Liverpool to make offer in matter of days to beat Man Utd to Andy Roberson back-up

Liverpool are reportedly ready to move for Manchester United transfer target Nuno Mendes. The Sporting Lisbon left-back has made an impressive start to his career in Portugal and will turn 18 next month.

He is yet to make a senior appearance for Sporting, but his performances at youth team level have earned rave reviews.

United icon Nani is said to have recommended the player to his former club.

Mendes is believed to be keen on a move having recently turned down an offer of a two-year extension from Sporting.

His contract expires next year meaning he could be available on the cheap this season.

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According to A Bola, Liverpool are preparing an offer for Mendes in a mater of days.

Mendes played against the Reds in New York last summer for Sporting in a 2-2 draw during their pre-season tour of the United States.

It’s unclear whether the amount they are ready to offer will be enough to secure a deal.

The one area deemed as a hole in Liverpool’s side is cover at left-back.

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Andy Robertson rarely gets the chance to rest given that he is the Reds only recognised left-back.

Veteran James Milner has been known to fill in whenever necessary but Liverpool are eyeing something more sustainable.

Youngsters Yasser Larouci and Adam Lewis are also knocking on the first team door.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka is also a player of interest for the Reds as his Arsenal deal runs down.

Sky Sports reporter Vinnie O’Connor has confirmed there is interest from the European champions.

“He’s 18 and has already impressed in the Premier League and the likelihood is his value will rise,” he said during a recent Q&A.

“It makes sense for Liverpool to be looking at that kind of player particularly given he’s only contracted to Arsenal until 2021.

“However, would he get the regular game time at Liverpool that he’s getting now? Probably not.

“So whether there’s interest or not I certainly do not see this happening this summer, while Arsenal will continue doing what they can to ensure he stays beyond 2021.”

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Liverpool legend chooses between captain Jordan Henderson and Reds hero Xabi Alonso

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol holds Jordan Henderson in a higher regard than former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso. Liverpool skipper Henderson has been instrumental in his side’s charge to 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. The 29-year-old is also one of the favourites to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Former Spain World Cup-winner Alonso won three major honours during his five-year spell at Liverpool, including the 2005 Champions League.

However, Henderson also helped Liverpool lift the same trophy last season, which puts him ahead of Alonso in the eyes of Nicol.

Though Nicol admits as stand-alone players, Alonso was better than Henderson.

“Well you have to say that Henderson’s been more effective because Liverpool have won the Champions League and he’s pushed them, he’s one of the main reasons why they’re going to win the Premier League,” Nicol told ESPN FC.

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“As great a footballer as Alonso was, I think the influence that Henderson has had on this team has been bigger than Alonso had.

“Listen, as football players, Alonso’s a better technician than Jordan Henderson. I don’t think that’s in question.

“So it becomes the biggest impact and I think no doubt Henderson’s made a bigger impact in this Liverpool side than Alonso did for the team he played for.”

Today marks 15 years since Alonso helped Liverpool come back from three goals down to beat AC Milan in Istanbul, with the Spaniard scoring the equaliser.

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But Jamie Carragher, who played the entire match at centre-back, insists he did not believe Liverpool could come back from 3-0 down at half time.

Carragher told Sport Bible: “Probably the whole world is laughing at you at half-time or almost saying, ‘Well that’s what Liverpool are really…’ It’s almost like you’re stunned. Stunned into silence.

“So I was just thinking I didn’t want it to be 5-0 or 6-0. If the game had’ve finished 3-0 it’s not the end of the world.

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“But I can’t say there was any belief there that we’d go on and win the game or get back into the game.

“It was more trying to save face more than anything.”

“3-1 gives you hopes, 3-2 gives you belief. But that just sparked something with the support, with the players on the pitch.

“It was inevitable that something was going to happen to make it 3-3, I just felt that.”

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Liverpool star could upset fans with contract decision which harms title chances

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana could upset supporters if he refuses to extend his contract until the end of the season, according to transfer expert Duncan Castles. Lallana’s contract at Liverpool is set to expire at the end of June.

However, due the coronavirus pandemic, Premier League clubs will be permitted to extend the contract of players who are in the same situation as Lallana for the remainder of the season, which looks set to run into July at least.

But all parties must agree to the extension and players could refuse if they so wish.

Liverpool were running away with the Premier League title before football was suspended in March, needing a maximum of six points from their remaining nine matches to secure their first title since 1990.

Castles says Lallana could jeopardise any future move if he continues to play for Liverpool beyond June and therefore can see him refusing to stay.

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He said on the Transfer Window podcast: “If you’re Adam Lallana and you go and play a game for Liverpool and you suffer an Achilles [injury] or an ACL that costs you at least six months recovery time, does the club that’s offered you a contract – which is facing like all the other clubs financial difficulties because of the coronavirus – do they go through with signing you when they don’t know what they’re going to get at the end of that period?”

But Castles also thinks that decision from Lallana would leave Liverpool supporters, who are desperate for the season to reach a natural conclusion, upset because it would not help their case in ensuring football resumes as soon as possible.

“I think in his case it’s going to be probably an even harder decision because he has that opportunity to win the Premier League title,” Castles added.

“But also I think there will be a degree of external pressure on him to make that decision in the right way.

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“So you can imagine, were he to say: ‘No I’m not going to play, this is too much of a risk, I just can’t afford to take it on and jeopardise the possibility of the long-term contract that’s being presented to me by another club’ you can imagine that that will go down badly with certain Liverpool supporters.

“There is a group of Liverpool supporters that are pushing very hard that the season is completed because they want to see the title awarded at the end of a full season of fixtures, so that people cannot criticise the first Premier League title win of Liverpool.

“And for one of their own players to say 

“It’s a war effectively that’s going on in the Premier League at the moment between players and clubs who do not like the way in which Project Restart has been shaped up.”

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Liverpool legend Steve Nicol hits back at Michael Ballack’s comments about Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has hit back at recent comments Germany great Michael Ballack made about Virgil van Dijk. Ballack claimed Van Dijk was fortunate to play in the current era of the Premier League where he’s not up against the likes of Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba. The Dutch centre-back is widely regarded as the world’s best centre-back but Ballack says that is because of the standard of opposition in England.

Ballack said: “Virgil van Dijk is very lucky to play in an era where there is no Drogba, [Frank] Lampard, Alan Shearer, Henry, [Wayne] Rooney, [Robin] Van Persie, [Carlos] Tevez, [Emmanuel] Adebayor and Diego Costa in the Premier League.

“No wonder they think he is the best defender in the League.”

However, Nicol disagrees with Ballack that Van Dijk would struggle against any of the players he named.

And the ESPN FC pundit wants to know which part of Van Dijk’s game Ballack thinks would be exposed.

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Nicol said: “Well I’m interested to know which part of his game he’s not happy with because if you’re looking for a physical battle, are you telling me that Van Dijk couldn’t beat anybody up physically? Even Drogba?

“It would be great to watch but don’t tell me that Drogba would walk all over him physically.

“Pace-wise I don’t remember seeing anybody, whether it’s the Premier League or the Champions League, running past this guy. So that’s not a problem.

“Can he pass the ball? Yes he can pass the ball. I’d love to know which part of Van Dijk’s game he thinks would be susceptible to any of these strikers that he was talking about.”

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Former Chelsea and Scotland midfielder Craig Burley has also defended Van Dijk and says there are still quality forward players in the Premier League.

Burley said: “Well he’s a defender that took Liverpool to the Champions League [final] two years on the spin and he’s playing against [Sergio] Aguero, he’s playing against [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, he’s playing against these great players in Europe.

“I think you’re demeaning this player. This player’s a Rolls Royce, he really is. I don’t think you should demean him in terms of if there was a better standard of striker years ago or not.

“The guy’s doing it at every level and we’ll see him do it for Holland at the Euros when that comes around as well.”

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Liverpool target Timo Werner has a ‘head start’ ahead of Anfield transfer move

Liverpool transfer target Timo Werner has a “head start” ahead of his potential move to Anfield due to his friendship with Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, according to former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan. Werner has long been linked with a move to Liverpool to join up with fellow German Klopp.

Recent reports claim the RB Leipzig forward has held several phone calls with Klopp to discuss a move to Merseyside.

Whelan says he can fully understand why Werner would want to play for Klopp, who he rates as the best manager in the world.

And he reckons the striker already has an advantage after already building a friendship with his potential new boss.

“Jurgen Klopp is that manager that he wants to play for,” Whelan told Football Insider.

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“You are talking about getting a head start in a transfer – well they have got a friendship already.

“He would be a fantastic signing for Liverpool to bolster that front-line which is already so dangerous and potent in front of goal.

“There is no doubt that Jurgen Klopp is the best manager in the world right now.

“He is the perfect manager for modern-day football – man management, a winner and gives youth a chance.

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“Players just want to play for him and not let him down. No wonder he wants to join such a good club.”

Werner has scored 21 goals in 26 Bundesliga matches this season ahead of Leipzig’s clash at Mainz on Sunday.

The 24-year-old has scored a minimum of 13 goals in each of his four seasons in the Bundesliga with Leipzig, which has led to transfer interest from the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

But Werner has reportedly turned down a move to reigning German champions Bayern as he wants to join Liverpool.

And Christian Falk, the Head of Football at German outlet BILD, reckons Werner will end up at Anfield in the next transfer window.

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Falk told lfctransferroom: “According to our information, the clause is 55 million as a base value and can grow to 60 million if RB Leipzig makes it into the Champions League.

“And yes, I think this transfer is happening. Interestingly, Werner now has a new Social Media and Marketing agency.

“The boss of this agency is also Jurgen Klopp’s manager.

“Werner is also talking a lot about Liverpool in the public eye now too…”

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Liverpool transfer for Timo Werner unpreventable in view of RB Leipzig strike partner

RB Leipzig will not be able to stand in Timo Werner’s way should he wish to join Liverpool, according to strike partner Yussuf Poulsen. The German has already made it clear he intends to move to Anfield as he patiently awaits an offer from the European champions.

Werner moved to Leipzig from Stuttgart in 2016 and has scored 71 Bundesliga goals in 119 appearances.

The 24-year-old has reiterated his burning desire to test himself outside of Germany in recent weeks, ruling out a move to Bayern Munich.

Since February, Werner has been refreshingly open about his stance on a transfer and he dreams of working under Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.

It’s an opportunity that he deems too good to turn down but COVID-19 has threatened to throw a spanner in the works as Liverpool have put all transfer business on hold.

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In the view of Poulsen, Leipzig remain powerless in the current situation because Werner appears to have already made his mind up but nonetheless, he hopes to continue their partnership under Julian Nagelsmann.

When asked whether Werner will stay, he told Stats Perform News: “I cannot really estimate that.

“It’s not about me and it’s not a club’s decision. It’s his decision. If you ask him, you will get a better answer.

“I can only say that I hope he will stay so we can keep scoring goals together next season. If that’s not the case, then we have to accept. I would still wish him all the best for his future.

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“Of course, he is an important player for the team – not only as a player but as a personality as well. He really fits in.

“That’s why we can only hope that he stays, but we are not the decision makers here. He for himself has to figure out what he wants.”

RB Leipzig have shown a tendency to buy young talent and move them on for huge profits.

For that reason, Poulsen is concerned about whether the club can hang on to Werner and the likes of Dayot Upamecano, given that the final decision will rest with the player.

“Speaking purely for the team, of course it would be ideal if the top performers stay here,” he added.

“That way we would have better preconditions to show better performances, because it is easier to play with someone you know for four years, than with someone completely new.

“You always need time to adapt. That’s why we have to hope that we can stay together for the next few years, because we are a very good team at the moment.

“But in the end, everybody has to decide for himself.”

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Liverpool face Man Utd reality check as conference call hints at new Timo Werner stance

Manchester United chief Ed Woodward has revealed that the club are now facing debts of up to £429million due to COVID-19, hinting that transfer activity will be hugely limited this summer. The Red Devils are usually the financial powerhouses of the Premier League but have now given the rest of the division a taste of the harsh reality ahead.

Clubs are not expected to receive any match-day revenue until 2021, putting a huge dent in their finances while they attempt to navigate the crisis.

United are believed to have shelled out £23million during the last financial quarter.

That amounted to losses of £7.3m, while revenue also dropped 19 percent year-on-year.

The club were predicting revenues of up to £580m, but that figure is now a pipe dream.

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Woodward has also claimed United are engulfed in “one of the most extraordinary and testing periods in the club’s 142-year history.”

For United fans in particular, it suggests they should not expect a big summer in the transfer market.

If a club the size of United is struggling to function during the current financial climate, the same can be said about their fellow Premier League rivals including Liverpool.

While the Reds have not yet documented their current financial status, chief executive Peter Moore recently told fans in an open letter: “Our revenues have been shut off yet our outgoings remain.”

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All transfer business has currently been placed on hold and a final decision has not yet been made on whether the club will move for Timo Werner.

The German was their top target before football was called to a halt, now Liverpool are having to take their time to weigh up whether the deal is affordable.

But they will take some comfort in the fact it’s almost certain United will not snatch Werner.

Although it’s crystal clear that Werner wants Liverpool over United, the 24-year-old has made it clear he wants to test himself in another league.

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Should Liverpool not be able to offer him that this summer, other clubs will still come calling.

United have already made contact with his agent about a potential transfer, as have Chelsea.

In previous years, Werner’s preference was actually to move to Old Trafford over Anfield.

Speaking in 2018, he said: “Yes, playing in the Premier League is a dream for me.

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”I would like to play for two or three clubs, and Manchester United are one of those clubs.

“But probably not in the next few years – later, when my English is a little bit better! I’m very comfortable at RB Leipzig, though.

“Manchester United and Liverpool were the teams I watched quite a lot in England. They were the two that I’m a little bit a fan of, because they have so much history. When Alex Ferguson was the coach, United won everything and were outstanding.

“In Liverpool it’s also their stadium and the atmosphere. But when I have to decide, I’m more Manchester United than Liverpool.”

Despite the uncertainty, Jurgen Klopp will not be losing any sleep at the thought of Werner joining United following Woodward’s comments.

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Premier League star risks wrath of Liverpool fans with Aaron Wan-Bissaka comparison

Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt has risked the wrath of Liverpool fans by insisting Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka is on a different level to Reds ace Trent Alexander-Arnold defensively. Van Aanholt insisted Wilfried Zaha would much rather play against Alexander-Arnold than Wan-Bissaka.

Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold has enjoyed a terrific season for the Premier League leaders.

The Reds have conceded just 21 goals from 29 league games, with the 21-year-old playing a huge role.

Alexander-Arnold has been effective going forward, too, and pundits have questioned whether he will eventually play in midfield.

And Van Aanholt clearly believes the Liverpool man is more suited to an advanced role, and isn’t as effective defensively as Wan-Bissaka.

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Palace sold Wan-Bissaka to United last summer in a £50million deal, with the 22-year-old becoming one of the most expensive defenders ever.

Since then, he has been hugely impressive and has managed to make a brilliant 257 tackles.

Wan-Bissaka and Alexander-Arnold have been compared for much of this season, but Van Aanholt thinks there’s no comparison on the defensive end.

Speaking on the Counter Attack podcast, the Palace left-back claimed Zaha would rather play against the Liverpool man due to Wan-Bissaka’s tackling ability.

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“Without a shadow of doubt,” he said when asked if Wan-Bissaka is better than Alexander-Arnold.

“They are different players. Defensively, Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] is unbelievable, better than Trent [Alexander-Arnold].

“Yes, Trent has got his attacking and his corners, his right foot. But if you ask Wilf [Zaha] who he would want to play against, every other day, Trent or Wan-Bissaka, I think he will say Trent.

“I have got respect for Trent, because he does everything with his assists and he is great, but defensively, just ask [Raheem] Sterling how good [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka is.

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“It is a problem, and he will switch.

“He is one of the best right-backs, I think he could be, his attacking is good, but he needs more goals or assists to his name.

“Defending comes first, but in the modern game, you need to attack, and at United, you get more of the ball, so go forward and show what you have got, but he has been doing good.”

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Liverpool had three other transfer alternatives to Mohamed Salah up sleeve in Roma talks

Liverpool had three other alternatives to Mohamed Salah up their sleeve incase a deal failed to materialise. The Reds were adamant that they wanted to sign the Egyptian but knew that Roma may play hardball in an attempt to hike up his price.

In his final season in Italy, Salah scored 19 times in all competitions and provided 15 assists.

Liverpool were on the lookout for another wide forward and scouts had been tracking Salah for several months.

The club pressed on with negotiations but wanted something to fall back on.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Douglas Costa, Keita Balde and Gelson Martins were the options discussed.

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Costa would later join Juventus but the Brazilian was largely impressive during his time in Bavaria.

He was a player the Reds were aware of since his days at Shakhtar Donestk in Ukraine.

As for Keita Balde, the forward had caught the eye during scouting missions to Italy.

He would instead move to Monaco in a surprising move, after a strong season with Lazio in 2016/17.

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Balde is an international team-mate of Sadio Mane’s with Senegal, and there was a chance to pair the duo up at Anfield.

Meanwhile Martins was a player whose name seemed to follow Liverpool around.

A year later he would move to Atletico Madrid amid a fire-sale at Sporting due to clashes between the board and fans.

Michael Edwards and Liverpool’s recruitment team was desperate to land Salah and the process was made easier due to Roma’s financial crisis.

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Club legend Totti admitted the Italians were left with no option but to sell and he felt great sadness at the departure of his former team-mate.

Speaking last year, the Giallorossi icon admitted he was sad to say goodbye to both Salah and Alisson, who also joined Liverpool in the summer of 2018.

“Sincerely I’m very sorry for every player who has left the team because when you stay with someone day after day you can understand what kind of person he is,” Totti said last year.

“So this happened with Salah, with Alisson and other players who left Roma.

“It is normal in that moment you feel very sorry but with Momo I had a particular relation.

“In fact every time he played and scored with me he always told me he felt like a different player because he had fun to play with me and he liked the way I put him in front of goal with my assists.

“I think he made the right decision to go to Liverpool because they are one of the most important clubs in Europe.

“They’ve won many trophies so a top player like him should play in a top club like Liverpool.”

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Twin terrors keeping England lock Courtney Lawes in shape in lockdown

Twin terrors keeping England star Courtney Lawes in shape during lockdown as he tries to keep his weight UP at 18 stone – while Northampton lock says a summer Club World Cup would be ‘pretty cool’

  • Courtney Lawes is busier than ever despite the lockdown bringing rugby to a halt
  • The England lock is happy to have maintained his weight with no rugby played 
  • Lawes is typically relaxed about what a return to the day job might look like 
  • But the Northampton forward is keen about the idea of a Club World Cup 

When rugby returns it might finally allow Courtney Lawes a rest.

The irony for the towering 31-year-old Northampton and England lock in lockdown is that with no games to play he is busier than ever with his four children. Instead of tackling No 10s, it is now ‘tig’ with the terror twins.

‘Most people who are going stir crazy are the ones who don’t have a lot to do,’ England’s most capped second-row tells Sportsmail. ‘But there’s always so much to get done in my house, I’ve got no worries about getting bored!

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes has been taking care of his two youngest kids in lockdown

‘My wife and I decided to divide and conquer, so she is taking care of the older two (Nelly and Teddy) and their home schooling, which means I’m in charge of our twins, Otto and Hugo, who are two-and-a-bit.

‘I’m basically keeping them alive and trying to entertain them! They are fully into the ‘terrible twos’ phase, so it’s hard work!

‘If I’d been in lockdown when I was 20, I’d have nothing to worry about. It’s a good time to move yourself forward, in terms of getting stronger, getting bigger, getting faster, all sorts of things.

‘You’ve got hours and hours in a day to do whatever you want to do, so you can certainly improve yourself as a player. But with our situation at home, it’s just about me trying to maintain things as best I can.’

The towering England lock has been kept busy playing ‘tig’ with his children in the garden

Instead of worries about putting on weight, Lawes has been more concerned that he will become too thin throughout his career.

‘I haven’t got a ton of time for fitness,’ he adds, ‘but I’m trying to keep moving a lot and do some stuff on my running technique. It’s not running as such, but it will allow me to run when we get going again. When the weather is good, we’re playing plenty of ‘tig’ and other games in the garden —just running around a lot!

‘I’m also trying to stay on top of my weights, so I don’t lose weight while we’re in lockdown. It’s not been too hard because I’ve got a makeshift gym at home and I’ve pretty much kept my weight at 18 stone the whole time we’ve been at home.

‘The main thing is that when you’re playing rugby, you’re just running around so much and burning way more calories than I am now, so I’ve been able to keep my weight on pretty well, which is nice.’

Lawes is happy that he has been able to maintain his weight despite the lack of rugby

With no clarity yet on a firm resumption date, Lawes is typically relaxed about what a return to the day job might look like and especially the prospect of being holed up in a hotel and playing back-to-back games.

‘If we had to stay in lockdown at a hotel… that sounds pretty interesting,’ he adds. ‘I’m not sure if that would really work with my arrangements! You can’t completely avoid some sort of contact with other people and I am not fretting about the situation.

‘All we can do is pay attention to the Government’s guidelines and work around that. We’ve got to put our faith in the people who call the shots and crack on. That’s all we can do because we don’t really know what’s going on.

‘I’m just making the most of the situation. You can’t do whatever you want to do, but I’m enjoying spending time with my family and getting stuff done around the house.

The lock however remains typically relaxed about what a return to rugby will look like

‘I’m perfectly happy, but as soon as they say that it’s time to get into rugby again, I’ll be ready to do that and excited to do it. But we still have no idea how long this is going to go on or what the situation is going to be.’

With ideas swirling about changes to the calendar Lawes is ‘keeping his head down’ but likes the one about a Club World Cup. ‘Some of it sounds pretty cool — if we played games in the summer or played against other clubs from around the world. That sounds exciting to me,’ says the 85-cap lock.

While in limbo, Lawes has become a dab hand in the kitchen, and is keen to work with former Northampton lock Christian Day — now working for the Rugby Players’ Association and a recent contestant on MasterChef. 

Lawes has become handy in the kitchen and wants to work with former lock Christian Day

‘I’ve learned how to cook katsu curry, jerk chicken and this Mongolian beef dish that you get at Chinese restaurants. On top of that, I’ve been cooking loads of stuff on the barbecue, joints of pork and beef.

‘I’ve been really enjoying it. I’m nowhere near as good as Christian is, but I’ve spoken to him and we’re going to do a bit of a collaboration, so that will be cool.’

So will be a return to rugby. Wherever, whenever that comes it is bound to be more relaxing than Lawes’ lockdown life.

Courtney Lawes is a Dove Men+Care ambassador, share your #DadsCare stories on twitter @dovemenuk & instagram @dovemencare




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