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Rumour Mongering: Klopp “Closed the Door” On Coutinho Return

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League

Coutinho was hoping to reunite with Klopp, but the Liverpool manager isn’t interested.

Philippe Coutinho’s 2018 transfer to FC Barcelona was a financial windfall for Liverpool that helped add the final few pieces to the roster that would go on to win the 2019 Champions League Final and the 2020-21 Premier League title. For Barcelona and Coutinho, the move has largely been a disaster.

The Brazilian midfielder has struggled to find the form that led Barcelona to believe he was worth the nine-figure transfer fee they paid, and he spent much of this past season on the sidelines with a knee injury. Both the club and the player seem to have accepted that it’s time for Coutinho to move on.

Barcelona is especially interested in finding a buyer thanks to the severe financial issues they are facing. Not only are they strapped for cash, but their wage bill is bloated to the point of absurdity. They are currently so far over what they are allowed to spend that La Liga rules prevent them from registering new signings like Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay until they have dramatically reduced their overall wage bill.

Oh, and on top of all of that, they still want to try and find a way to re-sign Lionel Messi.

So, they are looking to move some of the bloated contracts they have on their books, and Coutinho is one of the more obvious options. According to Spanish outlet Sport, the 29-year-old was hoping he could return to Merseyside and reunite with Jürgen Klopp, but Klopp, who apparently has no interest in bringing Coutinho back for an Anfield encore, has “closed the door.”

Even with Barca likely willing to accept a fraction of Coutinho’s value to try and dump his contract, it’s hard to imagine Klopp or Michael Edwards entertaining the idea of bringing him back. Coutinho will likely be loosely linked with a Liverpool return until Barcelona can actually find a club willing to take on his wages, but it’s incredibly unlikely it would ever happen.


Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Negotiating for Eindhoven’s Donyell Malen

Netherlands v Czech Republic - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16
Photo by Andre Weening/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The Dutch forward looks an intriguing prospect on paper but Liverpool don’t often consider Mino Raiola clients.

For those trying to keep up with the constant barrage of players linked with Liverpool during the offseason, there’s another new name to add to the list of possible targets this week: 22-year-old PSV Eindhoven forward Donyell Malen.

At least that’s the story coming from journalists in the Netherlands, as relayed by Sport Witness today, with Malen’s agent said to be in active negotiations with both Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund over where he will play next season.

An immediate reason for doubt, though, is in the fact that Malen’s agent is Mino Raiola, quite possibly European football’s most notorious superagent and someone that the Reds have in the past seemed to do their best to avoid dealing with.

The only time Liverpool have dealt with Raiola during Fenway Sports Group’s time in charge was with Mario Balotelli, a desperation deal that didn’t work out especially well for any party and soon ended in a quick and agitated departure.

Still, for the right price Malen could be an interesting target, with the rapid striker scoring 27 goals last season and a regular on the Dutch bench in recent years. However, all things considered he might seem a more obvious fit for Dortmund.

Dortmund recently lost Jadon Sancho, and they’ve shown a willingness to sign Raiola clients like Erling Haaland, the 20-year-old openly seeking a new club—and wages on par with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo—this summer.


Akwa United, Rangers and Warri Wolves sent packing from AITEO Cup

Three NPFL clubs, Akwa United, Enugu Rangers and Warri Wolves have been knocked out of 2021 Aiteo Cup round of 32 games on Wednesday.

League leaders Akwa United lost 0-1 to Nigeria National League side Gateway United FC in Abuja.

Ilechukwu Julius scored the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute of the encounter at FIFA Goal Project pitch inside MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

In another venue, Enugu Rangers kissed the competition bye after losing 1-0 by Bayelsa United. Bayelsa and scored the goal in the second half of the encounter and Salisu Yusuf’s led Rangers were unable to find their way back in to game.

Warri Warri on their part, lost 5-4 on penalties to Green Berets, after both sides battled to 1-1 in regulation time.

Meanwhile, Abia Warriors trashed Zamfara United 5-0, to advance to the round of 16. Katsina United, Kano Pillars, Sunshine Stars, Heartland and Lobi Stars, also advanced to next round.

The post Akwa United, Rangers and Warri Wolves sent packing from AITEO Cup appeared first on Latest Sports News In Nigeria.


Rivers United beat Sokoto United to set up round of 16 meeting with Heartland

NPFL heavyweight Rivers United defeated Sokoto United 2-1in the round of 32 of 2021 Aiteo Federation Cup on Wednesday.

Goals from Paul Acquah’ and Ishaq Kayode were enough to help Rivers United past spirited Sokoto United at the Lafia City Stadium.

Paul Acquah scored the opening goal in the 38th minutes when he finished off a tantalising move initiated by Godwin Aguda.

Sokoto United came back stronger after the interval and their effort yielded fruits when they drew level against the run of play in the 58th minute.

Substitute Ishaq Kayode however sealed the victory for Rivers United in the 71st minutes when he rifled in a low shot from a free kick.

With this victory, Rivers United have now set up a round 16 tie against fellow NPFL side Heartland FC in a yet to be announced date.

The post Rivers United beat Sokoto United to set up round of 16 meeting with Heartland appeared first on Latest Sports News In Nigeria.


Confirmed: Ibrahima Konaté’s Liverpool Squad Number

The Reds’ big new signing will wear the number five, with the news unveiled as part of the away kit launch.

Liverpool moved quickly to shore up their biggest position of weakness this summer, signing 22-year-old Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig in a £36M deal shortly after their injury plagued 2020-21 season concluded.

His signing was made official more than a month now, and for some people one question lingered: what number was Konaté going to wear for the Reds? With the player in Liverpool and with pre-season just a few days away, we finally know.

Konaté will wear the number five recently vacated by Gini Wijnaldum, and given Konaté’s cost and stature along with the available squad numbers—and that the six he wore in Germany is taken—it’s not exactly a surprise.

For anyone waiting on that news to get themselves a Konaté kit, then, the wait is over—and news of the player’s Liverpool squad number comes at the same time as the official reveal of the new, retro-style away kit.

That offering is a cream colour with teal accents—as well as hints of a red that can look pink depending on the lighting—and early reaction suggests it may be the most positively received kit Nike has yet made for the club.