Liverpool are about to officially crush their Champions League dream. Jürgen Klopp’s side finally left it too late and will now prepare for a first season of Europa League football since 2015/16.
On the positive side, the planning of the transfer can now really accelerate. Even without a sporting director, plans have no doubt been made in the background, but Klopp can now give his own full attention to the recruitment – hopefully soon in partnership with Jörg Schmadtke, who is expected to join at some point within the next week (according to The Times).
Even before that goes through, it appears that one transfer may effectively be ‘completed’, with reports from abroad claiming a deal has now been struck for one key purpose. An update closer to home has set a timetable of early June for likely confirmation.
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Meanwhile, Klopp knows that he can also find certain solutions within his existing selection. The emergence of Curtis Jones, for example, has been a big help in recent weeks and could help the manager pick up a Steven Gerrard plan that has long been dormant.
Here are today’s two Liverpool.com stories not to be missed.
$76 million transfer ‘completed’
Alexis Mac Allister and Liverpool’s ties are becoming increasingly boisterous and it appears a deal is now close to being finalized.
Argentinian outlet TyC Sports (via Sport Witness) has even gone so far as to declare the deal complete. And in the latest update, Fabrizio Romano has provided a similar sunny outlook:
“Liverpool want to finalize the final details of the deal with Alexis Mac Allister as soon as possible to avoid competition; full agreement on personal terms is very close. Mac Allister’s plan is to leave Brighton early in the period, and the move could be completed and sealed.” in June.”
Read Matt Addison’s full story here, which also includes an update on a Nigerian prodigy.
Liverpool unleashes Steven Gerrard scheme
Liverpool may never fully replace Gerrard’s talismanic presence. But that hasn’t stopped the club from trying repeatedly in the years since his departure.
Naby Keïta was handed the number eight shirt, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived from the back to play in midfield to express his admiration for Gerrard. At Anfield last weekend, Liverpool said goodbye to both.
With Keïta in particular, the plan was to get a midfielder who could do it all. While Gerrard set an impossibly high bar, the periods in which the Guinean has been fit have at least shown that he is capable of action. And in the last 10 games, Jones has proven to Klopp that he can fulfill the same role.
No one is claiming he will be the next Gerrard, but at least he could be a more than suitable replacement for the latest attempt to replicate the legend’s qualities as Klopp continues to look for a player of that form for his midfield.
Read James Martin’s full story here.
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