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Chelsea plot move for two Liverpool targets

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Conte is not satisfied with Chelsea’s transfer business

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is set to make moves to sign two Liverpool transfer targets.

The Italian boss will make bids to take Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk and Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Stamford Bridge in the coming week.

That’s the claim being made by The Express in what they say is an “exclusive” report on the transfer plans of the Premier League champions as they look to defend their title this season.

Liverpool remain interested in signing both Van Dijk and Oxlade-Chamberlain before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, but both deals have proved difficult to get going.

Southampton are determined not to let Holland international centre-back Van Dijk leave St Mary’s this Summer and are said to be resolute that he will certainly not be joining Liverpool.

While England international midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain has just a year left on his contract at Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger is hoping that he will either honour his deal or sign a new one.

But that isn’t stopping Conte from plotting some big money offers for the two players as he looks to snatch them from under Jurgen Klopp’s nose.

Barcelona set to increase Coutinho offer

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Coutinho wants to leave Liverpool for Barcelona

Barcelona are set to return with a fourth bid for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

That’s according to an “exclusive” report by The Express, in which they are claiming that the Brazil international will be the subject of an offer worth a potential £130m.

The Spanish giants have seen three offers rejected for the twenty-five year old already this Summer as they look to replace his compatriot Neymar following his switch to Paris Saint Germain.

Liverpool owners FSG are determined not to let Coutinho move this Summer and have already rejected a transfer request made by the former Inter Milan midfielder.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has not made too many public comments on the situation and has simply stated that the final decision is not his over whether or not to keep Coutinho.

Many supporters are speculating that Klopp would sanction an exit for the Brazilian after feeling let down by his decision to hand in the transfer request on the eve of the new season.

But most are hoping to see FSG remain firm in their refusal to let him move and would like to see him remain a part of the squad next season.

One thing is for sure, Barcelona will need to make a more acceptable offer than their third bid – which included all manner of unlikely add on clauses and staggered payments.

De Boer doesn’t want Sakho

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Sakho did well during his loan spell at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is resisting calls to sign Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool.

That’s according to an article by The Daily Mail, in which it is claimed that the Dutchman does not see Sakho as an ideal fit for the style of football he is looking to introduce at Selhurst Park.

Sakho spent the second half of last season on loan at Palace after being frozen out of the Liverpool side by manager Jurgen Klopp and he became something of a cult hero with their fans.

Despite the France international putting in some impressive performances before his season was prematurely ended thanks injury, Klopp does not want to reintegrate Sakho into his squad.

That has seen the former Paris Saint Germain skipper put up for sale with a reported fee of £30m placed on his shoulders – and de Boer is not prepared to sanction that sort of offer.

The former Netherlands international defender has only made one permanent signing so far since taking over from Sam Allardyce at the Premier League club earlier this Summer.

He raided former club Ajax to sign defender Jairo Riedewald as he believes that the Dutch youngster is a better fit for the tactics he is deploying.

Palace have lost both their games so far in the Premier League this season with the 1-0 defeat at Anfield on Saturday following up a 3-0 loss at home to promoted Huddersfield Town.

Reds in race to sign Draxler

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Draxler is a World Cup winner with Germany

Liverpool are in the race to sign Paris Saint Germain attacker Julian Draxler.

That’s according to a report by The Mirror, in which it is claimed that Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal are also in the hunt to land the German international.

The French club have reportedly made Draxler available for transfer having signed Brazilian superstar Neymar from Barcelona in a £200m deal this Summer.

Manager Unai Emery is also hopeful of signing France international Kylian Mbappe from rivals AS Monaco in another big money deal and hasn’t dropped his interest in Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez either.

PSG are looking to bring in funds by selling some other players and Draxler is said to have been identified as a player who won’t get as much game time this season.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp attempted to bring his compatriot to Anfield back in January, but Draxler opted for a move to PSG instead and could now get the chance to join the Reds after that previous rejection.

The report claims that the French club are only looking to bring in £32m for the former Wolfsburg man having paid out £40m for his services earlier this year.

That would represent a good bit of business for whichever club signs him – if he does make an exit from the Parc des Princes.

Juventus plot Van Dijk move

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Van Dijk has made a transfer request this Summer

Liverpool are set to face additional competition for Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk.

That is because Italian champions Juventus have joined the race to sign the Holland international from the Premier League club, according to a report by Gazzetta dello Sport.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has been chasing the twenty-six year old all Summer long and has so far been unable to bring the ex-Celtic centre-back to Anfield.

Southampton are determined not to sell the much sought-after defender and have rejected his recent transfer request following the decision to make him train away from the rest of the first-team squad.

Van Dijk is keen to join Liverpool and has rejected advances from Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton in order to make it clear to Southampton that he wants to be a part of Klopp’s squad.

But the Saints are refusing to enter negotiations with anyone over a deal for the defender as they seek to keep him at St Mary’s for the upcoming season.

This hasn’t prevented Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri from identifying Van Dijk as a possible replacement for Italy international Leonardo Bonucci, who joined rivals AC Milan earlier this Summer.

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay and Lazio stopper Stefan de Vrij are other possible targets for the Serie A club.

Klopp not panicking over lack of signings

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Klopp has struggled to land his targets this Summer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that he is happy with his squad and won’t panic if he doesn’t make any further signings this Summer.

The transfer window closes in a couple of weeks and the German has so far signed just three players for the new campaign.

Four members of the squad have been moved on, but striker Danny Ings has returned to fitness along with captain Jordan Henderson.

And Klopp is not worrying too much about the prospect of seeing no new faces arriving in the coming fortnight.

“You can obviously see the whole market worldwide is quite difficult, a few teams are still looking and we are looking.” he said.

“When I am not actually on the pitch or not thinking about training or the next game of course we think about what we can do.

“But if the transfer window would have ended yesterday we already would have a team which I like and could play football with.

“Of course injuries here and there are not too cool but in this moment it is still a good team.

“We will see what happens, I cannot change the answer because I don’t know. It is nothing like ‘There is a contract, sign it’.

“A few things can happen on both sides (in and out) but everything leads in the direction of August 31 and I can imagine it will be a busy day.

“If we are involved in this busy day I don’t know but we will see.” he finished.

Liverpool fans will be hoping that Klopp can bring in some more reinforcements ahead of the transfer deadline at the end of the month.

Barcelona admit to Coutinho struggle

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Coutinho handed in a transfer request last week

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has admitted that the Spanish club are struggling to get a deal done for Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

The Catalan club have seen two offers rejected for the Brazil international and are concerned that they won’t be able to get a deal over the line before the transfer window closes.

“Not just Barca but any team looking for top quality players are getting involved in a very difficult situation in this market.” he said.

“Why? Because the market is where clubs like us want to sign top quality players. There’s no buy-out clauses so that makes things trickier.

“Yes, we are negotiating with clubs to make several signings, but in all awareness of the difficulty. We need to work our way into a favourable situation and hopefully close these deals as quickly as possible.”

“Dembele and Coutinho are two important players that we like a lot and have done for a long time. They have the conditions, the right age and could adapt to our football. They would be good to have here. That’s the reality.

“With respect to Liverpool and Dortmund, when there are negotiations you need time, you need to work things into a favourable situation for players and ourselves.

“We still have days ahead of us, would like to move things faster, but do admit they’re two players we would like here. But it’s the clubs who will have the final say on if we finally achieve those two transfers.” he finished.

Many Liverpool supporters will be hoping that Coutinho is still a Red when the transfer window closes.

Bilic warns Reds about Lanzini move

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Lanzini in action at Anfield last season

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has warned Liverpool that Manuel Lanzini is not for sale.

The Argentina international has been linked with a move to Anfield as a possible replacement for fellow South American and Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho.

But Bilic insists that Lanzini is happy with the London club and is not looking to make an exit as speculation intensifies over a possible switch to Anfield this Summer.

“I speak to Manu every day, he is happy.” he said.

“He feels at home, he feels liked. You can see it, you don’t have to talk to him and you can see by how he is smiling and is happy.

“He broke into the Argentina national team, so he knows if he plays for West Ham he has a chance of getting a better contract with West Ham and playing for Argentina.

“I am sure he is going to stay with us. He knows he is wanted. He knows the chairman and the board. He was on loan and we took an option even before we had to.

“We activated it with him. He was wanted and was voted the Players’ Player of the Year. It is a good thing also, it makes him feel really wanted. He likes it here.”

And the former Croatia international feels that too much power is with players and their representatives in the modern game, with several players trying to force moves before the transfer window closes.

“The power is too much on the side of the players and their agents.” he said.

“It’s hard for the managers. Although sometimes you are in the other situation and I was in that situation a few times.

“But I never, ever advise or ask the players to stop training. That’s low. That is low. It should not be like that.” he finished.

Liverpool supporters have shown differing opinions over a potential move for Lanzini, so many won’t be disappointed by Bilic’s words.

Klopp refutes Barcelona claims

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Coutinho has asked to be allowed to join Barcelona

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has refuted the claims coming from Barcelona that a deal for Philippe Coutinho is close to completion.

Pep Segura, ex-Liverpool academy technical manager and current Barcelona general manager, spoke to Catalan television station TV3 this week and stated that the Spanish club were closing in on two deals.

“We are close to Coutinho and Dembele.” he said.

“We are discussing their deals but do not know when it will be done.

“Yes, we expect it.” he finished, when asked if he thought the moves would be completed soon.

But Klopp says that he did not see the interview, has not met Segura before and knows nothing about the claims that Coutinho is closing in on a switch to the Camp Nou.

“I saw the game but I forgot to watch the interviews afterwards.” he said.

“I don’t know why other people are saying what they are saying. I don’t even know them – especially this guy, I’ve never even met him.

“I am not sure I have to answer this only because we have said what we have to say.” he added.

Klopp reinforced the news that Coutinho has a back problem and is not sitting out the opening fixtures of the season because of a refusal to play for the club following his transfer request last week.

“To be honest I have nothing to say about his attitude because since he has had a back problem he has obviously not been in training.” he said.

“I asked the medical department how he is doing and there are no complaints so that is how it is. There is nothing bad to say about this.

“We are all not silly. We know it is a very difficult situation but there is nothing new to say.

“It is not always easy for me to say the 100% truth – even though I don’t like to lie – but it is exactly how I say it because that is how it is in the moment, nothing else.” he finished.

Barcelona make third Coutinho bid

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Coutinho has disappointed Klopp by making a transfer request

Barcelona have made a third offer to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.

That’s according to a report by Goal.com, in which it is claimed that the Catalans have upped their previous offer to €130m for the Brazilian international.

The Spanish club have already seen two bids immediately rejected by Liverpool before Coutinho went on to hand in a transfer request last week in order to try and push through a move.

But FSG released a club statement on Friday last week insisting that no offers would be considered for the ex-Inter Milan midfielder as they look to keep him at Anfield for the 2017/18 season.

Barcelona appear to have decided to further test Liverpool’s resolve by pushing their offer over the £100m mark in order to try and secure the transfer of the twenty-five year old.

There is plenty of unrest at the Camp Nou among supporters after they saw their side comprehensively beaten 3-1 on Sunday evening and then 2-0 in the return leg at the Bernabeu by rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish super cup.

Coutinho’s fellow Brazilian Paulinho has been signed already this week, but the La Liga club want to make a statement for the future by signing the Liverpool midfielder.

Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele is also being heavily pursued.