Jurgen Klopp plays down rumours of Liverpool’s interest in Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Recent reports emerged that Liverpool are in the market for Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as manager Jurgen Klopp was eyeing an attacking option to replace Sadio Mane who is set to leave on international duty for the African Cup of Nations in January.
His addition would also add to Liverpool’s depth and give them a proven England international for the future. However, to the disappointment of Reds fans, Klopp has ruled out the possibility of signing him.
Speaking to the press ahead of Liverpool’s game against Manchester City, the German said (via Sky Sports), “Usually I don’t say anything about transfer rumours, but I can make an exception. This is nonsense.
“It’s really not interesting what I think about this. You [the media] are already on a path so do with it what you want but from our side – nothing else to say about it.”
Georginio Wijnaldum issues Citizens a warning ahead of New Year’s eve clash
Liverpool’s summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum has issued a warning to New Year’s eve opposition Manchester City, stating that they will be entering a fortress as the Reds look to continue their quest towards an elusive Premier League title.
The Dutchman believes that Liverpool’s midweek demolition of Stoke City was the perfect preparation they needed to welcome Pep Guardiola’s men to Anfield on Saturday. A win for Liverpool could see them increase their lead over third-placed City to four points, while they could also narrow the margin on Chelsea – should they fail to win against Stoke.
“I think Anfield is a fortress. The way we are playing and the way we are scoring goals in the home games, I think it will scare opponents,” said Wijnaldum, according to the Liverpool Echo.
“What I see right now is that we have a lot of confidence. We learn quickly and adapt to situations in games. We conceded the first goal against Stoke but from that moment we were still focused. We knew we could score goals. It’s always good to win before a big game because you go into it with more confidence,” he added.
Liverpool legend Dietmar Hamann explains why Klopp has the edge over Guardiola
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann says that Klopp has the edge over City boss Pep Guardiola due to the bond the German has with his players at Anfield. Guardiola appeared to have things well under control at the start of the campaign, but has seen his side struggle with form.
Hamann expects the Reds to press from the outset and cause City a number of problems – given their defensive frailties all season long. He also heaped praise on Klopp who according to him, has the ability to deal with such things.
The 43-year-old said, “The way Jurgen Klopp celebrates with his players makes him stand out in the Premier League
“There’s a bond there which you don’t get at any other club. Those players would go through a brick wall for their manager – more so than any other club in the league.
“Pep Guardiola certainly doesn’t seem to have the same connection with his Manchester City players.”
Klopp plays up the quality of the final Premier League match of 2016
In his pre-match press conference, Klopp had no intention to play down the glamour and magnitude of the clash on New Year’s eve and even joked about buying a ticket to watch the game. ESPN quoted him as saying, “Both teams are good in possession so we have to defend both on our highest level. At the end, probably the detail will make the difference, I’m not sure.
“It’s nice to think about and to try everything you can in the game. That’s what we actually want.
“If I was not sitting on the bench, I would buy a ticket 100 percent for this game. That’s good.”
Cameron Brannagan unlikely to move to Bolton due to an injury
According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, midfielder Cameron Brannagan is facing up to a month on the sidelines through injury. The 20-year-old suffered a grade two sprain while he was kicking the turf in youth training.
Brannagan was set to move to League One outfit Bolton Wanderers who are one of the many clubs interested in securing his services on a temporary basis in the January transfer window.
It appears that the move has now been put on hold as the player will be given time to recuperate from the injury and undergo treatment, after which a decision will be made whether or not he is to stay at Liverpool come the 2nd of February.