkby is expected to start in October, with completion due by the summer of 2020.
According to the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, the club “will consider a lucrative naming rights deal” for the new £50 million base for the first team and the academy.
There was similar talk surrounding the new Main Stand back in 2016, but no progress has been made yet in that respect.
It is a venture that makes total sense, in terms of third-party investment and taking the club forward.
Champions League Prize Money
As Liverpool find out who they will face in the Champions League group stage, the money on offer in this season’s competition has been revealed.
The winner next May could bank approximately £100 million by the time the season comes to an end, with the Mirror reporting that “a prize fund of almost £1.71 billion is in place for the next three years with each club in the competition guaranteed a minimum of £13.34 million.”
Every group stage victory in 2018/19 is worth £2.36 million while draws will earn clubs £787,000, and reaching the last 16 (£8.31m), quarter-finals (£9.19m) and semi-finals (£10.5m) are extremely lucrative.
Both eventual finalists will get £13.2 million, although the extra £3.5 million for the winner is less than Real Madrid’s bonus (£4.5m) for defeating Liverpool last season.