Hello and welcome to the Liverpool ECHO's Wednesday live blog for all your very latest Liverpool news, rumours and transfer gossip.

The ECHO will provide breaking stories, reaction and comment to all the big talking points from Anfield as well as keeping tabs on transfer market gossip from around the world.

We will not only bring you every rumour from the transfer gossip front but also the latest on Project Restart.

Get involved and send your thoughts to us at @LivEchoLFC.

And don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and listen to our Blood Red Podcast , with all your favourite ECHO regulars including Paul Gorst, Ian Doyle, Caoimhe O'Neill, Joe Rimmer, Sean Bradbury, Connor Dunn, Dan Kay and Theo Squires.

Sign up to our FREE LFC newsletter

Enjoying our Liverpool content? You can have our daily newsletter sent completely free to your inbox each day.

SIGN UP HERE.

You can sign up to receive the Liverpool FC newsletter

Latest Liverpool News

Right then.

That’s all for today.

If you’re not quite done, why not take part in this Liverpool transfer quiz?

If you get 20/20 I will personally make you a cup of tea when safe to do so.

CLICK HERE to have a go and send your scores to @SamCarroll0!

Meanwhile, here are the top Liverpool stories from today.

We’ll be back tomorrow morning for more transfer gossip from around the world as well as breaking news about the club you love.

Werner Latest

Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley believes Timo Werner should choose Liverpool over a move to Stamford Bridge.

Both teams have been linked with a move for the RB Leipzig striker, who has 16 Bundesliga goals this term.

“You have got to have a deep squad and a quality squad, and I think Klopp can sell this to Timo Werner that Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, who have carried the load for Liverpool, are not going to play 50-60 games a year going forward,” Burley said.

“So, in that sense Liverpool are a great team to go to for him.

“I’m not surprised Chelsea are interested.

He ticks every box for Chelsea. He can play wide, they have got wide players I know that, he can play through the middle, he works hard, his movement is good, he presses the ball when he’s not got it.

“It absolutely makes sense for them but if I had a choice at the moment, and the manager was selling me the club and the club was in the top of its game, then it’s Liverpool and then you back yourself for game time.”


Timo Werner of RB Leipzig
He's a wanted man! (Image: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Guardiola Planning

Pep Guardiola wants to sign Sergi Roberto from Barcelona in a bid to win back the Premier League from Liverpool according to the Daily Express.

The report claims the manner in which City have lost the title has prompted Guardiola to begin planning for next season.

Mundo Deportivo believe interest from Guardiola is ‘on record’ with the Catalan giants.

A dejected Pep Guardiola
Planning ahead? (Image: James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)

Salah Tears

Former Ghana striker Eric Bekoe claims Mohamed Salah would cry when he didn’t score as a young player in Egypt.

Well, he’s more than making up for any of lack of goals these days!

“Salah was a young boy playing for the youth side of Al Mokawloon,” Bekoe told Goal.

“Salah was a left-winger who wanted to score more goals because he is clinical upfront. He sometimes cried because his effort on the wing doesn’t result in goals.

“One of their coaches pushed him forward which helped his progression before leaving Egypt for FC Basel.”

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on May 20, 2020.
What a player!

Zaniolo Swap

Il Sussidario believe Roma would entertain a swap deal for Nicolo Zaniolo with Liverpool involving Dejan Lovren.

Zaniolo is valued at £50m but with Juventus also said to be interested, Roma would rather see him leave Serie A rather than strengthen their rivals.

Liverpool could also be interested with Lovren potentially bringing down the price-tag.

Nicolo Zaniolo of Roma
Swap? (Image: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Koulibaly Price

Manchester United have made a £71m bid for reported Liverpool target Kalidou Koulibaly according to Sky Sports Italia via the Daily Mail.

Napoli, however, are said to be holding out for £89m for their prized defender.

Koulibaly, 28, was reportedly valued at more than £100m last summer.

Napoli star defender Kalidou Koulibaly in action in Serie A
Wanted? (Image: SSC NAPOLI/SSC NAPOLI via Getty Images)

Balotelli Talent

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Mario Balotelli should be one of the best strikers in the world.

Rodgers signed Balotelli during his tenure at Anfield but the Italian is currently turning out for Brescia after spells with Nice and and Marseille.

“It was pretty clear to see that, strikers I’ve always worked with, Mario Balotelli didn’t fit my style,” Rodgers told The Beautiful Game Podcast.

“But one thing I will say about Mario is that he has all the talent, and he genuinely has.

“He should be one of the top three strikers in world football. He has everything. It’s the difference between talent and working talent.”

Mario Balotelli playing for Liverpool in 2014
Talented Mr. Mario! (Image: Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Analysing Anfield

Josh Williams and David Hughes pick their ‘top six transfer data picks’ - the players they think would suit Liverpool’s system having analysed their statistical and analytical data.

Listen to Analysing Anfield below.

Barnes Claim

Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Rhian Brewster, Harvey Elliott?

Nope, not for John Barnes.

The former Liverpool midfielder is doubtful any young talents will make the step-up to the first-team next season.

“I don’t think there are any young players ready to play in the first team,” Barnes told BonusCodeBets.

“Liverpool will be quiet in the transfer market, but they’ll rely on the senior players that they have.

“There are a few young players who we see playing in the cup matches and, in the squads, but there aren’t necessarily any Raheem Sterlings, or young Robbie Fowlers or Steven Gerrards.”

Harvey Elliott of Liverpool in action
He's some talent!

Jurgen Dreams

I’ve seen it all now.

Corriere dello Sport - translated by Sport Witness - have gone inside the mind of Jurgen Klopp and claim he is ‘dreaming’ of securing the signature of Kalidou Koulibaly.

They claim the German is desperate to partner him with Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool and the report claims €80m could do the trick.

Last night, for context, I had a dream that I was in the film Castaway.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly
"Wilsonnnnnnn!" (Image: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool-linked Havertz 'has the elegance of Zidane'

Kai Havertz of Leverkusen celebrates (Image: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Liverpool continued to be linked with a potential move for Bayer Leverkusen ace Kai Havertz who has now been hailed as possessing "the elegance of Zinedine Zidane."

Like the French football legend, who is now in his second stint as head coach at Real Madrid, Havertz is an attacking midfielder.

A wonderkid who became the youngest player to reach 100 Bundesliga appearances, he will turn 21 in just eight days time but will he be handed the key to the exit door at his club this summer?

Leverkusen assistant coach Marcel Daum told talkSPORT:

"Everyone is asking about Kai Havertz.

"If you see him play, it tells you everything.

“For me, he has the elegance of Zidane. If you see his movement, he’s very elegant, he’s always calm, he has great passing ability.

“What a lot of people don’t see, because we watch him every day, is that he’s pretty fast. That’s a big bonus.

“He’s a great player; he’s scoring goals, he’s great in the air and he’s pretty fast. It’s up to him how far he can go.

“I can’t say he will be the best German player ever, but he has the talent and there are no limits. He’s displaying signs of Zidane.”

Training picture montage

The big coat was back on for manager Jurgen Klopp during training at Melwood today.

After a period of prolonged sunshine, temperatures on Merseyside dropped dramatically with heavy rain this morning and overcast conditions throughout the day.

Liverpool training montage from Melwood on June 3, 2020 (Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool 'failed with loan bid for Dembele'

Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona (Image: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Liverpool made an unsuccessful attempted to take Ousmane Dembele on loan from Barcelona claims Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio who specialises in transfer speculation.

He reports that the Reds submitted a bid to take the French international winger on a temporary switch from the Camp Nou but the player rejected them as he wants to stay with the Catalan giants.

It seems somewhat odd given that the former Borussia Dortmund man is supposedly surplus to requirements with Barca but the same piece also reckons that negotiations may now begin with Juventus.

Souness would be as good as Klopp if he managed now claims Reds legend

Liverpool manager Graeme Souness with backroom staff Phil Boersma and Ronnie Moran in the Anfield dug out (Image: Dan Smith/Allsport/Getty Images)

Graeme Souness is a Liverpool legend following his time as a tenacious midfielder and captain with the Reds but his time back at Anfield as manager was less fruitful.

In charge between 1991-94, the Scot became the first Liverpool manager since before Bill Shankly last took the club back up into the top flight not to win a League Championship.

However, if he was back in charge now, he'd be up there with the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho reckons fellow Kop Idol Ian Rush.

The Welshman gave his surprise appraisal while in discussion with talkSPORT’s ‘Up Front With’ series.

Rush said:

"He won the league easily at Rangers and came down thinking maybe he can do the same (at Liverpool). But he changed things too quickly, simple as that.

”He lost the young players and the old ones by changing things too quickly.

”What he did have was the right ideas.

”If Graeme Souness was manager of a team now, he’d be up there with the likes of Klopp, Guardiola and Mourinho because I think he knows he’d made mistakes.

“He’d be an absolutely incredible manager if he was managing now.”

Kane becomes Bristol Mind ambassador

Herbie Kane of Hull City (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Liverpool footballer Herbie Kane has become an ambassador for a mental health charity in his home city of Bristol, reports the BBC.

The 21-year-old, who is currently on loan to Hull City, said he wanted Bristolians to know "they're not alone".

Midfielder Kane said:

"I want to spread the word of mental health and help people be more aware that it's nothing to be ashamed of.

"As a professional footballer, a game that is full of lot of highs and maybe more lows, I feel I can relate and understand how people maybe feeling.

"I think men as a whole want to put on a brave face when it comes to feelings and emotions, they don't want to show them, but I think if you talk about them to someone or anyone then it will help a lot."

Lovren's message

This seems to be a peculiarly British disease.

Leaving litter is disgusting on so many levels.

Player reveals how he got Klopp fined

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Sport Witness have relayed ESPN Brasil's entertaining interview with former Borussia Dortmund left-back Dedê about his time working with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

The 42-year-old reckons that the Reds boss - who now as Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and Alisson with him at Anfield - has a particular affection for Brazilian footballers.

Dedê said:

"He likes Brazilians a lot. Some get along, others don’t, which is normal. But he really likes our football, which has a creative way of improvising in a small space.

“He is a happy guy and on a daily basis there’s friendship. He demands from anyone he has to and says what he needs to say.

"That I think is very cool for him. Klopp knows how to take everything the player has and even what the guy thinks he doesn’t have.”

He also reels off an amusing anecdote about how he got his gaffer fined.

Dedê added:

“We got a lot of traffic to go to the Training Centre and I tried to teach a new way.

"He followed my car, but I got lost and we were late for training. The worst thing is that I knew the route well, but I don’t know what happened that day.

“The players were always waiting to see who would be late, but the one who was late that day was the coach.

"It was a minute or two, but we had to pay a fine. They made fun of him and he was annoyed (laughs).”

More free games coming up

Carra's eyesight test quip

We wonder which influential political figure might former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher be referring to here?

Liverpool 'has big advantage' in Mbappe transfer chase

Kylian Mbappe continues to be linked with a move to Liverpool

So says former France international Willy Sagnol.

Paris St Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has been linked with a potential move to Liverpool for several months now with the player describing the Reds as a "winning machine" and Jurgen Klopp reportedly contacting his father.

Sagnol is very animated when it comes to the prospect of the World Cup winner going to Anfield and speaking to SportBild - via Sport Witness, he said:

“This club has a big advantage: With Klopp you have a coach with whom every player in the world would like to work.

"Mbappe would have to adjust under him: he demands a lot of defensive work from his strikers, which Mbappe is not yet good at.

"But he can learn that, especially from a guy like Klopp.

"No question: Mbappe could become a king with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.”

Morning Bulletin

I join Paul Wheelock for today's Morning Bulletin podcast to discuss the fixture reshuffle already influencing Liverpool's return to Premier League action, whether the Reds could win the title at either Anfield or even one of their rivals' actual grounds, Jurgen Klopp's comments on the subject, the Timo Werner transfer chase and Rafa Benitez's greatest legacy to the club a decade on from his departure.

Benayoun 'amazed' to see where Liverpool are at

Liverpool's Yossi Benayoun (left) runs to celebrate scoring the winning goal with team mate Martin Skrtel (right).

Yossi Benayoun is "amazed" to see where his former team Liverpool are now at under Jurgen Klopp's stewardship.

The Reds won the Champions League last season and are now on the brink of securing their first League Championship in 30 years having built up a record-breaking lead at the top of the Premier League summit.

Benayoun, who made 134 appearances for Liverpool between 2007 and 2010, scoring 29 goals, told LFCTV’s Legends in Lockdown:

“I’m happy to see it, it’s amazing to see where Liverpool are at the moment.

“From what I see, they play amazing football.

"The most special thing is you feel they are a team – everyone knows what they’re doing on the pitch, you don’t have one or two big stars and everything is on them. The star of the team is the team itself, one unit. They play together.

“And the commitment the players have is something special.

"I don’t see any other team in Europe that has this commitment from the goalkeeper to the striker to work together, to press.

"When they decide to press they press everyone, no-one can play against them. It’s amazing.

“Of course, big credit to the manager, to Jürgen Klopp. I think this is the big difference from years before.

"I really enjoy watching them. Hopefully they will continue like this and make us proud.”

Liverpool 'have 12 days left' to trigger £49m Werner release clause

Timo Werner of RB Leipzig (Image: KAI PFAFFENBACH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool and Chelsea have 12 days to trigger Timo Werner's €52m (£49m) release clause at RB Leipzig reports the Mirror.

The article says:

The German has been prolific this season and has been linked with a move away from the Bundesliga outfit.

His release clause of £49m expires on June 15 though and will make securing a deal more difficult.

Werner is keen on a switch to the Premier League with Liverpool the front runners, but they are not prepared to pay the fee given their current financial situation.

Big discount as Liverpool 'very interested' Aouar

Houssem Aouar #8 of Olympique Lyonnais controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Olympique Lyonnais and Juventus at Parc Olympique

Liverpool are ‘very interested’ in signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar – but are yet to make contact about a move claims a report.

The 21-year-old has hit nine goals and seven assists this season.

He is capable of playing centrally, out wide or as a number 10, and would bring real creativity to Jurgen Klopp's side.

HITC cite RMC Sport as saying that Liverpool face competition from Manchester City and petrodollar-fuelled Paris St Germain.

The article states:

Lyon are allegedly looking for a deal of around €50million (£44.5million), seemingly slashing his asking price as a result of the global pandemic.

Benitez departs Anfield - a decade on

Another significant anniversary today. It's a decade since Rafa Benitez departed Liverpool.

The Spaniard enjoyed a fairy tale start with the Champions League in his first season followed by the FA Cup in his second but despite building some terrifically-organised sides at Anfield, things went somewhat stale towards the end of his six-year reign.

But retaining his family home on Merseyside and with gestures like his Hillsborough donation, he of course remains a hugely popular figure among Reds fans though.

Happy Birthday LFC!

A bit of a different "on this day" today...

128 years ago in 1892, Liverpool Football Club was formed.

Originally playing in blue and white and wanting to call themselves Everton Athletic (the FA deemed their couldn't be two Everton FCs), a lot has changed since!

Liverpool trip to Manchester City set to be moved

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk vies with Manchester City's Bernardo Silva (Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The FA Cup quarter-finals and semi-finals are playing havoc with the Premier League fixture calendar ahead of this week’s release reports the Daily Star.

The schedule is poised to follow the same structure as was mapped out prior to the season being suspended and the article says:

The FA Cup has already forced changes, with some big matches being moved about.

The FA Cup quarter-finals of Newcastle vs Manchester City, Sheffield United vs Arsenal, Leicester vs Chelsea and Norwich vs Manchester United are on the weekend of June 27-28, and the semi-finals are on July 18-19.

As a result of the quarter-final ties clashing with Premier League games for that weekend, Manchester City vs Liverpool in the Premier League will be bumped to midweek.

Carlos Vinicius bid rejected amid Reds links - reports

A bid has been rejected by Benfica for Liverpool-linked forward Carlos Vinicius, according to reports.

The Reds have been tentatively linked with a move for the Brazilian, and now the Benfica club president has addressed the player’s future.

Vinicius has been in impressed form for Benfica this season, scoring 16 goals and providing four assists in 29 appearances in all competitions.

Benfica chief Luis Filipe Vieira says the club have rejected an offer from an unnamed club for the 25-year-old, but says it will take at least €100m for them to consider selling.

“I received an offer of €60m (£53.45m) for Vinicius and did not sell. He is priced at €100m,” he told BTV.

“If it weren’t for the pandemic, Benfica would have had two players sold for €100m each.”

Carlos Vinicius of SL Benfica looks on during the Liga Nos match between FC Porto and SL Benfica at Estadio do Dragao
Carlos Vinicius of SL Benfica looks on during the Liga Nos match between FC Porto and SL Benfica at Estadio do Dragao (Image: Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)