Liverpool happy to let players leave but only if it's right for the club

Rory Dollard 17/08/2018
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is open to exits

Jurgen Klopp would be open to trimming his Liverpool squad before the transfer deadlines close around Europe but insists any deal must be right for the club.

The Reds have done plenty of business this summer, adding Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alisson Becker and Xherdan Shaqiri and allowing a handful of less established players to move on.

Further outgoings seem likely, led by Estonia international Ragnar Klavan’s expected £2million switch to Cagliari.

Simon Mignolet, Lazar Markovic, Sheyi Ojo, Marko Grujic and Dominic Solanke might all attract interest, but although Klopp expects teams from around the continent to try and take advantage of the Premier League’s truncated window he will not be forced into any poor deals.

“I said before, in general, that’s it’s possible players could leave the club and that will happen if it’s good for everyone,” he said ahead of Monday’s trip to Crystal Palace.

“The transfer window closed in England and the whole of the world – the whole of Europe at least – was waiting for that moment and they start now trying dumping (lower) prices to get good football players.

“That will not happen. We are not in a financial need.

“No player would leave the club if I would not allow it. First the situation is, ‘How is the offer, how is the need for us?’.

“I really think we could give a few players the opportunity but we have to see how many. I have no number in my mind at the moment.”

Summer signing: Naby Keita.

Summer signing: Naby Keita.

Klopp was asked directly about Solanke’s loan link with Rangers, now managed by Steven Gerrard, but shed little light on the subject.

“I’m hearing about it for the first time now, so it doesn’t seem like it’s close,” he said.

The Reds are rated by many as the team most likely to challenge defending champions Manchester City this term, and did their cause no harm at all by kicking off their campaign with a thumping 4-0 win against West Ham.

Klopp was happy with everything he saw at Anfield but is not getting carried away after 90 minutes of a 38-game season.

“People are still not used to enough good football from us, because if we are good we are ‘unbelievably good’. But we didn’t get anything for it so far,” he said.

“We need to stay positive, very good, but stay angry as well. Don’t celebrate the whole week until Monday and then fall hard.”

Early impressions suggest Klopp has upgraded a squad who were good enough to reach last season’s Champions League final but as a coach his focus is on continual progression.

“I said in a meeting to the boys if we are good everyone – not the supporters, but the journalists – are overly excited. Even LFC TV want to do constantly wonderful stories, but we have to work hard,” he said.

“It’s nice because it could be completely different and we do feel in a good moment. It’s getting better and better but we are still in a process. We have to develop.

“We are not the best team in the world so there’s a lot of space for us to improve in all different departments.

“Our supporters like the way we are doing it and that is very important.”

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Morgan Schneiderlin column: Marco Silva is very ‘hands on’ and attentive to details

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The first home game of a new Premier League season is always a special occasion and I am particularly looking forward to our match this weekend because we face one of my former clubs, Southampton, at Goodison Park.

Over the summer there has been lots of changes at Everton, including the appointment of Marco Silva as our new manager and the arrival of seven new signings during a busy transfer window so this feels like a fresh start for everyone at the football club.

From day one in pre-season, the players could see exactly what the new manager wants and expects from us and he has spent the last six weeks implanting those ideas within the squad at our USM Finch Farm training base.

One manager I liked working with very much was Mauricio Pochettino during our time together at Southampton and, in many respects, Marco reminds me of him. Possession, pressing, working hard – I like this idea of football and it’s what I relate to most.

Our manager is very ‘hands on’ and attentive to details. He tries to make progress collectively and individually.

He has shown me videos of my games and highlighted areas where I can improve, and I know he has done the same with other members of the squad too.

Morgan Schneiderlin has been impressed by new Everton signing Richarlison.

Morgan Schneiderlin has been impressed by new Everton signing Richarlison.

That’s great for football players as you need to see yourself after the game and understand what the manager wants from you. Personally, I welcome and need to have that regular communication with a manager, then it’s easier to implement his ideas on the pitch.

Of course, it takes time for any manager to put his stamp on a team but I think we showed signs of how he wants us to play in our opening game against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.

It was always going to be a difficult task against a Wolves team that has momentum following promotion from the Championship and that challenge became even harder when we had a man sent off in the 40th minute.

However, we showed great desire and lots of fighting spirit to take a point with 10 men and, with a bit more luck in front of goal, we might have won it so there were plenty of positives on the day.

Perhaps the biggest plus was the performance of Richarlison, one of the new signings to join the club this summer, who scored two goals on his debut.

I remember watching ‘Richy’ last season and in the first five or six months, he really caught my eye because he had some amazing games for Watford.

All of his game is top drawer – his technique, the way he keeps and moves the ball and the hard work he puts in for the team.

Off the pitch, he is quiet around the place because he doesn’t speak much English but when he pulls a shirt on he is a warrior and a great player to have on your side.

If he can do what he did last weekend on a regular basis then I really believe he can score 15-plus goals for us this season and become one of the stand-out players in the Premier League.

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Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola not keen to swap venues for Tottenham game

Andy Hampson 17/08/2018
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Pep Guardiola is not keen swapping venues for the Tottenham clash

Pep Guardiola has suggested Manchester City would be reluctant to swap venues for their two Premier League fixtures against Tottenham this season.

There is uncertainty over where City’s scheduled away clash with Spurs on October 28 will take place because the club’s new stadium may not be open and Wembley is booked for an NFL game.

An alternative could be to reverse fixtures with City and play at the Etihad Stadium with Spurs then hosting the champions on April 20 in return.

But as that would leave City playing only once at home in their final five matches, Guardiola is not keen.

Speaking at a press conference, the City boss said: “We want to help the Premier League.

“This can happen because they build an amazing stadium for Tottenham Hotspur, sometimes there are delays.

“We are going to adapt if we can adapt but of course we are going to think of ourselves as well.

“I don’t know. I can only say, when that happens, of the last five games four are away.”

Asked if that was a problem, Guardiola said: “I think so. When you are maybe playing for the Premier League, four games away is a little bit different.

“But I’m a manager for what happens on the pitch and that’s enough. In the end if Tottenham want to suggest something they’ll speak with our CEO and our people. They will decide the best for the Premier League, Tottenham and us.”

City suffered a blow this week with playmaker Kevin De Bruyne suffering a knee injury in training that will rule him out for around three months.

The Belgium international is set to miss City’s first four Champions League games as well as the Spurs clash and another potentially key game against Liverpool on October 7.

Kevin De Bruyne will be missing for City

Kevin De Bruyne will be missing for City

It also seems unlikely the 27-year-old will be fit for the first derby of the season against Manchester United on November 11.

Guardiola said: “He will be a big miss. Last season Kevin was outstanding and, of course, for him and his family you never want these long injuries.

“But you accept it. It’s part of the game, part of the amount of games and seasons, games and seasons (they play) and in the end the players fall down.

“Sometimes that is normal. They don’t rest. It was a tough season last season. They come back in a short recovery and we demand in the first moment, ‘come on let’s go’ because we are in the competition. Of course human beings have a limit and sometimes these things happen.”

On the positive side, fellow midfielder David Silva, who did not feature in last weekend’s season-opening win at Arsenal, could return against Huddersfield on Sunday.

Guardiola said: “He trained the last two or three training sessions. Last week he was not fit, he had a little problem in his leg, but he has been training good this week.”

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