Cut-price Cup final scouting mission & Thiago links dismissed – Liverpool FC Roundup

Liverpool are quickly putting Man City behind them to focus on Aston Villa, while headlines look at Klopp’s reaction, unlikely rumours, the plan for the future and more.


Reds to scout Bailey in cup final

Liverpool will send scouts to watch Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey in the DFB-Pokal final at the weekend, according to Sky Sports.

The Reds have been linked with his team-mate Kai Havertz for a long time, but that deal looks too expensive for this summer.

Instead it’s the winger who will be the subject of attentions, with the German side apparently happy to accept between £20-30 million for him, compared to the £50-60m he was rated at a year ago.

Don’t get too excited yet, though. Bailey has had a very poor season at B04, playing both on the wing and at wing-back when he has been in the team, but largely lacking end product and consistency and more often than not a sub.


Thiago links dismissed

MUNICH, GERMANY - Wednesday, December 11, 2019: Bayern Munich's Thiago Alca?ntara during the final UEFA Champions League Group B match between FC Bayern München and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Allianz Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Leverkusen face Bayern in that German Cup final on Saturday, where Bailey could come face-to-face with another player the Reds are said to be “close to signing”: Thiago Alcantara.

Unfortunately, if you happen to be a fan of the magical Spanish midfielder, it doesn’t look like that move is realistic—which is essentially what we all suspected.

Hansi Flick, the Bayern manager, says he intends to start Thiago in the final and he’ll have a big part to play in the Champions League later on this season, so there’s no reason to suspect any talks have been had.

Age 29, massive wages, a history of injuries…even with his undoubted qualities, this one was always a stretch.


Planning approach revealed for fans’ return to Anfield

Anfield might be empty for now, but the Reds and other clubs are already preparing for fans to come back.

CEO Peter Moore explained that his place on the ECC board allowed him to monitor how European leagues and clubs are taking their own approach, enabling the Reds to have great information about what will work and what will keep supporters safe.

“You have to plan, we wouldn’t be ready [if it was next week]. So you have to plan and think strategically if it’s three months, six months or a year from now. Being here is already thinking through what we can do once the government says what we can do.

“I am on the executive board of the European Clubs Commission and one of the great things about that is we learn about all the other leagues and people are starting to come back.

“And I do have this benefit of being part of this board that is seeing 500 or 1,000 coming back. They are showing us how they are doing concourse management, concession management, how they are managing the bathrooms and transportation.

“So yes, we are already thinking it through, as is every Premier League club because there will come a time when these turnstiles open again and we need to be ready for that.”

It’ll be a slow process to return to a full stadium, just as other areas of life will have a gradual return to full capacity.

But when Anfield is packed to the rafters, it’s going to be one hell of a party.


Back to Anfield in search of more records

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 2, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Time to look ahead to the next game and see how the Reds are bouncing back.


Quickfire LFC news

  • The club have again appealed to supporters to stay home this weekend and celebrate the title win in private (YouTube/LFCTV if you cannot see video above)
  • Billy Hogan has spoken about the club’s digital strategy and how it has contributed to enormous commercial growth (The Athletic)
  • Liverpool had to contact Nike after a “design process error” led to images circulating online of an LFC-branded football emblazoned with ’96’ and the eternal flame (Echo)
  • Roy Keane has come to the defence of Klopp and the Reds, saying the intent and attitude was right against City, despite the result (TIA)


Around the Prem

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, February 3, 2014: Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho before the Premiership match against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • City and Chelsea will go for Everton‘s Lucas Digne if they can’t sign Chilwell from Leicester. Guess that Ancelotti rebuild might have an extra piece of the puzzle to search for (ESPN)
  • Jose Mourinho says fotball is going the wrong way after a VAR call against his side and in fairness it’s hard to disagree on this particular decision (BBC)
  • Chelsea are considering Alphonse Areola and Mike Maignan as replacements for Kepa, after he hasn’t proved quite good enough to justify being the most expensive keeper ever. Who would have thought it? (Express)
  • And West Ham want Ross Barkley this summer. Bit of a stretch to think the midfielder will want to go from squad player in a side in Europe, to watching his team launch it over his head in a relegation battle (Mirror)


Stupidly run club of the day

Wigan…what a shambles. The list is long and it keeps getting longer as to how and why this drop into administration has occurred.

So far it includes club executives not knowing they were about to be in administration and turning down transfer bids the week before, nobody knowing that a loan was due to be repaid with 8% interest, nobody knowing what the club’s liabilities are on that loan and the players potentially not being paid this week.


Tweet of the day

Champions of everything.


Final shout

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th, 2005: Liverpool's Xabi Alonso celebrates scoring the equaliser from the re-bounded penalty kick with Milan Baros (L) during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s time to wave a fond goodbye to Milan Baros, one of our Istanbul heroes. He’s retiring, aged 38, having been back with former club Banik Ostrava.

Milan is best remembered for his iconic, if simple, ‘Miiiiiilan’ chant on the terraces, a hat-trick against Crystal Palace and for nearly breaking Xabi Alonso’s neck in celebration after the equaliser against Milan.


What we’re reading

A look at how Wigan Athletic were reduced to administration, four weeks after naming a new owner. By David Conn in the Guardian.

And for something different, the tale of Ronaldinho’s brother’s playing career and prison career, on Planet Football.


Worth watching tonight

Atletico Madrid v Mallorca, 9pm in LaLiga, on LaLiga TV.

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