Jon Flanagan

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Liverpool defender Flanagan charged with assault

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A Liverpool FC defender is in hot water after being criminally charged by local authorities for an off-the-field incident.

On Wednesday, Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan was charged with alleged assault following an altercation in the early hours of December 22 in downtown Liverpool.

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“Merseyside Police can confirm that Jonathan Patrick Flanagan, aged 24, from Cressington in Liverpool has been charged with Section 39 common assault following an incident on Duke Street in Liverpool city centre at around 3.20am on Friday, December 22,” A Merseyside Police spokesperson told the Liverpool Echo.

It’s unclear of what the background is at the moment but after being charged, Flanagan was released on conditional bail and is due to appear in local Liverpool magistrates court in the new year to defend himself.

Flanagan made his first team debut in 2011 as a teenager but since then, he’s failed to keep a first team place due to issues with form and recurring injuries. He spent last season on-loan with Burnley and had hoped to break into the Liverpool first team this season but hasn’t made a single Premier League appearance, having only one place on the substitute bench to his name.

Watch Live: Stoke City vs. Liverpool (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Brendan Rodgers has spoken at length about getting redemption at the Britannia Stadium for the way last season ended, and he’ll get a chance to do that as Liverpool visits Stoke City at 11 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

The Reds found themselves 6-1 losers there to end last season, a fitting way to end a year He’ll have to do so with four players on competitive debut and other important personnel missing as the Reds look to make a return to the Champions League after a big summer spending spree.

Christian Benteke, Nathaniel Clyne, and Joe Gomez all make their first starts for the club while big money signing Roberto Firmino is on the bench, but Joe Allen and Jon Flanagan miss out thanks to injury. The big absence from last season is Raheem Sterling, who made his way to Manchester City.

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For Stoke City, Marko Arnautovic, Ryan Shawcross, and Marc Wilson are both missing thanks to injuries, but electric attacker Bojan is healthy and ready to start a new season for the Potters. Peter Crouch is on the bench for Stoke, while American international Geoff Cameron starts along the back line.

The Potters also have plenty of changes to their squad, as Glen Johnson starts after moving from Liverpool on a free, and former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay also gets his first start for the club.

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Butland; Johnson, Cameron, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, Adam; Walters, van Ginkel, Afellay; Diouf.
Subs: Given, Ireland, Odemwingie, Joselu, Sidwell, Crouch, Wollscheid.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Milner, Lallana, Ibe, Coutinho, Benteke.
Subs: Bogdan, Toure, Firmino, Moreno, Can, Origi, Ings.

Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne to sign with Liverpool; medical scheduled for Monday

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Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne will no longer take the field as part of the home squad at St. Mary’s Stadium, with sources telling multiple media outlets that the 24-year-old will undergo a medical ahead of his transfer to Liverpool.

The Reds are aiming to dish out a $19.62 million (£12.5 million) fee for his services.

Clyne made his name known as one of the top defenders in the Premier League, and since Jon Flanagan is out with long-term injury and Glen Johnson will leave at the end of his contract, the need for a right back put the addition of Clyne in Brendan Rodgers’ sights.

[RELATED: Latest transfer news]

The England international rejected a contract to extend his tenure with the Saints, and his transfer away seemed very plausible considering his current contract, inked when he came from Crystal Palace in 2012, runs until the summer of 2016.

Manchester United was said to be a strong contender for Clyne’s signature but ultimately focused their attention elsewhere.

Southampton’s board, knowing this Anfield exit was nearing, brought in Sporting Lisbon defender Cedric Soares.

If the medical is passed, Clyne will join the other transfer acquisitions of Liverpool this summer: James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Adam Bogdan, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez. Firmino has costed the most out of this bunch, his move amounting to a $45.54 million (£29 million) payment. Arriving as free transfers, Milner and Bodgan have required the least amount of financial compensation.

Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Anderson to Manchester United, Austin to Liverpool

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Numerous reports suggest that Manchester United have offered Lazio $50 million for midfielder Filipe Anderson. The 22-year-old Brazilian attacker impressed in the heart of Lazio’s midfield last season as they finished third in Serie A and qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Anderson scored 10 goals and added seven assists in the 2014-15 season, with the former Santos star putting in electrifying displays to terrorize opposition defenders. With Louis van Gaal set to be given a considerable budget of over $150 million to spend this summer, Anderson is young, hungry and just the type of player United need to challenge for the Premier League and UCL.

[ RELATED: Cech to Arsenal? ]

But with Ashley Young and Angel di Maria already around and Memphis Depay now on board, do United need another pacey attacking midfielder? Anderson has previously stated his desire to remain at Lazio after signing new five-year deal last season but it seems like LVG is stocking up world-class talents whenever he can get his hands on them. Let’s see if his rumored pursuit of Anderson bears fruit.

Charlie Austin continues to attract interest from across the Premier League as the Sun reports that Liverpool want to sign the striker but the London Evening Standard reports that the QPR striker is wanted by Chelsea, West Ham United, Southampton and Newcastle. Austin, 25, scored 18 times for the R’s last season despite the west London club being relegated from the Premier League. QPR are said to want around $22 million for Austin as the forward was called up to the English national team squad for the final two games of their season. Austin’s ability to either lead the line or play off a target man make him a sensible choice for West Ham, Saints and Newcastle, while it is believed that he would prefer to be a starter wherever he ends up so Liverpool and Chelsea may be out of question.

[ RELATED: Mourinho close to new $50 million deal ]

The Hammers and Saints can both offer Austin European soccer as they’ve qualified for the Europa League, but he may fancy the chance to help Newcastle rise back up the league under new boss Steve McClaren. A decision on Austin’s future is expected in the coming days after he returns from international duty with England but it is clear the fourth-highest scorer in the PL last season is in demand.

According to multiple reports Liverpool are closing in on a $7 million deal to sign Charlton Athletic’s right back Joe Gomez. The 18-year-old defender played 24 time for the Addicks in England’s second-tier last season and is expected to have a bright future and make the step up to the PL. Liverpool needs a right back after losing Glen Johnson on a free transfer but they do have the likes of Andre Wisdom (out on loan the past two seasons), Jon Flanagan returning from injury and on-loan Javier Manquillo to call on. Could England U-19 defender Gomez be a long-term and relatively cheap option as the Reds’ right back?

Young Liverpool pair signs new contract extensions

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Liverpool announced today that both Jon Flanagan and Jordon Ibe have signed new contracts with the club.

Both have shown promises of a solid future, but have yet to truly become a regular. Flanagan has missed the entire season with a knee injury, and likely will miss a significant amount of time still to come thanks to more surgery just a month ago, but last season at just 21 years old he proved his worth on the back line.

With his deal set to expire this summer, Liverpool made sure he stuck around at least long enough to prove his worth again once healthy.

“He [Flanagan] has been a huge miss for us this season,” manager Brendan Rodgers said. “Jon is a young player and it was probably difficult for him when I first came in, he didn’t have a lot of opportunities and there weren’t many opportunities to go on loan. But he’s a wonderful example for all young players about perseverance. He kept working tirelessly in training to the point where I then felt he was ready to be put in.”

While not specified by the club, it’s likely Flanagan’s deal is for just one or two years, as his news release just said he has a “new contract” whereas Ibe’s new deal was described as a “long-term deal” in the article headline.

Ibe, still just 19, has been electric in spurts, but still has yet to show the consistency needed of a top-class winger, though it should be remembered he is still just a teenager.

[ MORE: Raheem Sterling’s agent says he won’t sign a new Liverpool deal ]

He began the season on loan at Derby County, scoring five goals and helping the Rams to a flying start to the season as the club went nine unbeaten to begin the year and picking up 12 wins during Ibe’s half a season with the team. He then went back to Liverpool for the 2015 portion of the season, making a great impression in a pair of late substitute appearances against Aston Villa and West Ham. That earned him a starting spot which he made the most of down the stretch.

“Liverpool are a great club and I like the philosophy here. I’m enjoying it – I’ve just been brought into the first team and I’ve enjoyed the games I’ve played in. Hopefully I can just keep doing well at the club.

“I have been given the chance to play quite a few games and I’ve enjoyed it,” Ibe told the club’s official site. “I just want to take that into pre-season and then next season, continuing with how it’s been since I’ve been back here.”

“He is a young kid that has got a lot of potential,” Rodgers said of Ibe in the release. “He still has a lot of work to do to become that consistent performer at the top level, but there’s no doubting his potential and he has really grown and developed over the course of the last season.”

While Raheem Sterling (or, more correctly, his agent) continues to spout on about not wanting to sign a contract extension at Anfield, these two youngsters put pen to paper for Brendan Rodgers and company.