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Liverpool: Barcelona want defender; Melwood departure possible; League 1 sensation nears move

Barcelona are said to be preparing a surprise move for Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne according to the Express, who claim that the 25-year-old’s impressive form for the Reds over the last two seasons has made him a prime target as Luis Enrique fails to be convinced by any of his options to replace Dani Alves, with Aleix Vidal and Sergi Roberto not living up to expectations and former Liverpool defender Javier Mascherano even filling in at times.

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The former Southampton right back is a key player for Jurgen Klopp, having missed just one game this season, so it seems unlikely that the club would be prepared to allow him to leave easily. Clyne suits Klopp’s system well and Liverpool have already shown with Phillipe Coutinho that they will not allow key players to leave for so-called bigger clubs as they have in the past. With the Spanish club also said to be scouting another ex-Red in Glen Johnson, they will be hoping that they do not try to lure Clyne away from Merseyside any time soon.

The Mirror report that the club could also be preparing to move away from Melwood, their training base which was transformed by Bill Shankly in 1959 and has been the home of the first team ever since. However, Jurgen Klopp is keen to reunite the first team with the academy under one roof, unlike the current system which sees the youngsters train in Kirkby over five miles away.

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There is also very little room for expansion of the current Melwood facilities, with the club already having withdrawn planning permission to expand the site further with it seemingly unlikely to be approved. It is believed that the club will now seek to develop a new training site out of the city centre, with Fenway Sports Group happy to make Klopp’s wish a reality.

One of the players who may benefit could be Emeka Obi, Bury’s 6ft5ins sensation who is currently just 15-years-old. The central defender has been on trial with Liverpool over the past five weeks and has earned rave reviews, with a move likely to happen for a six figure fee in January, claim the Liverpool Echo.

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Obi made his first team debut for Bury in the Checkatrade Trophy in August, having spent a period of pre-season on trial with Stoke, but is now believed to be ready to join Liverpool’s under 18 team as the next step in his career to help him realise his undoubted potential, with current manager David Flitcroft labelling him “the best talent right now at 15 years old in the entire country”.

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