Liverpool have been rather dubiously linked with Roma playmaker Nicolo Zaniolo, while a training game at Anfield could be followed by more friendlies soon.
Reds could face local sides in friendlies
The Premier League have given the go-ahead to plans allowing clubs to play friendly fixtures as they warm-up for the restart of competitive games.
The Telegraph report that teams will have to abide by certain rules, namely:
- No travelling more than 90 minutes for games
- Players travel solo in cars, not on club coaches
- Stadium health assessment must be made and coaching staff will act as refs
The extra game time should help rebuild fitness for players before the meaningful matches begin, while it could also help with tactical familiarity once again.
It has been notable that certain sides in the Bundesliga have struggled with organisation, off-the-ball positional play late in games and defending set pieces, all of which require extensive practice in training and games to perfect.
No indication yet of who the Reds will play, but as we habitually play local pre-season games against the likes of Accrington and Tranmere—whose seasons could be over early—it seems possible that they could provide practice opposition.
Roma three-peat and loan extension talks
Now, Italian media has been suggesting that the Reds want another of the Giallorossi: Nicolo Zaniolo, attacking midfielder and one of biggest starlets in the Italian national team.
This rumour continues to surface every few weeks, but doubts have to remain: Zaniolo tore his ACL in January and although he is hoping to take to the pitch again after Serie A restarts, even July action would be a phenomenally quick comeback.
Add in that we don’t know when the market will be open, plus the unlikely nature of the Reds shelling out £60m-plus on players this summer, and this might be nothing more than a case of Liverpool monitoring a clear top young talent.
That would allow them to continue getting first-team minutes and earning valuable experience in a very strange football setting.
Preparation: for June and beyond
The Reds are gearing up for a return now, with training sessions held at Anfield. Here’s the best of what we’re looking forward to, short and longer term.
- Naby stood out as a star; here are five things we noted during the Reds’ training game at Anfield
- The boss has reminded the players they are not champions yet and must continue to do the job
- And if you’re wondering how well Timo Werner might fit into the Liverpool side, his latest goal gives a pretty good indication
Quickfire LFC news
- Jerzy Dudek has revealed he wanted to punch Rafa Benitez in the face over a blocked loan move away (FourFourTwo)
- An Egyptian coach has claimed he is the reason Mo Salah was switched from a backup left-back to a free-scoring attacker (TIA)
- Fran Kitching becomes the second goalkeeper and fourth player overall to leave Liverpool Women in the last week or so, as yet another rebuild looks increasingly necessary (LFC)
- And full-back James Norris has signed a first professional deal with the club (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Players will miss the first game back if they test positive for coronavirus from this point onwards, which we’re sure would be their biggest worry if that were to happen (Sky)
- Now it’s Spurs who are in for Koulibaly, who is clearly seeing his stock fall with every passing week after starting the summer linked with the Reds and Juve (Express)
- Chelsea are proposing allowing NINE subs in Premier League games when we restart. Why not just go whole-hog pre-season mode and switch everyone at half-time?! (Telegraph)
- And Chelsea have now also decided they want Timo Werner as an alternative to Moussa Dembele, as they continue their apparent policy of shortlisting the entire footballing world (ESPN)
Stupid rumour of the day
Noting Man United would go for Raheem Sterling if he became available is one thing. Spinning off headlines that they are “in for him” or have him as a major target or whatever is an entirely different kettle of nonsensical, click-baity fish.
Tweet of the day
Real-live Reds scoring a real-live goal at Anfield. Let’s hope Sadio and Naby link up this way when it starts!
Sadio picks up the ball on the halfway line and goes on a driving run, eventually playing in Naby who slots home. Can’t wait to see more of the linkup between these two… pic.twitter.com/OnnQMKTni9
— Omar ? (@topimpacat) June 2, 2020
What we’re reading
Ruben Neves speaks to Paul Doyle of the Guardian and explains why he’s not arsed about rumours and what comes next for Wolves.
And here are the quotes, reasons and discussions behind Italy’s hopes to allow fans a return to football stadiums before the end of this season, on BBC Sport.
Worth watching tonight
Nothing until tomorrow—when the Portuguese Primeira Liga returns!