Premier League worried Brexit will harm league’s global popularity and damage competitive nature

5 Sep

Premier League bosses are becoming increasingly concerned Brexit will seriously impact the league’s competitiveness and global popularity.

The government has been urged to abolish all restrictions on signing foreign players, or risk missing out on some of the best talent in Europe.

The Premier League is worried about the effect of Brexit

An exclusive by The Daily Telegraph has revealed the Premier League fear the next N’Golo Kante would not be granted a work permit after Brexit.

With just over six months until the UK leaves the European Union, the Premier League hierarchy are still waiting for clarification on a number of key issues.

Namely, they want to know if there will be a restriction on signing European players after Brexit and if clubs will have to fill a homegrown-player quota.

There are fears the Football Association will use Brexit as an opportunity to increase the opportunities for young English talent – made more prevalent after Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate bemoaned a lack of English talent at his disposal.

Premier League clubs will not be allowed to sign European players under the age of 18 – like Arsenal did with Fabregas

It has been accepted there it will be almost impossible for clubs to sign European players under the age of 18 like Arsenal did with Hector Bellerin and Cesc Fabregas, or how Manchester United did with Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique.

Their case is supported by statistics proving football should be treated as a special case; the Premier League generates over £3billion in tax for the Treasury and directly employs over 12,000 people.

The main of contention lies in the acquiring of work permits for top players.

According to a study by Harvard data scientist Laurie Shaw, 591 of the 1,022 players signed by top-flight clubs in Premire League history with passports for a country in the EEA would not have qualified for a work permit.

N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez joined Leicester City for relatively low transfer fees and helped the team to a Premier League win in 2016. But Brexit terms may mean they struggle to compete for top-level signings

Shaw’s research shows that less wealthy clubs would suffer the most. Players like Kante and Riyad Mahrez would not have qualified for a work permit according to Shaw.

Most players at clubs such as Leicester City do not feature regularly for top-60 international teams – meaning the competitive balance would skew in favour of far wealthier clubs who can afford to pay bigger transfer fees for players.

‘We can beat anyone on our day’ – James Milner warns Premier League title rivals Liverpool will only get stronger

16 Aug

James Milner has warned Liverpool’s Premier League rivals the Reds are only going to improve as the season goes on.

Jurgen Klopp’s men began their campaign in the best possible way, destroying West Ham United 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday.

Milner was instrumental at Anfield on Sunday

After strengthening in the summer with the recruitment of Naby Keita, Alisson, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri, the Merseysiders look like the side best suited to challenge champions Manchester City this season.

Mohamed Salah set Jurgen Klopp’s men on their way at Anfield before Sadio Mane netted a double and Daniel Sturridge added a late fourth seconds after coming on as a substitute.

It was the type of performance which suggested a threat to Manchester City’s title defence but Milner, said: “That’s for other people to talk about. You guys (media) are going to discuss it, we just want to start the season well and keep improving as a squad and see where that takes us.

“Obviously it is early days and the first game of the season you want to get off to a good start, it is very important.

Liverpool fans are starting to believe it could finally be their year

“It is never easy coming out of pre-season when you have players returning at different times due to the World Cup but you just want to get off to a good start and get a win.”

Milner, at Celtic Park to publicise a charity match next month where he will organise a team to take on former Hoops midfielder Stiliyan Petrov’s side, added: “I thought it was a good performance and I am sure it will improve as the season goes on.

“It was a good starting point, plenty we can work on but the best possible start and hopefully we can kick on from there.

“We feel we can beat anyone on our day, we have proved that but it is about having that consistency and we will know how difficult it is to win a league title and have that consistency and do it over 38 games.

“For us, we will just let other people talk about the challenges, it is down to us to go out there and perform and get as many points as we can.”

Jurgen Klopp feeling pressure to win trophies with Liverpool to end club’s six-year drought

24 Jul

Jurgen Klopp admits he is under pressure to win trophies at Liverpool as he enters his third full season at the club.

Reds fans have not seen silverware at the club since the 2012 League Cup triumph, and with £175million spent on new signings already this summer, the German boss is aware he must claim his first scalp as soon as possible.

Klopp has yet to win a trophy at Liverpool despite spending £415m in under three years

The £67m signing of Alisson from Roma brought Klopp’s total spend at the club to £415m in almost three years since replacing Brendan Rodgers, who was himself sacked after three trophyless seasons.

Klopp, 51, has also added Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri this summer, and with many of the team’s biggest needs addressed by the arrivals, he is aware of rising expectations.

He said: “People will say that it is the next step (to win trophies). We need to be ready for that.

“I know about the expectations and that is completely normal.

The 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev was Klopp’s third defeat from three in cup finals with the Reds

“First of all we have to play the football that gives us an opportunity to win something.

“We cannot talk about winning something before we start the season.”

Klopp has lost all three finals he has reached as Liverpool boss, including May’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

In the Premier League, the club have recorded finishes of eighth, fourth and fourth under Klopp, and the German conceded that ending a 29-year wait for a league championship will be his toughest task due to the strength of rival teams.

The likes of Mo Salah will be key to any Liverpool title challenge in 2018/19
Signing Brazil No1 Alisson from Roma covered one of the club’s biggest areas of weakness

Klopp told reporters: “It is of course consistency. It is not just that but we have to be more consistent, we have to create circumstances where we can be more consistent.

“Nobody is consistent with 11 players. What we are working on is the depth of the squad because you need it.

“Other teams of course will do transfer business as well.

“They will not be weaker than last year.

The 2012 League Cup win under then-boss Kenny Dalglish remains Liverpool’s last taste of silverware

“(Last season’s Premier League champions Manchester) City brought in (Riyad) Mahrez and I did not hear that they lost one player so far.

“So it means the quality of last year plus Mahrez. That’s a nice plan as well.

“(Manchester) United will go for it too, and that’s completely normal. We expect more from ourselves.

“We will go again for the championship and each kind of cup but that does not mean I can sit here and we will get it. We have the highest ambitions, 100 per cent.”

Klopp won five trophies with former club Borussia Dortmund, including two Bundesliga titles

Despite Klopp’s claims of the need for depth, it is reported the club will conduct a mass clearout over the coming weeks, with as many as eight players set to depart.

Recouping as much as £100m to ease the financial burden of the summer’s incomings, under-fire keeper Loris Karius and out-of-favour strikers Divock Origi and Danny Ings are believed to be among those shown the door.

Lazar Markovic could also be jettisoned, with youngsters Ben Woodburn, Sheyi Ojo and Marko Grujic likely to leave on loan.

Pedro Chirivella is set to complete a £5m move to the Championship with Nottingham Forest and Swansea City in for the Spanish midfielder.

Liverpool plan £100m clearout with eight players set to leave club

24 Jul

Liverpool are set for a mass clearout that will see EIGHT players leave the club for a total income of around £100million.

Under-fire keeper Loris Karius and strikers Divock Origi and Danny Ings are the biggest names to be put on the chopping block, with Jurgen Klopp being forced into sales by his £175m summer spending spree.

Karius’ tortuous time at Anfield appears to be over

The signings of Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri took Klopp‘s total expenditure at the club to £415m since joining in 2015.

Fourth-choice keeper Danny Ward is the only mark on the other side of the ledger this summer, having brought in £12.5m with his move to Leicester City.

In an effort to balance the books and ensure the club adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations, this summer will be the start of an exodus of fringe players, according to the Mirror.

Karius, 25, has had a disastrous pre-season after two huge rickets in Liverpool’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in May, and with Roma keeper Alisson arriving at Anfield his time is now up.

Origi could bring in as much as £26m for the Reds

Errors against Tranmere Rovers and Borussia Dortmund in the club’s summer friendlies have reignited criticism of Karius, whose torment continues from those two crucial gaffes against Madrid in Kiev.

Newly-promoted Fulham are reportedly showing interest, although they have concerns over the player’s wage packet and a difference in valuations with Liverpool, which could mean fellow stopper Simon Mignolet is sold instead.

Belgian Origi, 23, remains highly-rated at the club despite just six goals in 34 games on loan at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg last season.

However, with his path to the first team blocked by Roberto Firmino, Dominic Solanke and the rejuvenated Daniel Sturridge, he will be allowed to leave should an offer of at least £26m come in.

Ings has struggled for fitness ever since joining Liverpool and will be allowed to leave this summer

Valencia are thought to be Origi’s most likely destination, with the move generating a £16m profit on the deal Brendan Rodgers made to sign him from Lille in 2014.

Newcastle United, managed by former Anfield hero Rafa Benitez, are also monitoring Origi as they look to add depth to a misfiring front line.

Ings, still on the way back from two horrific long-term knee injuries, could still command a fee of £20m.

Newcastle, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Southampton are said to be offering him landing spots should he wish to remain in the Premier League, while Celtic have also expressed interest in the 26-year-old former Burnley striker.

Reds boss Klopp is under pressure to recoup some of the money he splashed on his new arrivals, which could see youngsters Ben Woodburn and Sheyi Ojo shown the door
Marko Grujic could return to Cardiff City, where he won promotion to the Premier League on loan last season

Injuries have limited Ings to just 14 league games in three years with Liverpool.

The one-cap England international fired Burnley to the Premier League in 2014 with 21 goals but has struggled to find form in the top flight, with just three goals to his name since making the Merseyside switch.

Lazar Markovic, 24, another Rodgers signing-turned-forgotten-man, is linked with Getafe, Leganes and Anderlecht, where he spent the second half of last season on loan.

It is thought the club will accept offers as low as £7m to seal a deal for the Serbian, who Rodgers paid £20m to Benfica for in 2014.

The £65m signing of Brazil No1 Alisson from Roma brought Klopp’s Liverpool spending to an eye-watering £415m in just under three years

Young stars Ben Woodburn, Marko Grujic and Sheyi Ojo are all set for loans, but the club could be tempted into selling if the price is right.

Ojo could fetch up to £15m, but is most likely to head out on a temporary deal, with Fulham again interested after taking him on during their promotion campaign in 2017/18.

Cardiff and Lazio are battling for 22-year-old Grujic, who was Klopp’s first ever signing at the club in January 2016.

Meanwhile, Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella could complete a £5m move to the Championship, with Nottingham Forest and Swansea City looking to take him on.

Premier League 2018/19 title odds: Liverpool shorter odds than Manchester United to be crowned champions next May

18 Jul

Liverpool are ahead of Manchester United in the betting odds for winning the Premier League title this season.

The Reds finished fourth last season, just six points behind their bitter rivals in second.

Mohamed Salah scored 32 goals in 36 Premier League appearances last season

However, their shrewd investments already this summer and their strong Champions League run last season mean they have edged the Red Devils out of the running.

According to bet365.com, Liverpool are second favourites to win the Premier League next season at 9/2.

Hot on their heels are United, who are valued at 13/2 in third place Manchester City are favourites at 8/13.

Mourinho has come under intense criticism for his style of play at Old Trafford, with United fading away after a fast start to last season.

Mourinho will have to prove the bookies wrong if he is to win the Premier League title

The pragmatic and often dour approach by the Old Trafford outfit has even led to Alvin Martin claiming he would rather play for West Ham United instead.

Conversely, Liverpool carved teams apart at times last season – scoring goals for fun with Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane filling their boots.

To strengthen the side, Klopp has already added Fabinho, Naby Keita and is looking to complete a deal for Alisson Becker of Roma.

Although the Red Devils finished in second place, they were 19 points behind the emphatic Manchester City.

As a result, Pep Guardiola’s men are favourites to retain the trophy.

 

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey reveals he booked a player who asked for it as England prepare to face Belgium

28 Jun

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has revealed he booked a Premier League player who deliberately asked for a yellow card.

The player, who Halsey did not name, wanted to be suspended before a big derby game in 2011 so he could remain fresh.

John Terry speaks to Mark Halsey in 2011

Halsey’s shocking revelation comes just hours before England face Belgium in a crucial World Cup group game where the winner will top the group.

With both sides level on points, goals scored and goal difference, bookings could play an important role in deciding who tops the table.

And when asked if he had ever deliberately booked a player, Halsey was more than happy to divulge.

Speaking to American news channel CNN, he recalled how the player said: “He’s just said ‘listen, look, we’ve got a game Tuesday. If I don’t get cautioned now and get one Tuesday, I’ll miss the big derby on the Saturday.

“So he just asked me if I could show a yellow. And I did actually.
“I said to him, ‘Alright, we’ve got 10 minutes to go, when I give a free-kick against you’ — and I knew I would because he’s that sort of player — ‘just leather the ball 50 yards away and I can caution you for dissent.’
“If you’ve got big games coming up and you’re on four yellow cards, one more means you get suspended. I just said to him, ‘Don’t do nothing stupid.’
“He came up to me at the end of the game and said, ‘Thanks for that Mark.'”
The nation who finishes second in Group G has arguably got an easier run to the semi-final.
A round of 16 tie against Senegal, Colombia or Japan would be followed by a quarter-final clash with either Sweden or Switzerland.

Former Liverpool and Newcastle star Jose Enrique recovering after rare brain tumour discovery

23 Jun

Former Liverpool and Newcastle United star Jose Enrique is recovering in hospital after successful surgery to remove a rare brain tumour.

The former Premier League star, 32, who had been working as a pundit around Reds games, announced on Instagram the reason for a recent absence on social media had been due to the medical emergency.

Former Liverpool star Jose Enrique in action against Everton.

He posted a picture of his story on the website of Spanish publication Marca with a caption explaining his current situation.

“Sorry i haven’t been around much, It has been the toughest few weeks of my life.. Within the space of one month I have found out the news that I have a rare brain tumor and had surgery to have it removed, I am now in recovery and so thankful, Life is too precious.” [sic]

Instagram Photo

Enrique spent four seasons with Newcastle from 2007-2011 before five campaigns with Liverpool but retired from professional football in September 2017 following a knee injury while on the books at Real Zaragoza.

talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

Liverpool unlikely to bid for Roma goalkeeper Alisson

12 Jun

Liverpool are not going to make an approach to sign Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson from Roma, according to reports.

Roma value their highly-rated keeper at £80m and although the Reds are keen to improve on Loris Karius, they are unwilling to break the world record for a goalkeeper, according to Sky Sports News.

Roma are demanding a world-record fee for a goalkeeper

Karius made two calamitous errors in the Champions League final as Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid and it is understood the club have made a new keeper their priority this summer.

Alisson registered 17 clean sheets in Serie A last season and caught the eye of some of the biggest names across Europe.

Madrid is believed to be his most probable destination, although the Spanish giants still hold an interest in Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois.

If the Belgian did move to the Bernabeu, the Blues would likely line-up Alisson as his replacement.