Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool is not a selling club

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Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool is not a selling club and will not accept any bids for Philippe Coutinho after the club rejected an improved £90m offer for the Brazil playmaker.

Barca was rejected with their latest bid for the 25-year-old after having had an offer of £72m rejected last month and, speaking to Sky Germany, Klopp was adamant Liverpool are not a “selling club” but is committed to retaining their best players.

“Liverpool is not a club that has to sell players. That is set in stone. So what they offer in the end doesn’t matter,” he said.

“From a financial standpoint, there is no price limit to let him go. No price at which we are ready to give in. Our goal is to have the best possible team. So we want to keep our guys and add new ones. That is our plan.”

“Today, no player on the planet is unsellable, but a transfer is also a question of timing and if you have the opportunity and the need to react to such a transfer.”

“Also you have to ask, if you have the time to react. But just because of one request of one club, we don’t have to think about that. We are not in that situation.”

It also remains that Liverpool is in prime position to keep Coutinho, especially with a five-year contract he signed only last season. The player himself had also not made any moves of indicating that he desires a change since the first bid was made, although he is expected to miss Liverpool’s opening game of the Premier League season at Watford on Saturday, owing to a back injury.

Prediction:

Watford 2-2 Liverpool

EFL Cup: Southampton will host Wolves in second round

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Southampton, the runners-up of the EFL Cup last season, will meet Wolves in the second round of the tournament following a live draw that had been in disarray.

Southampton had been headed towards the end of a 7-year title drought before being stopped short by Manchester United in the final last season.

But as the EFL Cup renews with the new season, the live draw which took place in the Sky Sports studios by Alex McLeish and John Salako, alongside the host Julian Warren, left many confused as four second-round matches were announced with the incorrect team away from home.

Initially, the draw was to select seeded teams, followed by whether they would be at home or away and then finally, their opposition. However, it was not until after Salako said Norwich would be away to Charlton that he appeared to realise the previous matches had been drawn the wrong way around.

Following the adjustment, it was decided that Newcastle will host Nottingham Forest, with Bournemouth and Leicester City playing away to Birmingham and Sheffield United respectively, among six ties with Premier League sides facing Championship opposition. Another seven Premier League teams involved in European competition will enter at round three.

Second round draw – South section
QPR v Brentford
Crystal Palace v Ipswich Town
Watford v Bristol City
Norwich City v Charlton Athletic
Cheltenham Town v West Ham United
Brighton & Hove Albion v Barnet
Cardiff City v Burton Albion
Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Fulham v Bristol Rovers
Milton Keynes Dons v Swansea City
Birmingham City v Bournemouth
Reading v Millwall

North section
Carlisle United v Sunderland
Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday
Accrington Stanley v West Bromwich Albion
Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest
Leeds United v Newport County**
Stoke City v Rochdale
Huddersfield Town v Rotherham United
Middlesbrough v Scunthorpe United
Doncaster Rovers v Hull City
Blackburn Rovers v Burnley
Sheffield United v Leicester City
Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic
Barnsley v Derby County or Grimsby Town

Borussia Dortmund reject €100m offer for Ousmane Dembele from Barca

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Borussia Dortmund has told FC Barcelona that they will not be selling their French forward Ousmane Dembele despite a €100m offer from the La Liga giants.

Dortmund have said that the France forward is “unlikely” to move to Spain unless they receive an improved offer, with a statement from the German club confirmed the offer — understood to be €100m — had been rejected.

Negotiations is understood to have taken place for days but Dortmund has been insistent that they will not accept less than €150m for the player they signed from Rennes last summer for a 10th of that cost.

“There has been a discussion with Barcelona in regards to a possible transfer of Ousmane Dembele,” the statement, which was released to the German stock exchange, read.

“In these talks Barcelona have presented an offer that does not match the extraordinary footballing and otherwise status of the player and also not the current market situation.”

“BVB have turned this offer down, and as there is no other offer from Barcelona a transfer should not be expected and is at this moment in time unlikely,” it concluded.

Dembele, 20, was also fined and suspended after he missed a training session on Thursday. It was also understood that he had returned to his native France in the evening on the same day to visit friends and family, while waiting news as the clubs continue to negotiate the fee.

“Ousmane Dembele missed training without notifying the club and has clearly taken this action consciously. We will obviously sanction him for this,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said. “We have also suspended the player until after the cup game at the weekend.”

Virgil van Dijk submits transfer request after Southampton “insults”

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Dutch international Virgil van Dijk has submitted a transfer request in a bid to leave the Premier League club.

Van Dijk, 26, is highly rated and has plenty of suitors over the summer, but saw one move to Liverpool collapsed after Southampton reported the Merseyside club to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach to the player.

Liverpool were subsequently forced into an apology. Additionally, in a bid to defuse the situation, Jurgen Klopp’s team also promised that they would refrain from any pursuits towards the former Celtic player, thereby placating Southampton authorities.

However, van Dijk became unsettled with the Saints after club coach Mauricio Pellegrino revealing that the player had been training alone and was not in the right frame of mind to play for Southampton.

Even as the club continuously insists that the Holland international is not for sale, Van Dijk has now made it plain he wishes to leave, saying that he felt “insulted” by suggestions he has refused to train.

A statement from Van Dijk read: “It is with regret I can confirm I have today handed in a transfer request to leave Southampton.”

“I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed inquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed.”

“The period of time that I have just spent injured and unable to play has put a number of things into perspective and made me realise just how important it is to take major opportunities should they arise. I have consistently relayed my feelings to senior management in what I believed to be private and personal conversations.”

“Disappointingly these conversations have regularly found their way into the media. I would also like to make clear that I have never once refused to train. As a proud professional I am insulted by the suggestion that it was me who refused to train and so feel it is important to point out the true version of events.

“However, the time for me to move on is now and I hope to be able to work with the club to find the best resolution to suit all parties.”

Liverpool were willing to pay a world-record sum for a defender — around £60m — to win the race for Van Dijk, although it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will now return for their No.1 summer transfer target.