Liverpool head into the weekend looking toward their first pre-season game of the summer amid a backdrop of the usual rumours and headlines.
Marko Grujic wanted by quartet
Looks as though it won’t be too long before Marko Grujic is off.
The midfielder will either be sold or incorporated into the team this summer, no new loan, but it increasingly seems to be the former option.
The Serbian midfielder is wanted by at least four sides with serious interest, say Goal.com, with his loan club for the past two seasons, Hertha Berlin, among them.
Two rival Bundesliga clubs are keen, as well as to an apparent lesser extent Werder Bremen, while Serie A side Atalanta are the fourth.
The Reds are ready to sell, but it will still take £20m to land Grujic.
Gini reportedly keen to answer Koeman call
Well these links certainly escalated quickly, didn’t they?
In the space of a couple of days, Barcelona appointing Ronald Koeman has turned into a full-scale who-blinks-first transfer triangle involving the Catalan side, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, with Thiago the other point of interest.
Spanish paper Sport are reporting on Friday that Koeman has indeed told Gini he wants him and, as a result, our No. 5 has “paralysed” contract talks – bit of an odd translation, but largely suggesting he has called them off for now – as he “waits for Barcelona to make a move”.
Liverpool won’t move for Thiago unless there’s more space in the squad, which could be made by Wijnaldum moving to Barca, but Barca themselves can’t buy him until they make room by selling Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic, says the story.
And, in a separate report from France, Liverpool’s hesitation is allowing Man City to head up the queue for Thiago instead.
Good job the matches are back quickly this summer!
Key talking points as 20/21 nears
- Fast-passing attacking play earns Lijnders’ praise for Reds
- Reds’ senior stars have been lauded for the incredible culture of excellence they make for youngsters coming through
- And plenty of fans are unhappy that broadcasters aren’t going to be showing 40 per cent of Premier League games, even though fans cannot attend them
Quickfire LFC news
- The Reds won’t have to leave Austria early despite the country being in the UK quarantine zone (TIA)
- Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the start of the new season due to a knee injury (TIA)
- Minamino says he had options to go elsewhere but chose the Reds and Klopp after speaking to Shinji Kagawa, ex of Man United and Dortmund (Mail)
- And random Twitter journalist Nicolo Schira reckons talks start next week between the Reds and Bayern and we’ll offer €15m (Twitter)
Around the Prem
- Gabriel Magalhaes turned down Everton for Arsenal and now looks set to turn down Arsenal for Man United. Wait for the fans of whoever he eventually joins to excitedly proclaim how much he ‘adores’ the team (Telegraph)
- United are also in for Bournemouth‘s David Brooks. Guess “signing of the summer” Dan James wasn’t quite as elite as they made out eight months ago… (MEN)
- Villa have bid £18m for Ollie Watkins, but Brentford want £25m. Shall we predict that it’ll be 20, rising to 24m with add-ons? (Mail)
- And Real Betis are linked with Brighton‘s Martin Montoya, who was going to be Liverpool’s new attacking right-back for about four straight summers once upon a time, right around the era we desperately wanted Cristian Tello and Diego Capel 12 transfer windows in succession (Sky Sports)
Stupid quotes of the day
Gerard Deulofeu has ripped into Ronald Koeman, saying he “offered nothing” to the winger when he was Everton boss and he had to ask to leave on loan.
To clarify, that’s the Deulofeu who has twice had chances at Barcelona (doing nothing), was binned off by Sevilla after a half-season, four times in four seasons failed to reach even 1,500 league minutes on the pitch with the Ev, before most recently being relegated with Watford.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s not Koeman mate.
Tweet of the day
People need to get out of Adrian's mentions. Yeah had a few shockers but deserves respect for those 2/3 months Ali was out, still made some vital saves to help win us the league and super cup
— Dinesh Kumar (@DHardayal) August 20, 2020
What we’re reading
An argument for why Bayern have suddenly become the good guys in a final which pits them against State-owned megarich PSG, by Daniel Storey in inews.
And with all the talk of Grujic back to Hertha and the spending that team have already made, here’s a look at whether big-money January signing Krzysztof Piatek is the man to lead the line for them, on BLF.
Worth watching tonight
Europa League final looks decent! Sevilla v Inter, BT Sport, 8pm.