Liverpool manager has no injury concerns over towering centre-half

Liverpool’s Joel Matip is expected to be fit for his side’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Athletic‘s James Pearce.

The Cameroonian did not feature in the Anfield outfit’s 3-2 defeat away to Manchester United on Sunday, as the club crashed out of the FA Cup at the fourth round stage.

Joel’s lack of involvement understandably led to fears that the defender could be out of the trip to London on Thursday, considering his injury-prone nature.

Speaking in a Q&A before the United game, however, Pearce stated the 29-year-old former Schalke man was rested at Old Trafford:

Understand he rested with one eye on the trip to Tottenham, not injured again. Having just come back from injury it’d have been a big ask for the centre-half to play three times in the space of a week.

This is a major boost for Jurgen Klopp’s team, with Rhys Williams’ shortcomings badly exposed versus United.

The youngster was at fault for Marcus Rashford’s goal and it felt like Liverpool were carrying a player for much of the game.

Matip is an excellent centre-half, when he is fit, and his partnership with midfielder Fabinho has invariably looked strong this campaign, in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Joel remains one of the most important stars between now and May – if he can stay healthy, it increases his club’s chances of turning their campaign around.

If Matip continues to be sidelined, however, it’ll only make the Reds’ decision not to sign a centre-back this month’s transfer window look more ludicrous, assuming they don’t.

Liverpool on verge of wrapping up deal for Derby County starlet

Liverpool are reportedly closing in on the landing of 16-year-old Derby County midfielder Kaide Gordon, who has also attracted the interest of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Negotiations are ongoing between the Premier League giants and the teenager and the Reds appear to be in pole position to seal a deal.

Gordon has already made his first-team debut for Derby, coming on as a substitute in the EFL Championship in December and Kaide has earned high praise from head coach Wayne Rooney.

‘Kaide is a fantastic player and he has got a lot of potential,’ said the English manager. ‘He has come through the academy. He is 16, he has got a lot of development to do and he is definitely at the right place to do that.

‘Of course there will be interest in Kaide because he is a fantastic player, so we expect there to be interest in him. ‘We can control what we are doing at this football club, but we can’t control if other teams make bids for our players.’

The Liverpool Echo claims that, while Gordon cannot pen a professional deal at Anfield until later this year, the Reds expect to agree a move worth around £1 million, although the sum could rise to around £3 million with add-ons.

He can play across the front line and as a playmaker and has been capped for England at Under-18 level.

Derby County have won their last two games in the EFL Championship but are still struggling in 21st in the league as Rooney looks to avoid relegation in his maiden season in management.

Liverpool winger deals blow to Bundesliga strugglers hopes of signing him

Liverpool attacker Xherdan Shaqiri has snubbed the opportunity to join Hertha Berlin during the January transfer market, report Sky Germany, via Fussball Transfers.

The Bundesliga side are currently 14th out of 18 clubs in Germany’s top league, and just two points clear of the relegation area.

Pal Dardai returned as a head coach at the club this week, and he has identified three targets to help his team avoid the drop. Those are Xherdan, Christian Eriksen and Ivan Perisic.

Even though it’d only have been one of the players signed, it is still an ambitious list. However, according to the latest reports, all three options have now gone.

The Inter Milan duo are on wages too high for Die Alte Dame to cover, and the Swiss star is ‘not in the mood for a relegation battle’.

Getting a few appearances recently at the Merseyside giants, the 29-year-old star clearly does not feel he needs to move to a struggling club in January, and it’s unlikely he would be overly keen on a transfer anyway.

The Reds’ recent struggles have provided a chance for Jurgen Klopp to rotate his options more, and Xherdan will hope he can benefit further from that.

Elsewhere, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp continues to covet defender David Alaba and has urged Anfield senior figures to keep pace in the transfer race for the Bayern Munich man, reports from Spain say.

He is said to be close to signing a pre-contract with Real Madrid ahead of a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu as a free agent in the summer.

But Klopp remains a big admirer of the Austria international, who played an important role as Bayern won the continental treble last campaign.