Trent Alexander-Arnold believes Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's unwavering belief has helped shape his life for the better.

Klopp extended his contract with the Premier League leaders on Friday, agreeing a deal that keeps him at the club until 2024.

The German arrived at Anfield in October 2015 and handed a teenage Alexander-Arnold his professional debut 12 months later, in an EFL Cup tie against Tottenham.

The Merseysider has gone on to win the Champions League and cement a regular starting berth at right-back.

"He is someone who has really made me who I am today," Alexander-Arnold told Spanish newspaper AS when asked about Klopp.

"Someone who has pushed me to get better every day, someone who has given me so many opportunities that I will never be able to repay all that confidence. He has helped me in every way."

Alexander-Arnold's early exposure to first-team football helped him win a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the 2018 World Cup.

The 21-year-old appears certain to be involved at Euro 2020 after appearing in three qualifiers, including two in November.

He was on the bench when the Three Lions encountered racist abuse during their infamous away game against Bulgaria, which the visitors won 6-0.

"It was something that, personally, I had never faced before, nor my team-mates, although they told us what could happen," Alexander-Arnold said of the ugly scenes in Sofia.

"The worst happened before the break, when the match stopped. In the changing room we decided to go out and play football and win, and make our country proud of us. It's disappointing, something that shouldn't happen in football these days."

Now an emerging leader in a Liverpool side charging towards a first Premier League title, Alexander-Arnold said wearing the armband was a definite personal ambition.

"Yes, of course," he said. "Whether it comes true or not, it is not really my decision. I don't choose who the captain is. But yes, I would love to captain Liverpool."

Jurgen Klopp said he could not imagine leaving Liverpool in 2022 after the manager opted to extend his contract.

The German, who led the Premier League giants to Champions League glory last season, extended his deal at Anfield until 2024 on Friday.

Klopp said the position Liverpool were in meant he could not see himself leaving at the end of his previous contract.

"I couldn't imagine I would leave," he told UK newspapers ahead of hosting Watford on Saturday.

"That was the moment I thought we can start thinking about how long do I want to stay? I have no clue how long it will be in the end, but it was not possible for me to imagine that I would leave in 2022 because of the people we have and what we have created here.

"It was not that I went to the club and said, 'come on, let's have a new contract'. The club started the talks and then we realised – together with my family – that it is the right thing to do.

"I liked the idea more and more."

Klopp has been in charge at Liverpool since October 2015, with last season's European success his first piece of silverware.

Asked if he felt a wider responsibility to Liverpool as a whole, Klopp said: "Yes, I feel responsible for a lot of things but I don't think too much about it. 

"People make more of it than it is. I try to help this football club to be in the best possible place and then that has an impact on all the rest of things in the city, I guess. 

"I don't feel responsible for all things in Liverpool - thank God, not. There is already enough I feel responsible for."

Jurgen Klopp's contract extension at Liverpool pleased his Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard, who still hopes to "bridge the gap" to the Premier League leaders.

Klopp, who joined Liverpool in 2015, already had a contract at Anfield until 2022, but the Reds managed to secure his long-term future early with Friday's announcement of the new four-and-half-year deal.

It was a just reward for reinvigorating Liverpool, who are a genuine force again both in Europe and the Premier League, having lifted the Champions League trophy last term before dashing to the top of the domestic table this season.

After 16 matches, Liverpool have dropped just two points and are eight clear of second-placed Leicester City at the summit, with Klopp transforming the team into a winning machine with few – if any – notable weaknesses.

As Klopp and Liverpool set the standard, Lampard acknowledged Chelsea have work to do but is looking forward to continuing to take on the German.

"Liverpool are a huge rival now anyway," Lampard told reporters on Friday. "What they've done in recent years…

"Recruitment, their style of play, what Jurgen Klopp has built over a period of a few years is incredible.

"So, congratulations on the new contract. It's fully deserved, that's for sure. They will remain a huge competitor.

"I love going up against the managers of the quality and name of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. You go through the Premier League and there's so many great managers here, so I'm pleased, I'm not disappointed.

"The challenge for us is can we bridge the gap to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp or no Jurgen Klopp, but congrats on his new contract."

James Milner has extended his contract with Liverpool to prolong his stay at the club beyond the end of this season.

Liverpool have not announced the exact length of the agreement but it is reported to be a two-and-a-half year deal.

The fresh terms for vice-captain Milner came on the same day the club renewed manager Jurgen Klopp's contract until 2024.

Milner, who turns 34 in January, joined the European champions in 2015 on a free transfer from Manchester City and came off the bench in their Champions League final win over Tottenham last season.

His previous deal with Premier League leaders Liverpool was due to expire at the end of the season but he will now remain part of Klopp's squad going forward.

"I've been lucky and privileged to play for this club for four and a half years now," Milner said. "It has been an amazing time seeing how the club is changing and developing."

The fresh terms for Milner capped a productive day for the Reds – who begin their Club World Cup campaign next week – after Klopp's long-term extension.

"Obviously the gaffer waited to sign his dependent on whether I signed mine, so that makes me a feel bit more important!" he joked.

Milner added: "We had discussions with the club and this was obviously the ideal for me, this was what I wanted to do – stay and play at the highest level as long as I can.

"Liverpool is an unbelievable place to be and we're a very, very good football team. I enjoy being part of this football club and hopefully we can keep improving."

Milner has played 198 games for Liverpool, 21 of those appearances coming this season.

"Obviously winning a trophy last year, it's easy to sit back or take your foot off the gas, and we've gone the other way," said Milner.

"You can see the drive in the squad to keep pushing and to try to play at the intensity that we play at every couple of days, which we are at the moment.

"We'll keep striving to keep improving and getting success for this club."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Dejan Lovren has a more serious muscle injury than before, adding he cannot put a time frame on the centre-back's recovery.

Lovren went off after 53 minutes of the 2-0 Champions League win away to Salzburg on Tuesday, having managed only 40 minutes of the 3-0 Premier League victory over Bournemouth last weekend.

The defender will miss Saturday's game against Watford at Anfield and Klopp admits he is unsure when the 30-year-old will be able to return.

"He is out, muscle this time – more serious than last time," Klopp told reporters on Friday. "We don't have a time frame."

With Joel Matip also sidelined with a knee injury, Klopp has only Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as his senior centre-back options amid a gruelling run of fixtures.

After the Watford match, a team largely comprising youth and fringe players will face Aston Villa in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, with the rest of the squad in action in a Club World Cup semi-final 24 hours later.

With league games against second-place Leicester City and Wolves to come before the turn of the year, Klopp accepts his lack of defenders is a worry.

"It's a concern," he said. "It's not the first time we are in a situation like this: last year, one game Fabinho played at centre-half. Unfortunately, he is out as well. It's not too cool.

"At the moment we have two – we should take care of them, pack them in cotton wool and ask them what they want to do in training. Apart from that, we have to be creative; we have the kids, of course, with Ki-Jana [Hoever] and Sepp [van den Berg].

"We have defensive-minded midfielders, there are different systems where you can use different kind of defenders as well. That's how it is.

"At the moment, I have a lot of ideas, but I hope for most of them I never have to use them, to be honest."

Klopp, who signed a new contract that runs until 2024 on Friday, will be hoping for a 16th win from 17 league games this season against Watford, as Liverpool aim to maintain their eight-point lead at the top.

Jurgen Klopp engaged in a comical exchange with a Japanese journalist at Friday's news conference, hinting at Takumi Minamino's imminent arrival at Liverpool.

Salzburg star Minamino has been one of the Austrian club's star players over the past year, impressing in the Europa League last season and in the Champions League this term.

Liverpool had been able to take a particularly close look at the Japan international when the two clubs played one another twice in the Champions League group stage, with Minamino again catching the eye against the Reds in their 2-0 win on Tuesday.

Since then, media speculation has claimed Liverpool have already secured a deal to sign the attacking midfielder in January.

Klopp, who was speaking following confirmation of his new four-and-a-half-year contract, would not be drawn on the rumours but took a mischievous tone when a Japanese journalist raised his hand for a question.

"Why are you here?" Klopp quipped, adding: "I think we'll see you more often now."

But instead of asking Klopp about Minamino, the reporter actually queried the German on Shinji Kagawa, the Japanese player he worked with at Borussia Dortmund.

Klopp replied: "Look, he doesn't speak about Minamino, he speaks about Shinji Kagawa!

"I love that, that's great, and smart. I loved working with Shinji, a great experience because I didn't have much of an idea about Japanese football before I met Shinji. We saw him on video and signed him from watching him on video.

"We were not sure about him, but after first time training, in the dressing room, all of the coaches were just hugging each other, [saying], 'Oh my God, we've got a super player'.

"I had two years with Shinji, and you know better than I do, but the attitude of Japanese players is outstanding, smart, technically really good usually, work-rate outstanding, really dynamic and nice people.

"I still try to follow his career – it was just a great experience."

Earlier, Klopp batted away a question relating to the apparently imminent arrival of Minamino, though he did acknowledge rating the 24-year-old highly.

"There's nothing else to say," Klopp remarked. "We speak about it in the moment like we do about all transfers – or potential transfers – when it's sorted, so [I have] nothing to say about it.

"He's a very good player, I can say that, but I saw many good players in the Salzburg team, more than I wanted to see, but that's it."

Pep Guardiola has congratulated Jurgen Klopp on his new deal at Liverpool and has vowed to see out his own Manchester City contract.

Liverpool announced on Friday that Klopp has agreed fresh terms at Anfield to keep him in place for another four-and-a-half years.

Guardiola's long-term future appears less clear, though, amid reports his existing deal contains a break clause that will allow him to walk away at the end of the season.

However, the Catalan coach, who last month stated he is open to staying on beyond the end of his contract in June 2021, denied any truth to the rumours.

"It's not true," he said at Friday's pre-match news conference ahead of this weekend's Premier League trip to Arsenal. 

"I talked about it a few weeks ago, my intentions for the club."

Guardiola has been involved in a tussle with Klopp for major honours in recent seasons and is pleased the Liverpool boss has secured his future.

"Congratulations to him and Liverpool for five more years here in England - he deserves it," Guardiola said. 

"I think it is really good for the Premier League that he can continue here."

City have already dropped as many points in the Premier League this term as they did in the whole of 2018-19, leading to suggestions they are looking to recruit in January.

Nathan Ake is among those to have been linked with a move to the defending champions, but Guardiola reiterated he is happy with his current crop of players.

"The players that started the season are going to finish the season," he said. "If something happens it will be in the summer, not winter."

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho believes Jurgen Klopp's long-term commitment to Liverpool can only be positive news for the Premier League.

Klopp inked a new deal tying him to the Reds until 2024, adding two years to his existing contract.

The German masterminded Liverpool's victory over Tottenham in last season's Champions League final and has guided the Reds to an eight-point advantage atop the Premier League this term.

Mourinho praised Klopp's talents and said his presence in English football was good for the game.

"First of all, it means they are all happy," Mourinho told a news conference. "He's happy; if not, he doesn't sign. They're happy; if not, they don't give him new contract.

"Great news obviously for Liverpool fans, because they love him, for the players, because it looks clear that they like each other and their relationship is very good, and good news for the Premier League.

"We want to have the best players and the best coaches, and he's one of the best, so I think only positive news."

Mourinho was speaking ahead of Sunday's trip to sixth-placed Wolves.

Spurs will be without Erik Lamela, who has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and faces another two months on the sidelines.

Tanguy Ndombele will miss out because of a groin problem, but Harry Winks is back in training after overcoming an ankle issue.

Mourinho's men will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich as they seek to stay in touch with the top four.

"We know where we belong," said the Portuguese, who has overseen three wins and a defeat in the Premier League since taking charge in north London.

"Of course, we don't belong to the second part of the table, where we were. We don't even belong to position seven or eight, where we are the moment.

"We know where we belong and we believe, at the end of the season, we are going to be there.

"But if you can accelerate the process and get results that put you sooner rather than later in these positions, obviously this is the best that can happen to us. We need a bit of time.

"We need to improve in many things, and we are going to improve, because we have the talent to improve, the desire to improve, so I'm sure we're going to improve."

Jurgen Klopp is unsure about the prospect of never leaving Liverpool but feels the length of his new four-and-a-half-year contract feels "like forever in football" anyway.

Liverpool confirmed on Friday that Klopp has committed to a new contract – a two-year extension to his previous deal – that will keep him at Anfield until 2024.

It comes as a just reward for the Reds' remarkable 2019-20 to date, with Liverpool eight points clear at the Premier League summit having only failed to win one – a 1-1 draw with Manchester United – of their 16 games this term.

If Klopp manages to see out his new contract, he will have been at the club for almost nine years, having joined in 2015.

And while the German was unwilling to commit to never leaving the club, he acknowledged the significant length of the new deal.

"Forever? I'm not sure, but I think four-and-a-half years from now sounds like forever in football," Klopp told reporters in his pre-match news conference ahead of facing Watford.

"It would be nine years, the longest spell I've been at a club. I'm just looking forward to it. One reason for this extension is so we don't speak about it anymore, because that's very important.

"I understand the questions, but for the next three-and-a-half years, no one has to talk about it. We will see what happens.

"The plan is to make it the best time of our life, which hasn't been too bad until now, but we don't have a feeling that it can't be even better, so let's make the best time of our lives of it, enjoy the ride.

"I never thought about leaving before 2022, but you get constantly confronted with it and you think, 'Okay, it could end', and then I wouldn't see people I have real relationships with.

"The club was asking for a while if we could talk about extending and, at this moment, I thought it makes sense before things maybe get intense.

"Not now obviously, it was calm as it should be, but maybe in the summer [end of the season] we would've started again, talking about things like that, and new players coming in are asking how long the manager is going to be here. We all wanted to avoid that."

Klopp's assistants Peter Krawietz and Pepijn Lijnders also renewed their deals and he stressed their importance to the Reds' development.

"I've worked with Peter 18, 19 years, I think, and still all good," he said. "And Pep, it's four years I think.

"He [Lijnders] gets better and better and better over the years. We really improved a lot and bringing Pep in in a different role refreshed the system.

"I think he's an outstanding coach, plenty of ideas, so it was clear for me that I wanted to have the consolation. I had to ask them first, they were happy.

"It's the same thing, we enjoy the working together, the boys wanted to be part of the project and they want to do it together. I'm really happy, they're incredibly important."

Jurgen Klopp believes Champions League winners Liverpool are yet to fulfil even half of their potential as the German embarks on the next phase of his long-term plan.

Reds boss Klopp, 52, agreed a two-year contract extension on Friday, tying him to the club until 2024.

The German has had a galvanising effect since taking charge just over four years ago and looks destined to deliver the Premier League leaders their first top-flight title in 30 years.

Liverpool are eight points clear at the summit, have the European Cup in their possession and will only keep on improving, according to their charismatic manager.

"We don't feel we are close [to] the end," Klopp told his club's website after inking the new deal.

"We feel rather we are, maximum, not even halfway where we want to be."

He continued: "We don't think that we are only close to our 100 per cent but we try to come closer and closer and closer.

"That's what we said after the Champions League final, after the first one, after the second one: this is not the final chapter for this team, there are a lot more to write and we want to be really influential in that.

"We don't know where it will lead us to, but in this moment... I don't know the teams before I came in, but it's one of the teams who are most committed to this club and it's really, really nice to be part of that."

Klopp's assistants Peter Krawietz and Pepijn Lijnders have also committed to Liverpool until 2024.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss said negotiations over his future would not have advanced without guarantees for Krawietz and Lijnders.

"Without an agreement from the boys, nothing would have happened," he said.

"That's how it is. It was always like this in my life, that I said first and foremost the assistants have to be happy and then we can talk. That was no different here."

Jurgen Klopp signed a new contract with Liverpool on Friday that keeps him tied down to the European champions for another four-and-a-half years.

The German coach guided the Reds to Champions League success last season and is on course to end the club's long wait for a maiden Premier League crown this term.

Now in his fifth campaign at Anfield, and with potentially at least three more to come, we look at the work Klopp has done so far on Merseyside.


FINAL HEARTACHE CAPS MIXED FIRST SEASON

Liverpool experienced two cup final defeats in Klopp's first campaign at the helm, losing on penalties to Manchester City in the EFL Cup and 3-1 to Sevilla in the Europa League.

Despite falling short on both occasions and enduring largely mixed results in the Premier League - beating City 4-1 away a month before going down 3-0 to Watford - supporters were willing to stay patient.

KLOPP REPAYS LIVERPOOL FAITH

Rewarded with a six-year extension ahead of his first full season at Anfield, Klopp repaid the faith shown in him by guiding the Reds back into the Champions League with a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League.

Liverpool's improving consistency saw them racked up 16 more points in 2016-17 than they had 12 months prior, providing clear evidence that things were on the up.

TOTTENHAM HUMBLING PROVES TURNING POINT

Klopp may be considered a Liverpool legend now, but a 4-1 loss away to Tottenham in October 2017 - making it three wins in their first nine league games in 2017-18 - led to questions being asked of the German.

Results quickly improved, but there was still the feeling Liverpool might be a little fragile at the back until, in January 2018, they spent a then club-record fee on Virgil van Dijk.

While the signings of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah thrilled Liverpool fans, this arrival would take them to the next level.

A STEP TOO FAR IN KIEV

Another final for Liverpool, another heartbreaking defeat - even as Van Dijk starred.

A Gareth-Bale inspired Real Madrid came out on top in the 2018 Champions League final, ending a magical run that had seen the Reds produce attacking masterclasses to overcome Porto, Manchester City and Roma en route to the Kiev showpiece.

Having come so close to glory, Klopp again made big moves in the transfer market. In came Brazil international goalkeeper Alisson - replacing final flop Loris Karius - as well as midfield reinforcements in Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.

REDEMPTION IN MADRID SOFTENS DOMESTIC BLOW

Despite accruing 97 points in 2018-19, Liverpool were remarkably pipped to the Premier League title by Pep Guardiola's City side.

The blow of finishing as runners-up with nearly a century of points was softened three weeks later, however, as goals from Salah and Divock Origi earned Klopp's men a 2-0 win in the Champions League final against Tottenham.

Buoyed by that first major European success in 14 years - and indeed the subsequent victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup - Liverpool have started 2019-20 in remarkable form and are firmly in contention for a clean sweep of silverware.

Jurgen Klopp saluted his players after adding the Premier League Manager of the Month award to the long-term Liverpool contract extension he signed on Friday.

The German claimed the prize for the third time this term in a quick reminder of why the Reds handed him a deal running through to 2024.

Klopp guided the European champions to four successive victories in November, including a crucial 3-1 win over title rivals Manchester City.

Liverpool sit eight points clear of second-placed Leicester City after 16 matches, with champions City 14 points behind the leaders.

"It feels really good," Klopp said. "But I don't take it personally. My players are responsible for that, obviously, because they have so far played an outstanding season."

Among the most impressive performers for Liverpool has been Sadio Mane, who was named Player of the Month.

Mane found the net three times and registered one assist in November.

Among the goals was a late winner in the 2-1 victory at Aston Villa, as the Reds came from behind with two strikes in the closing stages.

The Senegal international has been in fine form throughout the season, elevating himself to become arguably Liverpool's most crucial player in attack, with nine goals and four assists in his 15 league outings.

Mane's stellar record has helped the club charge to a 46-point haul that has them on track to to win their first league title in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp is the best manager in world football and would be Liverpool's first-choice candidate if searching for a new boss in 2019, the club's owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) said following his contract extension.

Liverpool confirmed on Friday that Klopp has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract to keep him at the club until 2024, as they surge towards an historic first Premier League title.

Klopp joined the Reds in 2015 and quickly began to oversee a steady improvement in their fortunes, reaching two finals in his first year.

Although they fell at the last hurdle on both of those occasions in the EFL Cup and Europa League, two years later Klopp guided Liverpool to a first Champions League final since 2007.

Another final defeat did little to deter them and they lifted European football's biggest prize earlier this year in Madrid, while they are coasting towards a first league title in 30 years having dropped only two points in 16 Premier League matches this term.

Klopp's commitment - which was announced shortly before he was confirmed as the Premier League's Manager of the Month for November - unsurprisingly left FSG's leadership team in triumphant mood.

"We feel this represents one of the big moments of our stewardship of Liverpool so far, as we believe there is no better manager than Jurgen," a statement on behalf of FSG principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon read.

"The decision also keeps with the club's overall strategy of building from a position of strength.

"It means Jurgen will oversee the ongoing transition from Melwood to the new Kirkby training base as the club continues to pursue a vision of being elite in all facets of the industry.

"It also provides us with continuity with the existing football operations management structure, overseen by sporting director Michael Edwards, whose input into the project cannot be overestimated.

"He has been – and will continue to be – as indispensably important as anyone else to the direction of Liverpool. In Jurgen and Michael, we are blessed with world-class leadership.

"This is a collective partnership that has seen the club reach and then re-establish itself as an elite performer at home and abroad.

"Back in 2015, we used the phrase 'ideal fit' when we appointed Jurgen. This continues to apply today and, if anything, the circumstances make it more pertinent. We consider him to be the best there is.

"If Liverpool were looking to appoint the most outstanding, elite manager for our current status today, Jurgen would be the first choice – no question. We believe this deal cements a relationship built on trust and mutual benefit: Jurgen has delivered for LFC, and LFC has delivered for Jurgen.

"Both parties have come to the conclusion that by continuing to work together and build on the work of the last four years, the opportunity exists to maximise each other's potential."

Jurgen Klopp has signed a new two-year contract extension with Liverpool, keeping him on Merseyside until 2024, the club confirmed on Friday.

The German sees the agreement as an indicator of where the club is heading, convinced Liverpool's development will only continue.

"For me, personally, this is a statement of intent, one which is built on my knowledge of what we as a partnership have achieved so far and what is still there for us to achieve," Klopp said.

"When I see the development of the club and the collaborative work that continues to take place, I feel my contribution can only grow.

"People see what happens on the pitch as a measure of our progress and, although it is the best measure, it's not the only measure. I have seen the commitment from ownership through to every aspect and function of the club you can think of.

"When the call came in autumn 2015, I felt we were perfect for each other; if anything, now I feel I underestimated that.

"It is only with a total belief that the collaboration remains totally complementary on both sides that I am able to make this commitment to 2024. If I didn't, I would not be re-signing."

Klopp has overseen a steady improvement since joining the club in 2015, making them top-four regulars again before building from that platform and restoring fans' faith in Liverpool's ability to challenge for major honours.

The Reds were beaten in both the EFL Cup and Europa League finals in the manager's first season, and they have shown immense progress from there.

In 2017-18, Liverpool reached the Champions League final for the first time since 2006-07, although they were defeated 3-1 by Real Madrid.

Klopp's men were not to be deterred and returned the following year, going all the way and winning 2-0 against Tottenham in the final in June, becoming champions of Europe for a sixth time.

And while Liverpool missed out on a maiden Premier League title in 2018-19 - chasing a first top-flight championship since 1989-90 - as they finished a point adrift of champions Manchester City, the Reds are well on course to put that right in 2020.

The European champions sit eight points clear at the top of the league table after 16 games.

Klopp insists all of the focus should not be on him, however, as he paid tribute to sporting director Michael Edwards.

"This club is in such a good place, I couldn't contemplate leaving," he continued. "I must also highlight the role of Michael Edwards in this journey so far.

"His input and collaboration has been just as important as anyone else's in getting us into a position to compete for the game's top titles.

"For anyone in football who aspires to compete in an environment where every element of the organisation is at its very best - from the support of the supporters to the vision of the owners - there can be no better place than this."

Klopp's assistants Peter Krawietz and Pepijn Lijnders have also extended their respective contracts until 2024.

Murmurs about Pep Guardiola's potential departure from Manchester City are not going away.

Recent reports have suggested the successful Catalan could look to leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season.

It now appears Guardiola has the power to make that happen.

 

TOP STORY – GUARDIOLA'S ESCAPE ROUTE

An exit clause in the contract Guardiola signed last year gives the two-time Premier League winner the chance to leave City at the conclusion of the campaign, reports the Daily Mail.

Guardiola's deal, which he renewed in May 2018, runs through to 2021, but it seems he will have a decision to make when the club's title defence comes to a close.

City have formulated contingency plans, according to the report, and are "known to be admirers" of former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Guardiola, 48, has been linked with a return to Bayern Munich but last month said he was "open" to signing another contract extension with City.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United missed out on Liverpool-bound Takumi Minamino because the Old Trafford club were unaware of a £7.25million exit clause in the winger's Salzburg contract, says the Mirror.

- Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund want to keep Jadon Sancho in January but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United are confident of pushing through a transfer for the England international, claims the Mirror.

- Inter are monitoring Argentine attacking midfielder Rodrigo De Paul but are not prepared to meet Udinese's €35m asking price, according to CalcioMercato.

- Carlo Ancelotti is set to fly to London for talks with Everton as the managerless Merseysiders look to beat Arsenal to the ex-Napoli boss, says the Sun.

- Ivan Rakitic appears set to stay at Barcelona after all. The midfielder wants to continue at Camp Nou after breaking back into the starting XI over the past four matches, reports Marca.

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