ICC: Liverpool duo Salah, Mane to sit out Borussia Dortmund clash

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will play no part in Liverpool’s first game on their tour of the United States against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday evening.

In what is the Reds’ curtain raiser for this year’s International Champions Cup, Jurgen Klopp will be missing his star forwards – alongside Marko Grujic and the injured pair of Georginio Wijnaldum and Pedro Chirivella – when they trade tackles with the German outfit at the Bank of America Stadium.

Last season’s 44-goal hero Salah and club’s new no. 10 Mane, and Grujic only returned from World Cup holidays to join up with the rest of the squad on Friday morning.

And in the early hours of Saturday, Klopp’s 29-man squad jetted out to North Carolina in time for a date against Lucien Favre’s charges – who got their ICC campaign to a perfect start, having seen off Manchester City 1-0.

“Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Marko Grujic will not be involved against the Bundesliga club having only returned to pre-season training on Friday,” read a statement on club website.

The dynamic duo will watch the game from the sidelines but are likely to return for the last two games against Manchester City [in East Rutherford on Wednesday] and Manchester United [in Ann Arbor on Saturday].

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VIDEO: Kia Champ into the Arena – The View from the Pitch

As part of this summer’s celebration of football Kia Motors, official automotive partner of the FIFA World Cup, brought 16 of the best 5-a-side teams from across the world to Moscow for the Champ into the Arena finals.

The matches were fiercely competitive from the first game to the last, with the teams all determined to seize their chance to become world champions.

There was another World Cup this summer!

‘I just love the game’ – There was another World Cup in Russia 😍 #KiaChamp #GetIntoTheGame

Posted by Goal.com on Sunday, July 22, 2018

Speaking to Goal, the England team were happy to acknowledge the quality of their opponents saying, “You look around and you can see the talent from these teams”, and this standard was clearly on show as the tournament progressed.

Even in the middle of the action though, what ultimately united all the players was a shared spirit of competition, sportsmanship and passion for the game.

To see the full Champ into the Arena Moscow 2018 story visit http://www.goal.com/story/champintothearena/index.html

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Matip admits he has to fight for Liverpool place under Klopp

Joel Matip is ready to fight for his Liverpool place this season – and believes the Reds are assembling a squad capable of challenging for major honours.

The Cameroon international has returned to action this summer having missed the final weeks of the last campaign with a thigh injury.

In that time, Matip had to watch as Liverpool reached the Champions League final without him, and saw Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk establish themselves as the Reds’ first-choice centre-back pairing.

Lovren’s World Cup exploits, however, will give the 26-year-old a chance to reassert his claims in the coming weeks. The Croatian is not due back with the squad until August 6, and so unlikely to be considered for Liverpool’s opening Premier League game with West Ham just six days later.

Matip, then, will fight Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan for the right to partner Van Dijk – and the former Schalke man is up for the challenge.

“Of course there is competition,” he said, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s International Champions Cup game with Borussia Dortmund in Charlotte later today.

“We had the quality before and now we have a lot of self confidence. But I also have no doubt of my quality!

“And with a team like ours, there are always so many games, so you try to get the chance.”

Matip added: “I’m on a good way, of course. The fitness is not at 100 per cent but I’m not the only player who needs this time. But this is preparation to get a good fitness level, I’m on a good way and feel self-confident. I still need some time.”

A laid-back character generally, Matip admits it was difficult to watch from the sidelines as Liverpool went all the way to Kiev back in May, losing in heartbreaking circumstances to Real Madrid.

“Nobody wants to see games like this from the stand as a player,” he said. “But you still try to fight and to do what you can from the bench or the stand. It is what it is.

“Of course it’s not the best part of being a player if you’re injured and have to look on, but this is part of a player’s life.”

Jurgen Klopp Joel Matip Liverpool

Plenty has changed at Anfield since then, too. The signings of Naby Keita, Fabinho and Alisson Becker, plus the arrival of Xherdan Shaqiri, mean Liverpool are, on paper at least, assembling their strongest squad in years.

So does Matip feel confident they can fight for major honours again in the coming years?

“Of course, these are the goals,” he said. “We want to achieve something. We will see how the season starts but we have to be there from the beginning.

“A lot of things are possible if we start the season properly.

“The new players have looked great from the beginning and they will help us. We have a really big and high-quality squad. This will help us through the season because we have a lot of games and injuries belong to the game, so some players will always miss a game.

“But it’s good if another player can come directly in without losing that much quality.”

Liverpool take on Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup in Charlotte on Sunday, kick off 21:05 UK time (16:05 local time)

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‘Winner’ Zaha urged to stay at Crystal Palace amid Everton & Tottenham interest

Wilfried Zaha should stay at Crystal Palace and snub interest from Everton and Tottenham, according to defender Joel Ward.

Goal understands that the Toffees are considering a £50 million ($65m) bid for the Ivory Coast international, though they are wary of competition from the likes of Spurs, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.

Zaha enjoyed an excellent 2017-18 season, scoring nine times, his most productive campaign as a professional.

And Ward believes he would be best served by staying at Selhurst Park, due to the positive impact he has on his team-mates.

Speaking after Palace’s 3-1 pre-season win over Oxford United, in which Zaha scored, Ward said: “We all know how important he is for us and we’d love to keep him and that’s what we need.

“We need Wilf to lead the line of attack and to show what he can do because he has done that time and time again for us and he’s a key part of this squad.

“He’s a character, he’s a winner and he wants to succeed and he wants to win as does every single member of the squad.”

Zaha has also been lauded by Jeffrey Schlupp, who insists that he is “irreplaceable” for the Eagles.

Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace

“Wilf is Wilf and he’s got the X-Factor,” he said.

“He’s irreplaceable. Every time he goes out on the pitch, he does his bit and it’s great to have him in the team.”

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Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Chelsea working on Martial deal

Chelsea working on Martial deal

Chelsea are working on a deal to sign Anthony Martial from Manchester United, per The Times.

With Eden Hazard desperate to leave the club to join Real Madrid, the Blues are on the hunt for a replacement and are keen on Martial, who has also expressed a desire to depart his current club.

United value Martial at €100 million (£89m/$117m) and Bayern Munich are also interested, but Chelsea believe they can secure him for a cheaper fee.

Golovin could open Barca’s path to Willian

Chelsea may be open to selling Willian to Barcelona if they secure Aleksandr Golovin as his replacement, Mundo Deportivo reports.

It is claimed that Barcelona have submitted several bids for the Brazilian, all of which have been rebuffed thus far this summer.

Should Chelsea land Russian World Cup star Golovin, however, the Liga champions may find the Blues more open to negotiations over Willian’s future.

Kovacic asks to leave Real Madrid

Mateo Kovacic has asked to leave Real Madrid, Marca reports.

The Spanish outlet claims the midfielder met with new boss Julen Lopetegui for the first time and requested that he be able to find a new club.

It is said that the coach tried to convince Kovacic to stay, but the player himself is convinced that the best thing for his career is to move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Palace & Fulham want Schurrle

Crystal Palace and Fulham are interested in signing Andre Schurrle from Borussia Dortmund, Bild claims.

BVB have been prepared for the World Cup winner’s exit, with club chief Michael Zorc making it clear that the 27-year-old was free to talk other teams.

It appears that Schurrle, an ex-Chelsea player, will be on his way back to London, though whether he will be turning out for Palace or Fulham has not yet been decided.

Dortmund want Witsel

Borussia Dortmund are closing in on a move for Belgium star Axel Witsel, Bild reports.

The German outlet claims the 29-year-old will cost BVB somewhere in the region of €20 million (£18m/$23.5m) as they look to end the World Cup star’s spell with Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.

Juventus make bid for Alex Telles

Juventus have made a €30 million (£27m/$35m) bid for Porto’s Alex Telles, Esporte UOL claims.

The Old Lady’s first-choice left-back Alex Sandro is currently being linked with a move away from Turin, and the club are said to have moved already to secure his replacement.

It is reported that Porto will hold out for €40m (£35m/$47m) for a man who recorded a massive 20 assists to help end Benfica’s dominance in the league.

Inter want Arturo Vidal

Inter want to sign Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich, according to Corriere dello Sport.

The Italian outlet states that the Nerazzurri are keen to add more quality to their squad following Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus and see the Chilean as a good fit.

Despite Vidal only having one year left on his contract with Bayern, the German champions are still demanding €30 million (£27m/$35m) for his services, although it is said that the midfielder is keen to move on from the Allianz Arena.

Chelsea eye Pickford & Butland

Chelsea are looking at the possibility of signing either Jordan Pickford or Jack Butland should Thibaut Courtois leave this summer, The Sun claims.

The report states that owner Roman Abramovich is willing to lose Courtois on a free transfer next season if he doesn’t receive a big offer from Real Madrid for the Belgian.

Should he go, however, Blues staff feel they could potentially land Pickford for around £60 million ($79m), while relegated Stoke keeper Butland represents a cheaper option at £20m ($26m).

Sarri wants Isco or Asensio to replace Hazard

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri wants Isco or Eden Hazard to replace Eden Hazard if he moves to Real Madrid, reports Diario Gol.

The Belgium international has been identified as a possible replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has joined Juventus, and Madrid are willing to pay €120 million (£107m/$140m) for the star.

However, Chelsea want a player in return, and are insistent that they will not sanction a sale before a replacement is found.

Man City lead race for €100m Pjanic

Manchester City have moved into pole position to sign Miralem Pjanic from Juventus this summer, reports Sport Mediaset.

The midfielder is also wanted by Chelsea and Barcelona, but the Premier League champions currently lead the chase, with Pep Guardiola even discussing a move with the 28-year-old.

City are willing to pay €100m (£89m/$117m), but Pjanic may yet decide to remain in Italy, due to the lure of playing with Cristiano Ronaldo at Juve.

Chelsea warn Madrid over Hazard

Chelsea have made it clear to Real Madrid that they won’t be bullied into selling Eden Hazard, according to the Mirror.

The Blues are adamant that even a massive £170 million ($223m) offer would not be enough to lure their star man away.

Hazard has two years left on his deal, and despite the player hinting that it might be time to move on the club are adamant that they will not be forced into letting him leave.

Benitez to be handed new deal and war chest

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is set to be handed a new three-year contract, as well as a £100 million (€111m) war chest, per The Sun .

Benitez has been forced to work under severe financial restrictions this summer but owner Mike Ashley is desperate to keep the Spaniard.

And he has subsequently presented him with an offer of a new deal, plus a commitment to spend over the tenure of the contract.

Man Utd make Martial decision

Manchester United are ready to trigger a one-year option on Anthony Martial’s contract, even if the French forward pushes for a move away, the Manchester Evening News   reports.

The 22-year-old has been frustrated by a lack of playing time at Old Trafford, with his agent saying last month that he was ready to leave the club.

But United do not want to sell this summer, and it is unlikely that they will receive an offer that tempts them to let the forward leave.

Richarlison fee includes ‘peace deal’

Everton’s record £50 million ($66m) fee for Brazilian star Richarlison includes a deal to make peace with Watford over new boss Marco Silva, according to the Mirror .

Silva was sacked last year after a poor run of form coming soon after Everton’s approach for the manager, which caused a rift between the two sides as Watford filed a complaint to the Premier League.

As such, Everton are willing to pay an inflated price for the Brazilian to bring a resolution to the issues surrounding Silva.

Man Utd nearing deal for Rochdale teen

Manchester United are nearing a deal to snap up Rochdale teenager Daniel Adshead, the Mirror   claims.

The 17-year-old is being watched by a number of Premier League clubs, but impressed in a closed training session with Man United’s U23s and is nearing a £1 million move to join Jose Mourinho’s side.

Klopp plays down Pulisic links

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he is a big fan of U.S. national team and Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic, but played down a possible move for the teenager.

Pulisic has been consistently linked with a move to Anfield to play under Klopp, who was with the Bundesliga side when the winger was making his way through the youth ranks.

And while Klopp believes the future is bright for Pulisic, he doesn’t seem to believe the time is right to make a move for one of BVB’s top prospects.

Read his full comments right here on Goal !

Napoli chief slams Sarri

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has accused former coach Maurizio Sarri of trying to take his “whole team” with him to new club Chelsea.

De Laurentiis replaced Sarri with Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season, a punishment for taking too long to make his mind up about his future.

Read his full comments on Goal !

West Ham’s £20m Vida bid rejected

West Ham have had a £20 million bid for Domagoj Vida rejected by Besiktas, according to Turkish outlet  Aksam (via Sport Witness ).

The Turkish side will hold out for around £23m for the Croatia star, who is also drawing looks from Everton and Liverpool

Arsenal nearing deal for Sommer

Arsenal are in advanced talks with Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer, the Express claims.

The Gunners have already landed one goalkeeper this summer in Bernd Leno, but Unai Emery wants to continue to add pieces to his squad ahead of the new season.

Hart wants permanent move away from City

Joe Hart has acknowledged he may need to leave Manchester City permanently to resurrect his career.

Hart has recently had loan spells at Torino and West Ham, but was unable to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s 23-man-squad for the World Cup in Russia.

“I need to go somewhere permanent, I think that’s obvious,” he said.

See what else the goalkeeper has to say on Goal !

Neymar confirms PSG stay

Neymar has affirmed he will not be leaving Paris Saint-Germain to become Cristiano Ronaldo’s successor at Real Madrid, as he wished the striker ‘good luck’ at Juventus.

The Brazil star has been constantly linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu despite sealing a world-record transfer to France less than 12 months ago.

Read his comments on Goal !

Roma considering Cech move

Roma are considering a move for Petr Cech to replace departed goalkeeper Alisson, The Sun reports.

Roma’s sporting director Monchi believes the club could use some experience at the back and thinks the Arsenal goalkeeper would be a great option to bring a calming influence to his young defence.

Barcelona make £55m Willian bid

Barcelona have made a bid worth over £55 million ($72m) for Chelsea star Willian, according to  Sky Sports .

The Spanish champions have improved on their previous two bids as they look to lure the Brazil international to Camp Nou.

Barca and Chelsea are still in talks over a potential deal for Willian, who had previously been linked with a move to Manchester United.

Man Utd plot £65m Maguire move

Manchester United are readying a £65 million ($85m) bid for Leicester defender Harry Maguire, reports the Daily Mail .

The Red Devils remain in the market for reinforcements at centre-half and consider a man who impressed for England at World Cup 2018 to be an ideal addition.

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