by Sam Patterson (@sam0007ster)
It’s confirmed. The Premier League is set to resume. And the Reds – Jurgen Klopp’s champions-elect Reds – are to return on the weekend commencing 20th June.
The news follows three rounds of Premier League coronavirus testing and the resumption of the Bundesliga in Germany which, thus far, has run smoothly without any sign of a hiccup.
Klopp’s men are currently twenty-five points clear at the summit. In fact, there is a chance (small but real) that they could win the title against neighbours Everton – the first of the remaining nine fixtures – should second-place Manchester City lose their game-in-hand to Arsenal on June 17th.
It will be the first round of top-level English football fixtures to be played in June since 1947. It will also, of course, be Liverpool’s first league championship since 1989-90. Celebrate it. Embrace it. Albeit, at home.
Change of plans:
The rescheduling means Liverpool (like everyone else) may have to reconsider their transfer plans. The African Cup of Nations (ACON) in 2020/21 (planned to run through December and January) was said to have acted as a catalyst for Liverpool’s pursuit of Timo Werner. Now there’s talk of the ACON being pushed back as a result of the pandemic, so could the Werner deal be put on hold?
James Pearce, in a Q&A for the Athletic this week, suggested that could be the case – here’s the link. Pearce also reaffirmed that RB Leipzig’s position on the matter is steadfast; the German club have made it clear they won’t budge on their £55million asking price.
Sky Sport’s Fabrizio Romano has also weighed in and claimed Liverpool remain interested in the precocious forward who, only last week, bagged a hat-trick against Mainz 05. However, Romano says ‘official talks’ between both clubs, are yet to take place.
Where does the story go next? That’s anybody’s guess. But it will be interesting to see if Leipzig drop their asking price as the weeks and months develop. According to a report in the BILD, the fee is in fact a stumbling block.
Liverpool’s priority under Klopp is (and has always been) stability – on the pitch and off it. So amid the financial uncertainty, will Liverpool splurge substantial capital? Perhaps not. Could, then, the Reds wait another year for Werner? Given the fact Werner is reportedly set on a move to Anfield, that now seems a distinct possibility. Watch this space.
Werner’s impending arrival (whether this year or next), will come as bad news for the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi. The former has been linked with a move to Newcastle. And if you believe the Daily Mail’s Dominic King, Klopp and Liverpool will not stand in his way.
The Swiss international’s season has been plagued by injury but is an impressive performer when fully fit. Shaqiri contributed six goals in the Premier League in 2018/19 including two against bitter rivals Manchester United.
The same writer also claims Adam Lallana – whose contract runs out this summer – is set to reunite with former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City. Lallana is a key cog in Klopp’s table-topping Red machine, but the Anfield club is resigned to losing the 32-year-old.
- Ferran Torres to Liverpool? Well, the Athletic report Valencia are yet to extend his current deal (despite their endeavours) with a number of Europe’s big guns – including Liverpool – monitoring the situation.
- The Reds, Manchester United and Tottenham are interested in Sporting Lisbon’s young starlet Nuno Mendes. The 17-year-old has made his name in the U23s. (@abolapt)
- An update on Liverpool midfielder Pedro Chirivella. @QuestFrance report that FC Nantes have all but sealed a deal for the 23-year-old. It’s reported that he’s signed a three-year-deal after successfully passing a medical.
- Contrary to previous reports, Loris Karius will not be moving to Hertha Berlin. Manager Zsolt Petry had made contact with the German goalkeeper but is not planning on taking his interest any further at this stage. (@KICKER)