Welcome to our Liverpool.com media watch piece. Maybe not the first, we’ve definitely done transfer round-ups before, and European round-ups, so I guess in some ways it’s not that new at all. Anyway, we thought we would enter the world of football in a broad and roundabout manner for you and have some fun with some of the stories and captions doing the daily rounds.
Houssem Aouar misses training
Lyon’s attacking creative midfielder has been missing from training with his club because he wants to force a move away – not because he is unwell, as the French side have claimed.
That is according to Get French Football News, who say the Liverpool-linked player is keen to move on, with the loss of Memphis Depay on a free transfer to Barcelona supposedly among the things he is frustrated by.
Aouar has been linked with Liverpool for some time, and Pep Guardiola is also a big fan (he once called Aouar ‘incredible’, though he has used that word quite frequently since arriving in England).
It was reported a couple of months back that Aouar would be available for a cut-price €30m fee this summer.
Barcelona remain a mess
Barcelona’s financial troubles are so bad that they are currently unable to register any of their summer signings, with the club needing to shift players like Phillippe Coutinho urgently.
Goal report that the Nou Camp side have exceeded LaLiga’s strict salary limit. That means that until some current players are moved on, new arrivals such as Sergio Agüero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia cannot be officially registered with the league.
They also need to sign Lionel Messi up to a new deal (he, unbelievably, is officially now without a club, for the time being), which is why there is such a panic – that is not exactly going to be cheap.
The thread below from Zach Lowy is well worth a read for more on the numbers involved (though a slight correction: Barcelona still owe money for Coutinho, but not to Liverpool).
Expect a fire-sale from the Catalan side soon… Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic are all being shopped around by Barcelona in their bid to shed an astonishing €200m (£171m) from their wage bill.
Antoine Griezmann available
Further to the financial mess at Camp Nou, according to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona – who are more than £1bn in debt – are looking to sell one of their top earners, with France international Griezmann among the more likely to be let go.
Griezmann reportedly earns almost £300,000 per week, with PSG put forward as a possible destination in Spain for the French forward to escape to.
Liverpool have been linked with Griezmann in the past – less than two months ago, in fact. But the Reds will not be going in for the 30-year-old for a variety of reasons: his age and his wages to name just two.
The fact that Griezmann is a big fan of Firmino will not be enough to warrant a transfer bid from Anfield.
Brazil reach the Copa America final
Liverpool will be without Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino for the majority of pre-season after they reached the final of the Copa America last night.
Fabinho came off the bench for Tite’s side, but Alisson was left out in favour of Ederson Moraes, and Firmino remained on the bench with Richarlison up front.
Lucas Paquetá scored the only goal of the game as Brazil beat Peru 1-0. Argentina face Colombia in the other semi-final – that game kicking off at 2am UK time tonight.
The final is in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Thiago Alcântara will hope to follow suit and reach the European Championships final tonight as Spain take on Italy – though whether he will start is highly doubtful.
Kingsley Coman ‘blow’
Can you be dealt a blow in the race for a player you were never eealistically interested in to begin with? I’m not sure, but that is how the latest news regarding the French winger is being reported in some quarters.
“We’re in talks with [Leon] Goretzka and Coman [about new contracts],” Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn said yesterday.
“Absolute top players want to be paid accordingly, we’re not naive about that. That’s perfectly fine. With us, there is a limit, which is very clearly defined.
“With [David] Alaba, you saw that at a certain point, we were no longer willing to go further. We don’t push into salary regions that don’t suit FC Bayern.
“We are in very, very good talks with both players. I am optimistic. We have a great package to offer here.”
It certainly sounds like Liverpool’s ‘interest’ in Coman (and EuroJournal’s in Goretzka, perhaps) was engineered a little to push Bayern into action on the new contract front.