Man Utd and Liverpool handed Ferran Torres transfer boost as Valencia face £89m dilemma

Valencia are likely to reduce Manchester United and Liverpool target Ferran Torres’ asking price ahead of the summer transfer window. Torres is considered as a promising young talent as he has already amassed a staggering total of 88 appearances for the Spanish giants in the last three years despite his young age of 20.

The winger’s recent performances this season, in which he has recorded six goals and seven assists in 35 games across all competitions, has led to interest from the Premier League with United and the Reds keeping tabs.

Valencia rate the Spain Under-21 international very highly but his contract runs out in June 2021 and an extension has yet to be agreed.

According to The Athletic, the club are not keen on letting Torres enter the last 12 months of his contract with the risk of losing him for a much lower price or even for free.

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That is why the Mestalla outfit would be open to selling him in the summer for a value that would still be significantly lower than his £89million release clause.

Therefore, United and Liverpool’s hopes of signing the forward have significantly increased, provided that they are still interested.

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The Reds, though, appear to be prioritising two key Bundesliga targets in RB Leipzig star Timo Werner and Bayer Leverkusen ace Kai Havertz.

Werner has hinted that he would be keen on moving to Anfield as he described the Merseysiders as the best team in the world and also dubbed Jurgen Klopp as “one of the best managers in the world”.

The Germany striker said: “There’s one of the best managers in the world with Jurgen Klopp, and he is also German.

“Many things suggest that I would maybe fit in [at Liverpool] very well with my playing style.

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“But I don’t think about that at the moment because we have so much to do with Leipzig.

“I know that Liverpool is the best team at the moment in the world. When you’re linked with that team it makes me very proud.

“It’s a pleasure but I know in Liverpool plays a lot of good players and I have to improve myself to learn many more things to get on that level, to play there.”

United and Liverpool, though, are currently focused on the ongoing campaign as they are hoping it will be restarted in June following its suspension last March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Jamie Carragher reveals Liverpool didn’t believe they could turn Istanbul final around

Jamie Carragher claims Liverpool didn’t believe they could turn the 2005 Champions League final around during half-time and were more focused on saving face. The Reds completed arguably the best comeback in the history of football exactly 15 years ago in Istanbul when they won the European cup final against an amazing AC Milan side.

Milan opened the scoring after just one minute with legendary captain Paolo Maldini before Hernan Crespo scored a brace in just five minutes to stun the Merseysiders.

Liverpool went back to the dressing room 3-0 down and Carragher admits there was not much belief that they could get back into the game as they mostly worried about avoiding a heavier defeat.

The legendary defender felt like the whole world was laughing at Rafa Benitez’s squad and that affected the team’s mentality.

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.

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“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.

“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.”

But Liverpool did the unthinkable as they levelled things up with three goals in just six minutes thanks to Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso.

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The game went to penalties where Reds goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek put together a stunning performance to award Benitez’s men the trophy.

Carragther added: “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.

“When you go back to being a kid on the street or in the school yard where tactics and understanding of the game just sort of goes out the window because you’re getting carried away with the goals and that and it’s just like, ‘Right, let’s go again’.

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“But that all changed after it went to 3-3. We had something to hold on to. It’s funny, football, isn’t it?

“Where you’re going for something and you keep going you think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t you just keep attacking?’

“But there’s also that thing in the back of your head where you’ve also got something to hold on to now .

“And I’ve also said this, I think AC Milan gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a European cup final except for six minutes where it was a miracle and strange things happened.”

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Man Utd urged to rival Liverpool in transfer pursuit of ‘perfect’ Timo Werner

Manchester United have been urged to rival Liverpool for Timo Werner's signature.

The German forward has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield this summer.

Werner has enjoyed his most productive season in front of goal for an RB Leipzig side that are challenging for the Bundesliga title and have made in roads in the Champions League.

But his 30 goals have attracted interest from the Premier League.

Werner's style has led to inevitable links to Liverpool given the nature of their attacking play.

But former Red Devil Owen Hargreaves reckons the 24-year-old could be a perfect replacement for Romelu Lukaku who left Old Trafford last summer.

"Everywhere, I could see him everywhere. I mean, under Jurgen Klopp he would be perfect there [at Liverpool] especially with his hard working," he told BT Sport.

"But I could see him at Manchester United, I think they could do with a number nine and his ability to score goals – with Lukaku leaving [last season] – could be a big plus.

"I think he could fit into that young dynamic Chelsea team. Whoever gets him is going to be lucky."


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Barcelona put Liverpool on transfer alert as they make Ousmane Dembele available for £39m

Barcelona are willing to accept bids as low as £39million for Liverpool target Ousmane Dembele ahead of the summer transfer window. According to Sport, Barca have put Dembele on the market as they look to cut down on salary expenses following the coronavirus outbreak which has led to massive financial losses.

The Spanish champions appear desperate to offload the striker whose numerous injuries as well as struggles to deliver on the pitch appear to be making him surplus to requirements.

The France international has been previously linked with the Reds who were among the clubs that cooled off their interest due to his current wage of £200,000 per week.

However, Barcelona have massively cut down the 23-year-old’s asking price and that could make the Premier League leaders reconsider.

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The Catalans are hopeful that Dembele’s new rate will attract more interest from Italy and China while Paris Saint-Germain are also likely to make a bid.

PSG are among the few clubs that could match the former Borussia Dortmund star’s financial demands and this recent discount could encourage them to do business with Barcelona.

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Liverpool, though, won’t be keen to break their dominant attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane but could be open to potential alternatives.

Timo Werner is among their top targets as he has enjoyed a stunning season with RB Leipzig having scored a staggering 27 goals in 37 appearances across all competitions.

Werner has previously hinted that he would be open to joining Liverpool as he described them as the best team in the world and also dubbed Jurgen Klopp as ” one of the best managers in the world”.

The Germany international recently said: There’s one of the best managers in the world with Jurgen Klopp, and he is also German.

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“Many things suggest that I would maybe fit in [at Liverpool] very well with my playing style.

“But I don’t think about that at the moment because we have so much to do with Leipzig.

“I know that Liverpool is the best team at the moment in the world. When you’re linked with that team it makes me very proud.

“It’s a pleasure but I know in Liverpool plays a lot of good players and I have to improve myself to learn many more things to get on that level, to play there.”

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Liverpool chief admits regret over controversial plan to furlough club

‘We got it wrong’: Liverpool chairman Tom Werner admits regret over plan to furlough club staff before fans’ backlash prompted U-turn

  • Tom Werner has admitted Liverpool made a mistake over plan to furlough staff 
  • Fenway Sports Group, the Liverpool owners, faced fierce criticism in April
  • Furious backlash from fans and former players led FSG to reverse their decision

Chairman Tom Werner has admitted Liverpool made a mistake when they announced plans to furlough staff, but hopes the quick U-turn shows their commitment to the club.

Fenway Sports Group, the Liverpool owners, faced fierce criticism at the beginning of April when they revealed they would take advantage of the Government scheme paying 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month.

The furious backlash from fans and former players led FSG to reverse their decision within 48 hours, reminiscent of when they changed their stance on raising ticket prices to as much as £77 — which led to a mass walkout at Anfield in February 2016.

Chairman Tom Werner has admitted Liverpool made a mistake over plan to furlough staff

‘It’s better to admit a mistake than to dig your heels in,’ Werner said.

‘Hopefully people will know that all we really care about is trying to support the fans and support our players and our club in a way that is sustainable.’

Werner, who is one of the key figures at FSG alongside John W Henry and Mike Gordon, is approaching 10 years in charge of Liverpool and these unprecedented times have him yearning for football to resume.

‘It’s a terrible situation we’re all in,’ he said. ‘Someday, hopefully, there will be a vaccine and we can return to the joy of being in a stadium and watching the elegant play of great football players.

Liverpool performed a dramatic U-turn on their decision to furlough non-playing staff

‘The most important thing is safety and the Premier League are working on protocols. But there’s a hole in so many people’s lives. Football is central to their dreams and their hopes.

‘Certainly, as regards to Liverpool, we are playing magnificent football and we are just a couple of matches away from winning the trophy. But I do put it in perspective.’

Liverpool were on the brink of administration when FSG won the battle to buy the club from Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

The last three years have been their most successful, with Jurgen Klopp’s side winning the Club World Cup, the European Super Cup and, best of all, the Champions League.

The last three years have been the club’s most successful under Jurgen Klopp’s 

‘The 4-0 win over Barcelona (in the semi-final) was the single greatest sporting event I’ve ever seen,’ Werner said. ‘The reaction our supporters had in the stadium that day and around the world is something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

‘I thought I could never imagine experiencing anything like (the parade that followed the 2-0 win over Tottenham in the final).

‘Then somebody said, “Well if we win the Premier League, this parade will be dwarfed”. I’m looking forward to a parade when we can all congregate again.’ 




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Liverpool set sights on ‘the next Sadio Mane’ as Real Madrid weigh up summer move

Liverpool are set to have a fight on their hands to keep hold of Sadio Mane this summer as Real Madrid weigh up a move but Jurgen Klopp may have found an identical replacement.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo claim Klopp is closely monitoring 17-year-old Belgian wonderkid Jeremy Doku.

The Anderlect youngster broke through into the first team last season aged 16 and has really kicked on this campaign.

The forward has netted three goals from 14 league starts and his game style has been compared to Mane.

There were reports that Liverpool failed to sign the teenager in January and Klopp is said to be keen on reigniting that interest at the end of the season.

Mane was the joint top scorer in the Premier League last season and his form has led to him attracting interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Liverpool’s terrifying front three could be broken up at the end of the summer but Los Blancos will have to spend in excess of £100million to capture the Senegal international.

Mundo Deportivo claim Klopp has a long-term solution to that dilemma as Doku could fulfil his shoes in ‘three or four years’.

Doku’s parents told Het Niewsblad that he had rejected Klopp earlier this year.

“At the age of sixteen Jeremy could sign a pro contract with Anderlecht, but even then Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, Ajax and PSV were interested,” they told Het Niewsblad.

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“We then visited clubs like Liverpool and Ajax, but Stellar Group left us the choice.

“My (David, Doku’s father) preference was Liverpool. How we were received there, damn.

“Trainer Klopp explained how he saw a potential successor to Sadio Mane in Jeremy. Steven Gerrard showed us videos with tactical analysis.

“At the training complex [Simon] Mignolet, [Sadio] Mane and [Georginio] Wijnaldum came to talk to us. Yet Jeremy was distracted by the talk. Liverpool panicked.”

Doku’s parents continued: “We talked about Chelsea and they thought he was going to sign there while we were just chatting about our youngest daughter. She’s called Chelsea.

“Van Holsbeeck (former Anderlecht boss) was convinced that he would lose Jeremy almost for free to Liverpool and wanted to make the most of it.

“But Anderlecht did everything to keep our son. They handled it cleverly with that video of Romelu Lukaku. If Jeremy hesitated for a moment to leave, it took away the last doubt.”

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Liverpool encounter major Timo Werner transfer hurdle as Jurgen Klopp faced with dilemma

Liverpool are set to be rivalled by Barcelona for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner this summer after the La Liga side’s efforts to capture Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez hit an impasse.

Barcelona are desperate to provide Luis Suarez with more competition for a starting spot next year.

Martinez, 22, is seen as the ideal candidate but he will likely cost in excess of £100million.

The summer transfer market is expected to be heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic so clubs will have less money to spend on acquisitions.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo claim the Catalan side will not have enough cash to fund a move for Martinez.

However, they report that Barcelona would be interested in activating Werner’s £52m release clause.

Liverpool have been closely monitoring the 24-year-old and were close to agreeing a deal before Premier League football was suspended in early March.

Jurgen Klopp has been weighing up a deal as he is set to lose Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for large parts of next season due to the African Cup of Nations.

But Barcelona think they have an ace up their sleeve as they are willing to offer a selection of their stars as part of a trade deal.

Mundo Deportivo claim Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Arthur could all be used as a makeweight.

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However, it is pointed out that Werner’s dream is to one day ply his trade in the Premier League.

And former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson thinks the Reds should bolster their ranks if it is possible to get Werner through the door.

“The squad is only going to get stronger if they win the league, as we expect,” Robinson told Football Insider.

“I’m hearing talk of Timo Werner, Jadon Sancho and they have already got Mane, Firmino and Salah.

“There is nobody in that Liverpool squad who has not earned themselves a new contract.

“The last thing you want to do is let any of those players run into the last 18 months of a contract and be worried about negotiations. Tie them all onto long-term deals.

“Sadio Mane is very key to what they do but he is one piece in a fantastic jigsaw – a jigsaw that will only get stronger with the likes of Werner and Sancho.”

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Liverpool 'in pole position to sign Kalidou Koulibaly'

Liverpool ‘in pole position to sign Kalidou Koulibaly’ as Premier League leaders overtake Paris Saint-Germain in race for Napoli defender to form a dream partnership with Virgil van Dijk

  • Liverpool have emerged as favourites to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly
  • The Senegalese could forge a formidable partnership with Virgil van Dijk
  • PSG are interested in Koulibaly but have opted to offer Thiago Silva a new deal

Coveted Napoli captain Kalidou Koulibaly has become a summer transfer target for Liverpool, according to reports in France. 

Koulibaly is widely regarded as one of the best central defenders in world football and the Reds have emerged as front-runners to secure his signature at the end of the season. 

Paris Saint-Germain have been watching the 28-year-old throughout the 2019-20 campaign, but it is understood the player would prefer a move to the Premier League.

Liverpool have emerged as favourites to sign Napoli entral defender Kalidou Koulibaly

Appearances: 21

Goals: None

Clean sheets: 6

Red Cards: 1 

Le10sport claim PSG had prepared a big money bid, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has designs on buying the Senegal international to partner Virgil van Dijk. 

Moreover, Les Parisiens have relented in their pursuit of Koulibaly in recent weeks. 

PSG sporting director Leonardo Aruajo has postponed plans to make a marquee defensive signing, keeping faith in veteran Thiago Silva. 

The 35-year-old is out of contract this summer and the Ligue 1 champions hope to persuade their club captain to pen a new one-year deal. 

In eight seasons at Le Parc des Princes, the Brazil international has made 310 appearances, scoring 17 goals and winning a remarkable 23 domestic trophies. 

Koulibaly could build a dream defensive partnership with Reds centre-back Virgil van Dijk




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Who is Liverpool, Arsenal and Man United target Wissam Ben Yedder?

Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona all want Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder… but who is the French striker who honed his talent in futsal, delivered a masterclass at Old Trafford and is only getting better with age?

  • Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United are all keen on Wissam Ben Yedder
  • The French striker has been impressive in front of goal for Monaco this season
  • When at Sevilla, Ben Yedder scored twice to knock Man United out of Europe
  • He has never played for one of Europe’s giants but is getting better with age 

Wissam Ben Yedder will become one of the most sought-after transfer targets in Europe when the transfer window opens after lockdown.

The 29-year-old French international is set to leave Monaco with a number of clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal showing interest in the £40million forward.

Ben Yedder is that rarest of breeds, an A-list talent who has never played for any of the biggest clubs. It means the average Premier League fan knows relatively little about him – Sportsmail attempts to fill the gaps.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal are all keen on Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder

WHO IS WISSAM BEN YEDDER?

He’s a striker, small in stature but tremendously fast, skilful and with an eye for goal. 

After developing his talent in futsal, his professional career has seen him play for Toulouse, Sevilla and Monaco, and he’s won eight caps for world champions France, scoring twice.

FUTSAL? THAT’S AN UNUSUAL PATHWAY INTO PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL.

It’s more common in South America where superstars like Neymar credit their quick feet and control on playing small-sided futsal games in their formative years.

Ben Yedder did the same in Europe, and won two caps for the French futsal team. But he also had the strength to transfer those skills into 11-a-side games and was offered a chance at Toulouse having originally started at fourth division Alfortville.

Ben Yedder started out playing futsal but signed with Toulouse after impressing at 11-a-side

BEN YEDDER STATS 19/20 

Appearances: 31

Goals: 19

Assists: 9

HOW DID HE END UP AT MONACO?

Sevilla signed him in 2016 and after scoring 66 goals in three seasons, Monaco paid the £35million buy-out clause in 2019 to bring him back to the French League. He appears to be one of those players who improves with age.

He scored 19 times for Monaco before the current league shutdown, forming a decent little-and-large partnership with Islam Slimani, who is on loan from Leicester. Both of them scored in Monaco’s 3-3 draw away to PSG

Sevilla signed him in 2016 and after scoring 66 goals in three seasons, Monaco paid £35m

COULD HE DO IT IN ENGLAND?

Lots of European clubs are sniffing around Ben Yedder including Madrid giants Real and Atletico. But several Premier League big-hitters think his speed and tenacity would make him a success here.

There is strong evidence to support that point of view. In 2017/18, he scored five times in three matches against Liverpool and Manchester United.

OLD TRAFFORD IS TO HIS LIKING THEN

Definitely, he single-handedly knocked United out of the Champions League in 2018 which proved the beginning of the end for Jose Mourinho. Ben Yedder came off the bench to score both goals in a 2-1 Sevilla win at Old Trafford.

For the first, he showed terrific movement before cutting inside Eric Bailly and placing a low finish into David De Gea’s bottom right-hand corner. The second was a fox-in-the box header from a corner.

In the group stages he also scored home and away against Liverpool. Sevilla reached the quarter-finals that season before narrowly going out to Bayern Munich.

He single-handedly knocked United out of the Champions League at Old Trafford in 2018

WHY HAVEN’T WE HEARD MORE FROM HIM ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE?

He chose to represent France, where he was born and raised, rather than Tunisia where his family came from, and that has meant competing with the likes of Kylian Mbappe for a place.

He didn’t go to the World Cup which France won but has broken into the team since then and helped them Les Bleus qualify for Euro 2020. He might have been one of the big stars this summer if the tournament was taking place.

He has broken into the France team since 2018 World Cup and helped them reach Euro 2020

LIKE A FINE WINE, HE SEEMS TO BE GETTING BETTER AND BETTER

He improved his goal tally every season in La Liga and might have broken his previous record of 29 had Monaco been able to complete 2019/20. He is currently the league’s joint-top scorer with Mbappe even though Monaco are mid-table. His composure in front of goal has never been better.

Significantly, Ben Yedder seems aware that having been a slow burner, the best of his career may still lie ahead and he isn’t afraid of showing ambition.

‘Barcelona inquired several times,’ he let slip in an interview with a French magazine this year. With Monaco regarded as a selling club, he may get his wish to join one of Europe’s elite soon.

Ben Yedder was Ligue 1’s joint-top scorer with Kylian Mbappe before the coronavirus shutdown

WHICH CLUBS ARE IN THE RUNNING?

Manchester United and Liverpool know first-hand what Ben Yedder can do and both clubs want to add to their strike options. Arsenal will also be in the hunt if they lose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona. Barca themselves bid for Ben Yedder last season as cover when Luis Suarez was injured.

Manchester City are also light up front with only Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus as proper No9s and the asking price for Ben Yedder will be attractive as they try to stay within FFP rules.

French newspaper L’Equipe have also thrown Real Madrid and Atletico into the mix though Ben Yedder is a very different type of player to Real’s current centre-forward Karim Benzema. Erling Haaland would seem a better fit for them, unless Zinedine Zidane is going to alter tactically.




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Liverpool 'set to rival Manchester United for Boubakary Soumare'

Liverpool ‘set to rival Manchester United for £50m rated Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare with Real Madrid also monitoring France U21 international’

  • Liverpool ready to compete with Manchester United for Boubakary Soumare  
  • France Under-21 international midfielder is reportedly valued at £50m by Lille
  • Newcastle bid in January for Soumare, who is being tracked by Real Madrid 

Liverpool are reportedly set to rival Manchester United for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare this summer.

United have been heavily linked with the 21-year-old but they may now face competition.

As reported by Le 10 Sport, Jurgen Klopp wants to sign the midfielder, who could cost £50million.

Liverpool are reportedly set to rival Manchester United for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare

Soumare was the subject of interest from Newcastle in January but that move failed to materialise as he wants to play for a team that is higher in the league.

Real Madrid have also been linked with Soumare, who represents France at Under-21 level.

Soumare was at Paris Saint-Germain as a youngster and made the switch to Lille in 2017.

Soumare, who is valued at £50m by Lille, was the subject of interest from Newcastle in January

Since then he has made 69 appearances for Lille and is capable of impressing whether deployed in his usual holding midfield role or in a slightly more advanced position. 

Although his current contract at Lille is set to run until the summer of 2022, the French club seem certain to receive some significant bids for Soumare in the upcoming transfer window.




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