Jurgen Klopp lavished praise on Xherdan Shaqiri after the Swiss winger scored on his Liverpool debut in the 4-1 victory over rivals Manchester United, admitting that he was surprised with how quickly his new signing had settled in.
Shaqiri scored a sublime overhead kick and provided an assist for Daniel Sturridge’s goal as Liverpool demolished United on Saturday, in front of a six-figure capacity crowd in Ann Arbor to end their US tour on a high note.
Shaqiri only joined up with the Liverpool squad this week but Klopp is amazed at how quickly the 26-year-old has adapted to his methods.
Klopp on Shaqiri: “That’s not normal after 4 days – adapting so quickly to our style of play.” #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) July 28, 2018
“That’s not normal after four days in the club, adapting that well to the style of play,” the Reds manager said, as quoted by the Guardian.
“We wanted to help him a little bit with the position so that it’s not too complicated. We gave him a lot of freedom, offensively playing natural, plus offering runs in behind, which is what he did especially around the Sturridge goal.”
Klopp revealed that Shaqiri has been enthusiastic to join up with the squad as soon as he signed from Stoke, but was told to take a holiday first following his participation in the World Cup with Switzerland.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 28, 2018
“For Shaq, in the moment he signed he wanted to stay immediately at Liverpool and train with us,” Klopp said. “I think it was a week after he finished the World Cup, so I said: ‘No, no, no. Go’.
“He came back a few days ago and he was really excited.”
Liverpool have two remaining pre-season matches against Serie A duo Napoli and Torino before kicking off their Premier League campaign against West Ham on August 12.
Juventus are thought to be plotting a stunning move to resign their former star Paul Pogba from Manchester United, with the Serie A champions looking to cash in on a host of their finest talents in order to bankroll the move.
According to the Mirror, senior officials at Juve have been in touch with Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, to state their interest in the World Cup winner. The likes of Gonzalo Higuaín, Miralem Pjanić, Daniele Rugani and Mattia Caldara are all believed to be viewed as disposable by I Bianconeri and could be sold off within the next couple of weeks to fund the swoop.
Pogba is believed to have an ongoing rift with his current manager José Mourinho, after being dropped following a series of underwhelming performances for the Red Devils last season. However, the 25-year-old was in sensational form at the World Cup and will be eager to continue his positive forward momentum next season.
If the midfielder is unable to convince Mourinho of his qualities, then he may well look for a move back to Turin, where he enjoyed a highly successful spell with Juventus – winning four Serie A titles on the trot. It is unclear how much Pogba could cost his former club, but it is unlikely that United will settle for anything less than a substantial profit on the £89m they paid for his services in 2016.
Despite having already signed superstar Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid this summer – for a fee of £90m – Juve seems determined to continue their recruitment drive, and signing Pogba would be a major coup ahead of the upcoming campaign. Chelsea are thought to be interested in Higuaín, Pjanić and Rugani, I Bianconeri should have no issue in acquiring funds.
Certainly, Higuaín looks set to be be leaving Juve this summer, with either AC Milan or Chelsea his most likely destination. CalcioMercato have reported that the Argentine ace is set to begin discussions over his future this week, and that he is more open to a move to Stamford Bridge than San Siro, as he looks for a new challenge outside of Serie A.
Manchester United manager José Mourinho has seemingly criticised the club’s transfer policy, after a low-key summer transfer window which has seen the club sign just two players.
Only Brazilian midfielder Fred and young defender Diogo Dalot have joined the club this summer, while Mourinho has admitted that he only expects one more signing before the window closes on August 9.
United have been linked with moves for central defenders Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld recently, but Mourinho is not hopefully that he will get multiple signings through the door, despite giving the club a list of five targets back in March.
“I would like to have two more players,” the United manager said via the Guardian, after his side’s 1-4 pre-season defeat to Liverpool in the International Champions Cup. “I think I am not going to get two. I think that it’s possible I will have one.
“I gave a list to my club of five names a few months ago and I wait to see if it’s possible to have one of these players. If it’s possible, it’s possible. If it’s not, it’s not. If it’s possible, it’s good. If not then we keep fighting and working and believing in the players that we have.”
Mourinho: ‘I wouldn’t pay to watch United..’ 臘♂️臘♂️臘♂️pic.twitter.com/iUyd9wnH96
— 90min (@90min_Football) July 29, 2018
Mourinho also sensationally claimed that he ‘wouldn’t spend his money’ to watch United during their pre-season tour of America, such is the poor state that their squad is in without its key stars.
“We are not playing here to improve our team or to improve our dynamic or to improve our routines,” he said. “We are playing here just to try survive and to have some not very ugly results.
“Alexis is the only attacking player we have, we do not have another one. We don’t have wingers, we don’t have strikers. He is the only one that is here. The poor man is there trying his best.
Mourinho asked if Sanchez looks unhappy.
“Look, do you want him to be very happy with the players he has around him? We are here just to survive and to have some not very ugly results. Alexis is the only striker we have. And the poor man is there trying his best.” #LFC #MUFC
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) July 28, 2018
“The atmosphere [in the stadiums] is good, but if I was [a fan], I wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t spend my money to see this team.”
Mourinho admitted that he didn’t even have ‘30%’ of his squad for his side’s most recent friendly defeat against Liverpool, saying ‘this is not our squad’ after the match in the United States.
“This is nothing to do with reinforcements,” he said of the heavy defeat. The reinforcements are [Paul] Pogba, [Marouane] Fellaini, [Victor] Lindelof, [Marcus] Rashford, [Jesse] Lingard, [Nemanja] Matic, [Antonio] Valencia. These are reinforcements. This is not our team. We started the game with almost half of the players who are not even going to belong to our squad on August 9. They will not be here.
“This is not our squad. Reinforcements, you mean players that I would like to buy, that’s another thing, but this is not my squad. This is not even half my squad, or 30% of it. So don’t look to this.”
United still have two pre-season fixtures remaining and will take on Real Madrid (August 1) and Bayern Munich (August 5) before the Premier League opener against Leicester City on August 10.
Given Liverpool’s abundance of forwards, Jurgen Klopp has decided that Origi is surplus to requirements at Anfield and wants to sell him on a permanent basis this summer.
Liverpool will sell striker Divock Origi if they receive an offer of around £27m. (Source: Liverpool Echo) pic.twitter.com/ZfW9JbYVUb
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) July 24, 2018
Despite being in a strong financial position due to the recent sale of Richarlison to Everton for £50m, Watford are hesitant to reinvest a large chunk of that money in Origi, and the Mirror reports that they would prefer a loan move to start with.
Origi was a regular for Liverpool throughout the 2016/17 season but the arrival of Mo Salah last summer displaced him from the starting lineu, and he was loaned out to Wolfsburg for first team football.
He scored 6 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances in Germany, but having returned to Merseyside it does not appear that his first team prospects have improved.
Indeed, the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri, the return to fitness of Daniel Sturridge, and Klopp’s desire to integrate Ben Woodburn and Rhian Brewster into the senior squad have made it clear that Origi does not have a future at Anfield.
The 23-year-old wants to play regularly at club level so that he can win back his place in the national team, having been left out of Roberto Martinez’s squad for the World Cup.
Also under consideration by Watford is Origi’s fellow Belgian Michy Batshuayi, but he has more prestigious suitors, with Valencia currently favourites.
The midfielder is now into the final year of his contract with the Gunners, and is yet to agree new terms.
New manager Unai Emery has publicly stated that he wants the 27-year-old to stay and has even dangled the possibility of the club captaincy to Arsenal’s longest serving player in an effort to convince him. However, Ramsey has left the offers on the table so far as he weighs his future.
“We’ll see what happens, but my agent and the club are talking,” Ramsey said recently. “I’m not sure exactly what it hinges on, I’m just leaving it to them to discuss and to figure it out but we are yet to come to an agreement.”
The Daily Mail reports that if Arsenal are unable to agree new terms for Ramsey before deadline day, Chelsea are prepared to move in and make an offer.
The report claims the asking price will be about £30m for Ramsey, who could move for free in the summer of 2019 if no new deal is signed.
Although the move would stop the three-time FA Cup winner from leaving for nothing in a year’s time, signing for Chelsea would be a huge blow to the Arsenal fan base, who have also watched the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Robin Van Persie leave for Premier League rivals in recent years.
Chelsea are still believed to be in the market for another midfield player this summer, despite the capture of Jorginho from new manager Maurizio Sarri’s old club Napoli.
Creative Russian star Alexsandr Golovin was widely expected to move to Stamford Bridge, but sealed a €30m switch to AS Monaco earlier in the week, while Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has also been linked.
Chelsea wide man Emerson Palmieri is already a fan of the Blues’ new manager Maurizio Sarri, claiming that he has “learnt a lot” in a few short weeks of the Italian’s management.
Emerson joined Chelsea from Roma in January but made just five Premier League appearances in the second half of last season under Antonio Conte, two of which were as a substitute.
The Brazilian is hopeful of getting more game under Sarri’s regime, having come up against the 59-year-old when both were plying their trade in Serie A.
“He is a very intelligent manager and I obviously played against him in Italy,” Emerson told chelseafc.com. “It’s been a really positive start under him and the team have learnt a lot in a short space of time.
“Now it’s our responsibility to keep working hard in training in order to understand his philosophy so that we can have a great season.”
Emerson was speaking ahead of Chelsea’s International Champions Cup match against Inter on Saturday, which the Blues won 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Nice. Emerson was brought on as a 64th minute substitute for Marcos Alonso.
After arriving midway through last season, Emerson is ready to make more of an impact in his first full season at Stamford Bridge.
“Last season I arrived in January, halfway through the season, and it takes a little bit longer to adapt when you come in at that point,” he said.
“But now I feel totally settled and I’m ready to give my all as quickly as possible ahead of the new season.”
Emerson will hope to be involved when Sarri takes charge of his first competitive Chelsea match next weekend against Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Alessandro Florenzi is just “one step away” from signing a new contract with Roma after positive talks between the player’s representatives and I Giallorossi on Saturday.
Reputable Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims that only a few details now need to be finalised before Florenzi can extend his stay at the Stadio Olimpico by putting pen to paper on a new five-year contract.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) July 28, 2018
The meeting took place between Florenzi’s agent Alessandro Lucci and Roma’s sporting director Monchi, who desperately wants to give the club something to shout about after a disappointing couple of weeks.
First Alisson was allowed to join Liverpool – the second consecutive summer in which Roma have lost a star player to the Reds – before Malcom slipped through their fingers at the last second, joining Barcelona instead.
The renewal of Florenzi’s contract will certainly come as welcome news, as he has been at the club since the age of 11, and is a key component of Eusebio Di Francesco’s team.
Florenzi has made more than 220 appearances for Roma since making his senior debut in 2011. He is currently the vice-captain of the club, second in command to Daniele De Rossi.
The new contract will extend his stay at Roma until 2023, taking his years of service to the club over two decades in length.
He has also made 26 appearances for Italy and was named in Antonio Conte’s squad at Euro 2016.