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Liverpool

Liverpool round-up: Battle for Werner; Origi could leave; loan for Ward

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Photo: Getty Images.

The race for Timo Werner’s signature is hotting up as Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport say that AC Milan are the latest club to be interested in the Red Bull Leipzig forward’s services.

However, the report indicates that they are waiting for Liverpool to make the first move for the German international as they are reluctant to spark a bidding war given the financial implications which are already blighting them surrounding Financial Fair Play.

Having lost Naby Keita to Merseyside already this summer, the German club may be reluctant to allow Werner to leave too and so the interest from San Siro is far from welcome news from a Liverpool perspective.

(Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Werner may prove to be a direct replacement for Belgian centre-forward Divock Origi, who has flattered to deceive in Germany on loan at Wolfsburg this season, scoring only seven times in 36 appearances.

“For me that it was a mistake for Divock to go to the Wolfsburg,” according to his agent, as translated from A Spor by This is Anfield.

“Klopp will now make a decision on him. If he wants him to stay, then Divock will stay or if he wants him to leave then Divock will leave. We are not looking to leave on loan again. We want to go a team that has made plans for him. In that regard, we’ve also spoken with Besiktas.”

A move to Turkey may prove a good opportunity for the Reds if they are in fact looking to cash in on Origi, who is still yet to live up to the expectations that surrounded his exciting potential in his first few years at Anfield.

(Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Another man who could be heading for the exit is third choice goalkeeper Danny Ward, according to the Press Association, via ITV. They say that Norwich City are considering Ward as one of two options in goal for the 2018/19 season, with Ward looking for a way out having barely featured for the Reds this campaign.

Sitting behind Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet, much could depend on whether Jurgen Klopp does look to strengthen in between the sticks. Should either of those men depart with no new arrival, the German may be reluctant to allow the Welsh international to leave so the Canaries may be forced to wait.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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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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