Reds and Inter in midfield switcheroo?
Gini Wijnaldum out, Nicolo Barella in. Wouldn’t that be nice and easy?
Of course it would, which is why we’ll place minimal stock in events unfolding as such – they are never straight-forward and even more rarely known about this many months in advance.
Anyway, the news out of Italy – in separate reports, to be clear – is that Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is “concrete” in his insistence that Gini Wijnaldum is a must-sign this summer and that they have a “handshake” agreement with him.
And to add even more nonsense to the equation, the China-based company owning Inter have recently binned off their CSL side, with all players being released on a free just months after winning their Champions League, as the parent company is facing financial strife – and their Serie A intentions remain unclear.
Leipzig second leg in Hungary too?
As such, the Reds’ first leg of the last-16 clash with RB Leipzig took place in Hungary and it now seems probable that the second leg will be in the same place.
German authorities will revisit their protocols early in March, but a big change is not expected which means travel concerns for Julian Nagelsmann’s side getting back in the country if they visit Anfield.
The Puskas Arena impressed Jurgen Klopp as a venue and it served the Reds well in a 2-0 win, so if we do end up back in Budapest we’ll be hoping for a similar outcome.
RIP Saint, one of the greats
Liverpool FC lost a club legend on Monday night, as Ian St John passed away at the age of 82.
- The former striker’s death after illness was sadly announced by the club today
- Tributes have poured in for one of the game’s top forwards, from former Reds, fans and employees of the club
- And here’s the story of how he helped transform the club under Shanks, and later, football itself on television
Quickfire LFC news
- The stats and AI say the most likely Prem finish for the Reds this season is third (TIA)
- Reds U18 midfielder Melkamu Frauendorf has been likened to Frank Lampard (the player, not the coach) by opposition scouts (Echo)
Around the Prem
- West Ham want to sign Tammy Abraham and either Ivan Toney or Eddie Nketiah as Gold and Sullivan double down on a really, really hard Brexit (Star)
- Eintracht forward Andre Silva says he’s “flattered” to be linked with Man United, though given he was previously at AC Milan it’s still a step down through the European history books (Mirror)
- Andy Cole says United cannot attract the best like Erling Haaland as they don’t win trophies, which explains the aforementioned Silva links (Mirror)
- And in the least-surprising news of 2021 so far, Man City‘s Eric Garcia will move to Barcelona on a free in the summer (Marca)
Interesting discussion of the day
Nothing stupid here for one: under-21 players could be allowed to go on loan outside the transfer window.
This possibility has been brought up more than once before but has never become legislation, but nearly all Prem sides are apparently in favour this time.
That could mean early-season injuries are covered for by youngsters, but instead of then going into the U23s again for five months, they could be loaned out once the seniors recover.
For a Reds example, that might have meant Rhys Williams heading out for senior experience after Kabak and Davies arrived on deadline day, having spent the first half-season covering and getting games under Klopp.
Tweet of the day
"You can hear his voice"
Will never not be an emotional little watch, this. RIP Saint. pic.twitter.com/1RcXMizDqI
— Ryan (@ryan3levis) March 2, 2021
Worth watching tonight
If you’re a fan of intrigue, the continent and cups, or indeed Borussias, then ‘Gladbach vs Dortmund is the match for you. Cup quarter-final time at 7:45pm, with BMG head coach Marco Rose set to swich to Klopp’s old club in the summer. Fun!