Liverpool transfer news, rumours, gossip and speculation including updates on Sofyan Amrabat, Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz, Jude Bellingham and Sander Berge plus the latest on the potential takeover of the club following FSG’s decision to look for investment or a full sale
Hello and welcome to the Liverpool ECHO’s Tuesday recap for all your very latest Liverpool news, rumours and transfer gossip.
On Monday evening rumours emerged from Argentina that the Reds had agreed on a deal with Benfica for midfielder Enzo Fernandez. There was also reports that Liverpool could make a Jude Bellingham immediately.
We will also be providing you with the latest on reports that Fenway Sports Group have ‘put Liverpool up for sale’ and the news of a potential Saudi/Qatari takeover.
In a statement sent to the ECHO, FSG maintain that they are ‘fully committed’ to the ongoing success of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp but admit they are open to the possibility of further investment from elsewhere.
On a transfer front, Benfica have made their position on a potential sale of Enzo Fernandez clear ahead of the January transfer window.
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Reported Liverpool transfer target Sofyan Amrabat has been praised by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Reds continue to be linked with the Fiorentina midfielder who is currently starring for Morocco at the 2022 World Cup. Amrabat has helped guide his country to the semi-final of the competition, where they will face France for a place in the final.
Various reports have claimed to say that Liverpool are interested in signing the player. The latest rumour said that Fiorentina have placed a €40million (£34m) price tag on the player’s services.
Now Ibrahimovic, who plays for Fiorentina’s Serie A rivals AC Milan, has praised Amrabat amid links with a move to Liverpool. The Sweden international was asked by Sky Sports Italy for players in the Italian top flight who have caught his eye:
Randal Kolo Muani plans to stay at Eintracht Frankfurt for ‘at least another year’ amid reported interest from Liverpool, according to the agency that represents the striker.
Kolo Muani has enjoyed an outstanding start to the season in Germany, tacking up five goals and nine assists from 14 Bundesliga appearances. Such form earned the 24-year-old a call-up to Didier Deschamps’ French squad to replace the injured Christopher Nkunku, despite making his debut only in September.
The forward started his side’s 2-1 defeat to South Korea as Deschamps rested key players, but a meteoric rise has reportedly attracted interest from both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
But speaking toSport1 in Germany, Kolo Muani’s agency, MDC Advisors, insisted the Frenchman is very happy in Frankfurt and has no plans on leaving any time soon:
Liverpool are one of several sides to have ‘set their sights’ on Atalanta defender Giorgio Scalvini, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (viaFCInterNews).
The Reds look set to compete with Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Manchester City for the promising 19-year-old.
Scalvini made his debut for Atalanta aged just 17 and is already considered one of the best young Italian defenders, earning a call up to Roberto Mancini’s senior side and a debut in June.
And with the teenager’s rising profile, he is expected to demand Champions League football – a guarantee Atalanta cannot provide, with a slow start to the season leaving them sixth in Serie A.
Several of the continent’s top clubs are circling, with Liverpool said to be alongside several in monitoring the teenager’s development. The report adds that any suitors will need to pay upwards of €40million.
Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva was pulled from training at current club Gremio after a heart problem was detected during routine screening.
The 35-year-old returned to his boyhood club in the summer, 15 years after leaving for Anfield as a 20-year-old back in 2007. 10 of those years were spent on Merseyside, where the combative midfielder racked up 346 appearances, winning the League Cup in 2012 and proving crucial in helping fellow Brazilians Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino settle into life at Liverpool.
Leiva completed a £5million move to Lazio in 2017, calling an end to a decade-long spell with the Reds. In an emotional open letter to fans upon confirmation os his departure, the midfielder described Liverpool as ‘one of the greatest clubs in the world’ but cited a lack of playing time as a deciding factor in his decision to leave.
He spent five years in Italy before returning to Gremio in the summer, but on Tuesday the Brazil international tweeted a statement from the club confirming the discovery of what was described as an ‘alteration of the cardiac rhythm’, and the subsequent removal from training.
The statement read: “The Grêmio Medical Department communicates that the athlete Lucas Leiva presented, in the pre-season routine exams, a picture of alteration of the cardiac rhythm and, consequently, is removed from physical activities until the conclusion of complementary exams and treatment of the picture.”
Former Fiorentina goalkeeper Giovanni Galli has warned that Sofyan Amrabat’s potential move to Liverpool would have some ‘shortcomings’, backing a move to Tottenham Hotspur instead.
The Reds have been heavily linked with Amrabat following the midfielder’s outstanding performances to help Morocco to the semi-finals of the World Cup. Reports last week even claimed that the club had met with representatives of the Fiorentina man ahead of a January bid.
Amrabat’s form on the world stage hasn’t just caught Liverpool’s eye, with Tottenham manager Antonio Conte thought to have been keen on a move in the summer – he is expected to return in January.
And Galli, who played over 300 times for la Viola between 1977 and 1986, believes a move to Spurs would suit Amrabat far more than to Anfield.
Glen Johnson has urged Liverpool to ‘hijack’ a move for Manchester United target Cody Gakpo in January.
Erik Ten Hag has been linked with a move for his compatriot, with the Red Devils exploring forward replacements for the departed Cristiano Ronaldo. Gakpo’s impressive form in the World Cup saw him score three goals in five games and catch watching eyes across Europe.
But Johnson believes his former side should swoop in and land the 23-year-old ahead of their old rivals – insisting the Dutchman would be a steal at the reported £50million set by PSV eindhoven.
English football could be set for seismic change with the appointment of a new regulator in the New Year.
According to the Daily Mail, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has signed off on the introduction of a regulator for the English game just two months after it had looked dead and buried under former PM Liz Truss, something that was reportedly welcomed by Premier League owners.
The need for football to have an independent regulator was highlighted after the Government’s fan-led review into football governance, a review that was spearheaded by Conservative MP Tracey Crouch in the wake of the failed plot to give rise to the European Super League, a plot of which Liverpool were an agitator before renouncing their intentions and working with the Spirit of Shankly supporters group and other fan groups to create a Supporters Board that had the power to reject moves by ownership to join a breakaway competition in the future.
The Daily Mail report that the regulations could come into law by 2024 and will see an independent regulatory body created which would have directors and considerable staff overseeing ‘the most contentious issues in the game’.
Ibrahima Konate could be in line to start in France’s World Cup semi-final tomorrow after news that Dayot Upamecano is a doubt.
The Bayern Munich defender missed training today with a sore throat, according to L’Equipe, and may be dropped as a result of missing out so close to their meeting with Morocco.
Konate started two of Les Bleus’ group stage games before being dropped for their two knockout rounds so far. Should former RB Leipzig teammate Upamecano be sidelined, the Liverpool man could be in line to start alongside Raphael Varane.
Liverpool have sent scouts to watch Mohammed Kudus with the Ajax forward said to be dreaming of a Premier League move, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Kudus took his form onto the world stage when scoring twice as Ghana beat South Korea 3-2 at the World Cup but was unable to help his side progress into the knockout stages.
Widely regarded as the biggest young talent to come out of Africa in recent years, the 22-year-old has been outstanding for Ajax this season ever since a summer move to Merseyside rivals Everton fell through.
Such form has inevitably attracted the interest of Europe’s top clubs, and Romano has claimed that Liverpool are among several sides keeping tabs amid claims that Kudus himself dreams of a move to the Premier League – although he stresses that a move from Jurgen Klopp’s side is far from likely, with the Reds prioritising Jude Bellingham as their next big-money move.
Liverpool are one of several sides exploring a January loan deal for Christian Pulisic, according to90min.
Despite showing plenty of promise since his 2019 arrival at Stamford Bridge, Pulisic has never been a regular starter and looks to have his minutes limited further under Grahan Potter, especially after the signing of Raheem Sterling and reported interest in both Christopher Nkunku and Raphael Leao.
The London club are undecided as to where that leaves the American, with Liverpool and Newcastle United both eyeing a loan move, although Potter’s side are thought to be reluctant to bolster a top-four rivals squad.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp worked with Pulisic at Borussia Dortmund and is said to be looking at attacking reinforcements, following the news that Luis Diaz could be out until march after requiring surgery in the knee injury that recurred while in Dubai.
Liverpool have identified James Maddison as a ‘top target’ for January but will have to pay upwards of €60million, according to Spanish outletFijaches.
The Reds are thought to be in the market for attacking reinforcements, following a setback in Luis Diaz’s recovery from a knee injury picked up in October. The Colombian will require surgery and is expected to be sidelined until March.
And with Diogo Jota also out of action until February, Jurgen Klopp is left with two huge gaps in his attacking arsenal – one of which could be filled by Leicester City’s Maddison.
The Reds are one of three Premier League sides along with Arsenal and Newcastle United in exploring the possibility of signing the 26-year-old in January, but never one to bow to the pressure of big sides, Leicester will demand around €60million for their talisman.
The report adds that with Maddison’s contract ending in 2024 and no sign of a new deal being signed, the Foxes have a limited window in which they can sell the midfielder before his value starts to decrease.
After suffering defeat in their first Dubai Super Cup friendly to Lyon on Sunday, Liverpool returned to training on Tuesday as their mid-season camp continues.
The Reds are next in action against AC Milan on Friday ahead of making a return to competitive action away at Man City in the League Cup in midweek. And there was a returning face in training for Liverpool ’s latest session.
As promised, Darwin Nunez was back in training on Tuesday following his World Cup exploits with Uruguay. The striker was granted just over a week off following the South American outfit’s group-stage exit.
Liverpool were handed an injury scare against Lyon when Harvey Elliott was forced off inside the opening half-hour. The midfielder was seen shaking his head when leaving the field, automatically raising concerns that he could have joined the Reds’ injury list.
Fortunately his withdrawal was just a precaution, having been on the receiving end of a heavy challenge in the build-up to Liverpool’s first-minute goal against the French outfit.
If Calvin Ramsay was still under any illusions about the size of the club he joined in June, then they were dispelled on a warm Sunday evening out in Dubai.
A total of 14,851 packed into the relatively modest Al Maktoum Stadium over the weekend to watch Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in action against Lyon in an exhibition competition known as the Dubai Super Cup and it’s fair to say the French side’s support was dwarfed by the mix of locals and expats who were there to cheer on their heroes in red.
For Ramsay, it was an eye-opener to the sheer scale of Liverpool FC. Seeing such passionate support nearly 4,500 miles away from Merseyside is likely nothing new to the slew of seniors out in the United Arab Emirates, but for the teenage defender, it just further hammered home why the Reds are known as one of the most well-supported football clubs on earth. The scenes were also entirely new for Ramsay after he had missed the pre-season trip to Thailand and Singapore through injury.
“It’s been brilliant here in Dubai!” Rasmay tells the ECHO in an exclusive post-match chat after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat. “I think everyone knows how big Liverpool is, but coming to the stadium and seeing all the fans here to support us the way they have is brilliant. We appreciate everyone who has come out.”
South American news outlets can’t get enough of the Reds at the moment and another name has now been thrown into the mix.
According to Argentine media outfit El Crack Deportivo, Liverpool are considering a move for Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, but so are Manchester United and you guessed it – Real Madrid.
Uruguay did not have a fruitful World Cup, exiting at the Group Stage on Goals Scored, but Bentancur was one of their best performers in Qatar.
Is he the answer to Liverpool’s midfield woes?
Former Liverpool player Paul Ince has suggested that Anfield transfer target Jude Bellingham should be in no rush to make a move to the Premier League.
Bellingham starred for England at the World Cup in Qatar and is considered one of the most in-demand players in European football, but Ince, who spent time in Italy with Inter Milan, believes the 19-year-old should take his time before making his next move.
Speaking to Lord Ping, Ince said: “It’s early doors yet and Jude Bellingham hasn’t yet played in the Premier League so he’s got a long way before he is at the level of the players I played with.
“Paul Gascoigne is one of, if not the best player I ever played with and It’s a long time before Jude Bellingham gets to that level but the potential is definitely there to do that.
“There will be a lot of clubs after Jude but he has to be careful because you look at Jadon Sancho coming from Dortmund and he’s struggled a bit at Old Trafford. It’s about timing.
“Sancho moved to the biggest club in the country and is struggling, so Bellingham needs to sit down with his people and decide what he will do. There’s no rush for him to play in the Premier League.”
Initial reports that Liverpool have a pre-agreement with Benfica to bring Enzo Fernandez to Liverpool have been backed up by another outlet in Portugal.
O JOGO claim that “the team from the city of the Beatles promised to match any proposal that arrives at Benfica and has the choice of the midfielder to play under the command of Jurgen Klopp.”
The report says that Fernandez is already in Liverpool’s hands, but a move is agreed for the end of the season, not in January.
The 21-year-old has enjoyed an impressive start to life at Benfica but could be on the move to Merseyside after just one season. Fernandez is expected to start this evening for Argentina in their World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia in Qatar.
Darwin Nunez reported for training on Tuesday as Liverpool continued their mid-season work out in Dubai.
Nunez flew in to join up with his colleagues on Monday after his exploits at the World Cup in Qatar where his native Uruguay were knocked out in the group stages in dramatic fashion, despite beating Ghana 2-0 in the final match.
Jurgen Klopp has granted those at the World Cup a week off once their campaign in Doha comes to an end but the timing of Liverpool’s visit to the Middle East meant Nunez was afforded closer to a fortnight following La Celeste’s exit from the tournament.
In the not too distant past Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group had been looking at ways they could expand their football interests.
Having acquired Liverpool in 2010 for £300m and spent the next decade trying to grow the club into a global powerhouse once again, FSG are now assessing what the future holds for their Reds tenure, opening themselves up to expression of interest from those with very deep pockets who wish to take a controlling stake in the club.
The ECHO has been told that the FSG stance remains one where investment through a ‘strategic partner’ would be preferred, but with offers of $4bn (£3.3bn) and above for the full shareholding likely to be at least listened to the potential for a sale remains in play.
FSG had tried to bring about structural change to football in recent times, with both their involvement in the hugely unpopular European Super League plot and the Project Big Picture Premier League plan both falling flat. For FSG principal John W. Henry it was the latter that was the hardest pill to swallow, a vision where the biggest clubs sought to put more money into the EFL but where the concessions would see a Premier League of reduced size and competitions such as the Carabao Cup kicked into the long grass.
Darwin Nunez missed Liverpool’s clash with Lyon in Dubai this weekend, but the Uruguay international is due to meet up with his team-mates this week.
The Reds lost the first of two Dubai Super Cup fixtures on Sunday afternoon but will face AC Milan on Friday and Nunez will have a chance to get back out on the pitch with his club teammates, following early elimination from the World Cup.
Liverpool granted the £64m striker time off after his exploits in Qatar, where he featured in all three of La Celeste’s games before they were sent home by virtue of South Korea scoring more goals.
Speculation around Jude Bellingham joining Liverpool is not going to go away any time soon, especially when journalists continue to make the case for it.
Sunday World scribe Kevin Palmer is the latest to boost the hopes of supporters with his update.
He Tweeted: “Liverpool are in pole position to sign Jude Bellingham and are trying to get the deal over the line NOW. It would be a real statement signing.”
Now that England are out of the World Cup, Bellingham can no longer be followed around all day by Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. But presumably they’ve swapped numbers on the coach home.
Liverpool may have won the race for Argentina and Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez and ‘agreed’ on a deal ahead of a June 2023 transfer, according to fresh reports from South America.
Fernandez, 21, made the move to the Portuguese capital in July after rising through the ranks of South American giants River Plate.
However, it now appears that the midfielder could be set for his latest big-money switch as Argentine outlet La Capital claim his outstanding performances for Lionel Scaloni’s side in the World Cup have triggered Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool to make a move.
It is suggested that Anfield officials, who are still being led in procedures by outgoing sporting director Julian Ward, have reached an arrangement with Benfica over a deal to bring Fernandez to Merseyside in June. The report claims the Reds struck early in a bid to fend off anticipated interest from both Manchester United and Manchester City.
“Liverpool accelerated the efforts to incorporate Enzo Fernández and has already signed a pre-agreement with Benfica, the Portuguese club that has the federative rights of the young midfielder of the Argentine national team, who earned a place among the starters of Lionel Scaloni’s team during the World Cup in Qatar,” claims the report.