We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Thursday, as rumours continue to link the Reds with Dani Ceballos.
Today’s Main Headlines
- Liverpool set to keep hold of Lovren
Ongoing transfer speculation surrounding the centre-back.
- Liverpool supporters’ group urges UEFA to improve European final conditions
One of four English clubs pushing for much-needed changes.
- Hertha Berlin linked with permanent move for Grujic
Would selling the midfielder be a risk?
- Alisson’s “unbelievable” season as Europe’s top goalkeeper lauded
Huge praise from Reds coach Achterberg.
- Ticket struggle highlights need for Anfield Road expansion
Increasing the capacity “has never been greater”.
- Liverpool’s set-piece specialist Leighton Clarkson
The most underrated talent at the Reds’ academy?
Ceballos Could be Liverpool’s ‘Next Alonso’
Ceballos was linked with a move to Liverpool on Wednesday, along with fellow Spain Under-21 international Dani Olmo.
In a new report by Marca, via Sport Witness, the Real Madrid midfielder has even been tipped to become the Reds’ next Xabi Alonso, albeit lazily.
The two are different in style, with Ceballos the more attack-minded, meaning the ‘Spaniard to Liverpool’ aspect is the only real comparison.
Madrid could be open to the move, with the Liga giants in need of transfer funds, but it is a deal that still feels a fair way off.
Ceballos was a key member of Spain’s triumphant side at the European Under-21 Championship and his performances may have alerted Liverpool, as well as Tottenham and Arsenal.
The 22-year-old is keen for more regular playing time, but would that be guaranteed at Anfield considering the midfield depth at Jurgen Klopp‘s disposal?
Tapping Up Concerns Over Adekanye
Bobby Adekanye has joined Lazio on a free transfer, after allowing his deal at Liverpool to run down.
There are issues from the Reds regarding the deal, however, with the Evening Standard‘s David Lynch claiming they have “expressed concern to Fifa over the potential tapping up” of the winger.
Liverpool believe Lazio contacted Adekanye “prior to his release being confirmed”, with players under the age of 23 not permitted to discuss transfers in the last six months of their contract.
It is unknown whether or not the Reds will lodge a complaint – this is one to keep an eye on.
McCarthy Can Leave Southampton
Simon Mignolet‘s future at Liverpool still hasn’t been decided, with the Belgian choosing between remaining as Alisson‘s deputy or heading elsewhere.
The Reds are happy for him to stay put, particularly given his off-field influence, but they will not begrudge him joining a new club.
Someone who has been linked as a potential replacement for Mignolet is Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
Sky Sports have revealed that Saints have put him up for sale this summer, along with fellow stopper Fraser Forster.
Liverpool’s interest in McCarthy is mentioned in the report, although nothing new has emerged in that respect.
Essentially, it isn’t worth focusing on too much until Mignolet has made his mind up about his next step.
UEFA’s Latest Champions League Idea
Reaching the Champions League is huge for all of Europe’s top clubs, such are the financial gains and ability to attract top talent.
Liverpool have witnessed that firsthand after reaching back-to-back finals, helping them acquire the services of world class individuals, including Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.
Speaking to the Times, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has discussed the idea of latter-stage teams automatically qualifying for the competition the following season, especially those that aren’t among the continent’s heavyweights:
“We would like to protect teams like Ajax this year, or Monaco and Leicester City before.
“Ajax played the semi-finals this year and now they will have to sell all their players because they don’t know if they will qualify for the Champions League next year.
“I don’t think we should protect too many clubs, because then it’s too closed, but I think we have to protect some clubs.
“One idea is that those clubs who succeed at a certain stage of the competition can compete the following year too. But it is a discussion only.
“We have a meeting on September 11 to debate it with leagues and clubs.”
It’s clearly an idea that is only in its infancy – would you approve of it?
Van Dijk Favourite for Ballon d’Or
Alisson and Roberto Firmino have reached the final of Copa America, and in doing so they have done Van Dijk a big favour.
The Liverpool pair’s 2-0 win for Brazil against Argentina saw Lionel Messi dumped out, making Van Dijk the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or later this year.
He is now odds-on to take home the prestigious award, which was last won by a defender back in 2006, by Italy’s World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro.
Van Dijk produced an astonishing season at Liverpool, proving to be the key man behind the Reds winning the Champions League and amassing a club record 97 points in the Premier League.
No centre-back in the world is currently more superior and it will be fitting if he is voted Europe’s best player in December.