Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool have "no intention" of letting Xherdan Shaqiri leave the club this month.

Switzerland international Shaqiri has been the subject of reported interest from Serie A side Roma and LaLiga outfit Sevilla, with the Reds thought to have already dismissed approaches for the 28-year-old.

The forward has made only six Premier League appearances this term, starting just twice, having played in 24 top-flight games in his first season at Anfield.

Yet as the Reds bid to seal a first league title in three decades and defend their Champions League crown, Klopp stressed the club do not want to offload any player this month.

"The majority of December and January we had the bench full of kids, wonderful kids, but kids, so how could we think about giving people to anyone?" Klopp said at a news conference to preview Liverpool's clash with Wolves on Thursday.

"It's not about Shaq, it's about everyone. We have to keep them for sorting our situation, not the situation for different clubs.

"If somebody would come around the corner and ask properly...but that didn't happen.

"[If] they are desperate then we think but there's absolutely no intention from our side to do anything."

Klopp's unbeaten side made it 21 wins from 22 in the Premier League on Sunday with a 2-0 triumph over Manchester United, the only side to have taken points off them in the division this term.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the first player Klopp brought off in that game just after the hour mark and the midfielder reacted angrily when he came to the bench having been replaced by Adam Lallana.

The 26-year-old also appeared peeved when he came off against Tottenham in Liverpool's previous game, with the England international yet to complete 90 minutes since returning from an ankle problem earlier this month.

However, Klopp said there is no issue with the reaction of his player, who he has spoken to regarding his apparent anger at being replaced.

"He's not [frustrated], he just looks like this," Klopp added.

"I asked him. It's all fine. It's normal a player wants to play 90 minutes. We have to learn from our own past. Oxlade is an unbelievably important player. Players get tired, they show up again like this.

"I try to read the players during the game and try to understand in which moment they are energy-level wise and make a decision. Maybe with Oxlade I was a bit too early but he got a knock on top of that. He was limping a little.

"If a midfielder is limping you start looking in more detail. In one or two defensive situations if a midfielder is not in the way he should be it has an impact. We have to make a decision.

"Maybe after the game it didn't feel that bad any more with the knock. That's good. It's all okay, we have good options to make substitutions."

Dreams of Premier League glory began to feel like an inevitability at Anfield as Liverpool beat Manchester United on a weekend that saw Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City drop points.

Jurgen Klopp's side dispatched their old rivals with goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, leaving Reds supporters full of confidence after Burnley came from behind to beat third-placed Leicester 2-1 at Turf Moor.

There was a surprise result at St. James' Park on Saturday, Frank Lampard's Chelsea dominating for long periods against Newcastle United but succumbing to a late Isaac Hayden goal in a 1-0 defeat.

There were late goals at the Etihad Stadium, where Sergio Aguero thought he had won it with a brace, only for Fernandinho to put through his own net in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

The weekend's Opta data offers detailed insights into the stories behind those results, as well as Wolves' dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Southampton at St. Mary's.

 

ANFIELD FULL OF HOPE AFTER BACK-TO-BACK HOME WINS OVER UNITED

They are no longer saying it quietly: Liverpool fans firmly believe the title is theirs after watching their side beat United on Sunday.

The victory marked the first time Liverpool have claimed consecutive home Premier League wins over the Red Devils since winning three in a row between September 2008 and March 2011 and there was an air of invulnerability around Anfield at the final whistle.

Liverpool have taken 91 points from a possible 93 in their last 31 Premier League matches, winning 30 and drawing just one, while United have now lost nine of their last 16 top-flight away games (W3 D4 L9).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have failed to score in eight of those games and they gave Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson little to do despite creating a number of goalscoring opportunities.

Alisson kept himself busy by becoming the first Reds keeper to assist a Premier League goal since March 2010, when Pepe Reina laid on a goal against Sunderland.

 

 


LATE HAYDEN WINNER LEAVES LAMPARD'S BLUES REELING

Chelsea have lost as many Premier League games this season as they did in the entirety of 2018-19 after Hayden scored in the 94th minute to snatch victory for Newcastle over Lampard's inconsistent Blues.

Four of Chelsea's eight league defeats this season have come in their last eight matches and supporters making the trip to Tyneside had reason to be fearful of their side coming unstuck.

Chelsea have now lost five of their last seven top-flight trips to St. James' Park but defeats to teams managed by Steve Bruce have been a rare occurrence - this was only the second time he has beaten the Blues in 23 games against them as a manager (D5 L16).

Prior to Hayden's strike, Newcastle had not scored a last-minute winner since Ayoze Perez struck against Tottenham in December 2015.

It was Hayden's third Premier League goal and came in his 70th appearance in the competition, his last coming in February 2019 against Wolves.

 

POROUS CITY PAY FOR ERRORS AT THE BACK

City came from behind to lead with three minutes left in their clash with Palace but conceded at home in the Premier League for the 12th time this season as the Eagles secured a point at the death.

Pep Guardiola's men have now conceded as many goals at home in the league as they did in the whole of last season and this was their third draw of the 2019-20 season - in their title-winning campaign last term they only drew twice.

Aguero's double inside five minutes marked the Argentina international's 250th and 251st goals in all competitions for the club in his 360th appearance, but Fernandinho became the first City player to score a Premier League own-goal since Nicolas Otamendi against Huddersfield Town in November 2017.

The scoring was opened by new signing Cenk Tosun, who netted in the 39th minute to become the fourth Turkish player to reach 10 Premier League goals after Muzzy Izzet, Tuncay Sanli and Tugay.

Palace are ninth in the table after four consecutive draws - the last time they drew as many Premier League games in a row was in 1992-93 when they started the season with the same sequence.

 

WOLVES EMERGING AS COMEBACK SPECIALISTS

When Raul Jimenez scored from the penalty spot at St. Mary's he pulled Wolves level after they had been two goals down, but there was even better to follow for Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

Jimenez scored again in the 76th minute, taking his tally to 19 goals in all competitions this season and clinching three points for Wolves that means they have now picked up 18 from losing positions in the Premier League this season - seven more than any other side.

Falling behind after 15 minutes to a Jan Bednarek goal was nothing new for the visitors, who have conceded first in 16 league games this season including each of their last seven in a row.

But Jimenez has been directly involved in 28 goals this season and after Shane Long netted his 54th Premier League goal to make it 2-0 to the Saints, Pedro Neto scored for the second time in his last three league appearances to tee up the Mexico international for a memorable brace.

Jimenez now has 19 goals and nine assists to his name in all competitions this season, giving him more direct goal involvements than any other top-flight player in 2019-20.

Jurgen Klopp has no issue with supporters celebrating as if they have won the Premier League, but says Liverpool are in "exactly the same situation plus three points" after beating Manchester United.

Liverpool defeated United - the only team to take points off them in the league this term - 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday.

As Klopp's men moved 16 points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand, fans on Merseyside chanted: "We're going to win the league."

The win, secured with goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, was quickly deemed by many significant in Liverpool's pursuit of a first top-flight championship since 1989-90.

But Klopp was adamant he and his players still could not afford to celebrate.

"[The fans] can sing that, but they sang that a couple of times in the past, I think," he told Sky Sports. "There's absolutely no problem. Everybody should celebrate a situation - apart from us.

"We have no problem with that. There's nothing changed. We have exactly the same situation plus three points, which is great, wonderful, unbelievable. But nothing else has changed.

"I'll tell you immediately the moment it feels different. So far, it feels exactly the same always."

The Liverpool manager added he was looking no further ahead than their next match at Wolves.

Klopp said: "I have no idea if we can be caught or not. First and foremost, it's the Premier League. We play on Thursday against Wolves.

"They played an exceptional comeback last night [a 3-2 win at Southampton]. They have not had the results they wanted, but they've caused us here a lot of problems.

"It's the next massive challenge we face, and why should I think about more than that? I'm not smart enough to do that, to be honest. There's not enough space in my brain.

"We will prepare for Wolves, try our best, and then we will see."

Liverpool were pushed by United prior to Salah's stoppage-time clincher, with Anthony Martial missing a big chance, but Klopp claimed the visitors had set up to "annoy" his side.

"What a performance against an opponent with the quality of United and the set-up of United," he said.

"It was about, and I'm sure Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] would say the same, [United] wanting to annoy us, disrupt our game, defend, counter-attack.

"They had moments when they played football, but it was not too often, and all the other moments were just difficult against them to create chances.

"But we did it. Wow. The manner in which we created chances was really exceptional."

Jurgen Klopp warned the Anfield factor will be "massive" as he urged Liverpool to set the tempo of Sunday's clash with Manchester United.

Liverpool had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at Old Trafford in October, spared defeat by Adam Lallana's late goal after Marcus Rashford fired United ahead.

United set up to counter-attack on that occasion, despite having home advantage, and their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this week said his team had "found a nice way of playing" against Liverpool.

Those words could come back to haunt the Norwegian in the Premier League this weekend.

"Maybe they've found a specific way to play against Liverpool, but the difference between playing at Old Trafford and playing at Anfield is massive and we want to show that as well," Klopp said.

Rather than worry about teams 'parking the bus', Klopp's new mission is to stop the train - aware United's attackers can break at electric pace, just as they did to stunning effect in the derby against Manchester City in December.

"This game asks us for perfection. If you lose the ball at the wrong time, the train starts going and that's what is clear, but it's about us to make sure it will not happen," Klopp added.

The United draw remains the only game in which runaway leaders Liverpool have dropped points in the Premier League this season.

Klopp again pointed out his surprise at United's tactics in that previous meeting, and suggested he had no regrets over his comments about their fierce rivals' defensive approach.

"It's strange when you play against a high, high quality team, which is what United still is, and they played the way they play," Klopp said.

"We had it with Tottenham. After 70 minutes I think we had around 80 per cent possession. That's not normal. On the other hand, the counter-attacks are of the highest level in the world, that's for Tottenham and Man United for sure as well.

"I'm not saying they only counter-attack, but that's a main thing for them to do. If people want to see that as criticism, I cannot change that, but it's not, it's just a description of the situation."

Klopp said Fabinho and Joel Matip are fit to return to Liverpool's squad for the game after several months on the sidelines with their respective ankle and knee injuries, but Dejan Lovren will not resume full training until next week.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised Takumi Minamino's "outstanding" debut for the club in a 1-0 FA Cup win over Everton on Sunday.

A January arrival from Salzburg, Minamino started for a youthful Liverpool in the victory at Anfield.

Klopp liked what he saw from the 24-year-old Japan international as Curtis Jones' 71st-minute stunner put the European champions into the fourth round.

"Super. Outstanding. Exactly the player we wanted, exactly the player we wished for," he told a news conference.

"In your first game in a team that you don't know, if it's a settled team it's already difficult, this team we threw on the pitch with more or less two sessions together and then showing this kind of game understanding, [his] football skills are exceptional, attitude is outstanding, leading the chasing pack so often in different situations.

"It was a nice add on to have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back because he looked pretty lively when he came on, trains only two days now and that's why he didn't start.

"But yeah it was super."

Liverpool, who are 13 points clear at the top, are next in action with a trip to Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp was keen to share the praise among his young Liverpool charges after the FA Cup victory over Everton and tipped match-winner Curtis Jones for a bright future.

Liverpool boss Klopp named a young team for their Merseyside derby in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

But the unheralded group, aided by the likes of Adam Lallana and Divock Origi, thrived at Anfield, claiming a 1-0 victory thanks to Jones' sensational 71st-minute strike.

It was the midfielder's first goal for the club and he later told BBC Sport he had grown frustrated by a lack of opportunities under Klopp.

The Reds manager welcomed the 18-year-old's confidence, although he also wanted Jones' team-mates to get some recognition too.

"I love it," Klopp told a news conference of Jones' performance. "But I want to say one thing: everybody will ask about Curtis Jones, but there were so many extremely good performances tonight.

"The goal was exceptional, and the boy's an outstanding player, but I can't understand why nobody so far has asked me about Pedro Chirivella, about Neco Williams, about Yasser Larouci. You have to score, otherwise we ignore you?

"So, let me speak about Curtis - unbelievable player, Scouser, very confident. He can't wait to play in the first team. Good, rightly so. He's in a very good way.

"I've known him three and a half years. He's made big steps and will be a Liverpool player, if nothing strange happens, 100 per cent.

"That he scored this kind of goal, I'm not surprised. He is for these situations. But there's still a lot to learn and a lot to improve.

"But sometimes we forget as well in training - he's 18. Unbelievable.

"In Germany, because it's a different system, he'd still play one year 100 per cent in the youth team and nowhere else. Here, he is around the first team."

Liverpool lost James Milner to injury early on, but Klopp saw that as the only negative on an evening of positives.

"All the rest of the night was absolutely perfect," Klopp said. "It was a sensationally good performance of a not very experienced team.

"For a lot of the players, it was the first time playing on this kind of stage, in front of this crowd, against this opponent. It was outstanding. I loved it. I loved each second of it."

Everton were humbled despite Carlo Ancelotti picking a strong side, and he told Everton TV: "We are disappointed, of course. We are out of this competition. It was important.

"The regret in the first half was that we had clear opportunities to score and we were not able to score. We were a little bit unlucky and not precise.

"The second half was different. We were not able to create opportunities. We went up from the back but we were too slow and had difficulty creating.

"We had a lack of energy and it was there that we lost the game. If we had kept the intensity of the first half in the second, we could have won."

Jurgen Klopp revealed James Milner suffered a muscular problem in Liverpool's 1-0 FA Cup win over Everton and described the injury as "a big, big blow" for the Reds.

Milner, one of five recognised senior players in the Liverpool starting XI, left the field after just nine minutes of the Merseyside derby, which was settled by Curtis Jones' superb second-half goal.

The injury will see Milner join Naby Keita, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri in the Liverpool treatment room, and leaves Klopp short of cover for Andy Robertson at left-back.

Debutant Yasser Larouci replaced Milner, who appeared to be holding his hamstring, and Klopp praised the 19-year-old defender along with the other young charges who impressed against an experienced Everton side.

Klopp told BBC Sport: "Millie [went] off, which is a big, big blow for us I have to say and it doesn't look too good, a muscle injury.

"But then Yasser coming on and just filling the role.

"It was an incredible game for us decided by a sensational goal from a Scouser. I cannot wish for more.

"It's just a really wonderful night, apart from Millie. The plan was not to play Millie in the last game. The plan was to play Naby but then Millie had to play and today he started again and now that [injury] happened, but we cannot change it."

Nat Phillips and Takumi Minamino made their Liverpool debuts in a team that also featured Neco Williams, Pedro Chirivella, Harvey Elliott and Jones - a quartet of players under the age of 23.

Klopp felt the performance and the result justified the decision not to send any of those who featured out on loan, praising their determination to force their way into his first-team plans.

"You cannot perform like the boys performed today if you think to yourself you should not play in that team," said Klopp. "They have to think that they are ready.

"None of these kids are fine being sent back to the under-23s, but if they were out on loan somewhere that they would maybe play more they would not be here tonight and we would not have a team actually.

"It's already clear they are good enough. What you have to show is respecting our principles. Counter-press is not a proposal; it's the law. And they played brave football.

"Unbelievable performances tonight from the kids but from the adults as well."

Jurgen Klopp feels Carlo Ancelotti's arrival at Everton makes them "more dangerous" opponents for Liverpool despite the latter's strong record in the Merseyside derby.

Sunday's game at Anfield is the tie of the third round, with Ancelotti - who missed out on the Liverpool job to Klopp in 2015 - set for his first experience of the famous fixture.

Klopp and Ancelotti have faced off a number of times during their managerial careers, including in the Champions League group stage in each of the past two seasons.

Liverpool only won one of their four meetings with Ancelotti's Napoli in the competition, losing twice, while Real Madrid knocked out Klopp's Borussia Dortmund under the Italian's leadership en route to Champions League glory in 2013-14.

Ancelotti has led Everton to two wins from three Premier League games since replacing Marco Silva, though Duncan Ferguson helped to stabilise the club during his time in caretaker charge.

And Klopp is looking forward to taking on three-time Champions League winner Ancelotti again.

"Carlo being back in the English game is so cool for the competitions and even cooler for Everton," Klopp wrote in his column for Liverpool's official matchday programme ahead of Sunday's clash. 

"I'm not sure if I'm doing either of us any favours by saying this, but in football terms, I really do consider him a friend. Such an amazing person and just so generous in spirit and personality.

"He's won all there is to win, as a player and coach, and yet remains chilled and humble. He is a benchmark for those of us working in the game today on how to conduct yourself.

"His impact at Everton is already being felt – we can see this from our analysis. He has been clever in picking up on the positivity of approach injected by Duncan Ferguson.

"Everton are always a difficult opponent for us because of the positive emotion they bring into this derby game. Under Carlo, with his experience, I think they have become even more dangerous.

"But to be honest, I love this. I think it adds to the occasion. My players have just as much desire and belief going into this game. We want to win it with all we have.

"We see the game as [an] opportunity. We know what our supporters expect. No Liverpool side can ever have less desire than the opponent – this is not allowed."

Ancelotti faces a difficult task with Everton last enjoying a victory over Liverpool at Anfield in 1999.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has admitted Liverpool chose wisely when they rejected him in favour of making Jurgen Klopp manager in 2015.

Ancelotti, 60, will experience his first Merseyside derby in an FA Cup third-round tie at Anfield on Sunday.

The experienced Italian could have been on the other side of the divide had Liverpool selected him as Brendan Rodgers' successor just over four years ago.

Ancelotti held talks with the Reds but conceded they were right to appoint Klopp, who has led the club to Champions League glory and a commanding position atop the Premier League.

"It was after [leaving] Real Madrid, I had a chat with the owner," Ancelotti told a news conference.

"They were looking for a new manager but I think they made the right choice with Jurgen. He is doing fantastic work at Liverpool, so well done. He has created a fantastic team and fantastic players.

"They are, in this moment, in a really good shape, really good condition, but we must not think a lot about the opponent."

Everton last visited Liverpool in December and lost 5-2, a result that proved the end for Marco Silva.

The Toffees have not won at Anfield in any competition since 1999, but Ancelotti got the better of Klopp in a Champions League encounter while in charge of Napoli earlier this season and hopes to deliver an upset for his new club's supporters.

"I know how Evertonians would like this and we have the same dream, to beat Liverpool at Anfield," he said.

"It is a dream for us and an opportunity, so we will try. Usually there is a big rivalry when you have two teams in the same city. It was the same in Milan and Rome when I was there and I know how the supporters are excited to beat their rival."

Liverpool must capitalise on their home advantage in Sunday's FA Cup derby because Everton are "on fire" under Carlo Ancelotti, according to Jurgen Klopp.

Anfield will stage a touchline battle between Klopp and Ancelotti for the second time in six weeks after the Italian visited in the Champions League in his previous guise as head coach of Napoli.

The spoils were shared that night, with Liverpool coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw, but Ancelotti was soon ousted from the troubled Serie A club.

Everton offered the former AC Milan, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich boss a rapid return to the game, and wins over Burnley and Newcastle gave Ancelotti a positive start.

A narrow defeat to Manchester City followed, but Klopp senses there is a revival under way with Liverpool's neighbours.

"They are obviously on fire and no surprise and we have to be sure we are ready for that," Klopp said.

"We need the crowd. That's the only advantage we have in this cup game. There's no favourite. There's just two teams who play each other, in this case two teams from the same city. It's a derby; it's a big one.

"The only advantage we have is it's in our stadium, so let's use that and give everything – that's the plan."

The third-round tussle follows in the wake of Klopp's team completing a full year unbeaten in the Premier League, confirming that feat with Thursday's 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at Anfield.

However, they fell to Wolves at this stage of the FA Cup last season, and with Klopp likely to delve into his squad resources to give several first-team regulars a break, Everton may sense a chance to spring another upset.

Certainly, Klopp is not blind to the quality Everton possess. Ancelotti is a former FA Cup winner too, in his time at Chelsea.

"Carlo Ancelotti is one of the smartest people I ever met and he wouldn't have taken the job if he didn't have a good squad," Klopp said.

"We were always convinced that the Everton squad is good, it's really, really good. They invested in a few years really a lot in the transfer market.

"They brought in really good players and it didn't work out for some reason. But the combination of a good manager and a good squad helps from time to time in football. Carlo is obviously somebody who can lift a group in the moment when he enters the room."

Klopp's starting XI may be largely unrecognisable from recent Premier League line-ups, the German determined to take rational decisions rather than emotional judgements at a time when some of his players are due a break.

"We respect them as you imagine, we respect the competition, we respect what the people want us to achieve because that's a very important part of it, but I cannot do things because of the name of the opponent," he said.

Young striker Rhian Brewster, linked with a loan move away from Liverpool, will be in the Reds' squad, and there could be a part to play for Takumi Minamino after his arrival from Salzburg.

Klopp reported Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dejan Lovren and Fabinho are all making good progress as they recover from injuries.

Jurgen Klopp urged English football to get its priorities right as he questioned the "incredible" possibility of Liverpool having to play an FA Cup third-round replay.

The Club World Cup champions have emerged from a packed December, in which they had little choice but to feel a young reserve team against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup quarter-finals, with a healthy lead at the top of the Premier League firmly intact.

And although the prospect of Sunday's FA Cup derby with Everton is one that excites Klopp, he is desperate for the tie to be settled at the first attempt.

The prospect of a second game to resolve who reaches round four has left Klopp confounded.

"There is the threat of a potential replay which is incredible, which is absolutely incredible. Whatever the FA has to say about that, that's incredible," Klopp said at a pre-match news conference.

"People told me already a couple of times that I wouldn't respect cup competitions and stuff like that. That's not true. My first job is to respect the players, my absolutely number one job."

He added: "I don't think the Premier League or the FA or the Football League is in any doubt about my opinion. I just do it because I think somebody has to speak for the players. That's my only concern. It's not one second about me.

"I enjoy each game but there are still things to improve. People always say, if you change something in a competition you kill tradition or whatever."

Klopp wants all parties to sit down and consider the impact of a heavy fixture load on modern footballers.

He pointed to Newcastle United losing four players to injury against Leicester City on New Year's Day as proof footballers have a limit to which they can be pushed.

"Sport science and sport medicine is in a good place," Klopp said. "But they cannot do miracles and we cannot have 30-40 player squads, it's not possible."

Considering what might be done next, the German explained: "The solution is to bring all these people together – and the TV [broadcasters]. People always say we only get the money we get because of the number of games. I don't see that – I think that like always in life, it's about quality rather than quantity.

"I really think all these, plus TV, come together, speak and try to think one time in all these negotiations about the players.

"The problem is the real football people, like managers, are not involved in these talks.

"If they need me in the discussions, I’ll go there, if I find time between the games."

Asked who should bring such talks together, an animated Klopp said: "We're talking about English football players as well, so I say the FA."

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Naby Keita will miss Sunday's FA Cup clash with Merseyside rivals Everton due to a groin injury he suffered before Thursday's 2-0 win over Sheffield United.

Keita was initially named in the starting XI to face the Blades in the Premier League, but a problem sustained in the warm-up forced him to miss out, with James Milner taking his place in the midfield.

It is the latest in a long list of niggling fitness problems the Guinea midfielder has had to endure since moving from RB Leipzig, and the 24-year-old has only made five Premier League appearances this term.

He now appears set for another spell on the sidelines, though Klopp was uncertain of the severity of the injury or even how it was sustained.

"I don't know exactly what he has – it was the groin – but I can say already he will not be involved against Everton," Klopp told reporters.

"That makes it 12 adult players we have [available], plus the kids, so that's not cool, but we cannot change it.

"I have no clue how it happened, I think it was the last shot in the warm-up when he felt something. He came in [the dressing room] and was limping.

"Everybody who has played football has had this kind of injury and it's not nice, it's painful. I don't know exactly what it is or how long it will take, but I can say already he will not be ready for Sunday."

After Sunday's Merseyside derby, Liverpool are next in Premier League action on January 11 at Tottenham.

Takumi Minamino is likely to make his Liverpool debut in a Merseyside derby FA Cup clash against rivals Everton, according to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

Versatile forward Minamino, who can also operate in a deeper midfield role, is not eligible to play against Sheffield United in the Premier League on Thursday after signing from Salzburg.

Liverpool will have the same squad that battled to a 1-0 home win over Wolves when the Blades head to Anfield with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho and Dejan Lovren not ready to return to action, while they have no fresh injury concerns.

But when Liverpool host Everton in the tie of the FA Cup third round on Sunday, Japan international Minamino is in line to make his first appearance for the recently crowned world champions.

"He will come into contention for Everton," Klopp told a news conference. "He's not allowed to play against Sheffield United.

"From the next moment, we're thinking about the squad. He was here yesterday and enjoyed it a lot, Sadio [Mane] and Naby [Keita] with the Salzburg DNA, it was really nice. 

"I'd like to be a new player in that group as they are really welcoming with open arms, it's really nice and he felt that. His English is OK, German is really good, that helps me but not the team. 

"We can talk, didn't too much yesterday but it's important he settles. We signed the player that was at Salzburg, just be who you are. We're looking forward to it. 

"We signed him, the guy who played like crazy against us [in the Champions League], be like that and it's fine. We'll see how it goes but in this period especially it will not be 15 weeks until we use him, it's not how it is. 

"Is he the finished article? I don't know. We start learning about him and it's what we want to do. He'll play but how many minutes I don't know."

Klopp, who indicated Liverpool are unlikely to make further signings in the January window, called for patience with Minamino.

"It would be crazy, really nice if you could give him time," Klopp added. "We have a really good team and offensively we have some of the probably best players in the world.

"He can play different positions. At the last press conference we spoke and my friends at the Daily Mail made a headline, 'he's really good, I have no clue where to play him'. 

"I wanted to say we have many options for him. I don't know when he starts or where but I don't have to know at this moment. We want to see his natural skills so will not fill him with information, we want him to be as natural as possible. All the people need to give him a bit of time.

"I asked [ex-Salzburg boss] Marco Rose and he was very positive, so he can start now, will learn English quick, speaks a little bit already.

"He was in the rondo with the English guys and there's a lot of talk, he didn't get a word with [James] Milner, Robbo [Andy Robertson], Trent [Alexander-Arnold] speaking. Not sure an English guy would understand them but he will adapt. Now he's here and he will work."

Minamino's arrival could push Adam Lallana down the pecking order with Klopp unwilling to give any update on whether the 31-year-old will sign an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

"Everything about Adam Lallana, Adam Lallana knows and I know. I'm really happy, he's in sensational shape," Klopp said. 

"He's a very important player at the moment and in the future, we will see. Most important thing is he is 100 per cent fit. He is in a perfect place."

Could Gareth Bale's time in Madrid be coming to an end?

Linked to the Chinese Super League previously, former club Tottenham have emerged as a possible destination for Real Madrid's Bale.

A Spurs star could move in the opposite direction as part of the deal…

 

TOP STORY – SPURS WANT BALE BACK IN EXCHANGE FOR ERIKSEN

Tottenham want to bring Gareth Bale back to North London in a swap deal that would see want-away midfielder Christian Eriksen join Real Madrid, claims The Sun.

It is said that LaLiga giants Madrid would receive £25.7million (€30m) as well as Eriksen in a deal that could reunite Bale with the club he left in 2013.

Eriksen has been linked to Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and other clubs in Europe as his contract runs out at the end of the season.

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea have pulled out of the race to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, paving the way for the England winger to join Liverpool, according to the Daily Express. United and Madrid have also been linked to the 19-year-old.

United and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are in the race to sign Leicester City's in-form right-back Ricardo Pereira in January, according to the Daily Mail.

- Wolves' push for a top-five Premier League finish this season could be bolstered by the addition of South Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan, should the Molineux club persuade Salzburg to part with the £23m (€26.9m)-rated forward in a deal mooted by Sky Sports News.

- Sky in Germany reports that Werder Bremen are keen on re-signing Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard in January.

- Le10sport claims PSG sounded out Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as a possible replacement for Thomas Tuchel. The report says PSG sporting director Leonardo spoke to Klopp but the German made it clear he is happy at Anfield.

- Sky Sports News claims David Moyes is poised for a return to West Ham to replace Manuel Pellegrini following his sacking. Moyes spent a brief period in charge of West Ham in 2018.

Arsenal have set their sights on RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano. A move for the 21-year-old depends on whether Leipzig can sign Tanguy Kouassi from PSG, according to Le Parisien.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's masterful showing against Leicester was "not perfect" according to Jurgen Klopp, who is reluctant to label the Liverpool star the best full-back in world football.

The freshly-crowned world champions romped to a 4-0 win at Leicester City on Boxing Day – their nearest challengers in the Premier League table – to open up a 13-point advantage at the summit.

Alexander-Arnold supplied assists for both of Roberto Firmino's goals before completing the scoring with a stylish breakaway strike.

Such brilliance prompted post-match questions over whether the 21-year-old is the best in his position globally, but Klopp was keen not to add to the hyperbole.

"I am not too interested to be honest," he replied at a post-match news conference.

"He played a really good game, but not a perfect game. It was not perfect, but it was really good and it was decisive and helped us a lot.

"We know how important these crosses are for us, how important these things are for us, so that's absolutely exceptional.

"But I can't compare because at the moment I watch pretty much only Liverpool games so I don't see the others."

One possible blot on Liverpool's outing was the sight of Jordan Henderson hobbling off late on, cutting short another fine individual showing.

However, Klopp was pleased to report his captain's knock sustained in a challenge with Ayoze Perez is not serious.

"Yes [it was a kick] on the shin," he said. "It was bleeding but he told me afterwards, 'I could have carried on!'. So obviously it is not so bad this time."

Liverpool are back in action on Sunday against Wolves, who entertain reigning champions Manchester City at Molineux on Friday.

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