The Hard Tackle brings to you some of the news and transfer talk linked to Liverpool throughout the day.
FSG Keen on Christian Pulisic signing
Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move for Christian Pulisic since the summer transfer window and given the American international’s close relationship with Jurgen Klopp, there are little chances it’ll die down any time soon. However in recent weeks, Borussia Dortmund have established Pulisic’s commitment to the club and have ruled out a transfer for the player.
The Bild carried a report on Thursday stating that even Tottenham and Arsenal have entered the race to sign the prodigious USA international in January. There is a lot of talk about the 18-year-old’s talent and it appears Liverpool’s American owners are extremely keen on bringing one of their own to the club. There have only ever been three American players on the first-team books at Anfield in the club’s history with Brad Friedel being the most notable mention. Zak Whitbread and Hugh Lester are two of the other Americans to have donned the famous Red jersey.
Given how the footballing scene has vastly improved in the United States, a size-able investment on Pulisic, arguably one of USMNT’s biggest prospects in recent years, will prove to be a marketing boon for the club. A number of Europe’s top clubs are said to be interested in acquiring the player’s signature however, and according to Bild, Dortmund would be more willing to let the player move to the Reds should a selling scenario arise.
Joel Matip’s AFCON-undrum
Joel Matip’s importance to the Liverpool defence was brutally exposed in 15 second half minutes last Saturday when the Reds threw away a 3-1 lead to lose to AFC Bournemouth 4-3. While the Cameroonian international has given positive signs of a recovery from his injury he is continuing to keep fans on the edge of their seats regarding his participation in the African Cup of Nations.
The centre-back clearly established back in September that he would opt out of participation in the competition in favour of securing his Liverpool future citing injury problems from past editions. However, in recent weeks Cameroon boss Hugo Broos has stated that he will try to convince the Liverpool defender to don the Cameroon colours for the competition set to take place over the course of January. The Reds are already set to miss out on the services of Sadio Mane who will be turning up for Senegal in the competition and is expected and given Matip’s importance in the back-line will be severely affected by his absence.
The latest sources however state Matip has held talks with Broos and is yet to decide on his participation indicating that he could change his mind ahead of the announcement of the preliminary 35-man squad for the competition next week. Liverpool haven’t lost a single game that Matip has featured in and will be awaiting the defender’s decision with bated breath. Should he participate in the African Cup of Nations, the 25-year-old will miss five Premier League games including a massive Old Trafford tie against Manchester United.
No Dembele for ‘title challengers’ Liverpool, insists former boss Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers is creating waves in Scotland with Celtics and already has a trophy in the bag just 5 months into his job with a Scottish League Cup final success against Aberdeen. And at the forefront of some exciting football has been 20-year-old summer recruit Moussa Dembele. The French U-21 international has been on fire for Celtics and has invited the attention of a number of top clubs across the continent including Rodgers’ former team Liverpool.
However, the Northern Irishman has brushed aside any possibility of a move away from Scotland for Dembele in the near future stating that his forward is happy at the club. Rodgers recently spoke about how Liverpool are close to winning the Premier League title but will have to do so without the services of Dembele. The Northern Irishman was replaced by Jurgen Klopp at Anfield last October, with the German this season having transformed Liverpool into contenders once again, four points adrift of leaders Chelsea in third place.
Addressing the rumours the former Anfield boss said,”At Celtic, you know how it is. We know how it is. If we get a really talented player there’s probably a cycle of a couple of years with them.”
“You look at (Victor) Wanyama, Virgil van Dijk, Ki (Sung-yueng) – they come up here and it’s a great platform for them to demonstrate their qualities but then the likelihood is they get a better offer, financially, and they move down south.With Moussa, I think that was always going to be the case.”