The Hard Tackle brings to you a round-up of all of Wednesday’s news regarding Premier League campaigners Liverpool FC.
Jurgen Klopp to Barcelona?
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has emerged as shocking target for the Camp Nou hot seat claimed Spanish outlet Don Balon. The source further elaborated that the German’s Merseyside rival and counterpart Ronald Koeman also features high on Barcelona’s wish-list as a potential replacement to Luis Enrique.
As outlandish a claim as it seems, the rumours have been sparked by Barcelona’s ordinary start to the season and the delay of contract talks up to the month of April.
It has sent out a message that the management will keep a close eye on the club’s progress in the following four months before reaching a decision on the boss’ future.
Klopp has been a massive hit at Anfield and given how quickly he has gotten the Reds practising his exciting brand of football, it is no surprise that he is attracting interest from a club of the size of Barcelona.
That said, it is highly unlikely the German boss will swap loyalties anytime soon having only signed a contract extension last July keeping him at Liverpool up until 2021.
It is also highly unlikely Luis Enrique will leave the job given the phenomenal work he has done at the club in only two and a half year’s time. During the period the former Celta Vigo boss has secured eight trophies including the La Liga, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup among others.
And with that kind of success is behind, a poor start to the league shouldn’t derail the lofty credentials of a respectable manager.
He is looked upon highly by president Josep Maria Bartomeu but nevertheless, it’ll help Enrique and Barcelona if they could get their league campaign back on track and catch-up with Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
Liverpool reject bids for Kevin Stewart
Liverpool have rejected approaches from as many as five Premier League clubs for academy midfielder Kevin Stewart as the youngster continues to attract interest following some impressive performances for the Reds in cup competitions this year.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp sees Stewart as “essential” to the first-team squad this season and is a huge admirer of the 23-year-old’s ability and professionalism, the source added.
The former Tottenham Hotspur trainee was subject to interest in the summer, too, but Liverpool will not currently entertain any approaches, with the player being valued by clubs in the region of £10 million.
Stewart signed a new long-term contract in November as a reward for his impressive performances in the senior side.
The 23-year-old made his Liverpool debut in last season’s FA Cup tie Exeter and has gone on to make 18 first-team appearances in total.
Former Liverpool under-23 manager Michael Beale recently hailed Stewart’s application, and always maintained the belief that he could cut it at the Premier League level.
Jon Flanagan set to cut-short Burnley loan spell
Jon Flanagan could be back at Liverpool this month after Burnley boss Sean Dyche revealed he was assessing the defender’s loan move.
Flanagan has struggled for game time having moved to Turf Moor on a season-long loan deal as he continues to regain fitness having been sidelined for more than 18 months with a serious knee injury.
However, the 24-year-old has played just 314 minutes in the Premier League this term in three starts and two substitute appearances. The defender missed part of the festive period with a knee problem, although it is not thought to be serious.
And now Dyche will review Flanagan’s position at Burnley during this month’s transfer window. “It takes time to come through injuries, we’ve seen that with Vokesy (Sam Vokes), he’s looking a different player now compared to six months after his injury,” Dyche said of Flanagan.
Flanagan returned to action for Liverpool last January and made eight appearances during the second half of the season under Jurgen Klopp.