Liverpool have surprise visitor to the AXA amid Ryan Gravenberch’s Dutch exile

Liverpool hosted a surprise visitor to the AXA Training Centre on Friday, with talks likely held over the international future of Ryan Gravenberch.

Gravenberch has not been part of the Netherlands squad for the past two breaks, having turned down a call-up in September to focus on settling at Liverpool.

The midfielder was dropped by national team manager Ronald Koeman and U21s coach Michael Reiziger for October, and he has now been omitted for November fixtures.

It has been confirmed that this is due to Gravenberch’s decision not to join the U21s squad days after his £38.5 million switch from Bayern Munich, with Reiziger explaining that “the signal has now been sent.”

Before the No. 38 earns a recall to the Netherlands setup, reparative talks had been expected with Nigel de Jong, technical director for the Dutch FA.

There was a clear motivation, then, for De Jong’s presence during the first-team session at the AXA Training Centre on Friday afternoon.

De Jong, the former Man City midfielder, was pictured in light-hearted discussions with Klopp as his players warmed up before the trip to Luton.

The 38-year-old was also seen talking to Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk and striker Cody Gakpo, along with Mohamed Salah.

While Gravenberch was not spotted alongside De Jong, the strong likelihood is that conversations were held away from the pitch along with Klopp himself.

Gravenberch has shown excellent form since his transfer from Bayern, with two goals and two assists in 12 appearances so far.

He would undoubtedly be an asset to either the Netherlands senior side or, for now, the U21s, and De Jong’s visit to Merseyside could see him brought back into the fold.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 4, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Liverpool FC and Union SG. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Friday also saw Luis Diaz take part in full training alongside his team-mates, as he awaits news on the kidnapping of his father.

Luis Manuel Diaz is expected to be released by guerrilla group ELN in the coming hours, though Klopp explained in his pre-Luton press conference that he would not “force” the winger’s inclusion on Sunday.

The session also saw 16-year-old midfielder Trey Nyoni take part again, while both Ben Doak and Luke Chambers were involved after missing recent squads.