Hello and welcome to the Liverpool ECHO's live Reds blog where you can see all the latest Liverpool news, rumours and transfer speculation.

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.

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West Ham threaten lifetime bans after Liverpool team bus is vandalised by fans

West Ham have threatened to hand out lifetime bans to fans found guilty of damaging Liverpool’s bus after a window was smashed following their 2-0 win in London last week reports the Evening Standard.

Police reported that a few fans had thrown objects at the team coach after the game.

A club statement read:

“We condemn unreservedly the behaviour of the individuals at our match with Liverpool.

“That kind of behaviour has no place at West Ham and anyone found guilty of an offence will be banned for life.”

The Liverpool team bus is seen outside the stadium ahead of the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Vitality Stadium on December 07, 2019
The Liverpool team bus is seen outside the stadium ahead of the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Vitality Stadium on December 07, 2019 (Image: Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Rivals have two big excuses for Reds dominance but they don't add up

So says John Aldridge in his ECHO column.

There are a lot of excuses being put forward as to why Liverpool are dominating the league so much this season.

A 22-point lead by the start of February, 100 points taken from the last 102 available, 108 points from the last 38 games...it seems like every game, new and ever-more staggering numbers are achieved.

This is one of the most dominant teams of all time and some people don’t like it.

Some people are saying VAR has been in Liverpool’s back pocket all season but that’s a load of rubbish and we saw again on Saturday how while, yes we have had a few go for us, we’ve had plenty go against us as well.

Bobby Firmino was blatantly dragged down as he was about to nod home into an empty net first half - so as far as I’m concerned that cancelled out when Fabinho seemed to catch Danny Ings just before we scored the opener at the start of the second half.

The other big jibe though is that Liverpool are only cruising towards the title because it’s a ‘weak’ Premier League this season.

Well if that’s the case why has every single team who was in Europe before Christmas qualified for the knock-out stages?

The bottom line is that Liverpool have just been too good.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates

Karius set to be dropped for 'enjoying the nightlife too much'

On-loan Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius is set to be dropped by new Besiktas boss Sergen Yalcin according to Fotospor - via Sport Witness.

Yalcin is reportedly unhappy with Karius’ recent performances and it’s claimed he’s getting sick of the German goalkeeper’s costly errors.

Karius was once again at fault during Besiktas 2-1 win against Caykur Rizespor at the weekend, and Fotospor report Yalcin has told Acil he wants to see a new face in goal.

The Turkish outlet claims:

The Liverpool owned player is enjoying the nightlife in Istanbul more than he should be, and that’s one of the reasons why his performance levels have dropped.

It’s also stated that the Besiktas board are targeting two goalkeepers ahead of the summer transfer window to replace Karius, with Basaksehir’s Volkan Babacan and Caykur Rizespor’s Gokhan Akkan said to be their primary targets.

Loris Karius
Loris Karius (Image: Getty Images)

Reds players enjoy their winter break

While Liverpool’s youngsters prepare to host League One Shrewsbury Town in their FA Cup fourth round replay at Anfield tonight, the Reds senior players are taking advantage of their winter break by going off on their jollies across the world.

Click here for the full story on their various sunshine trips

Firmino, Fabinho, Lallana and Wijnaldum all jet off on holiday
Firmino, Fabinho, Lallana and Wijnaldum all jet off on holiday (Image: Instagram)

Henderson goes from 200/1 to favourite for PFA Player of the Year

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is now the 6/4 favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Priced way out at 200/1 at one point before the season kicked off, the 29-year-old’s price has steadily crashed as he leads by example in Liverpool’s title charge.

Even last month, Henderson was a 33/1 shot in this market with some bookmakers, but his form has been scintillating since.

Stats experts WhoScored highlighted that the 2-1 victory at Wolves last week was the first league game that Jordan Henderson had started, scored and registered an assist since December 2015. He’s now achieved that twice in three games.


Mo Salah (16/1) and Sadio Mane (10/3) steal plenty of headlines and last year’s runaway Player of the Year winner Virgil van Dijk (11/1) remains metronomic at the back, but it’s the captain who is this year’s pick of the bunch.

Once the embodiment of Liverpool’s decline, Henderson is now lauded as the secret to their success.

Oddschecker football writer Ryan Elliott: “Once the figure of fun at Anfield, Jordan Henderson is now threatening to become a serial trophy-winning captain at Liverpool.

“While the abundance of flair within Liverpool’s ranks have often left pundits and punters alike open-jawed, it’s Henderson’s dirty work in midfield, as well as his undeniable leadership qualities, which is finally getting the recognition it deserves.

“The Liverpool skipper already has a trademark celebration when it comes to raising silverware aloft, and it’s only a matter of weeks before we see him lift the big one.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

PFA Player of the Year winner 2020:

Jordan Henderson - 6/4

Sadio Mane - 4/1

Kevin De Bruyne - 13/2

Virgil van Dijk - 10/1

Mo Salah - 16/1

Trent Alexander Arnold - 16/1

Roberto Firmino - 33/1

Jamie Vardy - 33/1

Click here for more details on the Oddschecker website

Adam: I'd drop Salah for Mbappe

The Kylian Mbappe transfer links to Liverpool have prompted former Reds midfielder Charlie Adam to sensationally declare that he would drop star man Mohamed Salah to accommodate the PSG superstar at Anfield.

Speaking on the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 Live, HITC report Adam as saying:

“I think Firmino is a massive link to how Liverpool play and what they try to do.

“Salah and Mane have just been sensational. I’d go for Salah [to be dropped for Mbappe if he were to join]. “

Former Premier League striker, Chris Sutton replied by saying: “What?! That’s amazing.”

Adam added:

“He [Mbappe] is the next big thing. He knows that himself and he has said that himself. But you would have to go with Salah. It depends where he’s going to play. If I am going to spend £150-200 million on Mbappe, he’ll be playing every week. Firmino’s the favourite [at Liverpool], isn’t he?!”

Sutton responded further: “I said he wouldn’t get into the Liverpool team, just at this moment. Who would he get in instead of? I don’t think he would get in.”

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Southampton FC
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Southampton FC

North West fans most dissatisfied with VAR

YouGov have carried out a national survey on fans’ feelings about VAR and supporters in our North West region are the most dissatisfied with the new officiating tool.

The results - delivered by Sky Sports - reveal just one in 25 fans believe VAR has worked ‘very well’ and one in four thinks the technology has ‘worked well’.

Another 26 per cent said VAR has worked ‘very badly’ and 34 per cent ‘fairly badly’, with remaining respondents voting neutrally or unsure.

Across Great Britain, the North West region of England - home to Liverpool of course - is most dissatisfied with VAR, where 35 per cent voted it has worked ‘very badly’.

Fans in Yorkshire (34 per cent) and the West Midlands (32 per cent) also emerged as leading complainants but anti-VAR sentiments were far less extreme in Scotland (17 per cent) and London (18 per cent).

So why are most fans dissatisfied with VAR? Nearly seven out of 10 felt it made watching games less enjoyable, while the minority, closer to one in 10, believed it had actually made matches more enjoyable.

But, despite the convincing vote of no confidence, 74 per cent of fans would actually keep VAR but implement changes and only 15 per cent want to scrap it entirely.

What changes, though? Well, encouraging on-field referees to use the pitch-side monitor proved most popular with 52 per cent in ‘strong support’.

Fans seeing VAR video footage in real-time also proved popular (49 per cent), followed by hearing conversations between VAR and the on-field referee (43 per cent) and a time limit on VAR decisions (42 per cent).

A screen inside the stadium explains to fans that a VAR check is in process before the awarding of Liverpool's first goal during the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers
A screen inside the stadium explains to fans that a VAR check is in process before the awarding of Liverpool's first goal during the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers (Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Reds eager to seal new deals for Van Dijk and Alisson

The arrivals of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson at Liverpool in the winter and summer transfer windows of 2018 respectively are widely-cited as being the turning points that transformed Jurgen Klopp’s side into serious contenders for major honours and the seemingly unstoppable force they are today.

It’s no wonder then that the Independent reports that Anfield chiefs are looking to tie the duo down to new long-term contracts to secure their future at the club.

It has been made a priority at the Reds and comes after already securing the futures of the rest of the defence.

Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have all renewed their deals in recent times.

 Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool with the FIFA Club World Cup at the end of the FIFA Club World Cup final match between Liverpool FC and CR Flamengo at Khalifa International Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool with the FIFA Club World Cup at the end of the FIFA Club World Cup final match between Liverpool FC and CR Flamengo at Khalifa International Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Image: Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Morata could miss Reds Champions League tie

Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata could miss the Champions League game against Liverpool because of a right leg muscle injury report the Daily Mail.

Scans revealed the injury on Monday, two days after Morata was hurt in the 1-0 loss at Real Madrid in the Spanish league and had to be substituted in the second half.

Atletico did not say exactly how long Morata is expected to be sidelined. They host Liverpool on February 18 in the first leg of the competition’s last 16. The second leg will be on March 3 at Anfield.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone also can’t count on forwards Diego Costa and Joao Felix because of injuries.

The club unsuccessfully tried to sign Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani in last month’s transfer window.

Alvaro Morata of Atletico Madrid is challenged by Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid
Alvaro Morata of Atletico Madrid is challenged by Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid (Image: Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Mbappe tipped to prioritise Liverpool transfer

Kylian Mbappe’s future is under intense speculation again after reports suggested that his clear-the-air talks with PSG coach Thomas Tuchel backfired and only widened the rift between the pair after their touchline spat on Saturday evening.

Liverpool would be the ideal destination for the France World Cup star reckons former Premier League striker Ian Wright.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live - via the Daily Star - Wright said:

You look at Mbappe looking across the way. You can probably see him coming across here.

“I’d probably want to go to Liverpool [ahead of City] right now. Any player in the world with Liverpool, especially this season…

“This has taken like four years where [Klopp] is now so you have to say that Liverpool are at the start of it now.

So if you’re a world class player you probably want to get there now because it seems to me, like we saw with Pep where he’s had two years of unbelievable football, but I feel that Liverpool are really getting ready to build something special.

“If I’m Mbappe, I probably am looking at Liverpool. Where else do you want to go, if you’re Mbappe now?

“I know people say well Barcelona… I think you deal with [who he replaces in the Liverpool team] once he comes across.

“Liverpool fans are not going to turn their back on Mbappe are they? He’s the next big thing.

“Liverpool fans I don’t think are going to turn their back on him. It’s almost like the Real Madrid Galacticos squad when they were building.

“You think ‘Oh my gosh where’s he going to go?’ - they got them and they just got them in there. Mbappe fits anywhere man.”

Kylian Mbappe speaks with coach Thomas Tuchel as he leaves the pitch during the match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier on February 1, 2020
Kylian Mbappe speaks with coach Thomas Tuchel as he leaves the pitch during the match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier on February 1, 2020 (Image: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Must read stories

Stick with us throughout the day for all the latest news and views from Anfield.

Salah gaining on Messi after leaving Ronaldo and Aguero behind

Only the great Lionel Messi has scored more league goals at home than Mohamed Salah since August 2017, after a brace at the weekend for the Liverpool forward.

Salah was instrumental in the Reds’ comfortable 4-0 win over Southampton at Anfield, netting the last two goals.

The brace from the Egyptian means he has now scored 12 goals at Anfield this term, more goals on home soil this season than any other player in the Premier League.

Click here to read the full story from Bobby Vincent

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Southampton FC
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Southampton FC

Good morning

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Liverpool Live Blog.