Liverpool: Challenge for French midfielder; Wijnaldum injury latest; salary cap for academy
Calciomercato claim that the Reds could face competition in their chase for £20 million rated Geoffrey Kondogbia, who is unwanted by Inter Milan. In a surprise, it is believed that Inter’s arch rivals, AC Milan, could be set to launch a bid for the 23-year-old, after speculation has suggested that Jurgen Klopp is keen on bringing him to Anfield.
Kondogbia has been criticised by Frank de Boer since his arrival at the San Siro and seemingly has no future at the club. He would most likely compete with Emre Can for the holding midfield role and could spell an end to Lucas Leiva’s time on Merseyside. Kondogbia does have potential, but the club will be reluctant to spend more than they have to to sign him.
Liverpool also retain a hope that midfielder Georgino Wijnaldum could return from injury in time for Monday’s clash up against Manchester United. It was initially feared that he had a hamstring problem as he limped out of the action on international duty for the Netherlands up against France, but scans have now revealed that it is actually a hip problem, according to the Liverpool Echo.
There is currently no timescale for his return, but Jurgen Klopp has refused to rule his midfielder out of the derby on Monday night. That said, he is unlikely to take a risk on of his most important players which could cause further injury problems. If unavailable, it will most likely allow Emre Can to step in and play in a deeper midfield role, allowing Jordan Henderson to revert to a more attacking minded midfield role.
The club has also taken a landmark step in applying a salary cap to players in the club’s youth academy, meaning that 17-year-olds in the first year of their professional contract cannot earn more than £40,000 a year say the Guardian. It is seen as an attempt to put an end to the “too much, too quick” culture that has become common among many Premier League clubs and follows in the footsteps of similar moves by Tottenham and Southampton.
Whilst it could prove hugely beneficial to the club, there is also the risk that it could deter talented youngsters from joining the Reds. It is part of a greater reform of the academy, with the director Alex Inglethorpe, also cutting the number of players taken on from 240 to 170 this season with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
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