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We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk.

We respect Southampton's position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.

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Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is keen to bolster his forward options, and reports in Portugal reveal he has pinpointed the 22-year-old as a potential recruit.

Liverpool have been pursuing Roma winger Mohamed Salah but fear being priced out of a move, with the Serie A side having placed a hefty price tag on the Egyptian.

The Reds are tracking a number of attacking targets as they prepare for their return to the Champions League next season.

There is definite interest in Bayern Munich's Brazil international Douglas Costa while highly-rated Senegal winger Keita Balde of Lazio is also being monitored.

Martins, though, has emerged as a significant target, having come through the ranks at Sporting and made his international debut for Portugal last October.

Martins, who can play on both flanks but predominantly on the right wing, scored seven goals and contributed 14 assists in all competitions this season.
Sporting value the player at £50million but are likely to sell for less given the financial pressure to sell having not made next season's Champions League group stages.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United have also been recently linked with Martins, who caught the eye during a Champions League clash with Real last year.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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The Dutchman, who has been with the Reds since 2009, discussed the club’s approach to identifying and improving stoppers who meet the requirements of the role at the Academy and Melwood.

Achterberg explained the profile of a potential LFC goalkeeper, how youngsters are trained in that philosophy as they evolve in Kirkby, and the pre-match preparations at first-team level.

“I did a session on [how Liverpool prepared] one week leading up to the Watford game during the season, where we knew a lot of crosses would come in,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.

“The session was about dealing with crosses and what they need to learn to play in England, in terms of getting blocked, being aggressive and fighting to free themselves in different situations.

“And then when they need to catch, when to punch and things like that. So, there was a lot of technical and tactical information for the coaches to try to help them take things on board in their coaching.”

Around 120 coaches, amateur and professional, had gathered to exchange knowledge and ideas on the subject, including peers from European teams including Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea, Hertha BSC, Juventus, Napoli and Real Madrid.

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It seems as if Southampton has called a halt to us treating them like a willing feeder club,  Their admin has asked the PL to investigate Klopp for “illegal approach”.  This is a somewhat harsh reaction to VvD declaring his desire to move to Liverpool since we are supposed to have such a good relationship…

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The striker ended the 2016-17 campaign as the Reds’ fourth-top goalscorer having helped himself to 11.

Garcia feels it’s important to highlight Origi has only just recently turned 22, and therefore has plenty of progress still to make in his burgeoning career – enhancement the Anfield legend does not doubt will be fulfilled.

Coutinho tops LFC scoring chart for 2016-17

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I love to see Origi on the pitch. He is so young. People think that because he has been there for a few years and playing quite a bit – and we only count young players if they are on the bench – [but] he is only 22 years old.

“He is so young and has so much to continue improving. He showed us in some of the games how good he is and I think he can give many good games to the team in future.

“He has been waiting for his place. We have to remember last year, when the season was ending, until his injury he was a key player for us. He scored a few very important goals. This season he was more involved in the team and he will continue getting more and more.

“He is a very strong player, very fast, he can score goals, he moves all around and he does a lot of work for the team. And he’s only 22.”

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The Liverpool No.7 was deployed in the new role throughout the recently-completed season, switching from midfield to the backline with zero fuss.

Milner played in 36 of the Reds’ 38 Premier League matches as Jürgen Klopp’s side succeeded in their objective of claiming a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

On a personal level the vice-captain learned plenty about himself too, not least the importance of protecting his side carefully when playing in a deeper position.

From 5 to 1,009,154: LFC's 2016-17 season in stats

“I’ve been learning a new role and a more defensive one because I’ve always been a forward-thinking player, and probably still am,” said Milner.

“But at times you have to curb that and adapt to the match situation and maybe sometimes hold back a bit if the time of the game suits that.

“I think sensing danger early is the biggest thing to learn. When you play in midfield you’re obviously always switched on to defending.

“That’s something that I’ve always thought is important and I’ve always tried to put in as much to the defensive side of the game as the attacking game, but ultimately when you are in midfield, you’ve got four or five defenders behind you.

“If you go and press the ball and you miss the press or the ball gets a ricochet, it’s not as vital as you’ve got somebody behind you in the backline.

“At full-back, you’ve always got to be covering the centre-half. If you’re one-on-one with the winger and he gets past you then ultimately he’s in on goal or in a dangerous position so it’s a different sort of mentality when you are defending.”

And he added: “Would I say I’m a left-back now? I’d probably say utility man. I’ll play wherever’s needed. Wherever there’s a leak, I’ll plug the gap.”

It says much about the respect for Milner at Liverpool that Klopp had absolute faith in the 31-year-old’s ability to complete an unusual transition after such a long spell as a midfielder.

“He is a fantastic professional football player and a really, really, really good guy. I knew he could do it, otherwise I would not have made this decision,” the manager told Liverpoolfc.com.

How would the man himself assess the move, then?

“It has been a big change,” Milner admitted.

“But I’ve always tried to learn throughout my career and I’ve played in a lot of positions anyway so it’s just trying to learn as best you can and trying to change the mindset from what you’re used to and to do the job as well as possible.

“It’s about whatever’s best for the team and ultimately I just want to be out there playing games, contributing and helping this football club.”

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The Southampton captain has established himself as one of the finest central defenders in the Premier League since moving from Celtic for £11.5m in September 2015.

Liverpool are refusing to comment on the speculation, but it is understood they are prepared to break their transfer record to land him.

Personal terms have not been finalised with Van Dijk, but Liverpool are prepared to match the contract offer from Manchester City which could be as much as £200,000 a week.

Pep Guardiola has identified him as a priority target as he looks to strengthen his defensive options this summer, though City are concerned about the price they may be forced to pay to land him. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is also an admirer.

Southampton are determined to hold on to the Dutch international, with club chairman Ralph Krueger stating last month the Saints would be prepared to reject bids of up to £60m in order to keep the 25-year-old.

However, Jurgen Klopp is keen to bring him to Anfield and Liverpool are prepared to spend big in order to do so.

And sources indicate Van Dijk has been impressed with Klopp's personal involvement in Liverpool's effort to sign him.

If Van Dijk were to join Liverpool, he would be the latest in a series of Southampton players to move to Anfield in recent years, following in the footsteps of Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Rickie Lambert.

Source: Sky Sports

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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It is fair to say all of us are still hurting from what I would term a freak result when we lost 7-0 at Chelsea Ladies last weekend. It’s stating the obvious to say we were well below our usual standard but as a collective we all take responsibility. We need to quickly forget this game and get our minds focused on another tough fixture against Manchester City Women (kick-off 3.30pm BST). As footballers and coaches, when you put in a performance that doesn’t meet your expectations, the thing you want most after that is just to get back on the pitch and put things right. We need to go out there on Saturday, meet the standards we have set, and if we do that we are a match for anyone. It’s important we get our performance right and standards right to get back to the levels we have been performing at for the majority of the FA WSL Spring Series.

Manchester City Women recently won the Women’s FA Cup to add to their Women’s Super League title and Continental Cup triumph and they have set high standards. We did well against City last year but that has gone now and history doesn’t really matter because you are only as good as your last game. We focus on one game at a time and we need to get our performance level back to what we are used to. These are the big games you look forward to and it will be a good test for us. We are on home turf at the Select Security Stadium and we want to send our fantastic supporters home happy.

It will be a proud day for us on Saturday because we will wear the club’s brand new home strip for the first time, with our sponsor Avon on the shirts. I’ve always said Liverpool is a fantastic club with so much history behind it but it’s only when you get involved with the club that you realise how big it is. For us to be representing Liverpool FC on its 125th birthday is something very special and we aim to give a performance that is befitting of the name. This is just a massive club and we are all very lucky to be a part of it.

This is our final game in the Spring Series and the competition has served a good purpose. It has kept the players ticking over ahead of the European Championship and it has given most clubs an opportunity to have a look at their young players, as we have done. It has allowed teams to develop and grow and, again, I think we have done that. If you take the Chelsea game out of it, overall it has not been a bad Spring Series programme for us. It has been quite productive and we have taken a lot out of it and learned a lot which was important. We have had five away games and only three home fixtures so I believe we have had a tougher Spring Series than other teams, but taking the Chelsea game out of the equation we have equipped ourselves very well.

Our recent signing Amy Turner won’t be involved but we knew that when we signed her. Amy is a long-term signing for us and we are hoping she can get back in action for pre-season and be ready to go by the end of September in the Women’s Super League. We will also hopefully have Martha Harris back then so players of that quality will only make our squad even stronger.

After Saturday’s game we will give the girls a bit of a break and the other players will go off to the Euros with their countries and I wish every one of them success. Hopefully England can do well because if they do that continues to develop our game. An England win at the Euros against Holland or Scotland in the final would suit me with the players that we have. Hopefully they can all represent Liverpool Ladies well and then come back and get ready to go again for the start of the Women’s Super League at the end of September.

Thanks as always for your continued support.

Scott

Show your support for Liverpool Ladies by coming along to the final Spring Series fixture against Manchester City on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3.30pm.

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The recently-concluded season was the 25th since the inception of the Premier League in 1992 and the Reds’ tally during the past quarter-century stands at 1,601.

Picking the best strike of all is no easy task and one we’ll put in the hands of the fans.

A shortlist of 10 contenders for each campaign has been selected and will be put to a vote right here on Liverpoolfc.com each weekday for the next five weeks.

The 10 goals will be whittled down to two during each daily vote, with the winner of a subsequent head-to-head vote progressing to the final stage.

So, whichever is your favourite, make sure you stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com to have your say on Liverpool’s greatest Premier League goal.

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Jürgen Klopp is a big admirer of the Guinea international, who enjoyed an outstanding season in the Bundesliga.

Keita is one of Klopp's top targets as he looks to bolster his midfield options, but Leipzig are reluctant to sell and it would take an offer of around £50million to seriously test that resolve.

Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff said: “We have decided that we will not sell any player from our starting line-up.

“Ralf Rangnick (sporting director) told this to our team at the end of the season. We will keep our team together and keep on developing.”

Liverpool's current transfer record is the £35million they spent buying Andy Carroll from Newcastle United in 2011.

However, it's highly likely that will be broken this summer with Klopp keen on Keita and Virgil van Dijk, who would both cost in excess of that figure.

Van Dijk would command a fee of around £50million with the Southampton defender also being pursued by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.