Mohamed Salah and Alisson convinced Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan about Cagliari move

David Cooper 18/08/2018
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KLvan headed in from a yard-out to give Liverpool a 2-1 win.

Liverpool superstars Mohamed Salah and Alisson played influential roles in convincing Estonia defender Ragnar Klavan to head to Serie A.

Klavan, 32, sealed a £2 million (Dh9.4m) switch to Cagliari on Friday’s transfer deadline day in Italy. This followed a two-season spell, spent largely on the bench, at Anfield.

“I had offers from several teams, including in other countries, but Cagliari really wanted me,” he explained to Sky Sport Italia.

“Darijo Srna advised me to come here, as I talked to him via Dejan Lovren. Other Liverpool team-mates like Alisson, Salah and Lucas Leiva all spoke highly of Serie A.

“I’m certain we’ll do great things here and I am really fired up. The city is wonderful and so are the fans, I can’t wait to get started.”

Klavan scored once in 39 Premier League run-outs.

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Virgil van Dijk calls for consistency as Liverpool mount title challenge

Carl Markham 14/08/2018
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Defender Virgil van Dijk believes consistency will be the key if Liverpool are to topple Manchester City as Premier League champions.

Despite what the Holland captain described as an “almost complete” performance in Sunday’s dismantling of West Ham, the Dutchman knows there will be more difficult hurdles to overcome.

Liverpool finished 25 points adrift in fourth place last season having drawn 12 matches.

Van Dijk said it was those kind of results they needed to eradicate.

“The most important thing is that we look at ourselves,” he said when asked about competing with City.

“We know that right now we have a great squad. We have a lot of quality players. Everyone who plays for Liverpool has a lot of quality.

“It’s all about being consistent. We want to challenge for any competition.

“Of course, we want to challenge. I do not feel any pressure in that case but we play every game to win, that’s how our mindset is.

“Our focus was good (against West Ham) and now we recover before focusing on Crystal Palace on Monday, which is going to be a very tough game.

“It’s just one game. We had a good pre-season with good results and games where we’ve played very well.

“But we can do a lot better and it’s just the start. I think the key is we need to be very consistent and do it every game.”

Van Dijk’s central-defensive partner in the short term looks like being Joe Gomez, with Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren all sidelined.

The 21-year-old endured injury problems of his own last season, with an ankle operation forcing him to miss the Champions League final, but he coasted through the Premier League opener.

“I was not really worried to be fair,” added Van Dijk.

“I’ve played a couple of games pre-season with Joe at centre-back and I have a very good relationship with him, a very good understanding outside of the pitch as well.

“We need everyone in the squad. It’s very important at our club. Everyone needs to be ready when we need you. Everyone realises this.”

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Klopp's ‘human manner’ key to Shaqiri choosing Liverpool over Man United

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Jurgen Klopp making first contact with Xherdan Shaqiri and his prolonged interest convinced the Swiss international to join the Anfield revolution rather than head to rivals Manchester United, it has been claimed.

According to Swiss publication Blick, Shaqiri was convinced to join Liverpool this summer by German manager Klopp despite United’s interest. Klopp’s negotiations in his ‘human manner’ also made Shaqiri’s mind up and the deal was soon complete.

United, along with Southampton and West Ham, had registered their interest in signing the Stoke player and paying his £13.5m release clause. But they were all beaten to the punch by Klopp.

According to the same website, Jose Mourinho was not able to make contact with Shaqiri as the deal had already been completed to take him to Merseyside.

The 26-year-old came off the bench for Liverpool against the Hammers in their 4-0 opening Premier League win on the weekend.

United also bagged a win on the opening day but they looked like they could do with a natural right winger, with Juan Mata starting the game in that position.

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