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Category: Liverpool

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Premier League at 25: the best match – Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle, April 1996

Roy Evans described Liverpool’s win as ‘kamikaze football’ but Kevin Keegan, during his time as Newcastle’s manager, helped to light up the Premier League

History is not always written by the winners. Manchester United were unquestionably the best team in the land in 1996; they proved it by landing the league and Cup Double. The triumphant return of Eric Cantona, the flowering of the Class of ’92, you can’t win anything with kids, all that … there is plenty to go on. And yet this particular story is not theirs to tell.

Occasionally the narrative is dominated by those who fell short. And that year there was clearly something in the air. Germany emerged triumphant at the European Championship, a tournament principally remembered for England’s dreaming, their 31st year of hurt. In golf the Green Jacket was draped around Nick Faldo’s shoulders at the Masters, the great man’s third win, an achievement back then bettered only by Jack and Arnie, though all everyone has talked about ever since is Greg Norman’s view-through-fingers collapse. And as for the Premiership …

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Football transfer rumours: Arsenal in for Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio?

Today’s rumours are enclosed

Even allowing for the fact that pre-season news cycles make each day seem like a month, and that for all we know they’ll be forced to play Steve Bould up front against Leicester on the opening day, this hasn’t felt like the most Arsenal-ish of transfer windows so far. Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette were both nailed down early on and look fine signings; there hasn’t, when we cut to the chase, been too much sign of Alexis Sánchez or Mesut Özil leaving either and at the current rate of knots you might be forgiven for thinking Thursday really will be the next Friday in Islington from next month.

Especially if they can somehow get Marco Asensio through the door. What now? Yes, Real Madrid’s boy wonder is apparently on their radar and would go down just nicely as a long-term replacement for their want-away Chilean – who will presumably be high-fiving with Gunnersaurus for one more year. Manchester United and Juventus are among those interested too, though, while Real wouldn’t mind keeping hold of the gifted forward themselves – all of which files these links under “curious”.

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Liverpool fans and Hillsborough groups have emotive safe standing debate

• Spirit of Shankly group organised Saturday’s meeting in Liverpool
• Opinion remains divided but rail seating options are proving popular

Liverpool fans are to vote on the introduction of rail seating in football stadiums following a constructive and at times emotive meeting on safe standing. As Damian Kavanagh, one of roughly 100 people who attended the two and a half hour discussion, put it: “This is uniquely complicated for us. We should be full, front and centre of the debate because we lived with Hillsborough.”

Momentum is growing in favour of the return of standing in the top two divisions of English football. The success of Celtic’s pilot experiment last season – now a permanent feature at Celtic Park – has given further impetus to a campaign long promoted by the Football Supporters Federation (FSF). For Liverpool, however, and particularly those affected by the 1989 disaster, it is a sensitive and complex issue that divides opinion, although on the evidence of Saturday’s public meeting the tide is turning marginally in favour.

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Virgil van Dijk training alone at Southampton after saying he wants to leave

• Van Dijk declared ‘he is not available to play’, says Mauricio Pellegrino
• Liverpool’s No1 target in defence is not for sale, Southampton insist

Virgil van Dijk has been told to train alone at Southampton after informing them he wants to leave and making himself unavailable for matches, Mauricio Pellegrino has said.

The manager hopes van Dijk, who is a target for clubs including Liverpool, will have a change of heart after Southampton said he was not for sale.

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Liverpool reject £72m Barcelona bid for Philippe Coutinho: ‘we are not a selling club’

• Playmaker signed new contract worth £150,000-a-week last season
• Jürgen Klopp: ‘The very important message is that we are not a selling club’

Jürgen Klopp has insisted Liverpool are not a selling club after rejecting an €80m (£72m) bid from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool are adamant the Brazilian playmaker will stay at Anfield irrespective of a higher bid from the Spanish giants.

Barcelona have been heavily linked with the 25-year-old since the turn of the year but their opening offer was immediately rejected by Liverpool, who insist Coutinho is not for sale at any price. The Brazil international is close friends with Barcelona duo Neymar and Luis Suárez, who made the move from Merseyside in 2014, but signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool only last season.

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Liverpool fail with £66m Naby Keïta bid as RB Leipzig owner rules out sale

• Dietrich Mateschitz says midfielder must respect his contract
• Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp may need to switch targets

Jürgen Klopp may have to reconsider his midfield transfer strategy after RB Leipzig rejected a £66m bid from Liverpool for Naby Keïta.

Liverpool have pursued the Guinea international all summer despite repeated declarations from the Bundesliga club that the 22-year-old is not for sale. The Anfield club have attempted to break Leipzig’s resolve with a €75m offer, more than double their record outlay on Mohamed Salah, only to meet frustration again.

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Lucas Leiva: a role model who is leaving Liverpool after 10 rollercoaster years

The Brazilian, who has joined Lazio, was heavily criticised when he joined from Grêmio in 2007 but earned the respect of his team-mates and the 30-year-old will be sorely missed in the Anfield dressing room

Lucas Leiva had heard the lament many times before but it was still a surprise when it was repeated at his testimonial dinner by Jürgen Klopp. An atypical Brazilian would be the politest summary of the Liverpool manager’s on-stage “tribute” in April, when he gave thanks that he could at least rely on Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to sprinkle the team with ingenuity and flair. It went unsaid but Liverpool could rely on the duo’s less-heralded compatriot for almost everything else.

The Liverpool squad have lost their longest-serving player with Lucas’ £5m transfer to Lazio. The club is not losing its most gifted or decorated player and many will be bemused by any fuss over the midfielder’s departure after 10 years but Klopp is losing an asset that he, and Liverpool managers before him, came to trust implicitly and value for his influence on and off the pitch.

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Premier League: 20 players ready to make a breakthrough next season

A club-by-club guide to the rising stars who could make a mark in 2017-18, including Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson and West Brom’s Sam Field

The 17-year-old was trending on Twitter last Thursday morning during his first appearance for Arsène Wenger’s first team – against Sydney FC – and it was because his pace, power and trickery are always going to be popular. The attacking midfielder played in an unfamiliar right wing-back role but there were no nerves, only a determination to show what he could do. Will Wenger give him his professional debut this season? According to the manager, Nelson is “very, very close”. David Hytner

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Premier League: 20 players ready to make a breakthrough next season

A club-by-club guide to the rising stars who could make a mark in 2017-18, including Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson and West Brom’s Sam Field

The 17-year-old was trending on Twitter last Thursday morning during his first appearance for Arsène Wenger’s first team – against Sydney FC – and it was because his pace, power and trickery are always going to be popular. The attacking midfielder played in an unfamiliar right wing-back role but there were no nerves, only a determination to show what he could do. Will Wenger give him his professional debut this season? According to the manager, Nelson is “very, very close”. David Hytner

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Premier League: 20 players ready to make a breakthrough next season

A club-by-club guide to the rising stars who could make a mark in 2017-18, including Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson and West Brom’s Sam Field

The 17-year-old was trending on Twitter last Thursday morning during his first appearance for Arsène Wenger’s first team – against Sydney FC – and it was because his pace, power and trickery are always going to be popular. The attacking midfielder played in an unfamiliar right wing-back role but there were no nerves, only a determination to show what he could do. Will Wenger give him his professional debut this season? According to the manager, Nelson is “very, very close”. David Hytner

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Liverpool can claim honours despite transfer frustration, says Jordan Henderson

• Midfielder backs Jürgen Klopp’s side to improve on fourth
• ‘We want to be winning things. That is the aim’

Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool will challenge for major honours next season despite Jurgen Klopp’s frustrations in attempting to land prime targets Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool have added record signing Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke to their ranks this summer and hope to conclude a deal for Hull City left back Andy Robertson. The club has also refused to concede defeat in the pursuit of Keita despite Red Bull Leipzig’s repeated insistence that the midfielder is not for sale. Attempts to add Van Dijk to Klopp’s defence have also been resisted by Southampton but the Dutch international’s future remains uncertain.

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Transfer round-up: Liverpool accept Lucas bid; Palace agree Martins Indi deal

• Midfielder given permission to talk personal terms with Lazio
• Palace steal march on Stoke with agreement for Porto defender

Lucas Leiva’s 10-year Liverpool career is set to end with the club accepting a £5m offer from Lazio for the Brazilian midfielder.

The 30-year-old has 12 months remaining on his contract but will be allowed to leave in pursuit of more regular football. He was still on Merseyside on Friday but has been given permission to talk personal terms with the Italian side, who are managed by Simone Inzaghi.

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Liverpool target Naby Keïta is not for sale, insist RB Leipzig

• Bundesliga club stand firm in face of interest from Jürgen Klopp
• Guinea midfielder will have to force through move to Liverpool

Naby Keïta will have to force a move to Liverpool after RB Leipzig informed the Anfield club that their coveted midfielder will not be sold this summer.

The 22-year-old is Jürgen Klopp’s prime midfield target and Liverpool are willing to shatter their transfer record to bring him to Merseyside. Leipzig, however, have steadfastly refused to consider selling a player who was instrumental in their second-place finish in the Bundesliga last season and given Liverpool no encouragement regarding a transfer fee.

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Premier League pre-season tours: a feast for fans in far-flung destinations

The international pre-season trip has become a way not just for English clubs to make money, but to open themselves up to supporters around the world

It is not only superfans of the elite who are catered for in the modern era of the pre-season international extravaganza. Mansfield Town are warming up for the new League Two campaign in Malta, and the club offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to their supporters including travel with the players on a private Stags Air jet, an invitation to an exclusive barbecue, and five-star hotel stay, all for a mere £3,000. Mansfield beat a Malta Players Association XI 5-0 in the baking heat over the weekend. What better way to build up to the new dawn that 2017-18 might bring?

The pre-season tour has become a significant moment in any club’s calendar. While managers might pine for more serene preparation with the emphasis on fine-tuning the bodies of athletes to handle the upcoming months of relentless competition, pre-season as an event is here to stay. You can imagine marketing gurus sticking pins in maps and circling dates years in advance. Certainly at elite level, for clubs who gear themselves towards growing their international fanbase, summer tours are now extensively planned. There are millions to be made in appearance money, sponsors are granted special access that is more difficult to accommodate in the season proper, and brand building with long distance or new fans is championed.

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Football transfer rumours: Eric Dier and Kyle Walker heading for Tottenham exit?

Today’s rumours are shorthanded

With White Hart Lane closed for renovations, Tottenham Hotspur have had second thoughts about hosting matches at Wembley for a season and are thinking instead about taking a sabbatical from football. Untrustworthy sources say there is listless debate within the club about whether everyone should spend their gap year travelling the world as a squad or whether each individual should be allowed to go find himself in his own way. Dele Alli is rumoured to be keen on devoting several months to quiet contemplation in a Tibetan monastery while Vincent Janssen has his heart set on exploring Bouvet, an uninhabited subantarctic outpost considered to be the world’s remotest island, where penguins and petrels are left alone to breed and no one gives a hoot about dreadful goalscoring records.

Meanwhile, several clubs are banging on Spurs’ door in the hope that the “Closed for Business” sign is some kind of joke. Manchester United are banging loudest because Ed Woodward dare not face José Mourinho again without Eric Dier, says the Star, especially as Fabinho is now leaning towards staying at Monaco until Atlético Madrid are allowed to bring him in. But West Bromwich Albion are knocking on Spurs’ door, too, because they want to reintroduce Kevin Wimmer to competitive football. And then, of course, there’s Pep Guardiola, who doesn’t really do banging or knocking, so is instead working on a lace doily representation of Kyle Walker’s face, to be slipped under Spurs’ door as a reminder of Manchester City’s admiration for the full-back. It is hard to say, however, whether Spurs are aware of any of this, or even whether they are awake.

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Football transfer rumours: Liverpool in for Leicester City’s Demarai Gray?

Today’s rumours are cleaning up the terrace

So Romelu Lukaku will most likely be showcasing his silky first touch at Manchester United next season. This being the case, expect blistering hot steam to whistle a-plenty from the facial apertures of long-time admirer Antonio Conte, making him wonder whether it’s worth hanging around in his current job much longer. With Diego Costa already for the off and Chelsea light up front, a crisis looms at Stamford Bridge. The purchase of Real Madrid’s Álvaro Morata and Swansea’s Fernando Llorente may avert it. It may not.

Related: Leicester in place to sign £25m Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City

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Premier League transfers club by club: done deals, targets and likely departures

Who has signed whom? Who wants what? Who could be leaving? Your guide to every team in England’s top flight as the transfer window hots up

What has happened so far?

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Premier League transfers club by club: done deals, targets and likely departures

Who has signed whom? Who wants what? Who could be leaving? Your guide to every team in England’s top flight as the transfer window hots up

What has happened so far?

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Liverpool will have to break their transfer record to sign Naby Keïta. Is he worth it?

Liverpool have broken their transfer record once this summer – by signing Mohamed Salah for £36.9m – and they will have to do it again to buy Naby Keïta

By Ben McAleer for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

The rumour that Liverpool will sign Naby Keïta from RB Leipzig has gathered exponential pace over the last few days. The move seemed unlikely a few weeks ago but the clubs are set to meet in the coming days to thrash out a deal. Keïta, who was linked with Liverpool last summer, was one of the stars of the Bundesliga season as RB Leipzig secured an unlikely second-placed finish, a fine showing in their first season in the top division.

Keïta excelled and his valuation skyrocketed as a result, with Leipzig now demanding £70m for the 22-year-old midfielder. Liverpool would have to break their transfer record for a second time this summer to land the Guinean. Keïta has a release clause worth around £48m, which will become active next summer, but Jürgen Klopp wants him now. Leipzig do not want to sell one of their best players as they prepare to play in the Champions League for the first time, but they stand to make a massive profit on a player they signed from sister club RB Salzburg for £12.75m last summer.

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Crystal Palace keen on Dutch pair with Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho too costly

• Ajax’s Joel Veltman and Kenny Tete of interest to Frank de Boer
• Palace intend to spend £30m Sakho asking price on up to five players

Crystal Palace have been priced out of a move for Mamadou Sakho with the club’s new manager, Frank de Boer, confident he can recruit up to five players for a combined outlay close to Liverpool’s £30m asking price for the France defender.

There had been initial optimism within the Palace hierarchy that Sakho’s loan move, which was so key to Sam Allardyce’s team securing their top-flight survival last term, could be made into a permanent transfer. Yet Liverpool, who have welcomed the centre-back to Melwood of late to continue fitness work after a knee ligament injury curtailed his eight-game spell at Palace, have as yet refused to drop their valuation of the player.

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