LONDON, June 9, 2018 (News Wires) - German international midfielder Emre Can is to leave Liverpool now his contract has expired, the Premier League club confirmed.
The 24-year-old rejected the offer of a new contract from the beaten Champions League finalists some months ago amid speculation he would be moving to Italian giants Juventus.
His Anfield exit has now been confirmed, with academy graduate Jon Flanagan, who played for the club just once in the last two seasons, having had loan spells at nearby Burnley and Bolton, also among those on their way out.
“Everybody at Liverpool FC thanks all departing players for their contributions and wishes them the best of luck for the future,” said a club statement.
PARIS, May 29, 2018 (News Wires) - Monaco midfielder Fabinho will join Liverpool following the World Cup finals in Russia, the French Ligue 1 club and the Premier League giants announced.
Brazilian international Fabinho, 24, had agreed at the end of last year’s title-winning campaign to remain one more season in the Principality.
But agreement has now been reached with the Premier League club that will see Fabinho join the Reds after the finals in Russia.
No financial details were given by either club, although some reports claim the deal is worth £44 million.
“AS Monaco has reached agreement with Liverpool for the transfer of Fabinho to the English club on July 1,” said a statement on www.asmonaco.com.
Usually deployed as a defensive midfielder, Fabinho has scored 31 goals in 233 appearances for Monaco since arriving at the club in 2013 from Real Madrid, winning the French league title in 2017.
Liverpool, looking to bolster their squad following a great season in which the Anfield giants reached the Champions League final, only to suffer a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, confirmed the deal on their website.
“Liverpool Football Club can confirm a deal has been agreed for the transfer of Fabinho from AS Monaco,” said a statement.
KIEV, Ukraine, May 27, 2018 (News Wires) - Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum admits Liverpool were rocked by the loss of Mohamed Salah in their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.
The Reds were in control for the opening half hour in Kiev before their 44-goal winger was forced off by a shoulder injury after being dragged to the turf by Sergio Ramos.
In the Egyptian's absence, momentum shifted and Real – aided by two blunders from Loris Karius – went on to lift the trophy for a record 13time.
“I think losing Salah was a big blow for us,” Wijnaldum said.
“It seemed like a big blow the way we reacted after his injury. I think when he was on the pitch we did it well for 25 minutes but after there was less than before," the Dutch player added.
“At half-time the manager said that it looked like we were devastated about Mo but we had to let it go and change because it could not change.
“These things happen and we had to deal with it but it was difficult.”
Karius was inconsolable following the final whistle after gifting goals to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.
“I didn't say anything because a lot of people already went to him,” Wijnaldum added.
“Sometimes you don't like it when too many people come to you.”
It was a devastating end to a fine season but the Dutch midfielder believes Liverpool will be back challenging for the big prizes once again next term.
“Sometimes those things happen in football. It is hugely frustrating but we can't change it,” he said.
“I have confidence (in this team). We have learned a lot this season, we learned a lot the season before so hopefully we can achieve great things.”
KIEV, May 27, 2018 (News Wires) - Real Madrid were crowned Champions of the UEFA Chamions League for the third time in a row following a 3-1 win on Liverpool in the final match, held in Kiev Saturday.
Gareth Bale scored two goals off the bench after Karim Benzema's opener-off the first and Sadio Mane's answer in a riveting second half.
Egypt's Mohamed Salah, whose 10 Champions League goals helped lead Liverpool to the final, was hurt just before the half-hour mark after being taken down by Sergio Ramos, suffering a left shoulder injury before walking off the field in tears.
KIEV, May 26, 2018 (News Wires) - Liverpool and Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian striker whose goals took his side to the Champions League final, hope their brand of attacking football can prevent Real Madrid from becoming kings of Europe for the third year in a row on Saturday.
The Spanish giants have seen the Champions League as their competition ever since winning the first five European Cups in a row, and they are in the midst of another golden era, dreaming of making it a fourth Champions League in five years.
Neither Atletico Madrid (twice) nor Juventus have been able to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from inflicting pain on them in recent finals.
But Liverpool's own attacking quality gives them reason to believe and suggests the Olympic Stadium in the Ukrainian capital could be the scene of an unforgettable encounter.
In terms of history alone, this is a dream final.
Real's 12 European Cup wins puts them way ahead of the rest, but Liverpool have lifted the famous trophy five times themselves, most recently in 2005, defying all the odds against AC Milan in Istanbul.
This time, under Klopp, their adventure started against Hoffenheim in the play-offs last August, continued with a 3-3 draw in Seville when they had been three goals up, before blossoming into stunning wins over Manchester City and Roma.
They have scored a record 46 goals in all in this season's Champions League, with Salah netting 11 of those -- the Egyptian has 44 in all competitions since joining from Roma last year.
"If we win the competition then the road to Kiev plus the final would be one of the most exceptional rides ever," Klopp told Liverpool's website.
Klopp has lost his last five major finals as a coach, including the 2013 Champions League with Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich, and the 2016 Europa League with Liverpool against Sevilla.
Experience means his team have to be the outsiders in Kiev -- none of the squad have ever played in a Champions League final before -- but Klopp knows Zinedine Zidane's side cannot dismiss them.
"Do Real Madrid, sitting in Madrid at the moment, think, 'thank God it's Liverpool!'? I can't imagine that," added the coach, who has welcomed Emre Can back into his squad.
Salah will of course be so important, especially if Marcelo is unable to resist the temptation to abandon his left-back position and join the Real attack.
Salah said Real's past dominance would count for nothing once the whistle blew.
"They've won it before, but it's one game, not two, so we just need to focus and not think about anything in the past," he said in an interview for UEFA's website. "When you get to the game it's just 11 against 11."
While Gareth Bale is unlikely to make Zidane's line-up, how will the Liverpool midfield cope against Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, their central defence against Ronaldo?
Five for CR7?
Real can became the first team since Bayern in 1976 to lift the European Cup three years running, and thereby make it five consecutive titles for Spain.
Ronaldo could win his fifth Champions League. That would equal the individual record, and leave him in sight of yet another Ballon d'Or.
Zidane, meanwhile, is on the brink of a third straight Champions League win as a coach.
"We have already made history and we want to keep on doing it. It would be incredible," defender Raphael Varane told Madrid sports daily Marca.
"I still don't think we have realised the scale of what we are doing, but when all this is over we will.
"Through experience we know how difficult it is going to be, but experience gives more security and serenity as well."
LIVERPOOL, England, May 24, 2018 (News Wires) — A look at Liverpool's players ahead of Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid:
Karius supplanted Simon Mignolet as first-choice goalkeeper at the turn of the year and has kept the spot ever since. The 24-year-old German's handling can be suspect, though he has barely made a mistake in the last five months and manager Juergen Klopp appreciates Karius' ability with his feet.
Alexander-Arnold has broken through this season, initially alternating with Joe Gomez before making the position his own and even forcing his way into England squad for the World Cup. The 19-year-old right back's surging runs down the wing are a feature of Liverpool's attacking play and Alexander-Arnold often takes direct free kicks ahead of the senior members of the team.
Released by Celtic when he was 15, Robertson played for free for Scottish team Queen's Park in 2013-14. He was then relegated from the Premier League with Hull last year. He only broke into the Liverpool team in December following an injury to Alberto Moreno and hasn't looked back, quickly becoming a fan favorite with his work rate and attacking runs.
Virgil Van Dijk
Van Dijk is soccer's most expensive defender after moving from Southampton to Liverpool for $99 million in January. He is a commanding presence at center back, and has brought authority and assuredness to a defense that was widely seen as frail and error-prone. The Dutchman is a threat at corners, too.
Lovren is an oft-criticized center back who acknowledges that he has grown in confidence since playing alongside Van Dijk. He might not have been playing in the final if it wasn't for an injury to Joel Matip, a Klopp signing from the Bundesliga. Real Madrid might choose to target Lovren, who excels in a deeper-lying defense and can look ponderous in a high line.
Henderson is looking to become the fifth Liverpool captain to lift European soccer's biggest prize. He has grown as a leader in his position at the base of the midfield this season, although he hasn't always been assured of his place in the team because of the impressive form of Emre Can. Henderson works hard and keeps it simple with his passing.
Wijnaldum is another who is in the team because of recent injuries to others, chiefly Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Emre Can. Yet he is selfless and an unsung hero, rarely letting Liverpool down and often popping up with important goals — almost always at Anfield.
Known for his work rate, tirelessness and versatility, Milner has become an unlikely assist-maker in Liverpool's run to the Champions League final, setting up a competition-high nine goals. Far from the most glamorous player in the team but one of the most important.
Salah is having the season of his career, with 44 goals in 51 games, and could yet win the Ballon d'Or if he guides Liverpool to the Champions League title. The Egypt forward has an uncanny calmness in front of goal, with his chipped finishes or curling shots into the far corner becoming his trademark. He is positioned on the right of the front three, but is often found centrally and the furthest forward.
Firmino sets the tone for the pressing game that Klopp demands and is often seen harassing opposition defenders and midfielders, winning the ball back. But the Brazilian has added goals — a career-high 27 in all competitions this season — to his game, making him a brilliant all-round striker. Firmino often drops deep to help out his midfield when Liverpool is under pressure.
Mane has often gone under the radar this season because of the prolific scoring of Salah and the all-around improvement of Firmino, but he has come into form in the final months of the season. Expect the unexpected with Mane, who can miss easy chances and give the ball away cheaply, then explode into the game with goals and dangerous runs.