Tag: Liverpool

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane set to miss out for up to six weeks

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane had been ruled out of action through a hamstring injury for around six weeks.

Mane, 25, was injured on international duty with Senegal and his absence could not have come at a worse time for Jurgen Klopp with Manchester United visiting Anfield on Saturday.

The Senegalese international scored 13 Premier League goals last season despite missing the whole of January because of the Africa Cup of Nations and the final six weeks of the campaign with a knee injury.

There was little doubt that he is amongst Liverpool’s most influential players, and as a result his injury has come at a particularly bad time with Adam Lallana still struggling to regain fitness after a thigh injury.

Lallana has already been sent to the Aspetar sports clinic in Qatar as he continues his rehabilitation and is likely to return in mid-November, along with Mane who will miss the two Champions League games against Maribor and trips to Tottenham and West Ham, as well the visit of Huddersfield Town.  

The Reds will still hope to have Mane in contention for their Champions League fixture in Sevilla on 21 November before they host Chelsea four days later in the Premier League.

“The winger was substituted 89 minutes into Senegal’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over the Cape Verde Islands on Saturday,” a Liverpool statement read. “It has now been confirmed that he picked up an injury during that fixture that could keep him out of action for up to six weeks.”

Klopp’s side have often struggled without Mané, since his move from Southampton, averaging 2.2 Premier League goals with him in the team as compared to 1.6 goals in his absence. Last season, their form fell away dramatically while Mané was at the Africa Cup of Nations, winning just one of their seven games, against League Two Plymouth in an FA Cup replay.

Virgil van Dijk: defender has ‘no regrets’ over transfer request

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has insisted that he has “no regrets” over his failed transfer request submitted in hopes of a move to Liverpool, and reiterated his desire to leave, possibly in January.

Van Dijk, 26, submitted a transfer request in August and made it plain he wanted a move to Anfield.

However, Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach in June as the transfer collapsed and the Merseyside club were forced into apology.

In a bid to defuse the situation, the Reds also promised they would back away from the former Celtic player as Southampton refused to buckle during the summer window. In the struggle, van Dijk, who also signed a new six-year contract in May 2016, was ordered by club coach Mauricio Pellegrino to train alone in July.

However, he had since made his way back into the Saints first-team, beginning with a substitute appearance against Crystal Palace and then finally making a start on Saturday but gave away a penalty in a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City.

The Dutch defender, who was signed from Celtic for £13m in September 2013, even went on to reignite speculation of a departure from St. MAry’s while on international duty.

“Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what’s possible,” he said.

On the failed switch to Merseyside, he added: “I have no regrets. I wanted to go one step up, but eventually Southampton did not want to let me go. You’re a professional, so now I’ll give everything to the club.”

For Liverpool, their failure to secure the defender meant depleted resources at the back, with Dejan Lovren admitting he is taking painkillers to get him through games and is unable to train because of back and achilles problems.

Lovern is also miss Croatia’s World Cup qualifier with Finland on Friday, and Croatia manager Ante Cacic has already confirmed that the centre-half will be unavailable for the crucial Group I qualifier.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turns down £40m Chelsea move

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has reportedly turned down a £40m Chelsea move despite both clubs having come to an agreement for a transfer fee.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, desires a move to another Premier League rival of Arsenal in Liverpool instead, as he believes the Blues plans to use him at wing-back, and his primary reason for wanting to leave Arsenal is to play in central midfield.

While the Reds are expected to submit a bid for the England international before the transfer deadline closes at the end of the month, the fee they will offer could be significantly less than the price Chelsea had agreed to pay.

Additionally, if there are no further efforts by other clubs to whisk him from Arsenal, Oxlade-Chamberlain will see out the final year of his contract before potentially leaving on a free transfer next summer, which in turn would force the Gunners to be on the lookout for a deal that can be completed as soon as possible.

An England international, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made clear towards the end of last week that his preference was to seek a new challenge having apparently grown frustrated at the role he was being asked to play in the team.

In addition to making starting appearances for Arsenal since the start of the season, he was also selected for the 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool on Sunday and will depart despite Arsene Wenger having suggested this summer that the 24-year-old would “100%” stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Nonetheless, Wenger’s hand appears to have been forced in the period since the club’s hierarchy not prepared to lose Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez under freedom of contract next summer.