Liverpool have three things on their mind right now: Newcastle, Manchester United and the transfer window.
Surprisingly, the hunt for a Champions League place is still on and Liverpool are keeping a close eye on any development at their rivals. Newcastle dropped more points this weekend, with Manchester United securing a win, and a lot of effort has gone into working out the new permutations.
Regardless of whether Jürgen Klopp can pull off the impossible, a big transfer task remains, however, with Liverpool keen to be truly competitive again next season. However this campaign ends, there’s a chance for FSG to revive some genuine excitement with a few smart additions on the side.
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However, it seems that Manchester United could also complicate that task, with a much-touted Liverpool target apparently also on the radar at Old Trafford.
Here, Liverpool.com scans around the other major sides in the Premier League and across Europe to take a look at the news going on at the other clubs, including what the Newcastle result really means, and whom Erik ten Hag now pursues .
A mistake in Newcastle can be costly
It was easy to be negative about the impact of Newcastle’s points loss to Leeds United. To begin with, victory for Sam Allardyce’s side looked within reach as Patrick Bamford had a chance to make it 2-0 from the spot. Two penalties to Callum Wilson later, the host eventually did well to salvage a draw.
The problem for Liverpool is that this hasn’t really moved the dial. Before the game, Newcastle had to lose twice to let Klopp’s side back in, meaning this result seemed almost pointless. It was arguably another point closer to a Champions League place for the Magpies than two points behind.
However, while Liverpool couldn’t get past one more Newcastle error in fourth, a faltering performance against a relegation contender is clearly a positive. Both mathematically and in terms of momentum, it has made a difference.
Liverpool. com says: Look at it from this side. Before Newcastle dropped points against Leeds, a loss and a draw in the remaining games would not have been enough to let Liverpool back in. Now exactly the same results would see Klopp’s side clinch the Champions League places with three more wins.
Clearly there is now one less game for Newcastle to navigate. It is clearly not the dream result. But Brighton’s visit to St James’ Park comes next, and that’s a tough call. If they fail to win, Liverpool can at least go all out against an increasingly nervous rival.
Eddie Howe warned after the game that Newcastle are “prepared” for it to go through to the last day, but Liverpool would like to test that. It is no mean feat for an outsider to hold back and claim a spot in the top four.
Man United’s transfer race beckons
Of course, the race for the Champions League is still a three-man affair, with Manchester United yet to secure their place in the top four. But it managed to get one step closer at the weekend by beating Wolves 2-0.
With easy matches coming down on paper, it seems unlikely that Ten Hag’s side will slip from here. And it could double the woes for Liverpool, with a transfer target seemingly shared for the summer.
According to Football Insider, Manchester United have joined the race for Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch. Liverpool is strongly associated with the out of favor Dutchman, but Ten Hag would like to organize an Ajax reunion.
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Liverpool. com says: The biggest question mark is whether Bayern Munich will sell Gravenberch this summer. It is entirely plausible that he is open to a move after being sacked by successive managers this season, but the Thomas Tuchel era is still young. So is the player, only 20 years old, and his employer will be well aware of his lasting potential.
But if a transfer can go through, Liverpool will probably be fairly confident. While FSG wouldn’t welcome any major rival for his signature, especially if Klopp’s side miss out on Champions League places, FSG have rarely been in a position to look for a player who isn’t completely sold on a move.
If Gravenberch is a genuine Anfield target and Bayern Munich are ready to approve a sale, Liverpool are likely still in pole position. One decent Manchester United season coupled with a big blip for Klopp isn’t enough to change that.
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