Liverpool players are on their way to Thailand as they prepare to take part in their first match of pre-season against Manchester United on Tuesday. – Sport Media News

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Reports in Italy are linking long-standing Liverpool target Renato Sanches with a move to Serie A winners AC Milan, while former Reds midfielder Stewart Downing has likened Darwin Nunez to Luis Suarez and the latest surrounding Neco Williams’ move to Nottingham Forest.

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Neco Williams will reportedly undergo a medical tomorrow ahead of his proposed move to Nottingham Forest.

The ECHO confirmed on Thursday a deal worth £17million had been agreed between the two clubs for the Welsh defender and he is now set for the stage in getting this transfer over the line.

Goal have claimed the 21-year-old will have his medical on Sunday, which will see Williams move one step closer to becoming a Forest player.

Liverpool can add another piece of silverware to their bulging trophy cabinet after being crowned Masters Cup champions for 2022 in Glasgow on Friday evening.

But before they could get their hands on the trophy, the team of Anfield stars of yesteryear had to graft their way past a solid Manchester United side with tempers occasionally fraying between the two old enemies.

The Reds put out a team that included Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Stewart Downing, Jermaine Pennant, Sander Westerveld, Luis Garcia and David Thompson.

Liverpool got off to a flying start, beating Rangers 6-2 in the opening group game, with Spaniard Garcia helping himself to four goals in the process. Celtic were then dispatched 2-1 before United offered a greater challenge, inflicting the Merseyside club’s only defeat with a 4-2 scoreline.

Liverpool under-21s were involved in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Caernarfon Town this afternoon, drawing 1-1 with the Welsh Premier League side.

Among those involved in the fixture at the Academy was Jay Spearing, who recently returned to the club in a player-coach role nine years after leaving Anfield during his first spell on Merseyside. Oakley Cannonier, who scored over 40 goals in all competitions last campaign, was also selected by manager Barry Lewtas.

Midfielder Jake Cain scored the Reds’ only goal in the 17th minute of the match, though Liverpool’s opponents grabbed a late equaliser through Osian Evans. Caernarfon are a club Liverpool are likely to be on good terms with, having loaned youth keeper Jakub Ojrzynski to the Cofis last season.

Leeds United star Raphinha ‘won’t travel’ with the squad for their pre-season tour of Australia, it has been claimed.

Journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed the Brazilian will remain in England and train seperately while his future is resolved.

He adds Barcelona have improved their verbal bid, while Chelsea had a bid ‘accepted’ recently. However, widespread reports suggest Raphinha’s preference is the Camp Nou.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with the winger in recent times, their interest has been no secret. A move, however, has never materialised and they look set to miss out on him this summer.

In a bygone era, the process of selling players was something of a Liverpool afterthought, writes Paul Gorst.

In 2009, for example, when Alvaro Arbeloa moved to Real Madrid, the Reds allowed their first-choice right-back to trade Anfield for the Bernabeu for a paltry £3.5m after he made 29 Premier League appearances for a Rafa Benitez team that were beaten just twice all season.

Even for 13 years ago, that fee was surely well below the versatile defender’s true value, particularly in the same summer when £18m was paid to Portsmouth for Glen Johnson.

Former Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy is back in English football after being appointed as Burnley’s new assistant manager.

The Clarets are looking to plot an immediate Premier League return after they were relegated last season under interim boss Mike Jackson, following the sacking of Sean Dyche.

With Vincent Kompany appointed as the Turf Moor club’s new manager, the ex-Manchester City stalwart has announced his five-man backroom staff and that includes 42-year-old Bellamy as his assistant.

Liverpool Anderson Arroyo has signed a contract extension with the club and completed and loan move to Spanish side Alaves.

After joining the Reds in 2018, the 22-year-old has had loan spells with Real Mallorca, KAA Gent, FK Mlada Boleslav, Salamanca CF and CD Mirande.

He’ll now return to Spain to continue his development having penned a new deal.

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Calvin Ramsay has yet to train with his new Liverpool team-mates after an injury was discovered during his medical.

And the Reds boss has also spoken of the “pure joy” he and his colleagues got from watching Fabio Carvalho in action with Fulham last season.

Ramsay will be part of the contingent that flies out to Thailand on Saturday ahead of the Tuesday friendly with Manchester United at the Rajamangala Stadium but he won’t be involved in the exhibition fixture after an injury was flagged during his routine checks prior to the move to Merseyside.

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele is ‘closer than ever’ to signing a contract extension, according to reports from France.

GOAL France reporter Marc Mechenoua says an agreement is yet to be reached, but one is ‘close’ as he looks set to remain at the Camp Nou.

The Frenchman is out of contract this summer and has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League. Chelsea were among the clubs rumoured to be most interested, while reports earlier in the summer suggested Liverpool could make a move for the forward.

However, the ECHO reported last month, despite Jurgen Klopp monitoring the player prior to his move to Barcelona, they were not expected to be in the race for him this summer.

Now, it appears he won’t be on the move at all as the La Liga giants edge closer to getting a contract extension over the line.

FC Cologne head coach Steffen Baumgart is excited by the arrival of Sadio Mane in the Bundesliga.

The winger joined champions Bayern Munich earlier this summer, ending a six year spell at Anfield. The deal is worth an initial £27.4m but the fee could rise to £35m if all potential add-ons are paid out.

Baumgart was appointed head coach of Cologne in July last year and he guided his side to a seventh-placed finish last term. This season, however, he’s excited to face one player in particular.

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AC Milan have ‘launched a bid’ for rumoured Liverpool target Renato Sanches, according to reports.

The Reds have been linked with the midfielder for some time, although reported interest is yet to materialise into a move.

According to Calciomercato, AC Milan have now made an offer to Lille as they view Sanches as the ideal replacement for the departed Franck Kessie.

The report adds the Serie A giants are ‘confident’ a deal can be completed early next week.

Paul Merson believes it would be a mistake for Liverpool to not sign a midfielder in this summer transfer window. The Sky Sports pundit highlighted how the Reds midfield is a ‘weakness’ for them.

Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is the name that is heavily linked with a move to Anfield, but any potential move is unlikely to come before next summer after his club sold Erling Haaland earlier this window. Dortmund have put a £103 million price tag on their English midfielder.

Former Arsenal star Merson also touched on Liverpool’s need for new striker Darwin Nunez to ‘settle in quickly’ if the Reds are to win the Premier League title next season.

In this week’s Blood Red, Paul Gorst assesses the potential for Liverpool to make marquee addition to their midfield ranks this summer

In many ways, it’s easy to see why Liverpool are relaxed over their pursuit of a midfielder this summer, he writes.

More often than not, Jurgen Klopp has always steadfastly insisted the Reds’ recruitment team go after their first-choice transfer target with gusto rather than having to fall back on Plans B or C.

Players like Alisson Becker, Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk are proof enough of that strategy. They were three relatively drawn out sagas for a club who usually move with surgical precision in the transfer market.

Liverpool star Neco Williams is edging closer to the exit door after the club accepted an offer from Nottingham Forest earlier this week.

The ECHO understands the Reds have accepted a bid from the Tricky Trees, with the overall package worth around £17m.

Should Williams agree terms, he is poised to follow Sadio Mane , Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi as departures this summer.

Former Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing has likened Darwin Nunez to Luis Suarez and told how the forward should aim to emulate Mohamed Salah at the start of his Anfield career.

Nunez signed a six-year contract with the Reds last month after completing his transfer from Benfica, subject to international clearance and the granting of a work permit.

The Reds will pay a set fee of £64.1million (€75m) with a possible £21.3m (€25m) in add-ons depending on individual success, ranging from reaching appearance landmarks, scoring goals to winning the Champions League.

With Sadio Mane having moved on to Bayern Munich, the signing sees Jurgen Klopp continue the evolution of his forward line, with a player who was coveted by some of the continent’s biggest clubs despite having just completed only his second top-flight season in Europe.

Fellow Uruguayan, and Anfield favourite, Luis Suarez has been banging the drum for the youngster since he first joined Spanish second-tier side Almeria three years ago, and Downing believes the forward is very similar to his former Reds team-mate.

“I think watching him, the fans will love him. He has that South America style about him,” he exclusively told the ECHO.

Read the latest here.

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