A report claims that Liverpool is ready to admit defeat in the case of Naby Keita.
Keita, 24, was bought from RB Leipzig last season and arrived at Anfield in the summer, but has struggled to find consistent playing time under Jurgen Klopp.
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Viewed as the missing link between the Virgil Van Dijk and Liverpool’s torrential attack, Keita has not come close to replicating the form that saw his price tag reach $69 million.
Indeed, Team Talk says Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich look prepared to pay around $53 million to bring Keita back to the Bundesliga.
Keita has played 27 matches in all competitions for Liverpool, accumulating 1,388 minutes and just one assist. He had nine goals and seven assists in more than double the minutes one season ago.
According to WhoScored.com, he’s passing the ball better and taking almost a foul less than last season, but almost every other measurable has declined since he moved to England.
I’m as guilty as anyone of thinking Keita would be everything the Reds required after an improved 2017-18, but he’s either being used very poorly or having trouble adjusting to the culture.
It’s early to quit on a player so talented, but maybe Klopp and he just don’t mesh well. But if it isn’t a case of clashing with the club, it may be worth waiting out a player who looked a giant just eight months ago.
Manchester City will demand a public apology from Uli Hoeness for his recent comments about the Premier League club’s transfer dealings, lest the Bayern Munich president and/or his employers face legal action.
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Hoeness, who worked with Pep Guardiola during his trophy-filled stint in Germany, recently alleged that Man City owner Sheikh Mansour pays for the club’s transfers by ramping up oil prices. The allegation didn’t come without salacious detail, either.
“My friend Pep told me what happens when he signs a player costing ($110 million). He puts some videos together and goes to see the sheikh.
“There is an opulent feast put on, during which he teaches the video to him and the money is transferred. The next day, the sheikh raises the price of oil to recoup the money.”
According to the Daily Mirror, City officials were very upset over the comments. So much so that they are considering legal action if Hoeness, a convicted tax evader, is unwilling to make a public apology and/or retraction. One source had the following to say on the matter:
“It was the remark of a smug, arrogant egotist. We are also concerned that there may be a racist element to what Hoeness has claimed.”
Weston McKennie is set to miss a significant chunk of Schalke’s impending relegation battle after the 20-year-old midfielder badly rolled his ankle during the U.S. men’s national team’s victory over Ecuador on Thursday, the Bundesliga club revealed on Friday.
[ MORE: USMNT star Tyler Adams leaves camp to return to RB Leipzig ]
McKennie was forced off in the 68th minute, not long after he went up for an aerial challenge and landed on the outside of his left foot, causing to the ankle to violently roll over.
From Schalke’s official statement:
“The U.S. (men’s) national team confirmed to Schalke that he hasn’t broken anything, but it looks like he has bruised the bone and damaged a ligament. He will soon see a foot specialist in the U.S. to determine the exact nature of the injury.”
While Schalke didn’t provide an estimated timeframe for McKennie’s return, Tottenham Hotspur and England forward Harry Kane has suffered a series of ankle injuries quite similar to that of McKennie over the past two or three seasons. Kane has generally been out of action for 6-10 weeks, with an additional 2-4 weeks of live action typically required to regain his full form and fitness. For USMNT purposes, the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on June 15, 12 weeks from today.
Schalke currently sit 15th in the Bundesliga, three points and one spot clear of the relegation playoff spot, with eight games left to play.
Tyler Adams was the topic of conversation before and after the U.S. men’s national team’s friendly with Ecuador on Thursday, and those 90 minutes will be all we see of the 20-year-old rising star during this international window.
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Adams departed USMNT camp on Friday, set to return to RB Leipzig in Germany, before the rest of the team travels to Houston to take on Chile in Houston on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Jonathan Gonzalez also left to return to his club, FC Dallas.
Midfielder Weston McKennie, who suffered what appeared to be a nasty ankle injury during the second half on Thursday, will remain with the team for further evaluation but it is highly unlikely he will be available on Tuesday.
[ MORE: Player ratings from USMNT’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador ]
The majority of the discussion around Adams heading into the first full-team camp and fixture of the Gregg Berhalter era centered around his positional deployment: right back-ish. In Berhalter’s system, the “right back” is not only giving a mostly free rein to roam forward, but also inside to a more central position.
It’s a role which, on the surface, appears to suit Adams’ highly versatile skillset and puts one of the Yanks’ most influential players in a position to amass an obscene number of touches on the ball.
While it’s still extremely early in Berhalter’s tenure, and it would be advantageous to grow the familiarity and continuity of the USMNT’s next generation, Adams has quickly become an important player at Leipzig, where the vast majority of his development will occur in the coming months and years. Remaining in good favor, and available for game action, is the best thing he can do his for own career at this point.
Schalke and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie limped off the pitch during the second half of a friendly against Ecuador on Thursday in Florida.
McKennie appeared to twist his ankle shortly after being called for a foul in the match, which stood 0-0 at the time.
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He left the match with trainer help, and was eventually carted to the bench while seated on a stretcher.
A key piece of the program’s future, the 20-year-old midfielder has been a utility knife in the Bundesliga, playing everywhere from right back to left mid.
Only six players have played more league minutes for Schalke than McKennie, who earned his eighth cap on Thursday.