Liverpool are preparing for just about their least-important game of the season in the Champions League, while the transfer rumour keeps looking ahead.
“Sporting project” advantage for Reds in Mbappe chase
We all know we’re going to be linked relentlessly with Kylian Mbappe until he either signs a new deal or moves to Madrid, right?
There aren’t too many alternatives for the French forward, unless Man City decide they want him – Bayern isn’t realistic, Barca are broke, United are a shambles and Juve can’t afford him. It’s PSG, Real or the Reds.
The latest reports from both France and Spain have Liverpool firmly in the running for a move next summer, but of course most of the cards are in Mbappe’s hands and it depends entirely on what he wants most.
PSG can offer the most lucrative deal, say Le Parisien, but Mbappe has first and foremost demanded they show him the plan to success in Europe, how the squad will be rebuilt and how PSG will become a dominant force.
Spanish outlet Sport corroborate that and say Liverpool are, therefore, the best-positioned alternative as the Reds are so well-run, constantly competitive and have “real” interest in signing him.
One to watch and dream about for now!
The ‘scouting’ of Kelleher and his recent rise
Caoimhin Kelleher is the name on everybody’s lips right now after the Liverpool goalkeeper moved firmly into “understudy” role with back-to-back clean sheets.
He’s now the No. 2 behind the injured Alisson and is set to play in Denmark, and says in understated fashion that he’s had “a decent week” and that “two debuts in one week is a bit of a mad one”, which we have to agree with.
The unflappable Irishman gave an explanation of how he dealt with a poor result and performance against Aston Villa last season, too – and he has clearly matured enormously as well as improved technically in that time.
On a longer-term note, the story has emerged of how Kelleher came to the Reds in the first place.
Former Academy centre-back Conor Masterson recommended the ‘keeper, with the two playing together in the Irish youth team set-up, leading to a trial and a £30,000 transfer.
Masterson is now with QPR, by the way – more on how the deal came about and how Kelleher almost moved on this summer in the link above!
Moving on to Midtjylland
The games don’t stop – but this one is rather more low-key than most, as the Reds can’t change from top in the group and the Danes can’t change from bottom.
- The boss has confirmed that we’ll see rotation in Denmark, but says the ambition will remain the same: to win the game
- And while the likes of Origi and Minamino will likely play, Klopp has paid tribute to the youngsters around the squad and says the Reds would be “lost” without them this season
- And you can see all of Klopp’s pre-match press conference here as usual
Quickfire LFC news
- Klopp has explained the lack of minutes for Divock Origi this season (TIA)
- Dejan Lovren said he left as he didn’t feel counted on any longer (SW)
- Kamil Grabara has come under fire for errors while on loan in Denmark and there are accusations he won’t improve after returning to that league (Sportowefakty)
- And Ox was in training ahead of the match – but there was no sign of Matip or Jones in the warm-up session (TIA)
Around the Prem
- Man United want to farm Jesse Lingard out on loan to Real Sociedad in January. They do realise a) they’re almost top of the league and b) David Silva is better, right? (Sky)
- Lampard is under “no pressure” to sell £71m flop Kepa. Which is a nice way of saying ‘Lampard has “no takers” for £71m flop Kepa’ (ES)
- West Brom boss Slaven Bilic is a man under pressure after collecting six points from 11 games this season. Perhaps someone could explain what Baggies bosses were expecting? Particularly after selling a starting centre-back after the PL deadline had closed? (Mirror)
- Spurs and Arsenal are linked with Milan’s Franck Kessie and at some point soon papers are going to have to stop throwing the Gunners in the mix just because they’re London-based and well-known – they’re sh*te! (CM)
Stupid cancellation of the day
Presented without comment:
A women’s university football match in China had to be called off after players were told they were not allowed to have dyed hair, state media report.
The women’s teams of Fuzhou and Jimei universities were due to meet for a college league game in the south-eastern Fujian province at the weekend.
Team members from both sides bought black hair dye to correct the problem.
But one Fuzhou player’s hair was deemed “not black enough” and the side had to forfeit for having only six players.
Before the match, “multiple players… were rejected from the match for violating a rule which requires that all players do not dye or curl their hair”, the national Global Times reports.
Tweet of the day
Was he one of the ones who was better than Suarez?
Former Everton striker Denis Stracqualursi has moved Serie D clubs, swapping Taranto for Fasano pic.twitter.com/qF4uknfKtn
— Will Unwin (@Will_Unwin) December 8, 2020
Worth watching tonight
We’re watching United complete whatever the opposite is of The Great Escape. Tonight, they’ll be losing to Leipzig and dropping into the Europa League, despite having only needed one point from their last two games, or four points from their last four if you prefer. Two of which were against the group’s bottom side.
The comedy begins at 8pm on BT Sport.