Jurgen Klopp believes the "sensational" rapport between Liverpool's players will go along way to deterring them from seeking new opportunities elsewhere.

Liverpool opted to remain quiet during the close-season transfer market as they successfully focused on keeping together the core of the side that won the Champions League.

LaLiga giants Real Madrid have been intermittently linked to forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane but the latter, scorer of two goals this term, recently gave an interview in which he spoke of being entirely happy with the Reds.

Klopp said: "First and foremost we have to make sure it stays like this, that we are all like this with each other.

"We have a wonderful atmosphere inside the group, a sensational atmosphere at Melwood, we all know the atmosphere we have at Anfield.

"No matter where we go in the world people are happy to see us, at least our supporters are. That's absolutely special but we worked hard for that and we have to keep that. How can we keep that? Focus on the next step, trust the next step, improve, try to fight as much as you can, run as far as you can, jump as high as you can, all that stuff.

"That's what we have to do, then it can stay like this. It's nice. This club is wonderful, it was always wonderful, just the atmosphere was not always like this because of different things.

"Now we have quite a good basis and we have to use it and improve it, and then the boys have no reason to leave.

"If they look left and right and see the quality players they have in the dressing room and, on top of that, they like each other, it helps a lot. It's not the most important thing, but it helps a lot.

"They want to use the opportunity the club gave this team and I'm happy about that, obviously."

Liverpool won each of their opening four Premier League games before the international break and are now preparing to entertain Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday.

Avoiding defeat would extend the club's unbeaten home run to 43 league games.

Klopp asked his players to forget about the streak and instead focus on replicating the levels they reached in last month's 3-1 victory over Arsenal.

"Each team could have [beaten us] but in most of the games we were better and deserve the win or three points or draw," the German said.

"So that's good, but all I'm concerned about really is how can we be again in a similar or a better mood or shape than we were against Arsenal because that was, attitude-wise, a really high level, the highest level to be honest.

"That's what we have to do again, not worry about what happened in the last two and a half years."

Naby Keita is close to returning for Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp is unsure when Alisson will be ready to replace Adrian in goal.

Alisson has been out of action since he suffered a calf injury in the Reds' opening 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich City in August.

Klopp initially indicated the European champions are expected to be without the Brazil international for the "next few weeks".

Speaking ahead of Saturday's home Premier League game against Newcastle United, Klopp issued an update on Alisson and midfielder Keita.

"Funnily enough, we had lunch again so he looked good," Klopp told reporters of Alisson's progress.

"He's improving but as normal we cannot put any pressure on it. It was a really serious injury in the calf and it is now much better of course.

"That's good for us, good for him, but we don't know exactly. The target was always after the next international break he could be ready, but we don't know.

"That's no pressure on it. Hopefully everything will be fine for the rest of the season, that's the plan.

"Naby is close, much closer than Ali. I think he could be in training when we come back from Napoli next week [in the Champions League].

"Clyney [Nathaniel Clyne] and [teenage striker] Paul Glatzel are obviously far away still but doing big steps. It looks quite okay at the moment."

Liverpool are top of the Premier League table having taken maximum points from their first four games of the season before the international break, a run that saw Klopp claim the August manager of the month award.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were among the Reds stars given a break from international duty, which was welcomed by Klopp.

"It was perfect for the boys who didn't have to go," Klopp added. "There's always that challenge.

"I'm really happy boys being named for their national team, it's really nice, a big honour and all that stuff but I've said it 500 times - if you see the players who didn't have to go this time, for different reasons, everything is different.

"It's in a very intense period to have five or six days off. They train, they always train, but they don't have to be here and we do proper football sessions because usually we only have three players here and it makes no sense, this time we could have had five.

"Could have trained but it still makes no sense - then Sadio and Mo would not have had the time off they needed. It's really tough always to have two games when we speak about the international break, then they have another week with two games which is not easy.

"But we can't change that so we don't think too much about it. They are refreshed, that's how it is, hopefully we can use that."

Mauro Icardi is a similar player to Edinson Cavani but could form a strike partnership with the Uruguay international, according to Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel.

Icardi has joined PSG from Inter on a season-long loan with an option for a permanent deal and is in contention to make his Ligue 1 debut against Strasbourg on Saturday.

His arrival further bolsters a forward line that already includes Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Neymar, who is available after the closure of the transfer window ended his chances of returning to Barcelona.

Tuchel now faces a balancing act when it comes to team selection, though the club's record goalscorer Cavani and World Cup winner Mbappe will both sit out the visit of Strasbourg due to injury.

"He has to get back to his rhythm, he's a number nine like Edi," Tuchel told reporters of Icardi, who was stripped of the Inter captaincy last term.

"He's here, he's very happy to be here, I feel like he's free, and tomorrow it might be the first game where we can use him. 

"I do not know if he's ready to play 90 or 60 minutes, but the competition helps us, my team. 

"I do not see them as competitors on a job but as accomplices. We can play with Mauro and Edi in a match, I expect from my team that we have a good mindset to work in.

"If we have a lot of attackers, it is necessary that they be accomplices, even if everyone wants to play."

Mbappe and Cavani are not expected to be fit for next week's visit of Real Madrid when the Champions League group stage gets under way, with Neymar ruled out of that match due to suspension.

Pressed further on juggling his strikeforce, Tuchel said: "We cross that bridge when we come to it.

"We do not have Kylian or Edi, we will not have Neymar for Madrid. 

"I have a lot of options in my mind, but we're not there yet.

"But we do not achieve high goals without hard choices."

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone insists he is not worried about Angel Correa's state of mind after his failed move to AC Milan.

Correa, 24, was strongly linked with a move away from Atletico in the transfer window and was understood to have been a primary target of Milan.

The Argentina international, who has struggled to build on his early promise, looked to have fallen further down the pecking order in attack over the pre-season, with Joao Felix arriving, Alvaro Morata already on the books and Vitolo producing some eye-catching displays.

Milan were reported to have offered him a route out and a key role in a new era at the club, but they and Atletico failed to reach an agreement for the player who is said to have been valued at €50million.

He is yet to play for Atletico this season, but Simeone is adamant Correa has a place in the squad and can be important.

"I have seen him train in the best way, with the best predisposition and prepared for what the team needs, be it on the wing or as a forward," Simeone told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Real Sociedad.

"That has not changed because of what happened. Now that he has returned, he has had these 10 days.

"He is an important player. He gives us a directness and change of pace in attack that not many have. We will use him where he feels most comfortable."

Friday is the 32nd anniversary of Simeone's professional debut with Velez Sarsfield and the former Argentina international paid tribute to his coaches for developing him into the tactician he is today.

"I debuted 32 years ago when I was just 17 years old," he said. "It was a beautiful stage in my career.

"I remember working with some really great coaches. They made me a better person and they helped pave my way for the future to give me that possibility to become a coach.

"That allowed me to be immersed in my big passion, which is football, and the truth is I feel very happy about that.

"To have that moment, it's clear there were many happy and sad moments, just like life itself."

Neymar is available for Paris Saint-Germain and ready to face Strasbourg on Saturday, coach Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

Neymar has not played for PSG yet this season having been sidelined by injury and speculation over his future in the French capital.

He was a target for former club Barcelona during the transfer window but the LaLiga champions were unable to seal a deal with PSG.

Neymar then made his comeback from injury during the international break, featuring for Brazil in a pair of friendly matches against Colombia and Peru.

Speaking at his pre-match news conference on Friday, Tuchel said Neymar is ready to be recalled into the PSG squad for Saturday's visit of Strasbourg.

"Neymar's return is well-timed given fellow forwards Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani will both miss the game due to injury," Tuchel told reporters.

"Yes, clearly yes, of course, now everything is clear, we know our group, I'm very happy, we have a lot of talent, we have Neymar in our group, we have nothing else in our head, Ney too, and he can focus on us.

"We miss Edi and Kylian, so he needs to get back and he's available tomorrow."

Neymar has yet to speak openly about the transfer saga involving Barcelona, but former team-mate Lionel Messi is among those to have talked about the potential deal.

Messi was reportedly pushing hard for Neymar to be targeted by PSG, while sporting director Leonardo confirmed the 27-year-old had made it clear he wanted to leave Paris.

PSG were open to offers for the Brazil forward but reportedly rejected cash-plus-players deals proposed by Barcelona, with Tuchel now expecting Neymar to refocus on his third PSG campaign - although he will be serving a suspension when his team face Real Madrid in the Champions League next week.

"I'm convinced that Neymar will give everything to help us achieve our goals this season," he added.

"It is the challenge for me to find a balance between always talking with him or not talking to him.

"Life is not too hard for Ney to live and play in Paris, it's not too bad either... if we talk about all the things that Ney said, that his father said, that Barcelona said... We're going to lose our heads, I want to look forward, he'll get his smile back and then we'll see."

Marcelino Garcia Toral is adamant Valencia's decision to sack him came about because they won the Copa del Rey last season.

The highly regarded coach was dismissed on Wednesday in something of a shock following a reported disagreement with club owner Peter Lim.

Marcelino had been at Valencia for two seasons and guided them to back-to-back fourth-place finishes in LaLiga, a feat many see as overachievement given the club's woes over the past decade.

On top of strong league campaigns, Marcelino also guided Valencia to their first piece of silverware in 11 years last term, beating Barcelona 2-1 to lift the Copa del Rey.

But it was that success, Marcelino claims, which ultimately cost him his job, with the former Villarreal boss suggesting he went against the board's wishes in concentrating on a competition he believes they deemed to be "minor".

"I am absolutely sure that the trigger for this situation was the Copa del Rey," he told a news conference on Friday.

"During the season, we received direct and indirect messages that we had to discount it [the Copa]. The fans wanted to fight for it and the players too, and they had the conviction to win it. The coaching staff wanted to fight and win the Copa.

"They didn't tell me why they didn't want the Copa, only that it was a minor tournament and that I could be putting the main goal [Champions League qualification] at risk. Winning the Copa was the trigger for this situation.

"We did not receive congratulations in Seville [after the Copa final] from the owner [Lim]. When I went to Singapore [for a meeting with Lim and Anil Murthy, club president], I was congratulated for qualifying for the Champions League, not for winning the Copa."

Former Barca and Real Madrid midfielder Albert Celades was chosen as the surprise replacement for Marcelino, despite receiving significant criticism for negative tactics and lacking a style of play when he was in charge of the Spain Under-21s until his resignation last year.

But Marcelino hopes the fans get behind the man who was Julen Lopetegui's assistant at Real Madrid.

"You know Valencia is complicated for coaches," he said. "I was fortunate that the fans received me warmly.

"I am proud to leave two years later with the same kind of acceptance, and I won't forget that. I have been really happy in Valencia and lived unforgettable moments.

"I hope the people now support Celades. I wish him the best of luck."

Zinedine Zidane has opposed Gareth Bale's view of being made a scapegoat at Real Madrid while praising the winger's "amazing" ability.

Wales international Bale almost moved to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning during the transfer window after being told he was free to leave Madrid.

Los Blancos boss Zidane made the decision following months of speculation over their seemingly fractured relationship but the Madrid board blocked his departure at the last minute.

Bale, while on international duty last week, claimed to have been "made more of a scapegoat than most" for the team's shortcomings, a belief not shared by his head coach.

"No, I think we're all guilty if things go wrong or if things go right," Zidane said.

"It's up to us, all of us, we're all in the same boat. We want to change things when things don't go right. We're thinking as a team mentality."

Initially on the outer during the pre-season tour to the United States, Bale has since returned to the first-team fold.

The 30-year-old started each of three club's three LaLiga games before the international break, scoring twice.

"I've always said he's got amazing quality, Gareth Bale," Zidane said.

"He's a great player. What happened in the summer, everyone knew the situation. Now he's here, I'm happy, he's happy, everyone is happy, the fans as well.

"Now we have to move forward."

Bale's reinstatement to the starting XI has partly reduced the opportunities for Vinicius Junior, who has been restricted to one start and a pair of cameo appearances this term.

Zidane, though, is adamant chances will come for the young forward.

"I completely trust Vinicius, I can guarantee that," the Frenchman said.

"I'm his coach. I've got 23, 24 players to choose from but Vinicius is just 19, he's playing for Real Madrid.

"It's like everything, things take time. He's in a process to improve, like all players are. Perhaps at times he won't play because someone else will come in.

"Then you go and get your headlines, you say 'he doesn't want to pick Vinicius' but that's not the point. He will play."

Eden Hazard is ready to make his Real Madrid debut this weekend but Zinedine Zidane intends to take extreme caution with his fit-again star signing.

Belgium international Hazard has been cleared to make his first LaLiga appearance against Levante on Saturday, three months after arriving from Chelsea in a deal that reportedly could eventually cost Madrid €140million.

An ill-timed thigh injury on the eve of the new season delayed the 28-year-old's competitive bow, which appears likely to come from the bench at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"We have to go little by little with him," Zidane said. "He's been injured for three weeks. He's back training this week.

"We all want to see him play. We've got seven games in 21 days. We have to go carefully with him.

"We know what the situation is – he's ready and that's the most important thing.

"I'll be the one in charge of giving him minutes here and there and not trying to push him too much, trying to get the best out of him.

"We've got a lot of matches coming up, not just this one tomorrow, and we need to use our heads with Eden Hazard. So let's be calm. We're all ready and so is he."

While star signing Hazard is back in the mix, Madrid will be without Luka Modric for their fourth LaLiga fixture after the midfielder suffered a right leg muscle injury.

The 34-year-old, who played two full matches for Croatia during the international break, could also miss the midweek Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid have been riddled with fitness issues throughout the early part of the new season but head coach Zidane would not apportion blame for the latest setback.

"Everyone tries to do the best for the players," he said.

"Luka played two games in four days [with Croatia]. That's what happens. We can't think too much about it, we just want Luka to get fit quickly to help us.

"The fact he's injured now and can't play tomorrow, we just have to accept it."

Zidane added: "I think all the clubs have similar problems. The fact we've got a lot of international players as well makes things difficult.

"But we work well on the training field, we've got the best backroom staff, I trust them, so we just hope after the injury to Luka we don't have any more."

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League clash against Leicester City due to injury.

Pogba was forced to withdraw from international duty with France after injuring his ankle in United's 1-1 draw with Southampton on August 31.

The 26-year-old has started all four of United's matches this term but will sit out this weekend's visit of Leicester, barring a "miraculous recovery".

Providing an injury update at his pre-match news conference on Friday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told reporters: "Pogba won't be fit, unless he's had a miraculous recovery overnight from yesterday to today, or maybe from tonight to tomorrow.

"He's not been ready to do 100 per cent training, no."

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jesse Lingard also pulled out of England's squad through injury and illness respectively, while Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial played no part in the draw at Southampton.

Solskjaer does not expect any of his walking wounded to play a full part against Leicester and Thursday's Europa League match with Astana may also come too soon.

"The treatment room has been busy and still is," he said. "We don't really know who is going to be available.

"Maybe Aaron, maybe Jesse and I think maybe that's it from the ones that had to pull out [of the internationals], but I can't promise those two will be available either.

"We hope that more can be ready for West Ham next week and Paul and Anthony are in that category. I think they'll be ready for then and I can't say more than that really."

United have gone three games without a win since beating Chelsea 4-0 on the opening weekend of the season and find themselves down in eighth, three points worse off than Brendan Rodgers' Leicester.

"Leicester is always a tough game, as a team, a club wanting to push into the top four," Solskjaer said.

"They've got good players, a good manager, a proven top manager - Brendan's teams always play with football and we've got to play well to get the three points.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League clash against Leicester City due to injury.

Pogba was forced to withdraw from international duty with France after injuring his ankle in United's 1-1 draw with Southampton on August 31.

Mauricio Pochettino claimed his preference to keep Kieran Trippier was "so clear" despite the defender appearing to accuse Tottenham of keeping him guessing over their transfer plans.

England right-back Trippier moved to LaLiga side Atletico Madrid in July, bringing an end to a four-year stint in north London.

The 28-year-old endured an underwhelming final season with Spurs but last week said he had "wanted to stay" and might have done so had the club not "got rid" of him.

"I tried to speak to the chairman about it and I spoke to the manager about his plans and I didn't get a yes and I didn't get a no. So you get the impression," Trippier was quoted as saying.

Pochettino offered a different version of events and revealed the former Burnley player made contact through Harry Kane in an attempt to clarify his comments.

"He believed his words were twisted - I don't know anything more," said Pochettino, who did not receive a text message from Trippier due to recently changing his phone number.

"Kieran translated this message to me through Harry Kane. He wanted to tell me. But I've got no problem with Kieran.

"In football decisions happen and players move from one club to another. What happened happened, and we need to move on and he needs to think of Atletico Madrid and be happy there."

Pochettino added, according to several English newspapers: "The only conversation when he arrived after the summer was when he came to see me.

"He asked me for a meeting and said, 'Gaffer, I think I have a good possibility and for different reasons I would like to accept the offer from Atletico Madrid'.

"He didn't ask me nothing. He only communicated whether the club were going to accept the offer. Nothing more.

"It wasn't a conversation - 'Do you want me or don't you want me?'. It was so clear.

"He played the final of the Champions League, when I had plenty of different options, with Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Kyle Walker-Peters. But he played the final of the Champions League. My actions speak louder than my words."

Trippier joined Tottenham from Burnley in 2015 and went on to star at the World Cup three years later.

"We all feel proud to help him to achieve his dream and to reach a level that he wasn't at before he arrived at Tottenham," Pochettino said.

"That speaks very highly about Tottenham, very highly about him, and we are more than happy that he is enjoying the new experience in Spain.

"I hope he has a good life there."

Massimiliano Allegri lauded the mentality of Cristiano Ronaldo, while the former Juventus head coach believes Inter can win the Scudetto.

Ronaldo should be in the twilight of his career, but the 34-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down after joining Juve from LaLiga giants Real Madrid in 2018-19.

Allegri was in charge when Juve prised Ronaldo to Turin in a stunning €112million deal last season – the five-time Ballon d'Or winner scoring 21 Serie A goals and 28 in all competitions as the Italian champions claimed their eighth consecutive Scudetto.

Asked about Ronaldo – who netted four goals in Portugal's 5-1 rout of Lithuania to become the highest scoring player in European Championship qualifying history – Allegri hailed the veteran superstar.

"His strength is on a mental level," said Allegri. "He is 34 years old, he has won Championships, European titles and Golden Balls but he continues to give himself important stimuli that make the difference.

"The technique is fundamental to stay at high levels for many years, but the difference is made by the head and the professionalism. If I prefer to coach Ronaldo or a young talent? Ronaldo, without a doubt."

Allegri worked with Ronaldo last season before the Italian coach and Juve parted ways following his fifth successive league title.

Juve reportedly turned to Maurizio Sarri in pursuit of European glory after their Champions League quarter-final exit – the Old Lady managing two runners-up medals under Allegri in 2015 and 2017.

Reflecting on his exit, Allegri said: "I have absolutely not regretted the choice made with Juventus, things must not be forced. After five years it was time to take a break, perhaps the president had understood it before me."

There is a touch of Juve at Inter this season, with former Bianconeri coach Antonio Conte joining chief executive Giuseppe Marotta in Milan.

Allegri won four straight Serie A title under Marotta's leadership before the 62-year-old moved to Inter in 2018 and the Nerazzurri are now one of the favourites to dethrone Juve.

"At Juve I won both with him [Marotta] and without him," Allegri added. "At Inter he built a strong team and with Conte he made a choice of weight on the bench. They can win the scudetto."

Malick Secondary started their season in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division with more certainty than would have been expected of a just-promoted team.

Going away to Speyside Secondary, who have now been part of the Premier Division for the last two seasons, should have been challenging for the newcomers but they had no issues, dispatching them 5-0 and serving notice that they may be forces to reckon with this season.

That result wasn’t the biggest of the Premier Division’s first round of games though, as Presentation College, also visitors, smashed Trinity College Moka for six while East Mucurapo did the same against Queens Royal College.

In other results from round one, Pleasantville Secondary were 1-0 winners in their away fixture against San Juan North Secondary, while Trinity College East also made it tough for home sides with a 2-1 win over St Benedict’s College.

Speaking of home sides, St Augustine Secondary, a team with rich history in the Premier Division also found the going tough, failing to find a winner in a 1-1 draw with St Anthony’s College.

Naparima College, last year’s triple champions were one of only two home teams to make their advantage count, dispatching perennial rivals St Mary’s College 3-0.

The results means east Mucurapo and Presentation College are the leaders of the 15-team group with a big six-goal goal difference. Next comes newcomer Malik Secondary, while the fourth-place team is Naparima College.

 

Pos Team P W D L F A +- Pts
1 East Mucurapo Secondary 1 1 0 0 6 0 6 3
2 Presentation College 1 1 0 0 6 0 6 3
3 Malik Secondary 1 1 0 0 5 0 5 3
4 Naparima College 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 3
5 Trinity College East 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
6 Pleasantville Secondary 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
7 St Anthony's College 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
8 St Augustine Secondary 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
9 Carapichaima East Secondary 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 St Benedict's College 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
11 San Juan North Secondary 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
12 St Mary's College 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0
13 Speyside Secondary 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0
14 Queen's Royal College 1 0 0 1 0 6 -6 0
15 Trinity College Moka 1 0 0 1 0 6 -6 0

  

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez dreams of seeing the club's basketball team playing in the NBA.

Madrid are one of the dominant forces in European basketball, winning a record 10 EuroLeague titles. Their most recent success was in the 2017-2018 season, while they were losing semi-finalists earlier this year.

They have also won the Spanish league four years out of the last five, with Perez suggesting Madrid's players deserve to test themselves against the best by joining the Eastern Conference.

"In basketball we play many insignificant games," Perez said. "It's better to play less, but better.

"We have explored the option of a European League and I have the dream of seeing Madrid in the NBA.

"I have asked us to be included in the Eastern Conference, but they say that's far away."

Perez suggested an alternative option could be to include Real Madrid in a new European Conference that would be part of the NBA.

"The other teams in Spain don't have as much interest," Perez added.

"But there are Greek and Turkish clubs with which we could have a European Conference.

"There are only two teams in the NBA with more followers than us on social networks."

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