Posts Tagged ‘liverpool’

Barcelona completes €105M Dembele signing from Dortmund

GFX Transfer Ousmane Dembele Barcelona Borussia DortmundThe 20-year-old sealed his dream move to the Catalan side after the clubs reached an agreement, making him the second most expensive player in history

Barcelona have completed the signing of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in a deal potentially worth €147 million.

Barca have confirmed a €105m initial fee for Dembele, with Dortmund to receive a further €42m in bonuses. The forward’s release clause has been set at €400m.

The €222m received from Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar sparked the Liga side’s pursuit of Dembele and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho in the close season, but they saw bids for each rejected.

While Liverpool have stood firm on their insistence that Coutinho is not for sale, Dortmund have surrendered to Dembele’s wishes and allowed him to leave.

The France international had made clear his desire to join Ernesto Valverde’s side by skipping training, resulting in him being indefinitely suspended by Dortmund.

Dembele spent just one season in Germany after joining from Rennes for €15m in July 2016, scoring 10 goals in 50 games in all competitions for BVB.

He will arrive in Spain over the weekend to undergo a medical and sign his contract ahead of his official unveiling at Camp Nou on Monday.


UCL: Liverpool records away win over Hoffenheim

 Image result for liverpool pictures
Trent Alexander-Arnold scored as Liverpool earned a fine 2-1 first-leg win at Hoffenheim in Champions League qualifying.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s first Liverpool goal set Jurgen Klopp’s men on their way to a 2-1 Champions League play-off round win away at Hoffenheim in Tuesday’s first leg.

The Reds, again without wantaway star Philippe Coutinho, dug in against tough opponents and found inspiration in the unlikely form of their teenage right-back, before James Milner’s effort – deflected in off Havard Nordtveit – widened the margin and Mark Uth hit back.

For 35 minutes, European debutants Hoffenheim delivered the type of high-energy display so readily associated with Klopp, who could hardly have complained had Andrej Kramaric’s penalty handed the hosts the lead and not invited a simple Simon Mignolet save.

But Alexander-Arnold, with a confidence belying his tender years, swept an exquisite free-kick into the corner of the Hoffenheim goal 10 minutes before half-time and Julian Nagelsmann’s side never really recovered.

Liverpool squandered numerous further chances and looked set for a nervy finish until Milner’s cross-cum-shot drifted over Oliver Baumann via Nordtveit to seemingly secure victory at a stadium where Hoffenheim were unbeaten in the Bundesliga last season.

However, substitute Uth drifted in behind the visitors’ defence with three minutes remaining to lash a superb effort past Mignolet and keep the German side in the tie going into the second leg next week.

Liverpool’s back line, as in an entertaining 3-3 draw at Watford on Saturday, looked shaky from the off and Dejan Lovren had already survived one penalty appeal for handball when he clumsily clipped Serge Gnabry in the area and referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot.

But Kramaric’s tame penalty bailed out the Reds defender, allowing Mignolet to firmly palm clear, and Mohamed Salah should have then put the visitors in front as he ran from the halfway line and prodded a tired finish past the right-hand post.

The frantic early pace soon slowed but Hoffenheim’s relentless pressing did not, with Jordan Henderson caught out and Kerem Demirbay crossing for Pavel Kaderabek to lash wildly over the top.

However, a moment of outstanding quality from Alexander-Arnold halted the hosts in their tracks, the 18-year-old firing a magnificent 25-yard free-kick beyond Baumann.

The response was strong and Mignolet blocked well from Gnabry before Sandro Wagner drilled the rebound against the outside of the post.

But back came Liverpool and Lovren nodded just wide on the stroke of half-time, with Roberto Firmino, against his former club, and Sadio Mane each then testing Baumann after the restart.

Predictably, with the clock winding down, Hoffenheim’s efforts to preserve their fine home run became increasingly desperate and further chances instead fell the visitors’ way as Baumann saved first from Salah’s shot and then from Lovren’s header.

With 16 minutes remaining, though, the second goal did arrive; Milner, in space on the left, appeared to look for a team-mate with his right-footed cross but instead found Nordtveit’s chest and subsequently the far top corner.

A fine late Mignolet block kept Demirbay at bay, but Uth then thrashed past the goalkeeper to halve the deficit and keep Hoffenheim in the hunt in the closing stages of this home leg.

And the hosts should have equalised in stoppage time when Benjamin Hubner nodded Demirbay’s set-piece inches over the crossbar, but Liverpool held on.


Liverpool rejects €100M Barca bid for Coutinho

HD Phil Coutinho

The Anfield club has turned out a large offer for the Brazilian playmaker and are not backing down from their stance that he is not for sale

Liverpool have rejected a €100 million offer from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho, Goal can confirm.

The Brazilian playmaker’s future at Anfield has been the source of constant rumours for much of the summer with the Blaugrana reportedly making an earlier bid for him.

While originally thought to be a move to help retain the services of Neymar, the latter’s exit to PSG for €222m last week has turned a potential Coutinho signing into part of the Catalan club’s plan to replace the departed superstar.

Rumours have floated that Barcelona were close to a deal for the 25-year-old Coutinho and that representatives for the Liga side were on their way to Liverpool to finalise a deal.

However, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted multiple times over the summer the player is not for sale , and appears not to have been moved by Barcelona’s latest offer.

Coutinho signed a new five-year deal during the 2016-17 season which does not include a release clause.

The Reds insist they do not need a face-to-face sit down to reiterate that Coutinho is not on the market , a stance they’ve already made abundantly clear.

Claims that the playmaker has prepared poorly in pre-season falls flat in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Audi Cup: Liverpool humiliates Bayern 0:3 in front of home fans

Sadio Mane takes on Rafinha (L) and Javi Martinez

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge scored the goals as Liverpool beat Bayern Munich 3-0 at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich’s arduous pre-season continued as they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Audi Cup on Tuesday.

First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah and a fine late strike from Daniel Sturridge were enough to give Jurgen Klopp’s side a comfortable victory at a stormy Allianz Arena.

It would have been worse for the home side had Adam Lallana not been penalised for offside when Marko Grujic swept home a third midway through the second period.

Bayern lost three of their four International Champions Cup matches against Arsenal, AC Milan and Inter and they performed little better back on home soil despite naming a strong starting line-up.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side dominated possession but created little in attack as Liverpool made the most of three ruthless counter-attacking moves on the slick playing surface.

Liverpool will face Atletico Madrid in Wednesday’s final, after Bayern attempt to restore some confidence before the DFL-Supercup clash with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday when they meet Napoli in the third-place play-off.

Bayern started brightly but gifted the visitors the lead after just eight minutes. Corentin Tolisso lost possession on the halfway line to Roberto Firmino, allowing the Brazilian to dart towards the penalty area and play in Mane, whose shot from a tight angle eluded Sven Ulreich.

Ulreich fared better in keeping out a Salah effort from another lightning Liverpool counter-attack, and matters got worse for Bayern as Thiago was forced off with an abdominal problem before Ulreich saved well again from Alberto Moreno’s free-kick.

With 11 minutes left of the half, Liverpool doubled their lead. Mane released Moreno into the area with a brilliant backheel, and when Ulreich could only parry his cross-cum-shot towards Salah, he had a simple task of heading the ball into the net.

Bayern continued to dominate the ball without offering much of a threat early in the second half, although James Rodriguez came close with a dipping drive from the edge of the area shortly before he, too, was substituted in apparent discomfort.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge dragged a shot narrowly beyond the right-hand post as Liverpool continued to exploit spaces on the break, and only the assistant referee’s flag spared Bayern on the next attack, with Lallana judged to have been interfering with play as Grujic’s shot went in off the post.

Robert Lewandowski threatened with a free-kick and Mats Hummels scuffed a shot just wide from a corner, but Bayern were punished for their pursuit of a lifeline when Sturridge raced the length of their half unchallenged before clipping a sublime finish over Ulreich and into the net – although it was a goal that appeared to injure the striker, who was taken off soon after.

Transfer: Arsenal, Liverpool keeps tabs on Benzema

Transfer news: The latest rumours from Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and all the top teams


Arsenal and Liverpool could make a move for Karim Benzema should Real Madrid decide to sell the French striker, Don Balon reports.

Madrid reportedly have set their sights on Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, with the club planning to use Benzema to help finance the move. While the Gunners and Reds are in contention for Benzema, the 29-year-old also could end up at Monaco to help lower the price for Mbappe.HD Karim Benzema Real Madrid

Football: Former Liverpool Star, Dirk Kuyt quits football as a player

Related imageFormer Liverpool and Holland striker, Dirk Kuyt has announced his retirement from professional football after an amazing 19-year career that saw him play top class football for clubs in England and Turkey.
36-year-old Kuyt made the announcement after leading Feyenoord to their first Dutch Eredivisie title in 18 years. He’ll now move into a role with the club’s technical management team.
Kuyt in an announcement on Feyenoord’s official website said, “throughout my career, I have always followed my heart when taking decisions and that goes for this one too. To me, this feels like the right time to retire. I have had two fantastic years here since returning to Feyenoord, with this season’s title as the absolute pinnacle. I had the dream of winning trophies and becoming a champion with Feyenoord. All my dreams have come true.”
Kuyt started his career at Utrecht, where he won the Dutch Cup before moving to Feyenoord in 2003. After being the top scorer in his first three seasons with the Rotterdam club, Kuyt moved to English Premier League giants Liverpool in 2006. He scored 71 goals in 285 appearances during his six seasons with the Reds, leading them to an English League Cup title in 2012. Then he had a three-year spell with Fenerbahce, where he won the Turkish Super Lig, Turkish Cup, and Turkish Super Cup titles. He returned to Feyenoord in 2015 and won a second Dutch Cup winners medal before leading the club to the Dutch league title this season.

Xabi Alonso announces shock retirement from football

Xabi Alonso announces shock retirement in cryptic farewell message

Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso appears to have announced his intention to retire from professional football at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old has featured 27 times for Bayern this campaign, including playing all 180 minutes in their 10-2 aggregate Champions League last 16 triumph over Arsenal.

There had been reports earlier in 2016-17 that Alonso was considering hanging up his boots – with Philipp Lahm also catching the football world by surprise – but nothing official until now.

Alonso tweeted on Thursday morning: “Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game.”

Afterwards, he told Bayern’s website that he didn’t want to wait until his legs had gone and he was struggling to match the performance consistency he;s shown throughout his career.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I believe it’s the right time,” he said. “I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later. I still feel good, but I believe this is the right moment.

“I wanted to end my career still at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level. I’m incredibly proud and happy to play for FC Bayern and to be a part of this family.”

The Bundesliga club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quick to shower praise on the Spaniard, who has been with the club since August 2014.

“Bayern would like to thank a great player and a man who has played the Bayern way on and off the pitch excellently,” he said.

“Xabi Alonso is one of the greats of world football. He has won everything in his career. He is also an outstanding personality, a gentleman of football.”

Alonso’s career started at Real Sociedad in 1999 before Premier League giants Liverpool snapped him up four years later.

He became an iconic midfielder at Anfield, winning the Champions League with the club in his first season and three other trophies.

In 2009, five years after joining, he left for Real Madrid in a deal estimated to be worth £30 million. He won five titles in five years at the Santiago Bernabeu, including one Champions League final triumph.

He won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 in addition to being a champion at the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.

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