After a thrilling World Cup campaign that saw Ibrahima Konate narrowly miss out on his first World Cup trophy, Liverpool will be back in action on Thursday as they face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup. The absence of club football hasn’t stopped the news and rumours around Merseyside, with the January transfer window and the continued sale of the club on the minds of every fan, player and staff.
It has been over a month since it was confirmed that Fenway Sports Group were looking to sell Liverpool FC after 12 years at the helm and there has been a host of worldwide names and consortiums that have been linked with the club. It has been reported that FSG will demand around £3.4 billion from the buyer, with potential suitors from across Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the US all said to be interested in taking the reigns at Anfield.
Here are the latest updates on the sale as well as today’s headlines...
Liverpool sale latest
Liverpool look increasingly likely to be sold to investors in the Middle East, according to football finance expert Stefan Szymanski - as reported by Liverpool Echo. FSG’s £3.4bn price tag has left them with very few interested parties that could afford such a fee and Szymanski has claimed that US investors may ‘find it harder to compete at the top level’ if the rate of return diminishes with rising prices. He said: “Who do you have left? Bahrain, Kuwait, I don’t think Dubai would ever put up for one, so you are running out of those kind of buyers.
“The other option is someone in the Far East. Liverpool is such a big name in East Asia and there are billionaire Indonesians, Malaysians and Singaporeans, it would certainly sell well in that part of the world. It would be reasonable to think there would be a lot of interest.”
Meanwhile, the former vice-chairman of Arsenal and the FA, David Dein, has claimed that the collapse of the European Super League may be responsible for the club being put up for sale. FSG were heavily involved in the push for the controversial proposed tournament and were criticised by their own fanbase before backing out. Speaking to The Times, Dein said: “I was very worried about the Super League. That was the owners not reading the tea leaves properly. They got the wrong message, and that clearly was driven by owners thinking that there was a holy grail out there [of a closed shop and increased revenue], and that probably promoted the sale of Liverpool and Manchester United.”
Carabao Cup clash set for full-strength teams
Liverpool will face Manchester City on Thursday night in their first competitive match in over a month. Taking place just days after the World Cup final, it was expected that the draw would be littered with bench players and youth stars after seven Reds travelled to Qatar, while City had a whopping 16 players at the international tournament. However, it is looking increasingly likely that both teams will be able to feature a (near enough) full-strength line-up.
Group stage exits of Uruguay, Belgium and Germany means that Darwin Nunez, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan will have had a full three weeks rest before Thursday’s match, while Round of 16 exits for City trio in Rodri, Manuel Akanji and Aymeric Laporte should be fit after two weeks since they were knocked out on the competition. Even those who went out at the quarter-final stage - including the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil Van Dijk, Kyle Walker and Phil Foden - could make a case fo returning to the fold in the Carabao Cup.