Liverpool are back on the pitch in competitive action in four days and the Premier League starts tonight. Here’s all the rest of the news!
Ngakia rumours don’t ring true
Incredibly unlikely, this one.
Jeremy Ngakia has opted to turn down a new contract offer from West Ham, feeling that they didn’t give him a chance until too late.
The young right-back actually featured against the Reds in one of just four senior appearances so far, but he’s out of contract this summer and won’t even see out the rest of 19/20 with the Hammers as it stands.
ReadLiverpool say that “contact” has been made with Ngakia’s agent to find out what the plan is.
But considering he’s leaving West Ham for game time and a bigger contract than is on offer – reported at around £20k a week – it’s unlikely that we’ll offer him either.
Neco Williams is better and Trent is undisputed as first choice, with Joe Gomez, James Milner and Ki-Jana Hoever also alternatives.
A non-starter, we feel.
Grujic on the table for £22m
We’ve been waiting a couple of years now for Marko Grujic to get his next chance in a Liverpool shirt—and so has he, by all accounts.
Every interview with him seems to centre around him doing as much as possible to prove to Jurgen Klopp that he deserves to be part of Liverpool’s midfield, but it continues to appear that the Reds want to raise funds through his talents rather than utilise them on the pitch.
His loan spell with Hertha Berlin is over soon, but reports out of Italy say he has been offered to Serie A clubs by his agent.
ArenaNapoli claim that Lazio and AC Milan, along with Napoli themselves, have been suggested as potential landing spots for the massive Serbian powerhouse by his management.
€25 million is the reported asking price, though we know some of those Italian sides try to negotiate that fee down. To like, you know, €1m for a four-year loan with an option to buy of 28p.
In principle the moves make sense: Grujic would be a reasonable replacement for Allan in Napoli’s midfield, with the Brazilian expected to depart.
Premier League action…and it’s live!
The return of English football, huzzah! We start tonight with Villa v Sheffield United and City v Arsenal, but the Reds have plenty to look forward to at the weekend and beyond.
- Here are the 10 records the Reds are looking to break or stay in the hunt for across the rest of the season
- Here’s a team-by-team guide of what’s left to fight for and a month-by-month look at the story of the season so far
- And Premier League clubs are willing to be “guinea pigs” when it comes to reintroducing fans to stadiums in sport
Quickfire LFC news
- Young forward Liam Millar made his debut this term and already has his next steps for progression mapped out for 20/21 (TIA)
- Jose Enrique has explained why it was right the Reds released him and why he took positional rival Alberto Moreno under his wing (Tribuna)
- Former key Academy figure Mike Garrity has joined Neil Critchley at Blackpool as the new assistant (BFC)
- After a fitness scare against Blackburn, Ox took part in training today…although there was seemingly no Mo Salah in the photos from Melwood (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Not strictly Prem-based, but the Champions League will be wrapped up in Lisbon across a World Cup-style one-game KO series and, honestly, we’d have loved for the Reds to be involved in this madness (BT Sport)
- Leicester and Chelsea are after wide forward Said Benrahma of Brentford and we feel obligated to point out he’ll only actually start for one of those teams (Express)
- Man United have made contact with Willian to sign him on a free, which brings up some significant logistical issues as he has said he wants to stay in London (France Football)
- And Villa have “not given up hope” of keeping Jack Grealish if they survive the drop, which is a rather cute and funny way of looking at the league table (Mail)
Stupid decision of the day
Right, you’re recruitment head at a Premier League club. You have a player who interests you, who is on a free transfer, who is decent. Boxes all ticked. Now the ever more important final question: Mentality and teamwork? Ethics and selflessness?
Well, Ryan Fraser has decided to not help his team avoid relegation in case it jeopardises his chance of a move through injury next month. He’ll leave at the end of June.
Critical box not quite ticked…
Tweet of the day
One of the greatest slo-mos of all time here…
Happy birthday, 2019 winner Jordan Henderson! ?#UCL | #HBD | @LFC pic.twitter.com/DSqx1xf7wN
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 17, 2020
What we’re reading
A quite excellent collection of the works carried out by Premier League footballers during the pandemic and lockdown, totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds raised for causes and the foundations and charities they support all the time.
And a look back at our former star Dirk Kuyt and the incredible feat of selflessness, stamina and team-work he put in for Netherlands at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, on Planet Football.
Worth watching tonight
Haven’t you heard? The Premier League is back! City v Arsenal is the big one at 8.15pm on Sky Sports, but Villa host Sheffield United at 6 too.