Footy Extras

Liverpool news round-up: Reds face competition, Alexander-Arnold fitness update, Klopp on Adrian

Liverpool rocked as Italian giants readying bid to land Turkish star

AC Milan are reportedly preparing to put in a concrete proposal for Liverpool target Ozan Kabak in the January transfer window.

Schalke rejected a last-minute bid from AC Milan for Kabak in the last transfer market as they felt they didn’t have the time to sign suitable a replacement.

The German giants haven’t ruled out selling the centre-back in the winter transfer market session as Die Knappen continue to struggle financially and the board looks for an injection of cash.

Kabak has also been strongly mentioned with injury hit English champions Liverpool, who considered a swoop for him in the last transfer window and continue to rate the player highly.

However, the Rossoneri appear to be preparing to make the first and concrete move in the race for Kabak.

According to Italian daily sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport, the Serie A giants are willing to slap in an offer worth €15 million for the gifted defender at the start of the new year.

AC Milan are ready to pay more in terms of bonus payments should they qualify for the UEFA Champions League at the end of the term.

Ozan is one of their top targets and the Milan-based side believe that their offer could be good enough to convince cash-strapped Germans to sell.

Schalke though rate Ozan highly and may feel the offer is too low, while the possibility of Jurgen Klopp’s outfit entering the chase could also push the central defender’s price up.

Reliable journalist issues injury update on 22-year-old Liverpool star

Liverpool have been handed a huge boost, with James Pearce confirming that defender Trent Alexander-Arnold will return to full training this week.

The 22-year-old Englishman has been absent since injuring his calf in the 1-1 draw away to Manchester City in November, prior to the international break.

James Milner and Neco Williams have filled in admirably at right-back during that time, but neither possess Trent’s world-class ability in that position.

Following the Reds’ 1-0 win over the Eredivisie giants Ajax on Tuesday night, Pearce confirmed on a Q&A for The Athletic that the right-back’s return is imminent: “Should be back in full training later this week.”

This is a huge positive for manager Jurgen Klopp, suggesting his player could be available for Sunday’s PL clash with Wolves at Anfield.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s outfit are a hugely dangerous attacking outfit, with youngster Pedro Neto likely to take up the left-sided attacking role.

The thought of Milner or Williams up against him is a scary one, in comparison to Trent, so the hope is that he is back.

In other news, Ajax talent Perr Schuurs says he is aware of interest from the Reds is happy to remain with the Dutch side.

Perr played against Liverpool on Tuesday in the Champions League and speaking after the game, the 21-year-old was quizzed about his future.

“I hear and read it [Liverpool rumours] too,” the Dutch defender told SBS6.

“It’s my first season as a basic player at Ajax. I want to play here for a few more seasons and win prizes. I’m not really working on that yet.”

Liverpool manager explains decision to bench Spanish goalkeeper

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praised goalkeeper Adrian for his contributions to the club in the past and explained why he snubbed the Spaniard for Caoimhin Kelleher in Tuesday’s Champions League win against Ajax.

Klopp opted to throw in the Irish shot-stopper for his appearance in Europe’s premier competition, with first-choice Alisson Becker currently out injured.

Adrian has typically stepped in for the South American, although Kelleher did make a handful of matches in domestic cup competitions last campaign.

But the former West Ham United man had to make do with a place on the bench for the 1-0 win at Anfield.

Caoimhin took his opportunity with both hands, making a string of stunning saves and showing great composure with his feet as the Reds secured their spot in the last-16.

Klopp was delighted by Caoimhin’s performance, particularly given he did not know how the 22-year-old star would ‘cope’ with the expectations that accompany playing at the very high level.

And the Liverpool manager explained that the youngster’s ability with the ball at his feet saw him play ahead of the 33-year-old Spaniard – who will now do well to win his place back in the top-flight tie against Wolves on Sunday.

‘I really think Adrian has done a fantastic job for us, he kept a lot of clean sheets, played everywhere,’ said Jurgen after the match.

‘But now we needed the natural football playing ability of Caoimhin Kelleher. He is a good shot stopper as well.

‘We made that decision but you never know how they are going to cope. I am really happy with how calm he was and how good he was.’