Premier League release statement on neutral venues
Following the emergence of reports on Friday that police were proposing that six games—including several and potentially all of Liverpool‘s—be played at neutral venues, the Premier League released a statement on Friday afternoon.
In it, they reaffirmed a desire to play all games at clubs’ usual home grounds, with neutral venues only being a “contingency” option at this stage.
The Premier League‘s ambition is to complete all of our remaining fixtures this season home and away, where possible.
We are working with our clubs to ensure risks are assessed and minimised, while cooperating with the police at a local and national level.
The Premier League also confirmed that discussions were still ongoing with police organisations.
Under the proposals, Liverpool would not play the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park and would not have a home game until at least after the title was secured.
Reds learn date allowing Werner’s release clause
The Timo Werner transfer saga is quite possibly the second longest-running one in world football now, after Paul Pogba to Real Mad—er, Juventus. Whichever.
The German forward continues to bat his eyelids at Jurgen Klopp and after conflicting reports earlier in the week, the reliable and informed Fabrizio Romano has now confirmed in the Guardian that the Reds do still want him and that Jurgen Klopp has this week told the club hierarchy that Werner “would be perfect” as a summer addition.
Moreover, Romano says that Werner’s clause is active until 15 June, giving the Reds until this date to offer €60 million to meet the release valuation. After that, negotiations will have to proceed directly with Leipzig and their own pricetag of him.
There is still no official bid from Liverpool at this time, but the club are said to be “keen to make the transfer happen this summer.”
Changing face of title challenges
Much has changed between the Reds’ last title bid in 2014 and the current one in 2020—most notably the fact that we’ll actually finish the job this time around. Right?!
- The regrets and ‘if onlys’ of two who almost helped us win it last time
- The massive attention to tactical detail has seen our throw-in coach play a key role
- And of course the most unusual aspect of this title challenge is the situation the players find themselves in—but they’re having fun as they get back to full training, despite heading into the season run-in
Quickfire LFC news
- The Reds could win the title at Wembley of all places, with one journalist suggesting the Government sees the stadium as the “ideal” neutral venue (ES)
- Klopp has called Kalidou Koulibaly to tell him his plans…apparently. Imagine that was a short call – “Kali, lad, you’ll be centre-back. Cheers, see you.” (Le10Sport)
- The Premier League chief has said he’ll “do everything” to allow Liverpool a proper trophy ceremony (ES)
- And Sir Kenny Dalglish laid a tribute at the memorial plaque at Anfield today, to mark and respect those who died in the Heysel disaster (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Arsenal are binning off 10 youth scouts as part of a cost-cutting exercise. Sounds like a solid plan, considering their youth scouts have found Saka, Nelson and Willock of late and the ‘senior’ scouts recommended Ozil and Xhaka (Mirror)
- Leicester boss and former Reds manager Brendan Rodgers revealed he had coronavirus in March (BBC)
- Two European clubs have made offers for Jorginho, as they sweep the final rememnents of Sarri’s reign away (Goal)
- And PSG are making a late move to sign Chelsea‘s Willian on a free, despite all those earlier headlines about how much he loves Mourinho and would be perfect for Spurs (Le10Foot)
Stupid pairing of the day
Massimo Cellino has constantly proven himself a bit of a moron, as owner of Leeds and then of Brescia.
He has now acknowledged he made a mistake by signing Mario Balotelli, himself capable of moments of idiocy.
And Balotelli hasn’t exactly been flying of the flag of professionalism again, with accusations of him not turning up for training and the owner saying he is free to leave immediately.
Tweet of the day
We remember the 39 football fans who lost their lives at Heysel Stadium in Belgium on this day 35 years ago.
You'll Never Walk Alone. pic.twitter.com/x9Gfd5GJ2A
— Liverpool FC (at ?) (@LFC) May 29, 2020
What we’re reading
Sam Wallace of the Telegraph writes how matches, matches and more matches are the best way out of the coronavirus crisis for many people.
And in the Guardian, a look at how the 1995 Ajax side “exploded” and changed European football, by Nick Ames.
Worth watching tonight
Kai is back in town! Havertz and Co. are in action once more as Freiburg host Leverkusen in the Bundesliga at 7:30pm.