The ECHO will provide breaking stories, reaction and comment to all the big talking points from Anfield as well as keeping tabs on transfer market gossip from around the world.
Liverpool are in advanced talks with PSV Eindhoven to sign Cody Gakpo. We’ll be providing you with the latest on the potential move right here.
There has been an update over the future of Benfica midfielder and Argentina international Enzo Fernandez, as well as a claim made about Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister.
Also stay tuned for any breaking developments in the potential sale of the club. In a statement sent to the ECHO, owners FSG maintain they are ‘fully committed’ to the ongoing success of Liverpool under Klopp but admit they are open to the possibility of further investment from elsewhere.
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Erik ten Hag has reportedly shared his frustration at not being able to land Liverpool-bound Cody Gakpo with Manchester United’s top brass.
Sources have told ESPN however, that the Red Devils boss is still hopeful of landing a shot-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, following the Portuguese legend’s exit from the club.
Ten Hag will have known plenty about Liverpool’s interest as he shares the same agent as Gakpo, but ESPN’s report says that United never lodged an official bid for the player because they knew that they could not match the financial package their rivals had already put on the table.
United are now likely to turn their attention to a short term loan deal to mitigate for the loss of Ronaldo until the end of the season.
Former Scotland international Allan Hutton believes Jurgen Klopp sees Ben Doak as Liverpool’s “future” but admits the 17-year-old may have to leave Merseyside on loan following Cody Gakpo’s arrival.
Having signed from Celtic earlier this year, Doak wrote himself into the Premier League record books after coming off the bench in the Reds’ 3-1 Boxing Day triumph at Aston Villa, becoming the youngest-ever Scottish player to feature in a top-flight match.
Much has been made of the Anfield prodigy’s potential following an impressive debut display in Liverpool’s penalty shootout Carabao Cup win against Derby County and he has since gone on to earn a call-up for Scotland’s under-21 side.
Understandably, minutes will be hard to come by for Doak and Hutton told Football Insider that his development could be best-served elsewhere for now. When asked if a temporary move away from Liverpool would prove beneficial, Hutton said: “Yes, definitely.
“I think Klopp sees him in the Liverpool starting line-up in the future, but maybe not at this moment in time because they are going to bring in different players from different positions to strengthen right now.”
Caoimhin Kelleher insists he will remain at Liverpool this season but hinted he may consider his long-term options next summer.
Kelleher has developed into a high-quality understudy for Brazil international Alisson Becker at Anfield and starred for the Reds last term in goal as they won both domestic cup competitions.
The Ireland international has made two appearances so far this term but may find further game time limited after Jurgen Klopp’s side were knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the fourth-round stage at Manchester City last week.
Kelleher is likely to be named in goal for the side that plays Wolves on January 7 when Liverpool get the defence of their FA Cup underway at least, but with Alisson firmly established as the No.1 at Anfield, the Irishman admits his future might be under consideration at the end of the campaign.
“Obviously when I get my chance I need to take it,” Kelleher said. “That is all I am focusing on really. I just need to be ready so I can step in if there’s an injury or if I’m needed.
“I am quite relaxed, so I don’t mind watching, but obviously I’d rather be playing but I just try to be as focused as I can be when I watch so I am ready if I am needed.
“Listen, I think we’ve obviously only just come back into the middle of the season. So we’ll just see what the season brings and then after that we’ll see, we’ll see what happens after that. But I think at the moment, for now, I just have to be focused on trying to be ready for Liverpool.”
Good news for Liverpool fans and flight trackers. Sky Sports are reporting that Cody Gakpo has arrived in England ahead of his medical with Liverpool. The completion of a transfer for the Dutch forward moves a step closer.
Cody Gakpo is on the verge of a move to Liverpool but he will be forced to wait for his dream number upon his arrival from PSV Eindhoven.
The 23-year-old has captained Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side since April 2021 and has quickly established himself as a key member of the Eredivisie outfit.
His stock rose during his exploits at the 2022 Qatar World Cup as he starred alongside Reds defender Virgil van Dijk – scoring three goals in five appearances until their penalty shootout exit to eventual winners Argentina.
At PSV, Gakpo currently has the number 11 shirt joining an illustrious list of attackers for the Dutch giants after Arjen Robben and former-Red Boudewijn Zenden donned the shirt. However for Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has held that shirt number since his arrival from AS Roma and he will remain in that number for the foreseeable future following his contract extension.
It remains to be seen what shirt number Gakpo will receive upon his arrival in the Premier League. During his formative years in Holland, he held squad numbers like the 19, held by Harvey Elliott at Liverpool, and 20, occupied by the injured Jota.
A player who came on during their 3-1 this week has been subject to speculation away from L4 is Naby Keita. The Guinean has been plagued with injuries and hasn’t hit the heights following his big-money move from RB Leipzig.
Keita currently wears the number eight shirt, synonymous with Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard. Coincidentally, ahead of the World Cup, 23-year-old Gakpo was handed the same shirt number for Louis van Gaal’s Holland.
European Champions Real Madrid plan to accelerate their pursuit of Jude Bellingham according to Spanish sports paper Marca.
Leading their front page with the story on Wednesday, December 28, Marca claims that Los Blancos have made the player’s representatives aware of the their interest, as they look to steal a march on Liverpool as well as Chelsea and Manchester City.
The report also claims that Madrid asked Bellingham not to extend his contract with Borussia Dortmund, something the 19-year-old has so far honoured, but the Spanish giants also accept that they face huge competition for his signature, not least from Liverpool.
The Mail claims that Bellingham could possibly leave Dortmund for what would be a cut-price £60million thanks to a rumoured release clause in his contract that runs until 2025.
Read all the latest on Liverpool’s pursuit of Jude Bellingham HERE.
Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes that Cody Gakpo is a ‘typical’ Jurgen Klopp player and will be able to perform a variety of roles for Liverpool, should his transfer complete as expected.
The Dutch forward is expected to arrive in England for his medical before completing a move to Anfield for an initial £37million – a club record fee for current side PSV Eindhoven – and Cascarino is confident that the World Cup star’s arrival will bring the Reds the goals that they need.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Cascarino sadi: “Wow, more goals. Just think, they’ve got Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez – who you’d like to think will chip in with more goals – and now Gakpo, who is only 23 years old.
“The most surprising thing about Gakpo is that he’s 6 ft 4 but he’s not your traditional centre-forward. He’s very athletic, he’s very quick. He’s so versatile that you can play him in any position in the forward line. And that’s typical of a Klopp signing, that he likes to use certain players in different positions.”
Former Liverpool star Jason McAteer believes Jurgen Klopp’s management capabilities will have convinced Cody Gakpo to sign for Liverpool over Manchester United.
Following the Reds’ 3-1 Boxing Day triumph over Aston Villa, supporters were treated to a belated Christmas present when it was announced that the two clubs had reached an agreement over a deal for Gakpo.
A statement from the Dutch club explained he will “leave for England imminently to be subjected to the necessary formalities ahead of the completion of the transfer.”
And McAteer, who made 139 appearances for Liverpool, suggested to beIN SPORTS that the difference in managerial status helped the Reds pull off such a high-profile deal.
“You’ve asked for the comparison between Liverpool and Manchester United there,” he stated.
“Jurgen Klopp can ring Cody Gakpo and say ‘we may have Jude Bellingham at the end of the season, we’ve got Diaz back at the end of the season, we’ve signed Nunez, Salah is staying, I’m staying for another two or three seasons and we’ve got big ambitions and aspirations.’
“Klopp is brilliant at talking to players like that. I know with Virgil van Dijk, and I shouldn’t really say this, he was never off the phone with him.”
Liverpool are on the brink of adding Cody Gakpo to their squad for the second half of the season after agreeing a deal with PSV Eindhoven.
As reported by the ECHO, the Reds have been in advanced talks to sign the versatile forward after the club accelerated their interest over the last 48 hours. The ECHO understands the initial fee will be around the £37m figure with add-ons likely to take the deal well past the £40m mark.
Manchester United and Real Madrid have been linked with a move for the Netherlands international over the past few months. It’s thought the interest from other clubs has prompted Liverpool to make their move for Gakpo ahead of the January transfer window.
Gakpo has scored nine goals and produced 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie matches for PSV so far this season. And the ECHO has taken a look at three ways in which Jurgen Klopp’s side could line up with the Dutchman.
His official stint in the office of sporting director will only be brief, but Julian Ward’s Liverpool legacy could be significant when he eventually walks away next summer.
The job of replacing the vaunted Michael Edwards was always going to be a difficult job given the near-mythical status he enjoyed within Liverpool’s fanbase, particularly since becoming the club’s maiden sporting director in November 2016.
Many of the players who are responsible for some of the most memorable nights in living memory at Anfield were brought to the club on Edwards’ studious and analytically-driven watch, so the task of following on from someone of such status within football was no doubt a daunting prospect, even for someone like Ward, whose tutelage and preparation for the role was done with a view for the long term.
Ward spent the best part of 18 months readying himself for the job and in all actuality had been performing the role in all but title during Edwards’ long goodbye. The former Tottenham and Portsmouth analyst actually announced he would be departing in November 2021, well over six months before his eventual exit.
Since the turn of 2022 then, Ward has taken on greater responsibility within the recruitment department while Edwards took a more backseat role. In a way, the changing of the guard represents something akin to the legendary Boot Room culture at Anfield, only with a modern twist based around how a football operations structure should look at an elite-level club in 2022.
His stint as Edwards’ assistant helped him get in tune with the needs of what must surely be one of the most demanding roles in all of football. After excelling as loan and pathways manager, Ward was said to have been an important figure in helping the club fetch around £11m from Lyon for Xherdan Shaqiri, while his command of Portuguese – honed through his time with the Portugal national team under Carlos Quieroz – made him a key contact for Claudio Taffarel when the legendary Brazil goalkeeper became a Liverpool coach in 2021.
But it’s the move for Cody Gakpo that has reinforced Ward’s burgeoning reputation as a decisive figure within the ranks. It’s believed he spent much of his time over the festive period ensuring his PSV Eindhoven counterpart Marcel Brands was receptive to what Liverpool could offer.
The noise around Chelsea making a move for mooted Liverpool target Enzo Fernandez is continuing to grow in Portugal this morning.
As cited by Portuguese football podcaster Zach Lowy, newspaper Record leads its front page with a story claiming that Chelsea have offered €130million to Benfica in order to secure the transfer of Fernandez in January.
The report says that Benfica president Rui Costa spoke with Fernandez yesterday in a bid to convince the 21-year-old to stay with the Eagles until the end of the season at least.
Liverpool are being linked with a move for Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister.
The January transfer window is fast approaching and as a result Liverpool are being credited with an interest in a host of players. The window is not even open yet and already the Reds are looking to bring in a new player.
Talks are at an advanced stage for Liverpool to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven. Should a deal be completed, the Reds will pay an initial fee of £37m, with add-ons taking the overall fee to above £40m.
Jude Bellingham and Enzo Fernandez are the two midfielders who have been the most frequently mentioned as potential targets for Liverpool. Now a fresh report from Italy has claimed that Mac Allister is of interest to the Reds.
According to La Repubblica, the Reds are interested in signing the Argentina international along with a host of other clubs. Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Benfica have also been credited with an interest in Mac Allister.
Last January, a bolt from the blue move for a left-sided attacking player helped Liverpool surge to a successful season.
Luis Diaz checked in for £49m – and two domestic cups were collected as the Reds pushed Manchester City all the way in the league and reached the Champions League final.
Now it seems history is about to repeat itself, with Liverpool closing in on a similarly-priced deal to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven next month.
And comments from Robin van Persie earlier this season suggest Liverpool may have a very versatile talent on their hands in Gakpo.
Speaking after a PSV victory in the Europa League, Van Persie told BT Sport: “[Gakpo] is a good player. He always finds a way in most games to have an influence, in terms of making an assist or a goal, he’s always dangerous.
“He is not really an out-and-out striker. He can play as a No.10, he can play on the wing, or as a false striker, he can play in those four positions in front.
“He has a good physique, he is strong, fast, he can dribble. He is an all-round player.”
Liverpool face fierce competition to land Argentina star Enzo Fernandez according to the latest report to come out of Portugal.
Newspaper Corrieo da Manha claims that both Chelsea and Manchester United are in hot pursuit of the World Cup winner and are prepared to activate the £106million release clause in his Benfica contract.
Fernandez only joined the Eagles last summer but today’s report says that both Chelsea and United are prepared to pay more than the asking price in order to steal a march on Liverpool and European Champions Real Madrid.
Should the release clause be met by any club, the only thing preventing Fernandez from making a move will be the 21-year-old himself.
PSV supporters have been paying tribute to Dutch sensation and academy graduate Cody Gakpo ahead of his imminent move to Liverpool.
And one fan, who goes by the username of ‘Stan Sc’ on Reddit, has penned an emotional letter to Gakpo named ‘Please take good care of our boy Cody,’ upon news of his transfer.