Liverpool being out of the Champions League means that the Reds must fully focus on the top four. Or, if you prefer the media-based version, must fully focus on spending hundreds of millions immediately.
Dembele in line to replace Sadio
Let’s just gloss over the fact that Liverpool are ready to “replace” Sadio Mane, shall we? Sure, he’s had a down year – most of the squad have, and indeed much of the entire league. It doesn’t have to mean we consign him to the scrapheap just yet.
But anyway – Spanish media say we’ve still got our long-standing interest in Ousmane Dembele playing a part in our plans and we’re keen to sign him this summer.
He has one year left on his Barcelona deal and they’ll offer him a new one on the same terms – but if he’s had enough of the Camp Nou farce, we’ll be ready to pounce.
The line is that we’ll “break the market” to get him, which is a bit weird since we’d be signing him at the lower end of his valuation due to the contract situation.
Also, it’s worth noting he has been playing centre-forward for Barca, rather than from the wing.
Konate brushes off links with Liverpool
A new forward isn’t the only thing we’ll be in the market for this close-season, with at least one centre-back sure to join too.
Ibrahima Konate was last week reported to be on the verge of signing for the Reds, but either it’s a really long signature he’s got or else the moves were overstated somewhat.
The RB Leipzig defender himself seems to think it’s the latter, telling media he has had no contact with the Reds and still has plenty left to achieve with the Bundesliga club.
“I have a contract until 2023. And contracts are there to fulfill them.”
Nothing to get too worried about yet given he has a lot on at club and U21 international level right now, but at least we shouldn’t be expecting any deals to be done in the next few weeks.
Focus on the future
Never too early to look forward, is it? Here’s a story for each of the next few weeks, months and possibly years.
- With seven matches left, here are the factors which could affect the Reds’ top-four chances
- Taki Minamino is getting more regular games on loan at Saints but says he’s no idea what his Reds future looks like, or if he even has one
- And our former U23 boss Neil Critchley says Ben Woodburn will eventually show his worth as a really talented player, having had him on loan at Blackpool
Quickfire LFC news
- Porto want to keep Marko Grujic, he wants to stay and the Reds want to sell – maybe for lower than £20m this summer
- Pepe Reina says playing for the Reds was the best thing that happened in his career and it was a dream to play around 400 times for LFC
- Liverpool coaches and Klopp have made no decision yet on whether to sign Ozan Kabak permanently or not and will wait until the end of the season to do so
- And a former Netherlands defender says Virgil shouldn’t put pressure on himself to return for the Euros and just work back to full fitness for next season
Around the Prem
- Marcelo Bielsa is wary of the Reds’ “big offensive power” as we head to face Leeds on Monday night
- Carlo Ancelotti says he’s open to selling Moise Kean, who has been scoring plenty for PSG this season on loan. Why do they do this with decent young players so often?
- West Ham want to sign Eddie Nketiah this summer regardless of whether they’re in Europe or not. Aim high, reach for the sky, buy Arsenal back-ups. Standard
- And Watford are planning for the future, just not much of it – they’ll offer Ashley Young a one-year deal to come back from Italy if they get promotion to the Prem
Stupid departure speech of the day
If you are any way inclined to follow international youth football, you’ll know what an abysmal job Aidy Boothroyd has done with England U21s. Kudos to BBC for saying it without saying it, simply presenting absolute facts alongside Boothroyd’s farewell notes.
“I’m very proud to have been able to work so closely with players who I know will go on to have remarkable international careers and to have experienced some very special moments with them over the years.”
Boothroyd’s England finished bottom of their group at the Under-21 Euros last month, losing to Portugal and Switzerland before beating Croatia in their final match.
It was the fifth time in six competitions that England have gone out at the group stage.
Tweet of the day
Something to watch for on Monday night.
How intense are Premier League teams without possession?
— FIVEYARDS (@FIVE__YARDS) April 16, 2021
Worth watching tonight
Best watch Everton vs Spurs and see if we drop to seventh. One win in four for Spurs, none in four for the Bitters. Can they both lose?