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Fan rant of the day: The time is now or never for Liverpool to take advantage of being knocked out of the domestic cups

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Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp might not like the FA Cup after another early exit this season. The German saw Liverpool getting knocked out by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round, but we did play an experimental side.

Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge leading the line would not have scared too many Premier League defences.

Speaking of our defence, only Dejan Lovren was a first-team defender before he had to leave due to injury.

Our back four consisted of Alberto Moreno, Fabinho and two youngsters, and Wolves didn’t really tear us apart.

All in all, this is another trophy that Klopp won’t be winning this season, but even with an elimination, there is something to look forward to for Liverpool.

The Premier League is our priority

The Reds were handed the toughest draw in the third round out of the big six Premier League sides. Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea were given lower league opposition and it would not come as a surprise that they all won easily.

Klopp didn’t field his strongest side and I believe this decision was right given that the FA Cup is a hindrance at the moment for the team.

The tournament has a rich history and we last won it in 2006, but given our position now, the Premier League and Champions League should be our two targets all the time.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool

Not making it to the Champions League regularly hurts a team not only due to the loss in earnings but the fact that we cannot play the best teams in Europe. Our UEFA coefficient also takes a hammering and we end up in tough groups every season, this season, in particular, was a nightmare.

The Premier League is the holy grail that every Liverpool fan craves and we have a decent lead despite losing to Manchester City recently.

A four-point gap isn’t enough to celebrate now, but the Reds have been fantastic for most of the Premier League campaign, and we should start as favourites for our clash against Brighton, even if we are coming from two consecutive losses.

Virgil van Dijk in training

Our first-team was more or less rested against Wolves, and the only concern is in the centre-back spot with Fabinho playing in the heart of the defence in the FA Cup.

The loss in the third round of the FA Cup is a downer but the Reds can plan for the Premier League and Champions League games without any distractions.

Liverpool are expected to make it to the semis/final of the tournament every year, and every time we are hit with disappointment, however, there is a chance for our team to stay fresh and keep chugging along.

For example, the fourth round of the tournament is scheduled between 25 to 28 January, Liverpool face Crystal Palace at home on 19 Jan and Leicester City on 30 Jan.

If we had a cup tie in between, there would be more pressure on the players, and of course, we would be slaughtered should we have lost that game too.

Roberto Firmino and Andy Robertson

Roberto Firmino and Andy Robertson

Liverpool have at least five days (on average) between games till the end of the season. This would change if we make it into the quarter-finals of the Champions League and beyond, but it is imperative we stay fresh and ready for the final onslaught.

City and Spurs are involved in both domestic cups, and the Carabao Cup semi-final is a two legged affair, which will test their freshness and squad depth.

The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum have barely been given a rest this season, and the lack of domestic cup games is a huge bonus.

Read more: “This is a blessing in disguise” – Some Liverpool fans remain upbeat despite 2-1 FA Cup exit at the hands of Wolves

It is up to Klopp and the team to make this count, and hopefully, our lack of domestic cup success is overcome by a bigger triumph this season.

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La Liga giants slap a £94m price tag on star Liverpool target

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Liverpool FC transfer news: Barcelona slap £94million price-tag on Liverpool target Ousmane Dembele

AS (h/t Liverpool Echo) reports that Barcelona have slapped a £94million price-tag on reported Liverpool target Ousmane Dembele.

The French attacker joined the Catalans from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and scored 14 times last season.

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele

However, the Frenchman has had his issues at the Catalan giants and missed a training session last season too. Barcelona want £94million for the 22-year-old forward, which would help them recoup the initial amount they paid to Dortmund (h/t Liverpool Echo).

Neymar is being targeted for a sensational return to the Nou Camp, and the report claims that Dembele could leave in the summer.

Neymar left for PSG with Dembele being his replacement, and it would be another big deal if he returns to the Catalan giants in the transfer window.

Liverpool could do with another attacker in the team

The Reds could do with another quality attacker to cover the front-three.

Liverpool were lucky that Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino did not pick up major injuries last season, and we have also seen Daniel Sturridge leave the club.

Dembele can play anywhere across the front-line and has the potential to improve further under Jurgen Klopp.

Spending £94million might be a little excessive, however, the German has been excellent with his buys at Liverpool.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

It would be difficult to guarantee regular starts for Dembele, but Klopp has shown that he can keep the midfielders happy despite loads of competition for places.

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Liverpool have no plans to move for 24-year-old Portuguese sensation linked with Man United

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Liverpool FC transfer news: Reds are not interested in Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes

The Evening Standard reports that Liverpool are not interested in Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes.

Portuguese reports (h/t Daily Star) claimed that the Reds had bid for the 24-year-old as they tried to beat Manchester United.

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes

Fernandes had a great season for Sporting, racking up 20 goals and 13 assists in the league. The 24-year-old also broke into the national team and lifted the Nations League trophy recently.

The Portuguese international can play in several positions and would have provided cover for several players at Anfield.

The Reds don’t need to make a lot of signings given the quality of the starting XI, but we could do with some cover for our top players.

However, the Standard claims that the Reds have no plans to sign the Portuguese midfielder despite suggestions that Rafael Camacho would be used as a makeweight in the deal.

Rafa Camacho

The Liverpool youngster has one year left on his deal and does not want to extend his stay at the club, according to the report.

Talks between clubs on for a while

The report claims that Liverpool and Sporting have been in talks since January but a deal to sign Camacho failed.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

The Portuguese giants are hopeful of getting a deal done in the summer, and their hopes have been boosted by Camacho’s reluctance to sign a new deal, according to the report.

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Liverpool face competition for world-class star as PL rivals bid £85m

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Latest Liverpool transfer news: Manchester City bid £85m for Kalidou Koulibaly

Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Mirror) reports that Manchester City have bid £85million for Senegal star Kalidou Koulibaly.

City saw captain Vincent Kompany leave in the summer, and the report claims that the Premier League champions have also been linked with Leicester’s Harry Maguire.

Kalidou Koulibaly
Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli

Pep Guardiola is keen to fill up this gap in his defence, according to the report, and Koulibaly has been linked with Manchester United in the past.

Liverpool are also interested in the 27-year-old and enquired about the centre-back, according to Il Mattino (h/t Mirror). The Mail reported that Koulibaly has a release clause of £133million in his contract, but that only kicks in next season.

The 27-year-old is one of the best defenders in the Serie A and could be a fantastic addition for City and Liverpool.

The Cityzens have a greater need in the heart of the defence after seeing Kompany leave, while Liverpool have seen Joe Gomez and Joel Matip perform incredibly last season.

Joel Matip of Liverpool
Joel Matip in training

The pair did well playing alongside Virgil van Dijk, but a partnership between the Dutch defender and Koulibaly would possibly be the best in the world.

Liverpool have to think of other positions first

The centre-back position isn’t all that important at the moment unless one of our senior defenders leaves in the summer.

We also need to find a replacement for Alberto Moreno and provide cover to Andy Robertson.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Liverpool FC transfer news

The Scot is the best left-back in the Premier League, and we were fortunate he didn’t miss many games due to injury last season.

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