Klopp: Salah deal a major message

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp believes his club have sent out a huge message about their future prospects by handing a new, long-term deal to Mohamed Salah.

The 26-year-old, who has recently been in action at World Cup 2018 with Egypt, enjoyed a spectacular first season at Anfield, scoring 44 goals in all competitions to help the Reds reach the Champions League final and finish in fourth place in the Premier League.

And Klopp is more than happy that a fresh five-year contract has been agreed and signed off, with Salah a crucial figure in the German's plans to build on the success of last season.

He told the club's official website: "I think this news can be seen for what it is – rewarding a person who performed and contributed greatly for the team and the club last season.

"It demonstrates two things very clearly also – his belief in Liverpool and our belief in him.

"We want world-class talent to see they have a home at Anfield where they can fulfil all their professional dreams and ambitions – we are working hard together to achieve this.

"When someone like Mo Salah commits and says this place is my home now, it speaks very loudly I think.

"Equally, our commitment to him says we see his value and want him to grow even more and get even better within our environment."

Despite suffering a shoulder injury in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, Salah was on the scoresheet in both of the games he featured in for Egypt at World Cup 2018, but his side were unable to progress out of the group stage.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are 5/1 to win the Premier League title next season, with Manchester United 7/1 and Manchester City 4/7.

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Fekir to Reds move collapses

Lyon have issued a statement confirming that Nabil Fekir's proposed transfer to Liverpool has fallen through.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp had wanted the 24-year-old midfielder as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who joined Barcelona in January, but the France international now looks set to be staying at Lyon.

"Transfer negotiations with Liverpool and Nabil Fekir have not succeeded and Olympique Lyonnais have decided to put an end to this negotiation," said a statement on the French side's official website.

"Although Liverpool have been the priority of a possible transfer for Nabil…Olympique Lyonnais is delighted to be able to count on the presence of our captain, who is a leading player for the 2018/19 season when the club will play in the Champions League."

Fekir, who had been expected to move to Anfield for £52.75million this summer, is set to feature for France at the World Cup.

He came through Lyon's youth system and has made 153 appearances for the club, scoring 57 goals.

Liverpool have already signed Fabinho from Monaco for £39million since the end of last season, while the Reds have an agreement in place to capture Naby Keita from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £52.75million.

Liverpool can be backed at 5/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League title and at 1/4 to finish in the top four.

Weird Times: Klopp to Madrid, Thompson’s Fine, Time is Sterling!

It’s hard to deny that it’s weird to live life these days.

We are connected to people across the world but we don’t talk much to those around us anymore. Reality stars become politicians, children dress up like adults, and coaches get linked to teams that just handed them defeat at the most prestigious stage in club football.

Yup, you read that right: Jurgen Klopp is reportedly the latest name to be linked to the Real Madrid job, arguably the hottest seat in Europe. While there are no confirmations that Klopp is being considered for the job, his performance during the Champions League final must have caught the attention of many Real Madrid supporters. us doesn’t think such a change would happen, but football is an eclectic mistress.

In other football news, Raheem Sterling was late to the World Cup training camp of the Three Lions. In basketball, Tristan Thompson got punished for acting like a Kardashian on the hardwood.

Will Jurgen Klopp trade Red for White?

Jurgen Klopp is yet to join football betting giants Real Madrid

Jurgen Klopp is among the favourites to replace Zinedine Zidane

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is among the names being propped up after Zinedine Zidane shocked the world with his resignation. The German is a heavy favourite to take on the mantle after taking a rather young Liverpool squad and turning them into Champions League runners-up.

Yes, the glitz and glamour do look attractive, and it wouldn’t be surprising to many if the former Borussia Dortmund manager decides to just up and leave Anfield for the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow believes that Klopp will not leave Liverpool despite the temptations of Madrid.

“The key difference I think for the last five, 10, 15, 20 years, is the sheer amount of wealth in the Premier League means there’s no economic reason for those managers to move to Real Madrid,” said Purslow.

“It boils down to prestige, trophies and where they see the potential of their current situation.”

“There is no way I think Jurgen Klopp is going to be tempted to move given the season he’s just come off.”

Thompson fined for dramatic Game 1 finish

Cleveland Cavaliers Tristan Thompson fined $25,000 during the the Game 1 live betting spectacle

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson fined $25,000 for altercation

Those who watched Game 1 of the Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors remember the game for three things: LeBron James’ unbelievable game, JR Smith’s baffling snafu, and Tristan Thompson’s outrage that got him ejected.

The Cavs center didn’t like how Warriors guard Shaun Livingston took a jumper with five seconds left and deliberately fouled him. He got ejected for that, causing bewildered reactions from Thompson and taunting from Warriors forward Draymond Green. The two then got into an altercation that saw the former Texas product going at the outspoken utility man of the Dubs.

Cavs fans were scared that their key rebounder would be suspended for Game 2. Fortunately for Thompson, his Flagrant 2 was downgraded to a Flagrant 1 and was fined $25,000. The fine was for his refusal to leave the court on time and his tussle with Green.

James needs all the help he can get to at least even the series, and Thompson’s rebounding is a huge part of what made the Cavs work terrifically during Game 1. We should expect more discipline for Green.

However, we shouldn’t expect JR Smith to not repeat what he did in the dying seconds of regulation.

Sterling got late for England training

Raheem Sterling felt guilty for late during England's World Cup training

Raheem Sterling was late for one of England’s training sessions ahead of World Cup

Time is money in football. Raheem Sterling’s surname is literally the British Pound. And yet he ran late.

The Manchester City forward was more than 12 hours late to the start of England’s training camp in preparation for the World Cup. The 23-year-old said that the reason for this was a mix up over his flight back from a holiday in Jamaica.

Gareth Southgate had a word with the young star but insisted that everything is water under the bridge now. The England boss even claimed that Sterling wanted to apologise to his team-mates because he did not mean to seem unprofessional and not start his training on time.

“He explained his commitment to the team,” said Southgate.

“We’ve dealt with it internally. Everybody moved on. I have to say, he’s trained brilliantly all week. He’s so keen for this tournament to be a success for him and the team. There was nothing intentional in his lateness.”

However, Southgate made it clear that another trouble like that won’t sit well with him, and doing so will probably cost him a starting spot in their upcoming friendly against Nigeria.

Sterling will want to avenge England’s terrible form during the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Euros, so supporters can expect him to work with Harry Kane and the rest of the squad to take the Three Lions as far as they can.



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Fabinho agrees Anfield switch

Fabinho has set himself the target of winning some silverware with Liverpool after agreeing to move to Anfield from Monaco at the beginning of July.

The 24-year-old Brazilian scored 29 goals in 225 appearances over five seasons with the Ligue 1 side.

He is joining a team that finished in the top four of the Premier League in the season just ended, while on Saturday they were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

However, the last of their 18 top-flight titles came in 1990 and Jurgen Klopp's team are 5/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League, while Manchester City are available at 4/7 and Manchester United at 7/1.

Fabinho said: "I am really excited about this move. This is something that I always wanted – this is a giant of a team. The infrastructures of the club look exceptional.

"I will try to create my own history at this football club. Hopefully, on a personal level, I'm able to win titles with this club. I will try to grow and learn and improve myself and to be part of the club's history."

Fabinho has represented Brazil, 4/1 to win the 2018 World Cup outright, four times, and is looking forward to linking up with his compatriot Roberto Firmino at Anfield.

He added: "I have been with him with the Brazilian national team on a few occasions. I know he's a fantastic person, his background is from nice people.

"He is also very good for someone who comes to a new country, a new city – someone who speaks the same language. This will of course make the adaptation much easier."

Real experience not an issue for Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp does not believe his players should be intimidated by the prospect of facing Real Madrid in Saturday's Champions League final.

The Reds have been the surprise package of this season's competition, blowing away the likes of Manchester City and Roma with their exciting brand of attacking football.

In contrast, Real have made hard work of certain situations and have undoubtedly ridden their luck. However, the current campaign has shared plenty of similarities with their victories in this tournament in 2014, 2016 and 2017, successes that have taken their overall trophy haul to 12.

Los Blancos, who are 4/6 to lift the trophy, will walk out in Kiev with experience on their side and the knowledge that they can get the job done.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are new to this situation but are a club ingrained with continental success, having been crowned champions of Europe five times in their history.

Klopp lost the Champions League final while in charge of Borussia Dortmund in 2013 but is keen to ensure his players are not overawed by the situation.

Instead, he wants the Reds, who are 5/4 to win the competition, to use the folklore of their club's rich history to inspire them to take the game to their illustrious opponents.

Klopp told reporters: "Experience is very important. I am pretty sure in the second before the game Real Madrid will be more confident than we are but the game doesn't end in that second, it only starts.

"We are not only a really good football team. This club has it in its DNA that it can really go for the big things. Nobody expected us to be here, but we are here. Because we are Liverpool.

"We have to make it as difficult as possible for them."

Liverpool are 9/4 to win the game, with Real 23/20 and the draw in 90 minutes 29/10.

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Henderson hails inspiring Klopp

Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has taken the club to new heights in the last two-and-a-half years.

The 50-year-old was appointed Reds boss in October 2015 when he replaced Brendan Rodgers.

He had previously spent four years with Borussia Dortmund, guiding the German team to back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, as well as the DFB-Pokal in 2012 and the DFL-Supercup in 2013 and 2014.

Dortmund also reached the Champions League final five years ago when they were beaten by Bayern Munich.

Liverpool played in the Europa League final seven months after Klopp had been appointed but they were beaten 3-1 by Sevilla despite taking the lead.

The Reds have secured top-four finishes in each of the last two seasons and have reached the Champions League final – they are 10/1 to beat Real Madrid 2-1 on Saturday in Kiev.

Henderson, 15/2 to score at any time in the Champions League final, said: "After the Europa League final defeat the boss had this vision that made me think in the future we'd get to another final.

"He wanted to use the experience of that final to keep us together and use it as a positive. If we got to another final we'd be ready.

"At that moment I sensed that he could see that he was confident about getting to another final. I can't remember word for word but he had something about him that felt it was the start of something.

"I think you can see how he has taken the team forward since then has been fantastic… I see how hungry the team are to be successful."

Klopp hints at Can role

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will give Emre Can every chance to recover from a back injury and he could play in Saturday's Champions League final.

The midfielder has been sidelined since mid-March but could return for the eagerly-anticipated final against Real Madrid after being able to train on Monday.

When asked if Can, who has been linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, could feature against Zinedine Zidane's team, Klopp replied: "It depends.

"With Emre or players in the situation of Emre it depends on the reaction on things [but] let me say it like this: 10 days ago, I didn't think it was possible that he could do what he did on Monday.

"That looked good and my impression of him is really positive. It's really nice to have him back in the group and he is really desperate to be part of [the final] and we will see."

Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Matip have already been ruled out of the final.

Meanwhile, Klopp has urged his players to take their chance when they come up against the 12-time European champions in Kiev.

"Real Madrid are more experienced," added the German. "Experience is important in life but it is not the only thing. You can level it with desire, attitude and work-rate, and that is why I love football."

Liverpool have beaten Manchester City and Roma in the last two rounds and are 11/10 to lift the trophy on Saturday. Real have seen off Paris St-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich in the competition but have been criticised for some of their performances this season. They finished 17 points behind La Liga champions Barcelona.

Real are 4/6 to lift the trophy and 12/1 to win the final 1-0.

Firmino agrees new Anfield deal

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has persuaded Roberto Firmino to put pen to paper on a new long-term contract with the club.

The Brazilian moved to Anfield from Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015 and has gone on to score 50 goals in 140 appearances for the Reds.

This season he has found the net 27 times in 50 games in all competitions for Klopp's team.

Firmino said: "It was an easy decision. The club have taken me in in an incredible way and I have grown a lot here with my work with the support of the whole team. I am very, very happy here.

"Everything fits in the best possible way. My team-mates are fantastic and I am very grateful to be able to play with them at this club."

Meanwhile, Klopp is looking forward to Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg clash against Roma at Stadio Olimpico and the meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge which could see Liverpool confirm their place in the top four of the Premier League.

The German said: "Again, two massive games – what a season. You play the whole season – I said it a few times – we created a base and now we have to finish it. There are a few things to do. It's really exciting."

Firmino is 6/4 to score at any time against Roma while Liverpool are 1/20 to qualify for the Champions League final after winning last week's first leg against the Serie A side at Anfield 5-2. Klopp's team are 6/5 to win the Champions League this season and 1/100 to finish in the top four of the Premier League.

Klopp retains hope for Lallana

Jurgen Klopp has not yet given up hope that injured midfielder Adam Lallana will be able to feature for Liverpool again before the end of the season.

The 29-year-old England international has been sidelined for almost a month due to a hamstring problem, bur Reds head coach Klopp says Lallana is now over the injury and has started his rehabilitation and could yet return to action before the summer.

The German told reporters: "Adam is doing his fitness work. He's not injured anymore, but he's not fit yet.

"We hope still that one or two games might be possible for him, we will see. There is no chance for the weekend, no chance for Wednesday and then it could be difficult for Chelsea.

"Maybe possible for Brighton for Adam. We have to see."

Lallana has scored eight times in 31 Premier League appearances for the Merseysiders this season and will be desperate to prove his fitness in time to challenge for a place in the England squad for the World Cup finals in Russia.

Lallana is 2/5 to win a place in Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad, with Reds team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold 2/1, while Joe Gomez is available at 4/6.

Meanwhile, Klopp was less positive about Emre Can featuring again this season, with the Germany international – who has been heavily linked with a summer exit – still struggling with a back injury.

"Emre is a little bit further away," Klopp added. "His rehab is improving a lot. It is much better, but it is quite close to the end of the season now."

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Klopp uncertain over Mane role

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp is hopeful that forward Sadio Mane will recover from a knock in time to feature against Stoke City on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Senegal international missed training following the 5-2 midweek Champions League win over Roma at Anfield, but Klopp is confident that the problem is nothing too serious.

And, while also vowing not to make too many changes despite the second leg of their semi-final tie against Roma being a matter of days away, Klopp is waiting to see if Mane is ready to play a part against the Potters.

He told his pre-match press conference: "It's not serious, there is a chance for tomorrow. Of course there is something, so we will see.

"If we use that chance or not – it is quite early in the day (to say).

"In these times, you always have to use each second and minute, speak to the player, speak to the doctors, speak to the physiotherapists and all that stuff. At the end, you have to make a decision and I will make a decision."

Mane was among the scorers earlier this season when the Reds won 3-0 against Stoke in the Potteries, with Mohamed Salah scoring the other two goals as Liverpool made it five league wins in a row over City.

Meanwhile, Klopp will definitely be without midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the visit of Stoke to Merseyside, with the England international facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury in the early stages of the clash with Roma on Tuesday evening.

Liverpool are available at 2/7 to defeat Stoke on Saturday and are 15/2 to win the game at Anfield 3-0, with Klopp's side 5/6 to keep a clean sheet.

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