Liverpool are preparing for their biggest game of the season while the rumour mill rumbles on in its usual meandering fashion.
Will he, won’t he…
Getting Joel Matip back in the line-up for the weekend clash against Man United feels as unlikely, and as majestic in its dream-like quality, as the rumour of Liverpool signing Thiago Alcantara.
One happened; will the other? The court of opinion has swung wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other every day this week, and Jurgen Klopp has balanced himself firmly in the middle.
“Joel is close,” he said..
“Does it make sense now to throw him into a game with one or two sessions – which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved – and bring him in?
“I don’t know, we have to see. We have to decide it then. We have to look at him, how he trains and how he looks in training, these kinds of things.”
So he’s fit, and not injured, but ready for United? That might be a different answer entirely, and with six more games in the 19 days after that fixture, we need him for more than just 90 minutes.
Blimey, our scouts must have been busy over the last few weeks and months. That’s now approximately twelve trillion defenders we’ve been linked with – and it’s more work than usual this time.
Eder Militao is the latest name in the frame, with the rumours appearing to emanate from Irish outlet the Sunday World, and journalist Kevin Palmer.
He claims the Reds were told of the Brazilian’s availability, and a loan to buy would be the plan.
The 22-year-old signed 18 months ago from Porto, but Zidane hardly ever brings new players into his side and Militao has managed just 23 games since then, with just three appearances this season.
He played right-back at Porto against us in Europe, you may remember, but his primary role is in the middle.
Two days to United
Just beat them, Reds. Whatever it takes.
- Jurgen has told refs to mind their own business when it comes to questions of penalties for the Reds
- The opposition feel the midfield battle is where the game will be won and lost
- And you can see all of Jurgen’s pre-match press conference right here as usual
Quickfire LFC news
- A former youth player hopes to form a League One loan pathway with Liverpool (TIA)
- Klopp wants Rodrigo De Paul, but €40 m won’t be enough to tempt Udinese into selling (SW)
- The Reds have asked Leipzig about both Konate and Upamecano ahead of summer moves (Bild)
- And the Reds have “put the brake” on Keita’s return to let him fully overcome his injury (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Marcus Rashford says Mourinho taught United to be “savvy” winning penalties, which is a nice way to say asked them to dive and cheat (TIA)
- Spurs have decided they don’t want to fund Gareth Bale’s European Tour card next season and will send him back to Madrid (Times)
- PSG have made Dele Alli their “top target” this month, which considering their previous spending and signings is a bit like saying you’ve identified the new floppy disc drive you’d like to put on your desk beside your Macbook Pro (Guardian)
- And after six Premier League games in the last three years, 34-year-old free agent Danny Simpson says he can still do a job in the top flight, which feels a bit like that time Stan Collymore watched the World Cup, wasn’t impressed by any strikers and said he was doing a two-week training session in La Manga ahead of making a return to playing after being retired for five years (Sky)
Stupid suggestion of the day
Anybody saying players shouldn’t be celebrating together after scoring a goal. Most defenders are engaging in more contact at corners 10 times a game!
Tweet of the day
One man knew all about how United had referees in their pocket and where cheating to win titles and he was laughed at by the media. Rafa Benitez pic.twitter.com/wqNrVrOzUj
— TLK (@Tlkkltk) January 15, 2021
Worth watching tonight
If you choose to do anything other than watch the Rome derby tonight, Lazio vs Roma at 7:45pm, you need to have a rather stern word with yourself in a quiet corner.