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Liverpool

Fabinho’s arrival suggests Liverpool’s English core is at risk

Josh Kerr

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Fabinho
Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool have unveiled their first signing of the summer transfer window, just days after their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Indeed, the Brazilian Fabinho is the second instalment in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, after January’s pre-agreed transfer of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.

With two formidable additions to the Reds’ midfield, where does it leave the English core who were crucial in the club reaching their first Champions League final in eleven years?

Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain have been outstanding all season for Liverpool. However, further midfield additions would raise eyebrows concerning the trios future, and whether they will play such a significant role in Klopp’s side next season.

Fabinho is an exciting acquisition, who was previously linked with moves to Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United. Liverpool paid £39 million, according to reports from BBC Sport, for the versatile midfielder, which is a price that suggests he has been signed for the starting eleven.

The arrival of Keita, for a reported £48 million, is likely to see another spot taken in Klopp’s middle three, leaving only one position left for the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana.

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Reds summer business already sees a ruthless overhaul by Klopp to improve an area that consisted largely of English talent and was pivotal in the Reds being such a success in Europe this season. However, despite the efforts of the trio, Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum were made to look under-powered in the Champions League final against Madrid.

Rotation will be a common theme next season with the manager hoping to have more options off the bench. This will mean that the English core of last season are likely to have a reduced role in the upcoming campaign.

Also, the expected addition of Nabil Fekir should be considered, with the Frenchman another high priority transfer target, according to reports from respected journalist Paul Joyce.

The addition of Fekir would leave no space in midfield for any of the Englishmen who drove the Reds all the way to Kiev in the season just gone, and the ruthlessness shown by Klopp is that of intent.

The German head coach wants to take Liverpool forward and believes he can recruit the necessary firepower to do just that.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

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Atletico Madrid

Rafa Benitez should plot Fernando Torres reunion at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez should plot a reunion with his former superstar.

Jamie Watts

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Newcastle United are reportedly in the market for new forwards this summer, with Rafa Benitez identifying the Magpies’ attacking output as a key weakness last term, despite their impressive 10th place finish.

The Spaniard is calling for the club to back him in pursuit of a “10 to 15 goals a season” striker this summer, with the likes of Salomon Rondon (Northern Echo) and Bas Dost (the Sun) circulating around the Newcastle rumour mill.

However, both would likely break the Magpies current club-record of £16 million – for Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005 – and perhaps Benitez would be better served going for a former favourite.

Photo: Getty Images

Fernando Torres is a free-agent having left Atletico Madrid, following last month’s Europa League triumph and Newcastle should offer the 34-year-old a route back to England’s top flight this summer.

Under Benitez’s tutelage at Liverpool, Torres was widely recognised as one of the most formidable forwards in world football, and though his impact has diminished over the years, there’s no doubting the World Cup winner’s quality in front of goal.

Photo: Getty Images

The prospect of an elite level striker arriving at St James’ Park on a free transfer is a no brainier if the player can be convinced and the club should make it happen.  He knows the league inside-out, having made 212 appearances for Chelsea – where he won the Champions League – and with Benitez at Anfield, and he could instantly propel Newcastle’s attack to higher levels.

Becoming a crucial part of a new project on Tyneside would be enticing for Torres, as his unwavering desire and tenacity on a football pitch is something that cannot be questioned. And he doesn’t seem the type to move to the States or China in pursuit of one last pay-cheque.

He has all the attributes to become a cult-hero at Newcastle, and the club should act now.

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Liverpool

Blow for Liverpool as Real Madrid enter race for Roma goalkeeper Alisson

Jamie Watts

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Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of a new goalkeeper this summer, as Real Madrid are set to enter negotiations for Roma’s no 1, Alisson, according to reports from Sky Sports.

The Brazilian international has been touted as Liverpool’s priority target since the summer window opened, just days after current stopper Lloris Karius cost Liverpool the chance of winning their sixth European trophy, with two huge blunders in Kiev.

Jurgen Klopp was said to be weighing up whether or not to make a move for the 25-year-old, having been somewhat deterred by the Italians’ hefty asking price of £80 million this week. And another huge obstacle has presented itself, in the form of defending European champions Real Madrid.

Photo: Getty Images

The Spanish giants are readying an initial bid, which is expected to be somewhere in the region of £43 million, but the bid will likely be rejected given the Romans’ stance, wanting almost double the amount – making Alisson the most expensive keeper in world football.

However Madrid are reportedly willing to include add-ons that amount to around £60 million, with Sky in Italy suggesting that personal terms are agreed between the player and club.

If Roma are stubborn on their prize asset, Madrid will likely elevate their interest in Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois – who has also been linked with a move to Liverpool – as the Belgian international enters the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Photo: Getty Images

The Reds will keep monitoring the situation of the Roma man, who registered 17 clean-sheets in Serie A last season, but will continue pursuing alternatives. Barcelona’s back-up stopper Jasper Cillessen is on the wish-list, according to reports from Don Balon, should Alisson decide to leave for the Spanish capital, or to stay at the Stadio Olimpico next term.

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Atletico Madrid

Will Liverpool regret missing out on Thomas Lemar last summer as Atletico agree deal?

Liverpool’s long-spanning target is set for a move to Spain.

Jamie Watts

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Atletico Madrid are said to have agreed a deal with Monaco to sign French winger Thomas Lemar this summer, according to a statement from the official club website, which will leave a number of Premier League sides feeling disappointed.

The 22-year-old is currently away on international duty ahead of the World Cup, but both clubs are reportedly keen on finalising the transfer before then, according to Sky Sports.

The news will come as a blow to Liverpool, who have closely courted the player for a number of years – notably throughout last season – with reports from the Express suggesting Lemar had chosen a move to Merseyside over Arsenal in January.

Photo: Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp reportedly made a £55 million bid for the player’s services last summer, but Monaco were unwilling to lose more key members of the team, having already lost Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea, Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City and Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain. That meant Lemar and new Reds midfielder Fabinho had to remain at the Stade Louis II for an extra season.

The Reds were likely to revisit their interest in Lemar this summer (the Express), after the collapse of Nabil Fekir’s highly anticipated switch, as Klopp looks to bolster his attacking options having been reminded that squad depth is a powerful thing in the Champions League final.

Rumours surrounding the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri (the Mirror) and Ousmane Dembele (the Express) suggest Liverpool are still prioritising bringing in high-profile attackers and Lemar certainly belongs in that bracket.

Photo: Getty Images

His best return came a year ago, with the former Caen forward amassing an impressive 14 goals and 17 assists in all competitions, sparking the initial interest from Europe’s elite.

A year on, the Europa League champions appear to have won the race, and Liverpool will have to look elsewhere.

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