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Liverpool FC v Everton FC - FA Cup Third RoundPhoto by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The young left back’s whopping £2M fee is said to be giving the newly promoted side second thoughts.

Liverpool’s 19-year-old Algerian left back Yasser Larouci has resisted signing a new deal and is expected to move on this summer in search of a clearer path to first team football, and until now Leeds United had been a frequently mentioned possibility.

However, a number of outlets are today claiming that the newly promoted side are baulking at Liverpool’s £2M asking price. It is, to be perfectly honest, rather a strange story—if Leeds believe Larouci can challenge for minutes, £2M hardly seems an excessive fee.

And if, on the other hand, Leeds don’t believe Larouci has much of a shot at earning regular minutes for them, one wonders why they would be after him in the first place. In any case, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement for the player from his prospective new club.

If Leeds’ reluctance means that a deal falls through, it’s possible that Larouci could end up at Brentford FC, who had been targeting the player previously but whose chances to sign him looked to have taken a hit when they failed to earn promotion.

That they wouldn’t be in the Premier League next season seemed to give the edge to Leeds, but if they don’t believe Larouci is a good enough player to be worth all of £2M, that just might be their chance to swoop back in and nap the promising youngster.

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Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier LeaguePhoto by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool’s star right back was named the best young player in the Premier League today.

It’s hardly a surprise but certainly worth a bit of celebrating, as today Trent Alexander-Arnold has officially been named the Premier League’s Young Player of the Season for the 2019-20 season, seeing off a strong list of finalists to take the prize.

Alexander-Arnold was up against Jack Grealish of Aston Villa; Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount of Chelsea; Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United; and United loanee and Sheffield goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Many of them could have made a case for being named the league best young player, but it was Alexander-Arnold who was also one of seven finalists for the overall Player of the Year Award, meaning any upset here would have been a quite major one.

After ending last year with the record for assists in a Premier League season by a defender with 12—not to mention 97 points in the league and a Champions League medal—the young Scouser followed it up by notching 13 helpers in the league this season.

He also chipped in four league goals and played in every one of Liverpool’s 38 games as the Reds racked up 99 points and won the Premier League for the first time in three decades, marking him out as him an indispensable part of England’s best team.

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The apparel giant’s second release for the 2020-21 season will certainly get people talking.

Nike have officially unveiled their first Liverpool away kit—and it’s definitely not one your grandad will recall.

Building off of the teal trim teased in last week’s home kit release, the apparel giant decided to double down on the whole unrelated primary color thing with an teal away offering that will make for some colorful away days. A floral motif evoking both the Shankly Gates and the Liver Bird combined with as a black trim to complete look was designed to draw on cultural influences, both past and present, from across the city.

As anyone who has ever experienced any Nike marketing will know, the American company has a thing for the word ‘hyper’, so naturally the kit color has been titled ‘Hyper Turquoise®’. Whatever you want to call it, Nike’s first Liverpool collection represents, so far, a bold departure from the perfectly-adequate New Balance regime. The gulf in pop culture influence between the two companies is the fact that Nike announced the release in an exclusive interview with the website HYPEBEAST, a publication where—as any true hype beast knows—walk the gods of uber-cool streetwear.

Nike VP of Football Apparel, Scott Munson lauded the release in an interview with the site, highlighting an extensive campaign to sound out local influencers, supporters and players in designing the kit:

“We went really deep into the culture of the club and the culture of the city. We got boots on the ground from our design and product teams, here in Portland, and we leveraged the local team in the U.K. to work in Liverpool for the insights.

“First and foremost, we set out to create a collection that celebrates the rich culture of the city of Liverpool and the club.

“The away kit allowed us to be bolder and more expressive in how we brought some of these cultural references to life and we’ve landed on a look and aesthetic that really reflects that.”

Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson also weighed in on the release: “I’m a massive fan of the new away kit.

“I really love the design and how it has been influenced by the city and specific aspects of the club. I can’t wait to get back out there and play in it next season.” A very Jordan Brian Henderson take on the topic.

While the captain’s contribution to broadening Liverpool’s global pop culture appeal will be limited to his on-pitch performances, early indicators are that Nike’s deep roster of superstars are playing a major role in flogging kits and ‘brand equity’ off the pitch.

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Meaning that as various Reds return from their holidays surfing hyper turquoise waves on, they’ll have a bold new kit and a whole lot of Nike cool backing their title defense.

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West Bromwich Albion v Leeds United - Sky Bet ChampionshipPhoto by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Ben White’s former manager says the highly-rated Brighton defender will thrive learning at Liverpool

Liverpool’s wish list going into the offseason was straightforward: Timo Werner, a backup left back, a 4th-choice center half, Timo Werner, maybe some creativity in midfield, and a 24-year-old German speed merchant goal machine if one just happened to be available for a bargain basement price. A global pandemic has altered the timelines somewhat, but the transfer team has since steadied the ship and already locked down full back, Kostas Tsimikas (going to have to Google that name for a while), with midfielder Thiago as well as non-Timo Werner attacking depth in the club’s sights.

However, the dearth of reliable links to a quality replacement for the departing Dejan Lovren in the heart of defense may be now rectified as Brighton center back, Ben White has emerged as a potential target. The mobile defender recently returned from a season under Marcelo Bielsa helping Leeds United win promotion from the Championship and has reportedly earned admirers from several Premier League clubs, including Chelsea and Leeds.

However, one of the 22-year-old’s former managers believes that the versatile, ball-playing defender would do best to snub all other suitors in favor of Liverpool. While Michael Flynn (no, not that Michael Flynn) last worked with White at Newport County back in the 2017/18 season, the ex-coach recently gave an interview selling Anfield as an optimal destination.

“I’d love to see him at Liverpool,” Flynn said talking to TalkSport2. “I know Pep Lijnders, the assistant, he’s an unbelievable coach.”

“So, I know he will help Ben improve. He’s got to do what’s best for Ben White. That could be getting a season in the Premier League with regular games at Brighton, which I think he could do.

While there aren’t any signs that Liverpool are interested in the player as of yet, one can imagine that a promising prospect like White has most certainly crossed Mikey Edwards’ radar at one point or another.

“[Brighton boss] Graham Potter might want to keep him and bring him on and then sell him for more money after a year in the Premier League,” said Flynn.

“That’s a decision for Ben, but for biased reasons, I’d be edging him towards Liverpool.”

While on the surface, match time might be hard to come by for a 4th choice center half in Jürgen Klopp’s world class team, the injury records of Joe Gomez Joël Matip could potentially mean plenty of time opportunities for a new recruit to partner Virgil Van Dijk on the pitch. Coupled with the bonus prospect of daily Klopp hugs and competing at the heights of Europe rather than scrapping mid-table increases the appeal for an emerging young defensive talent.

“I’m that confident of Ben that I think he can force his way into any team,” Flynn continued. “Let’s not forget, he’s going to have even better players around him, they’ll bring him on.

“Jurgen Klopp, as a manager, gets the best out of all his players. I can just see him improving again,” he added.

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Liverpool v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First LegPhoto by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

The German press believe that, for the first time, Liverpool have made contact with Bayern for Thiago Alcantara

It’s been impossible for Liverpool fans to ignore the Thiago Alcantara rumours this summer, even if at times it’s been rather hard to figure out how much truth there is to them. Today, though, there is a sign that the 29-year-old Spaniard might really be joining the Reds.

That’s because Bild+, a reliable source for Bayern Munich news, claim today that for the first time Liverpool have made official, formal contact with the Bavarian club. Previously, any transfer talk had only suggested the Reds had only been in contact with Thiago’s agent.

After a solid month of hearing that Thiago was desperate to join the Reds—and wondering if it was all a smokescreen, an effort by the player’s agent to induce somebody else to step up and bid for him—this is the first real, significant movement in the story. Assuming it’s true.

While Bild+ are generally reliable—and certainly more so than Bild or Sportsbild—they aren’t as well connected at Bayern Munich as they once were, and even if this is a story coming from legitimate club sources there remains a chance Liverpool’s name is being used.

For those hoping to see Thiago at Anfield, though, it’s certainly a positive sign that a deal—perhaps one in the €25M range—could be on the horizon. On the flip side, a move to sign Thiago would seem to inevitably mean a senior Liverpool midfielder is set to depart.

Currently, the club have Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keïta, and Curtis Jones all needing minutes—seven senior players competing for three starting roles and a maximum of three places on the bench.

It’s the deepest part of Liverpool’s squad, and the math of adding an eighth name to the mix simply can’t be made to work if somebody isn’t leaving, whether it’s Wijnaldum—the same age as Thiago and down to the final year of his contract—or somebody else.

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Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup FinalPhoto by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

In a move that should make Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp happy, the English cups will be a little bit shorter this season.

Last season, an overworked Liverpool side were forced to field U23 teams twice in the domestic cups, once in the League Cup when a date against Aston Villa was scheduled 24 hours before a Club World Cup Match and once in the FA Cup when a replay disagreed with their mid-season break.

This season, such conflicts should be a little less likely, as the EFL and FA have both agreed to take steps to reduce fixture congestion in the face of a compressed season due to coronavirus, with the League Cup removing its two-legged semi-final and the FA Cup doing away with replays.

Starting with the EFL League Cup, Liverpool will enter at the third round on September 22nd or 23rd, with round four a week later and round five on December 22nd or 23rd. The semi-final will then be played on January 5th or 6th—a single-leg affair with the first drawn team hosting the match.

Then, there’s the FA Cup, which has decided to do away with replays—instead, games will now go to penalties—and has also announced it has halved the competition prize money due to coronavirus . Liverpool will enter the FA Cup in the Third Round Proper the week of January 9th.

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Soccer - FA Community Shield - Chelsea v Liverpool - Millennium Stadium - CardiffPhoto by David Davies – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

For the first time ever, the men’s and women’s events will take place back-to-back, on the same day, at the same place.

Although we would prefer to watch football that is played in front of spectators, the lack of fans has given rise to an interesting opportunity: namely, playing both the men’s and women’s Community Shields back-to-back at Wembley on August 29th.

Today, the FA announced that the women’s Community shield—the first since 2008—will take place between Manchester City and Chelsea at 12:30 BST, 4 hours before the men kickoff.

“We are proud to announce the first ever double header of The FA’s Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 29 August,” FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said.

“It’s a sign of our commitment to the women’s game and its growth, to have a curtain raiser that mirrors that of the men, with another high-profile fixture at Wembley Stadium.”

Liverpool, of course, will be facing off against Arsenal in the men’s rendition of the traditional season opener between league and FA Cup winners. Sadly, Liverpool Women are nowhere near it after finishing dead last and being relegated last season.

The additional exposure for the women’s game, especially on such a high-profile day, can only be a good thing. It is also a good sign that they are bringing back the women’s Community Shield after a 12 year hiatus. Hopefully the exposure and TV revenue will provide a much needed boost to the league that needed to close up shop when the pandemic hit.

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Watford FC v Liverpool FC - Premier LeaguePhoto by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The heavily-linked Watford winger definitely won’t fuel transfer speculation with his latest comments. Nope. Not at all.

Now that Liverpool have sorted one major area of concern with back-up leftback Kostas Tsimikas, all eyes turn to Watford’s Ismaila Sarr.

The Senegalese winger—has one of those ever been a success at Liverpool? I’m struggling to remember—has been heavily linked with a move to Merseyside this summer.

His latest comments, published in Senegalese publication Sans Limites, are only likely to increase speculation that he’s planning a move to Liverpool.

“Liverpool are a really great team, everyone would love to play there,” Sarr said in the interview. “They won the Premier League this year and the Champions League last year.

“But there are other great teams in the English league,” he continued. “Frankly, I have yet to make a choice. If I am to leave, I just hope it is for a good team. At the moment, it is just guesswork.”

“I still have years left on my contract with Watford; another four years. If Watford want me to stay, I’ll play in the Championship. A departure depends on them as well as me. This is normal.”

So, I think he’s covered most of the possibilities. Either he’s moving to Liverpool. Or another Premier League team. Or staying at Watford. Cool.

For what it’s worth, his comments indicate that he’s pretty relaxed about the whole ordeal. Maybe we should be too?

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Brazil v Chile - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019Photo by Buda Mendes – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Financial difficulties mean Vasco da Gama may be forced to sell the so-called next Neymar for well under value.

After a long time in the wilderness, Liverpool are back on top of English and European football, and they’ve done it with a number of Brazilians in major roles, from the departed Philippe Coutinho to current stars Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Alisson.

That’s elevated the club’s profile massively in Brazil, and as a result they’re being linked with 18-year-old Vasco de Gama star Talles Magno, a player dubbed the next Neymar—and with hefty €48M release clause to prove just how highly he’s regarded.

In fact, they’re being more than just linked. Over the past 24 hours Brazil’s Esporte News Mundo and Yahoo Esportes have both called Liverpool favourites to sign the player, with the latter claiming Vasco de Gama could be forced to let him go for €20M.

The cut-rate fee is said to be due to the financial strain coronavirus has put on the player’s club, with Vasco de Gama’s tenuous situation said to have induced AC Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid to all make contact.

It’s Liverpool, though, who are said to be Magno’s first choice and the side closest to a deal—though even with Liverpool’s renewed standing, some skepticism is due as nobody in Brazil is saying exactly what has the Reds ahead of Barca and Madrid.

There’s also some question of whether Magno would be ready to deputise Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah. On the other hand, he would likely qualify for a work permit as an exceptional talent due to his release clause, transfer fee, and standing in Brazil.

If he really does want to come to Liverpool, then, it might be too good an opportunity to pass up for the Reds—though at this stage it seems at least as likely that a desperate Vasco de Gama is using their name to try to spark a bidding war.

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Norwich City v Manchester United - FA Cup: Quarter FinalPhoto by Joe Giddens/Pool via Getty Images

Norwich City played chicken with Liverpool and lost. And now they’re upset about it.

Liverpool’s approach for Norwich City’s 22-year-old left back Jamal Lewis last week saw the Reds propose a £10M deal for the promising young Northern Ireland international. Norwich, though, valued the player at twice that amount, asking £20M for him.

With such a massive gap in valuation, and with Liverpool not willing to invest so significant a fee in a backup left back who even in the best case scenario might not challenge incumbent Andy Robertson for the starting job, the Reds quickly moved on.

It seems as though it should be a nothing story. Two clubs with significantly different valuations of a player and the potential buying club moving on when that became clear rather than engaging in a drawn-out process trying to wear down the seller.

Only today, sources with ties to Norwich at local papers are claiming the Championship club feel that Liverpool showed “a lack of respect” by failing to engage with them after it became clear that the two sides had wildly differing valuations of the player.

Further, Norwich were justified in wanting £20M as Bournemouth sold Nathan Ake—a centre half three years older who played nearly five times as many Premier League games and was being eyed up by Chelsea—to Manchester City for twice that amount

Yet even if one were to accept the claim that £20M was a fair valuation for Lewis, there is no onus on Liverpool to pay that amount. Norwich wanted £20M. Liverpool didn’t want to pay that much. Liverpool moved on. Now Norwich appear to be upset about it.

It’s all, frankly, a little bizarre. If Norwich needed the money and were hoping to force Liverpool into paying an inflated fee, they’ve only got themselves to blame. If they really believe Lewis is a £20M player, they should be happy to have held on to him.

Instead, the club are planting stories in the local press about big bad bullies Liverpool. For making an offer for one of their players and then moving on quickly when it appeared there was a gap in valuation so large a compromise was unlikely.

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