Contrasting McCarthy reports & a wild Koulibaly claim – Tuesday’s Liverpool FC News Roundup

We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Tuesday, as the Reds are linked with a world-class centre-back, but you may want to ignore that.

Today’s Main Headlines

Contrasting McCarthy Reports

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 22, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Southampton's goalkeeper Alex McCarthy during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by Jon Super/Propaganda)

All the Liverpool Echo seem to do these days is deny interest in reported Liverpool targets, and that’s what they’ve done yet again following links to Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

McCarthy was linked with a move to Anfield under Brendan Rodgers, and contrasting the Echo’s default stance of ‘no interest,’ the Evening Standard say that the 29-year-old Englishman is open to a move to Merseyside.

That should come as no surprise, going from Southampton‘s backup ‘keeper to the deputy for the Champions of Europe is hardly something he wouldn’t be interested in.

So the player is interested, but whether Liverpool are interested remains to be seen.

Either way, the Reds need a replacement for Simon Mignolet this summer once the Belgian departs for regular first-team football.

The Standard’s report says that a number of clubs have already come forward with offers for Mignolet.

Liverpool ‘Contact’ Koulibaly’s Agent

Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli (Nick Potts/EMPICS Sport)

According to Il Mattino, Liverpool have been in touch with Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly’s agent regarding a move to Anfield.

The transfer is seen as “almost unimaginable”, however, due to Napoli demanding approximately £110 million for the Senegalese.

Koulibaly is seen as one of the world’s premier centre-backs, performing superbly for the Serie A side since arriving in 2014.

It is a move that seems hard to envisage happening, even though Liverpool were interested in the player before the signing of Virgil can Dijk.

Massive pinch of salt with this one, it’s an agent using Liverpool’s name to garner interest in their player or get a better deal at their current club.

Alisson’s Praise for “Special” Van Dijk

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 27, 2019: Liverpool's two-goal hero Virgil van Dijk celebrates with goalkeeper Alisson Becker at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Alisson and Virgil van Dijk are two of Liverpool’s most significant signings of the last 20 years, transforming the Reds from defensively fragile into European Champions.

Speaking during Copa America duty with Brazil, Alisson heaped praise on his club teammate, hailing him for the vast influence he has enjoyed at Anfield:

“He gives a lot of confidence for the team and the players.

“When you have Virgil van Dijk – the giant – on the pitch, maybe it scares the opposition. For me, he is special.

“I have great defenders [in front of me] – Joel, Joe Gomez, Dejan. Everyone did a great job this season. But Virgil has something special, he is the big man.”

For Liverpool to have arguably the world’s best goalkeeper and centre-back in their ranks is testament to the work done by Klopp and Michael Edwards in the transfer market.

Atletico’s Interest in Grujic Cools?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, August 7, 2018: Liverpool's Marko Grujic during the preseason friendly match between Liverpool FC and Torino FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Marko Grujic has been linked with a Liverpool exit this summer, with a continued loan spell at Hertha Berlin also mooted.

Atletico Madrid had expressed an interest in signing the midfielder, but new reports suggest they may be looking elsewhere.

With key man Rodri expected to join Man City this summer, Grujic could have been an option in the middle of the park for Diego Simeone’s side.

ESPN claim that Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente is seen as an ideal replacement, however, with personal terms already agreed.

It would be a big surprise if Grujic returned to Liverpool ahead of next season, considering the Reds’ current depth in that area.

Leeds Join Ejaria Hunt

Ovie Ejaria, Reading (Mike Egerton/PA Archive/PA Images)

Ovie Ejaria‘s career has stalled following a disappointing spell at Rangers last season.

The midfielder’s time at Ibrox was ended before Christmas and he joined Reading shortly after, where he made 16 appearances and scored one goal.

It appears as though Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is keen on taking Ejaria to the club this summer, with the Reading Chronicle‘s Courtney Friday taking to Twitter to confirm the news.

He does claim that Reading is still his “most likely destination” moving forward, though, which would provide the 21-year-old with some stability.

Ejaria is unlikely to have a long-term future at Liverpool, so now is the time to be contemplating a permanent move.

Reds Linked With Rangers Youngster

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during the Europa League, Qualifying Round One, First Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Rangers. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Liverpool have an unsurprisingly healthy relationship with Steven Gerrard at Rangers, with Ejaria, Ryan Kent and now Sheyi Ojo playing under him.

The Daily Record claim that youngster Josh McPake is a target for the Reds, along with Roma.

Gerrard is keen to keep hold of the 17-year-old, however, and wants Rangers to reopen contract talks with him as soon as possible.

McPake shone for Rangers’ youth and reserve teams last season, earning special praise for his performance in the 3-2 Youth Cup Final victory over Celtic.

He also caught the eye in a 4-4 friendly draw against Liverpool in April, when Gerrard’s men trailed 4-0 at half-time.

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An informative, tongue-in-cheek roundup of the day’s events at LFC and the wider football world.