Liverpool have reportedly put their plans to sign Timo Werner on hold, while Paulo Dybala's future could be clearer soon.

Werner, 24, was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool from RB Leipzig, but the coronavirus pandemic may have changed that.

Meanwhile, Dybala's future is set to be clear shortly.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL PUT WERNER PLANS ON HOLD

Liverpool have put their plans to sign Werner on hold and also stopped contract talks due to coronavirus, according to The Daily Mail.

There is uncertainty over the financial statuses of sporting clubs around the world due to coronavirus and Liverpool are waiting until there is greater clarity.

Star midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and defender Dejan Lovren are among the Liverpool players out of contract in 2021.

One club seemingly not prepared to wait are Juventus, with CalcioMercato reporting Dybala is getting closer to a contract extension with the Serie A giants.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luka Modric is going nowhere. AS claims the midfielder will see out his contract, which runs until 2021, at Real Madrid. Just what Madrid's midfield looks like next season remains to be seen. Sport says Madrid will let James Rodriguez leave and bring Martin Odegaard back from his loan spell at Real Sociedad. It also reports Takefusa Kubo will be used as part of a deal to bring back Odegaard.

- Talk about a deal that would see Neymar return to Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann join Paris Saint-Germain remains alive. According to Sport, PSG would welcome Griezmann while they attempt to re-sign Kylian Mbappe to unite the France team-mates at club level.

- One player unlikely to be at PSG is Edinson Cavani. Tuttosport reports Napoli are thinking about bringing the forward, who is out of contract at the end of the season, back to the Stadio San Paolo.

- Marc-Andre ter Stegen's future remains unclear. Sport claims Barcelona and the goalkeeper are no closer to renewing a contract that will expire in 2022.

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan is seemingly happy on loan at Roma, but whether he stays remains to be seen. The Daily Express says Arsenal have rejected two bids – the last one around €11.4million (£10m) – from the Serie A club, who may instead turn to Chelsea's Pedro.

- As they plan a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, Chelsea have told Willian he has no chance of getting a three-year deal, according to the Mirror. Willian is out of contract at the end of the season.

Jadon Sancho is the name on everyone's lips.

The Borussia Dortmund teenager has taken Europe by storm and clubs are queuing up.

But Manchester United are reportedly at the front of the line.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IN TOUCH WITH SANCHO AGENT

Manchester United have contacted Jadon Sancho's agent as they look to sign the Borussia Dortmund sensation, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Sancho tops the list of United's transfer targets following his exploits for the Bundesliga side, with Liverpool and Chelsea also reportedly interested.

But Dortmund – who will not stand in Sancho's way of a departure – are unwilling to budge on their €110million (£98m) valuation.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport reports Chelsea are preparing a huge contract offer for Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. It comes as the Blues reportedly look to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Juventus are interested in Achraf Hakimi, says Calciomercato. Achraf is set to return to Real Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Dortmund. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked to the Moroccan full-back.

Inter have named their price for Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez, Calciomercato reports. With a release clause of €111m, Inter want at least €80m in cash.

- Birmingham City's 16-year-old star Jude Bellingham is set to reject a transfer to United in favour of Dortmund, says Bild.

Tottenham and Arsenal, along with Crystal Palace and West Ham, are eyeing Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, according to Team Talk.

- Calciomercato claims Inter have not given up on signing Napoli forward Dries Mertens on a free transfer. The Belgian star is out of contract at the end of 2019-20.

Madrid is the preferred option for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, says Marca. Liverpool, Dortmund and PSG have also emerged as possible suitors for the 17-year-old.

- Corriere dello Sport says Valencia are eyeing Inter centre-back Diego Godin, who has been linked to United and Tottenham.

Roma are lining up a move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, says Diario AS. Clubs in Brazil and Qatar are also reportedly circling.

Rumours linking Neymar to Barcelona refuse to subside.

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million transfer in 2017, but the Brazilian star wants to move back to Camp Nou.

Barca are desperate to make it happen by any means necessary.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO INVOKE CLAUSE IN NEYMAR PURSUIT

Barcelona are plotting an audacious plan to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, according to ESPN.

The report says LaLiga champions could invoke a little-known FIFA clause – Article 17 – in order to lure Neymar back to Camp Nou.

Article 17 states that players can leave their contracts "without just cause" once the three-year protection period ends.

 

ROUND-UP

Marc-Andre ter Stegen to leave Barca? The Germany international has been in contract negotiations with the Spanish giants, however, Sport says he is being tempted by Bayern Munich.

- Sport also claims that Barca have put Antoine Griezmann on the transfer market. It comes as Barca look to sign Inter's Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, while keeping costs down amid the coronavirus pandemic. Manchester United, PSG, Chelsea and Arsenal are possible suitors for Griezmann. The same publication reports Barca's stars have agreed to take a pay cut to help the club deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Real Madrid are interested in signing Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, AS reports. Madrid are eyeing a striker with Karim Benzema ageing and big-money recruit Luka Jovic so far failing to convince Zinedine Zidane. Mexico international Jimenez previously spent a year at Atletico Madrid in 2014-15.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Arsenal and Tottenham are set to rival Serie A side Lazio for Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.

- With Lovren set to leave, AS suggests Liverpool have lined up three possible replacements – RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez and Inter's Alessandro Bastoni.

- Calciomercato says Mauro Icardi – on loan at PSG from Inter – wants to return to Italy at the end of the season amid strong links to Juventus. The Argentina striker is also open to joining Madrid.

Inter are working on a renewal to tie down star midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, reports Tuttosport. The Croatia international is contracted until 2022.

Juve, United and Barca are all tracking PSG's highly rated 17-year-old Edouard Michut, according to Calciomercato.

Could Liverpool part with Sadio Mane?

The star forward is a key member of Jurgen Klopp's side, who won the Champions League last season.

However, Real Madrid are reportedly ready to test Liverpool's resolve.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SET SIGHTS ON MANE

LaLiga giants Real Madrid are targeting Liverpool star Sadio Mane, reports The Mirror.

Mane has established himself as an integral part of Liverpool's squad after arriving from Southampton in 2016.

However, Madrid believe they could tempt Liverpool with a £140million (€154m) offer.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport's frontpage has the headline "Hands off Ronaldo". Sunday's newspaper features a story which says Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo want to continue together as the Serie A champions look to sign a "real number nine" amid links to Mauro Icardi. The Argentina international is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter.

PSG expect Neymar to leave at the end of the season, with ESPN claiming the Ligue 1 giants value the Barcelona target at €150m. Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

- According to the Express, Chelsea are preparing a £85m (€93m) bid for Bayer Leverkusen's Leon BaileyLiverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked to the 22-year-old.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims PSG are keen on Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who is contracted to the Italian giants until 2023. While Pjanic could leave Turin, Emerson Palmieri could arrive as Juve eye the Chelsea full-back.

United have offered goalkeeper Dean Henderson a new contract worth £100,000 per week, reports The Sun. Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United.

- The Mirror says United, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Chelsea have all met Birmingham City's asking price for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham.

Liverpool are ready to offload Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana at the end of the season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he "can't help" those who pinned the blame for their first Premier League defeat of the season on Dejan Lovren.

The Reds' incredible 44-game unbeaten run in the league came to an end on Saturday as they slumped to a 3-0 loss at Watford.

Lovren replaced the injured Joe Gomez alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence and was criticised heavily for a poor performance.

However, Klopp believed no member of his side - who remain 22 points clear at the top of the league - played at their best.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Klopp came to Lovren's defence.

"There are so many explanations for the defeat. I have no interesting answers, we didn't play well," Klopp said. 

"Watford hurt us in situations where we are usually much better. It was not the day where we showed our best attitude-wise. Apart from that it was a very difficult game because Watford defended in a 6-3-1 formation that is of course allowed but quite a challenge to play against.

"I really thought in the second half we got it, but then we conceded the first goal and then the second goal.

"The situation we are in, you couldn't read a book about because nobody else was in the situation before us.

"It was 44 games without losing a Premier League game. The Premier League game before Watford we lost was at Man City, [and that] was because of 11 millimetres. Imagine if we didn't lose that game, it would have been a run of more than 60 games, which is absolutely incredible.

"It's not about now picking this game out and saying 'that was the sign that something went wrong', it's not like this. We have the chance to react, that's how it is.

"It's over now, so we can concentrate completely on football and we will do that. Nobody can tell us how to deal in a best way with runs like this because not a lot of teams had it. I was not happy with the performance but it was always clear there can be a moment where it can happen.

"If anyone blamed Dejan Lovren for the defeat then I can't help these people. It was a massive challenge for Dejan to play against Troy Deeney, so many other centre-halves would struggle in these specific situations and Joe had problems in similar situations before that. 

"It's completely normal and both Dejan and Joel [Matip] played for us in this position sensational games, but like everybody in life you need to be healthy, then you need to get fit and where you are fit you need rhythm, that's the most difficult thing to get in professional football because if you are out you have sessions but you don't play.

"He's an outstanding centre-half. If you can tell me one player on Saturday who played his normal level I would be really surprised."

Dejan Lovren wants Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool to be held in similar regard to Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, convinced they can leave a legacy that marks them out as an all-time great team.

After narrowly missing out on the Premier League title last season, despite a remarkable haul of 97 points, Liverpool look destined to end their 30-year wait for the title this term.

The Reds are incredibly 22 points clear of defending champions Manchester City after 25 matches, with Klopp's side only failing to win once so far in the league.

Not only are they on course to be crowned champions, they are still in the hunt for the FA Cup and also the Champions League, a trophy they lifted in 2019.

Should they close out the season as emphatically as they have performed so far then records will tumble, but Lovren has warned their rivals that Liverpool will still be "greedy" for more in the future.

"I've been there from the beginning with Jurgen and it took quite a while, two or three years to build everything up," Lovren told Sky Sports.

"Let's say, we clicked this year - maybe even last year - but we missed out by one point.

"Now we understand each other, what we need, what we want. And I especially want that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [about] 20 trophies.

"Why should we not do that? I think we can do it and I want that we are remembered as one of the best teams that have played - not only for this year, but for many, many years.

"We are still hungry, still greedy and this is what makes us special to be honest.

"I think many other teams would go easy now with a 22-point lead, but we don't look at these 22 points. We are just focused game by game and this I think is the simplest way to be the best.

"It is a good experience also for the younger ones, to understand that even if you are on top you still need to work as hard as if you were in the middle of the table or in last position."

Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday when they travel to rock-bottom Norwich City.

Dejan Lovren returned to training with Liverpool on Tuesday after six weeks on the sidelines and said he felt "happy to be back".

The 30-year-old defender suffered a muscle injury in the final Champions League group game against Salzburg on December 10, with that blow compounding the loss of Joel Matip as manager Jurgen Klopp's resources were stretched.

Matip was back in full training last week, though, after recovering from the knee problem he suffered in October, and now he and Lovren will be targeting a first-team return with the Premier League leaders.

Lovren and Matip have played a part at the back for Liverpool during their so-far highly successful season, with the Reds' rearguard marshalled by Virgil van Dijk.

Joe Gomez has started at centre-back alongside Van Dijk in recent Premier League games, with Croatian Lovren and Cameroon international Matip facing a battle to earn favour from Klopp ahead of the England defender.

Lovren posted a series of pictures on Instagram of himself in training on Tuesday, with the caption: "Happy to be back with the team."

Liverpool face Wolves at Molineux on Thursday in their next league fixture.

Jurgen Klopp expects to have Fabinho and Dejan Lovren back in full training next week but James Milner and Naby Keita are unavailable for Liverpool's trip to Tottenham.

Defensive midfielder Fabinho has been absent since the end of November after sustaining ankle ligament damage in the 1-1 Champions League draw against Napoli.

Centre-back Lovren was enjoying a run in the team but has been out for a month due to a muscular issue, with Joe Gomez having impressed alongside Virgil van Dijk at the back for the unbeaten Premier League leaders.

However, both players are closing on a return that could come as soon as next weekend's clash with fierce rivals Manchester United.

"Dejan and Fabinho we expect to be back next week in full training, if that's early enough for the United game we will see," Klopp said. 

"They're working really hard, going through the paces, it's good."

Midfield duo Milner and Keita will sit out the clash in north London on Saturday due to muscle injuries.

"James and Naby are unavailable. Both muscles, different, and for different people," Klopp added. 

"Not a timeframe on it. We are open whenever they want to join us, when the medical team gives us the green light. Not this week, or next week, then we will see."

Klopp comes up against a familiar foe this weekend in Jose Mourinho, with Liverpool's 3-1 triumph over United in December 2018 seeing the Portuguese sacked by the Red Devils.

Liverpool boss Klopp is expecting to face a well-drilled Tottenham side, who will have to do without prolific captain Harry Kane.

"I'm expecting a very organised Tottenham side, yes," he added. "Putting some emphasis on defending for sure, using the counter-attacks, but team is too good technically to do just that.

"[Christian] Eriksen, [Dele] Alli, [Giovani] Lo Celso, lots of midfielders who can create situations, the speed they have with Lucas [Moura] and Son [Heung-min] too. 

"It could be [Serge] Aurier and [Ryan] Sessegnon are on the wings on top of that with speed.

" We cannot be 100 per cent sure what they will do but we have signs from what Mourinho did at Man United against us. Different teams and players though. That is normal. Our analysis always ends quite a way from the truth. It is the same for us, we want to be unpredictable.

"Mourinho is a world-class manager with a specific mindset. He wants to win. I respect that a lot. Each situation his team is in he tries to use. That is how managers work."

Georginio Wijnaldum will travel with Liverpool to the Club World Cup despite appearing to injure his hamstring in Saturday's Premier League win over Watford.

The midfielder's participation in Qatar became uncertain after he limped off in the 59th minute of the 2-0 victory at Anfield.

Liverpool confirmed Wijnaldum had suffered a muscle problem but the 29-year-old will still fly out on Sunday as part of a 20-man selection.

Jurgen Klopp will be without defender Dejan Lovren, who has been left behind as he recovers from a muscle issue sustained in the Champions League game against Salzburg.

Young midfielder Harvey Elliott and striker Rhian Brewster have also been trimmed from the initial 23-man squad announced earlier this month.

Liverpool begin the tournament with a semi-final against Mexican side Monterrey in Doha on Wednesday.

Captain and midfielder Jordan Henderson said the European champions had every intention of returning with the silverware.

"Well, we want to go there and win," Henderson told his club's website after the victory over the Hornets. 

"Big games coming up, so we've got to recover well. There's a big game Wednesday and hopefully we can do a job to get into the final on the weekend."

Liverpool's Club World Cup squad:

Alisson, Andy Lonergan, Adrian; Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Neco Williams; Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri; Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Divock Origi.

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.

Dejan Lovren has described Liverpool's defeat of Tottenham as a "massive, massive win" and says the Reds are getting smarter in the Premier League title race.

Having drawn 1-1 at Manchester United last Sunday to end their eight-game winning run at the start of the season, Liverpool looked in danger of a first league defeat of 2019-20 when Harry Kane put Spurs 1-0 up at Anfield on Sunday in the first minute.

There was further concern for Jurgen Klopp's side when Son Heung-min hit the crossbar early in the second half, just four minutes before Jordan Henderson levelled the scores.

Liverpool's pressure finally told when Serge Aurier fouled Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah struck the winner from the penalty spot with 15 minutes left, ensuring the leaders moved six points clear of champions Manchester City at the top of the table.

"We knew it would be a tough game, even though they didn't have brilliant results in the last couple of games," centre-back Lovren, who made only his second league appearance of the season, told Liverpool's website.

"We knew it would be tough and unfortunately they scored in the first minute, but we kept our nerve, played our game and we had many chances.

"We came in at half-time and the boss said: 'Usually I never say this, but I am satisfied even though we are 1-0 down. But we need to continue like that and keep our nerve'.

"We knew we would have another chance and we did it. It's a massive, massive win."

Although he is not prepared to look too far ahead, Lovren thinks Liverpool are in a stronger position to sustain their advantage in the title race, having lost a lead to City last season.

"Let's say that every season we are smarter and smarter," he said. "Definitely we've learned from all the years before and what kind of pressure we can play. We are used to it. We did it last year.

"We know what we need to do, but, like I said, let's not talk six or seven months up front. Let's go game by game. This is key."

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