Liverpool’s main involvement in the rumour mill on Friday is the central midfield revolving door, while we’ve all the build-up ahead of our clash with Sheffield United.
Midfield pair linked once more
Well, at least it’s not another two centre-backs, right? It seems inevitable at this stage that Gini Wijnaldum will depart, particularly given the big role he has had to play this season – he’ll feel more than ever that he deserves a big salary bump, and the club structure appears unwilling to play.
Different national media have two different players as the front-runner to replace the No.5: in Italy, they are clear that Jurgen Klopp really wants Rodrigo De Paul and our ability to pay the €40m asking price – even though it’s more than we wanted – makes us favourites to sign the Udinese man ahead of Inter Milan.
In Germany, Bild say we’re still keen on ‘Gladbach’s Florian Neuhaus, who has a release clause of €40m.
That seems about the going rate, which is a lot to replace a player who will leave on a free, though Bild do state our intentions to sign the German man are “not concrete” yet.
Who wants to bet we end up with neither and it’s a totally unexpected name?!
Jota looking ready ahead of Blades test
Not gonna lie: it would be really helpful if Diogo Jota could just hit the ground running again and fire in about five goals from eight shots once he gets back on the pitch for the Reds.
His pre-injury strike rate might not be sustainable over the long term, but we could really do with a quickfire boost in attack right now.
There’s no guarantee he’ll play this weekend – the boss offered the usual caveats of having to see “when does it make sense” for his return and the like – but as we’re able to select a bigger bench right now, and few others than Mo Salah look capable of sticking the ball in the net, it seems probable he’ll at least be in the squad.
Weekend team news
You may have read by now that it’s not good news for Jordan Henderson, and the manager is hinting that it’s even worse than that.
- The boss simply says he hopes Hendo can “play a few games this season”, which would incredibly make him only our fourth-worst injury to deal with
- We’ll have a very unusual pairing in defence once more because Fabinho won’t be involved against the Blades, as both he and James Milner will only return to full training on Saturday
- And we’ll also have to wait and see if Alisson will feature, with the club of course rightly leaving any involvement up to the Brazilian
Quickfire LFC news
- Tyler Adams says Leipzig will be better in the second leg and the CL tie is still open (SW)
- On-loan goalkeeper Kamil Grabara says he doesn’t know where he’ll play next season but he’s in touch regularly with the Reds (Tipsbladet)
- And you can watch all of Klopp’s pre-match press conference here (TIA)
Around the Prem
- Man United will offer West Ham Matic, Lingard or Phil Jones in exchange for Declan Rice. Not quite sure of the sense in arranging a deal which would see the Hammers ask for even more money as compensation, but fair enough (90 mins)
- Maurizio Sarri agreed to return to Chelsea before they appointed Thommy Tuchel, which would have largely made the last 18 months entirely pointless (RAI)
- Burnley want £50m for Nick Pope and, honestly, it might be worth the Reds paying it just to stop his worldies against us twice a year (Lancs Live)
- And both City and Chelsea will fight to sign Haaland this summer. Weren’t they going for Lukaku a week ago? (Star)
Stupid clickbait of the day
“The Reds will pursue a striker in the summer transfer window.”
What it actually says: Poor form and lack of goals mean Klopp might have to consider signing another one. Bad work, BBC/Echo combo.
Tweet of the day
The best thing I can say about these injuries is that it will never get more ridiculous than this in another season. It's impossible.
Wonder if any team has ever had their 3 best CBs out for the season, and also the two midfielders filling in there out injured, too.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) February 26, 2021
Worth watching tonight
Werder Bremen vs Eintracht Frankfurt to get you in the mood for the weekend. 7:30pm, BT Sport, lots of crosses from Kostic and clever stuff from Kamada. Lovely.