Hello and welcome to the Liverpool ECHO’s Friday live blog for all your very latest Liverpool news, rumours and transfer gossip.
We will be providing you with the latest on reports that Fenway Sports Group have “put Liverpool up for sale”, which first began to circulate last Monday after a report from The Athletic said two major US banks in Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had been appointed to assist with the process as the Reds owners explore their options after seeing the club rocket in value during their 12-year stewardship.
In a statement sent to the ECHO, FSG maintain 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. Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment are the latest name in the frame, with the American group considering their options over a move for the club.
Elsewhere, Jude Bellingham has been tipped to replicate Erling Haaland’s method in deciding on a new club next summer.
A top performance from Mo Salah
Mo Salah has carried on his impressive form as he was awarded man of the match in Egypt’s win over Belgium.
Salah assisted Egypt’s second goal in the win over the second best side in the world according to FIFA rankings.
Is Mason Mount headed to Liverpool?
How do you feel about the recent reports linking Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount to Liverpool? It seems as though Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan and you can understand why.
The England man would flourish in the Reds midfield three with his high energy game and eye for a goal.
Contract talks with Chelsea have stalled and Mount’s current deal runs out in 2024 so the Reds may be willing to act.
A reply to Fabio Carvalho by Portugal Under-21 manager Rui Jorge
Portugal Under-21 manager Rui Jorge responds to Fabio Carvalho dropping out of the side.
“I got disappointed by the way it went. The fact that Fabio sent me a message, on Saturday night, saying that he didn’t want to continue in the under-21s. That he had been thinking and didn’t want to continue in the under-21s, because it no longer brought him any benefit.”
Liverpool need Wijnaldum type midfielder
John Barnes told BonusCodeBets- that Liverpool need a midfielder in the profile of Gini Wijnaldum to free Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“Jude Bellingham or Declan Rice! We need the profile of a Georginio Wijnaldum, a strong, hard-working midfield player which will then defend which will allow Trent Alexander-Arnold to get forward.”
Virgil van Dijk names Roberto Firmino
Virgil van Dijk has named Roberto Firmino as the best player he has ever played with after being asked on the Pitch Side podcast.
The Liverpool defender has been a teammate of Firmino’s since his move to Anfield in January 2018 and both have gone on to win all of the major honours.
Mason Mount transfer to Liverpool makes sense
Liverpool fans were admittedly surprised to see the Reds linked with a move for Chelsea’s Mason Mount earlier this week.
After all, while the 23-year-old enjoyed season-long loans with Vitesse Arnhem and Derby County earlier in his career, it’s still hard to envisage the Chelsea academy graduate ever leaving Stamford Bridge in the near future.
Yet, out of contract in the summer of 2024, the England international is yet to agree terms on a new contract with Chelsea, with talks now put on hold until after the World Cup. While the club’s owners have no desire to lose him, he has been in discussions with the Londoners since the summer over a new deal without a breakthrough.
Van Dijk on being Holland captain
“To make my national team debut was a big dream that I never knew was going to happen. Then to become captain, that was a crazy feeling, a very proud feeling, that I will never, ever forget,” Van Dijk told GQ.
John Barnes appointed to new Liverpool role as FSG chief explains decision
Liverpool have appointed the legendary John Barnes to a role as club ambassador.
The iconic former Reds winger will take up the post with immediate effect and the new role will involve him acting on behalf of the club at various events both home and abroad.
Barnes, who won five major honours during his 10-year spell on Merseyside, joins former team-mate Ian Rush as club ambassadors and the ex-England international says he can’t wait to get started.
Barnes said: “It’s a fantastic honour for me to be made an ambassador for this great club and all it stands for.
“I loved representing LFC as a player and I’m relishing the prospect of wearing the beloved Liverbird crest on my chest once again – albeit on a suit this time round.”
Liverpool must not repeat failed experiment as FSG sale set for January transfer test
For all the talk around the disappointment of Roberto Firmino missing out on a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad, there was another Selecao hopeful whose dreams were dashed much earlier in Liverpool’s season.
One of the motivating factors behind Arthur Melo’s decision to move to Merseyside on transfer deadline day was the idea that he could eventually force himself back into the thinking of Brazil’s head coach Tite in time for the Qatar World Cup.
Having not played for the national team since a 13-minute cameo off the bench against Bolivia in March, Arthur’s plan had been to kick-start a flailing career under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage with the possibility of eventually making the cut for the Selecao.
The late move for Arthur was an opportunistic one from Liverpool’s point of view and one hatched out of sheer necessity as the midfield injury crisis continued to bite down hard on Klopp’s squad in the early weeks of the season.
Having withdrawn Jordan Henderson with a hamstring injury in the 2-1 win over Newcastle on August 31, it was well after midnight when a plan was hastily cobbled together to try and bring in Arthur from Juventus.
Sadio Mane could be side-lined for FOUR MONTHS
It’s not been a good week for Sadio Mane. The former Liverpool star has had to face the reality that his World Cup dream is in tatters after it was confirmed that the shin injury he suffered playing for Bayern Munich has ended his involvement in the competition before it even started.
But the now the prognosis for recovery looks equally bleak, according to reports.
Sport1 journalist Kerry Hau, who is based in Munich, Tweeted: “Bad news: Bayern Munich expect Sadio Mané to be out for 3.5 to 4 months, depending on the healing process. His appearance in the UCL round of 16 against PSG is in doubt.”
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner breaks silence with update on FSG sale
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has confirmed Fenway Sports Group are looking at a sale of the club but says “there’s no urgency” around concluding a negotiation.
Earlier this month, the American group released a statement confirming they were open to further external investment and the Reds’ owners have also instructed two major US banks in Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to explore how much appetite there is for an outright change of hands at Anfield.
FSG bought the club in 2010 for a knockdown price of £300m after Tom Hicks and George Gillett had driven it to the brink of administration and 12 years on, influential American finance publication Forbes value Liverpool at somewhere between £3.6billion and £3.9bn.
Werner confirmed FSG are open to an outright sale of Liverpool but says there is no rush to offload an asset that is worth well more than 10 times what they paid for it in October 2010.
”We’re exploring a sale, but there’s no urgency, no time frame for us, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s business as usual,” Werner is quoted as saying in the Boston Globe. “One outcome could be our continued stewardship for quite a while.”
Nottingham Forest linked with loan move for Ben Doak
It would seem that Ben Doak’s rapid rise at Liverpool in recent week’s has not gone unnoticed by other clubs.
As reported by Nottinghamshire Live, Premier League side Nottingham Forest are reportedley interested in taking the teenager on loan in January.
After only singing his first professional contract on Monday, Doak made his maiden start for Scotland U21s last night, providing the assist for Max Johnston’s opener. But during the BBC Scotland commentary, it was revealed that Forest had scouts in attendence to watch Doak, with a view to taking him on a temporary loan.
Forest boss Steve Cooper is a former Liverpool Academy manager and oversaw the development of players such as Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
ICYMI: Liverpool midfielder signs new long-term contract as transfer strategy underlined
Curtis Jones has become the latest Liverpool player to commit his long-term future to the club by signing a new contract.
Jones has put pen to paper on a new terms with a five-year deal that will tie the 21-year-old to the Reds until 2027.
The midfielder, who has been at the club’s Academy since under-nine level, has endured a difficult campaign with injury problems restricting him to just seven outings, only two of which have been starts.
But Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has long been a fan of Jones having handed him his debut as a 17-year-old almost four years ago.
Jones only signed his last deal in July 2020 with the new deal acknowledging his ongoing development and status within the first-team squad, along with the continued faith of Klopp.
“First of all, I want to thank the coaching staff for having the belief in me as always, for giving me the chance,” said Jones to liverpoolfc.com. “And of course for me, I’m over the moon, I’m buzzing. It was an easy thing (to decide).
“It’s my boyhood club, I’m a Scouser, I’ve supported the club for the whole of my life. I think if I was at a different club as well, my goal and aim and dream would always be to come here and play. But I’m here now, I’ve been here since I was six, I’ve gone all the way through.”
Virgil van Dijk sorry friend Sadio Mane will miss World Cup
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has expressed his disappointment over the injured Sadio Mane missing out on the World Cup in Qatar.
Mane suffered a shin injury whilst playing for Bayern Munich, and despite being named in Senegal’s 26-man squad, further tests have shown that the former Liverpool forward will be out of action for several months.
As reported by Reuters, Van Dijk said: “I am very sorry that Sadio misses the match against us because this World Cup simply deserves the best players, Sadio is one of them. Sadio is world class, he is my friend and I will miss him.”
The Dutch centre-back also looked ahead to the competition itself, offering a fairly calm view on Holland’s chances of becoming World Champions.
“For me, Argentina, Brazil and France are the favourite countries,” he said.
“The Brazilians are always there. The Argentines are strong and the French have a great selection. We have a good group, we have a very experienced trainer, but above all we have team spirit.”
Steven Gerrard has already sent a ‘massive’ Mason Mount message to Liverpool
Steven Gerrard has already provided a glowing reference of Mason Mount after reports that Liverpool are monitoring the midfielder.
The Guardian reported on Thursday that the Reds and Juventus are ‘keeping track’ of the 23-year-old’s situation at Stamford Bridge, with his current contract ending in 2024 and talks of a new deal on hold until after the World Cup having failed to make any considerable progress since the summer. The report adds that Chelsea do remain confident they can come to an agreement with Mount, but clubs are enquiring as to whether the England international could be lured away in the future.
A player of Mount’s quality hardly needs any backing, but the praise he received form ex-Liverpool captain Gerrard is yet more proof of how highly the Chelsea star is regarded among fellow professionals. Speaking last December while in charge of Aston Villa, the Reds legend was asked of his opinion on Mount, whose Chelsea side were due in the Midlands the following day.
“I’ve watched his progress – of course I have,” Gerrard admitted. “He’s a big talent for the country. I’m a massive fan of Mason.
He plays with a smile on his face. He can create, he can score and he’s already a European Cup winner so I don’t think he needs the likes of myself to big him up or praise him. But I must say I’m a fan. I just hope he doesn’t have such a strong performance at the weekend.”
Liverpool ‘ready to spend £20million’ on French forward
Liverpool are ready to offer Borussia Monchengladbach £20million for their in-form attacker Marcus Thuram, according to reports.
The 25-year-old, who can play anywhere across the front three, has scored 10 Bundesliga goals in 15 appearances so far this season, with Spanish outlet Nacional claiming that Jurgen Klopp believes he is just the man to bolster the Reds’ attack.
Thuram is out of contract next June, so a deal to bring him to Anfield in January on a cut-price deal has been mooted. He was not included in France’s 26-man squad that has gone to the World Cup in Qatar.
It is possible that Jude Bellingham could follow in the footsteps of Erling Haaland
Liverpool target Jude Bellingham could copy the approach taken by Manchester City striker Erling Haaland when it comes to chosing his next club, according to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs.
There is little secret that the Reds have been in hot pursuit of the 19-year-old midfielder who will be in sharp focus when England’s World Cup campaign gets underway next week.
Jacobs said: “I think Bellingham, from what I gather, will do exactly what Haaland did. He’ll [Bellingham] score who he joins dispassionately, which is really key. So, when Haaland joined Manchester City, of course he looked at the sentiment and the fact that his father played for the football club.
“But he also created a bunch of columns, ranging from manager to teammates to training facilities to where the team was to pay packet to City and so on. And some of them were objective categories and some of them were subjective categories.
“He scored them and he had a gut instinct from what I understand, that Manchester City were his favourite club, but the data and all these columns from a more dispassionate, neutral sense added up.
“He scored all the suitors and Manchester City were top of the list, and I think Bellingham will do the same and that’s going to be very important.”
New takeover approach emerges as FSG break silence on Liverpool sale
Fenway Sports Group have declared there has been “a lot of interest” in potential new partners as they seek fresh investment in Liverpool.
And the Reds owners have suggested they would consider a gradual takeover of the club in their first public comments since announcing they were open to selling the Reds.
It emerged earlier this month FSG are ramping up their efforts of attracting new investment, with US banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley appointed to assist with the search as the American owners explore their options after seeing Liverpool rocket in value during their 12-year stewardship.
FSG – then known as New England Sports Ventures – purchased the club for £300million in October 2010 with influential American business publication Forbes now suggesting the club is worth £3.6bn.
Several parties have already been linked with an interest in Liverpool, the latest being Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment. And Sam Kennedy, an FSG partner who is also CEO of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports partner, has provided an update on the process, which is being managed by FSG president Mike Gordon.
“There has been a lot of interest from numerous potential partners considering investment into the club,” said Kennedy. “It is early days in terms of exploring possibilities for possible investment into Liverpool.