The Hard Tackle brings to you all of Thursday’s news regarding Premier League’s Liverpool FC.
Saints’ Sakho loan bid
Southampton have jumped into the party submitting an official loan request for Liverpool outcast Mamadou Sakho which the Reds have seemingly rejected citing that they’ll only accept a permanent transfer.
The saga surrounding the controversial defender seems to rumble on and could well do so till the wee hours of transfer deadline day.
Moreover, the ambiguity and lack of clarity within the Liverpool camp as to whether they should send the Frenchman out on loan or have him leave the club permanently isn’t helping the situation, as far as negotiations are concerned.
Apart from Southampton’s bid, there has been little movement in negotiations with the player despite interest shown by the likes of Swansea and Sunderland in the Premier League, and La Liga sides like Sevilla and Villarreal.
Despite some solid performances for the U-23s this season, there is seemingly no way back into the first-team fold for Sakho owing to his poor conduct at training that apparently drew boss Jurgen Klopp’s ire during the club’s summer tour of the USA.
His regular partner for the U23s, Tiago Ilori, has already departed for Reading, joining the Championship club in a deal worth £3.75 million, having arrived at the same time back in 2013.
Liverpool value Sakho at £20 million, despite his unfavourable position, given the current climate in the market for top-level centre-backs and the fact his contract runs until 2020.
Whether they will secure the full fee remains to be seen, but it is unlikely they will sanction a loan deal, having already been willing to keep him at the club for the past six months.
Lucas comments on Liverpool future
When the bookmakers were setting the odds on various outcomes during the FA Cup replay between Liverpool and Plymouth Argyle, not too many would have taken a punt on Lucas Leiva to score the winner. It’s been well over 6 and a half years since his last goal and he showed no signs of bucking that run.
But after a 17th minute header at Home Park earned the Reds a passage into the fourth round of the Cup competition, Lucas is now the toast of Merseyside at the moment. The unbridled joy and celebration following the goal said a story.
It once again reaffirmed his love for the club and going by Klopp’s post-match comments, it seems to have assured him of a longer stay at Merseyside.
Asked if Lucas was definitely staying at Liverpool, Klopp replied,”From my point of view, yes. What is ‘definitely’ in this job? We have a kind of agreement, so I would say yes.”
But the Brazilian, who was subject to interest from Serie A campaigners Inter Milan, isn’t entirely taking into Klopp’s warmth. As much as he loves the club and city, he admits it will not be where he ends his career.
He says he will take it ‘day by day’ when it comes to eventually making his decision about leaving. “If, by the end of January, I am here, it will be great,” Lucas said. “This is the best place for me to be right now.”
“But I cannot tell you in two months’ time, four months’ time or one year’s time. I have to think about my future. But it is all good. I am happy in this moment and I just have to go day-by-day.”
He is the longest serving player in the club’s books and is set to complete a decade with the club this summer but if he carries forward his scoring exploits from Home Park, the fans would surely love for him to stay longer.
Sturridge’s Liverpool future in doubt
Daniel Sturridge isn’t a man of too many words but his body language certainly seems to speak volumes with fans and pundits alike picking on every bit of the striker’s on-field and off-field demeanour to discuss his state of mind.
Wednesday wasn’t any different as the striker’s apparent displeasure at being subbed off by Jurgen Klopp was picked up by all witnessing the game with pundits even discussing how it could signal a potential move in the summer for the England international.
While Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard called on the striker to stay and help the side win trophies under Jurgen Klopp, others felt that the fact he wasn’t the side’s number one choice means he won’t be around for long.
The forward has scored only two league goals this season and has even come out with statements in recent weeks claiming he is the best striker Liverpool has irrespective of Klopp’s choice.
Sturridge has been subject to interest from West Ham United, Southampton and even PSG in the past but no club has gotten into direct contact with the player as yet.
There could be a potential transfer tussle at both ends of the park for Liverpool by the end of the window or even the summer with clubs vying for both Sakho and Sturridge should both of them be made available to be sold.
Rivaldo tips Coutinho to move to Barcelona
Absolutely nothing new about this one. Just Barcelona parading another legend with comments talking about how a potential transfer target would be a big hit at the club. It was Suarez 3 years ago and in recent years, not surprisingly, Coutinho.
The dashing Brazilian has been subject to intense transfer speculation since his upswing in form and fortunes for Liverpool and clubs have latched on to his comments about ‘lack of silverware’ with the Reds to lure him out of Merseyside.
And as Jurgen Klopp seems to have closed the door on any potential incomings during the window, many of Liverpool’s transfer rumours continue to centre on who is leaving Anfield.
It’s Brazilian legend Rivaldo this time around who has backed his fellow countryman Philippe Coutinho to head for the exit door in favour of a move to the Nou Camp.
The former Barcelona star said, “In my opinion, Coutinho is a great player. A player who knows Neymar well, they are both friends.
“I think that this transfer might happen because Barcelona is always going to attract the best.
“He is one of the players who stands out and I believe that this transfer – if he goes to Barcelona – would be a good thing for Barcelona, for sure. He is a player who would definitely help Barcelona.”
Barcelona invariably manage to secure their transfer targets which is why such comments coming from a legend even Coutinho may have idolized at some point in time as a youngster, will not come as good news to supporters.