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Updated: 18 hours 53 min ago

French interior minister apologises to Liverpool fans for CL chaos

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 18:00

French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has offered an apology to Liverpool fans for the distressing scenes at the Champions League final in Paris.

Liverpool fans were initially blamed by the French authorities for the chaos outside the ground ahead of the 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid, which saw thousands of supporters locked out and then tear-gassed by police.

France's sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera and Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin both said ticketless fans or supporters with forgeries trying to get in were the cause of the trouble.

However, there have been numerous eyewitness accounts of major congestion problems on the approach to the stadium and patient fans being locked out for almost an hour amid issues with scanning tickets.

Having testified before the senate that some supporters arrived late, some were intoxicated and around 40,000 tried to enter the stadium with no tickets or fake tickets in "massive fraud on an industrial scale," Darmanin has now climbed down.

Darmanin did not retract his claims, but the evidence presented by the Liverpool Disabled Supporters chair Ted Morris and Spirit of Shankly's Joe Blott last week has forced him to admit "poor management" of the showpiece.

"Could the Stade de France have been better managed? The answer is yes," he told RTL in France.

"Do I have some responsibility for that? The answer is yes. I apologise to those who who suffered from this poor management.

"It is certain we have changes to make to the organisation."

Darmanin shifted blame to the "delinquency in Saint-Denis".

In response, Spirit of Shankly said: "No one should underestimate the significance of this. One week after the truth was told by the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association and ourselves an apology has followed.

"While this is obviously welcome as a first and much-needed positive step, deflecting blame is not acceptable and greater sincerity is still required. Our basic demand remains unaltered - a fully independent investigation is essential."

Paris police chief apologises for tear-gassing Liverpool fans at CL final

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Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains how the Champions League final delay occurred, with thousands of Liverpool fans being held up outside the Stade de France

Paris police chief Didier Lallement admitted that the managing of the final was "obviously a failure, because people were being pushed around or assaulted while we owed them safety".

Lallement apologised for tear-gassing supporters, who were waiting to enter the Champions League final at the Stade de France.

Speaking at the French Senate, he said was sorry for authorising the use of tear gas but felt he had no other option under the circumstances.

Lallement said: "It is obviously a failure. It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined."

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Sky Sports News' chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol says the events outside the Stade de France do not tally with what French interior minister Gerald Darmanin considered fraud

Lallement also admitted his early estimate of 30,000 to 40,000 fans without tickets or with fake tickets was probably inaccurate.

"Perhaps I was wrong," he said. "Whether there were 40,000, 30,000 or 20,000, it didn't change the fact that there were tens of thousands of people who could not fit in."

Lallement also admitted his decision to remove a filtration barrier to avoid congestion had seemingly allowed "undesirables" without tickets to get to the stadium gates.

"There were 300 or 400 people who did not seem to be fans. I don't know if they were people from the housing estates around the stadium," he added.

"Is this a type of delinquent population that we meet in Seine-Saint-Denis? Yes, it happens, but we also meet them in the north of Paris."

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Liverpool chief executive says he's 'horrified' by fans' accounts of their experiences at the Champions League final in Paris Liverpool to meet chair of UEFA's CL final review

Police chief Lallement's apology came after it was revealed Liverpool officials would meet the chair of UEFA's review into problems at the Champions League final in an attempt to help satisfy themselves the process will be fully independent.

European football's governing body appointed the Portuguese politician Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to carry out an inquiry into the circumstances which saw huge congestion issues which led to thousands of fans being locked out of the Stade de France and some being tear-gassed by police prior to Real Madrid's 1-0 win.

However, there have been suggestions Rodrigues has links to UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin and Liverpool are understood to be keen to ascertain the independence and scope of his review.

Officials also want full explanations to 13 questions they submitted to UEFA, only some of which have been partially answered, and details of which experts will be involved on the panel before they can make a decision on whether Rodrigues is the right person to lead the review.

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Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan says he wants to see an independent investigation into the issues experienced by supporters at the Champions League final

It is understood UEFA, which has pledged unconditional access to its files and staff, has outlined its rationale for appointing Rodrigues but has not provided specific responses to the questions posed by the club.

Liverpool hope a meeting with the chair of the review panel, who will also meet Real Madrid officials separately, will provide more extensive answers.

Sources say they are keen to establish the process will be a thorough, independent and transparent investigation as they are unconvinced by the "independent review" terminology.

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Liverpool transfer rumours: Liverpool reject Forest's Williams offer

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 07:50

Wrapping up the Liverpool transfer news, rumours and gossip in the 2022 summer window.

Monaco complete Minamino signing for £15.5m

Monaco have completed the signing of Japan forward Takumi Minamino from Liverpool in a deal worth £15.5m (€18m).

The fee is an initial £12.9m (€15m) plus a further £2.6m (€3m) in add-ons.

Minamino, 27, signed from Red Bull Salzburg in 2020 and played 55 times for Liverpool, scoring 14 times.

Chelsea to approach ex-Liverpool sporting director

Chelsea are expected to engage Michael Edwards over their sporting director vacancy with owner Todd Boehly previously referencing Liverpool as a "great model" for success.

The man who helped reshape the recruitment of the Merseysiders and constructed Jurgen Klopp's world-class squad with smart, analytical-powered transfers, departed Anfield this summer after 11 years.

A source close to Edwards has told Sky Sports News that since the 42-year-old's decision to leave was made public last November, he has been approached by Europe's powerhouse teams - Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain specifically - as well as hedge funds and billionaires wanting to buy clubs and have him run them.

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Sky Sports' senior reporter Melissa Reddy reveals all on Michael Edwards - the man who was instrumental in Liverpool's recent transfer success and who could now be on his way to Chelsea Mane joins Bayern in £35m deal

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool in a deal worth up to £35m.

Sky in Germany understands the 30-year-old has signed a contract with the German champions until 2025.

Bayern will pay an initial £27.5m with a further £5m based on appearances, and will pay another £2.5m based on individual and team achievements.

The deal eclipses what Liverpool paid for Mane - £31m plus £2.5m in add-ons - with Southampton not getting any additional money.

Liverpool sign Aberdeen's Ramsay

Liverpool have completed the signing of Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay for £6.5m.

The Reds are paying an initial £4m up front with a further £2.5m coming in the form of add-ons.

The 18-year-old recently travelled to Liverpool to finalise personal terms and undergo a medical. The defender has signed a five-year deal at Anfield and will link up with Jurgen Klopp's squad for pre-season. Liverpool have no plans to loan Ramsay out.

Liverpool complete Nunez deal

Liverpool have completed the transfer of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez in a deal worth up to €100m (£85m).

The Portuguese club, who announced the deal in the early hours of Monday morning, say Liverpool will pay an initial €75m (£64m), with add-ons amounting to €25m included in the deal.

The transfer is subject to the 22-year-old Uruguay international agreeing personal terms with Liverpool and completing a medical.

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Liverpool transfer target Darwin Nunez is valued at 100 million euros after one hugely prolific season in Portugal in which he scored 23 times for Benfica Cherries approach Liverpool over Phillips loan Nat Phillips Image: Nat Phillips is wanted by Bournemouth

Bournemouth have made an approach to Liverpool about taking Nat Phillips on loan for the season.

Liverpool are currently weighing up the offer for Phillips, who also spent the second half of last season on loan at Bournemouth

Who have Liverpool been linked with?

Jude Bellingham - Real Madrid have identified England youngster Jude Bellingham as their priority target for next summer (Daily Mail, June 28); Liverpool are confident they will be able to sign Bellingham next summer (The Sun, June 27); Jurgen Klopp will wait until next summer to move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham (The Sun, June 17).

Jude Bellingham put in a standout performance for England against Ivory Coast Image: Jude Bellingham is reportedly a Liverpool target

Christopher Nkunku - Nkunku has signed a new four-year deal at RB Leipzig - that includes a £51.6m release clause - despite reported interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United (June 23).

Nicolo Barella - Liverpool could be set to offer Naby Keita in exchange for Inter Milan midfielder Barella (Daily Express, June 20).

Jude Bellingham - Liverpool are confident they will be able to sign Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham next summer (The Sun, June 27); Jurgen Klopp will wait until next summer to move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham (The Sun, June 17).

Fabio Vieira - Liverpool have passed up the opportunity to sign Porto's Fabio Vieira having previously reached an agreement over the midfielder, with Arsenal set to sign the Portuguese player (Daily Mirror, June 17).

Kalvin Phillips - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is ready to rival Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola this summer in the battle to land Kalvin Phillips from Leeds (Daily Mirror, June 6).

Raphinha - Liverpool are set to miss out on the signing of Leeds United winger Raphinha this summer (Daily Mirror, June 7); Liverpool have stepped up their pursuit of Leeds forward Raphinha because of doubts over Sadio Mane's future, and are considering an offer which would include them sending Takumi Minamino to Elland Road (Sunday Mirror, June 5).

Arnaut Danjuma - Manchester United and Liverpool are set to go head-to-head for the signing of Villarreal forward Danjuma after Newcastle pulled out of the race (Daily Express, June 4).

Lancelot Pollard - Rangers have beaten off competition from Manchester United and Liverpool to land Aberdeen wonderkid Pollard.

Ibrahim Sangare - Liverpool will make a move for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Sangare after missing out on Aurelien Tchouameni to Real Madrid. (Daily Express, May, 25). Chelsea and Manchester United are interested in signing Sangare this summer (Sky Sports, June 8).

Mason Mount - Liverpool and Manchester City have reportedly made "discreet" offers to Chelsea midfielder Mount amid interest from Manchester United (Daily Express, June 1).

The latest players linked with a Liverpool exit

Neco Williams - Liverpool have turned down Nottingham Forest's opening offer for Neco Williams as they are holding out for £15million (Daily Mail, June 29); Fulham are preparing a £10m bid for Liverpool defender Williams as they look to fend off Nottingham Forest and Southampton (Daily Mail, June 21); Liverpool's £15m rated full-back Williams is a target for Nottingham Forest but Fulham, Southampton and PSV have also made offers (Daily Mail, June 20); Liverpool are looking to boost their transfer coffers by £30m by selling defenders Nat Phillips and Williams this summer (Daily Mirror, May 30).

Ben Davies - Celtic have 'made contact' with Liverpool over a potential move for Davies this summer as Parkhead chiefs revive their interest in the centre-back (Daily Record, June 23).

Sadio Mane - Mane joins Bayern | Klopp: He leaves Liverpool a modern-day icon; Mane will head to Bayern Munich on Tuesday for a medical ahead of his imminent move from Liverpool (Daily Mirror, June 19); Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has played down attempts to sign Liverpool forward Mane, insisting they are 'working on several options' (Daily Mail, June 13); Liverpool's progress pursuing Darwin Nunez means Mane is edging towards his departure from Anfield for Bayern Munich (Sunday Telegraph, June 12).

Mohamed Salah - Liverpool have no concerns that Mohamed Salah will allow his standards to drop next season, but they are braced for the forward to leave on a free at the end of the next campaign (Sunday Mirror, June 19); Salah informed close friends that he was willing to commit his future to Liverpool but performed a drastic U-turn after Barcelona promised him a move next summer (Daily Mirror, June 7); Barcelona have told Liverpool forward Salah he can join their incoming galaxy of stars at the Nou Camp next summer (Sunday Mirror, June 5).

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has a surprise stance on Oxlade-Chamberlain as he would reportedly prefer to lose the star for free when his contract expires next summer rather than cash in on him now (Sunday Express, June 19); Liverpool will listen to offers of just £10m for Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Manchester United and West Ham thought to be interested (The Sun, June 13). Aston Villa and West Ham have been put on red alert with Liverpool ready to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer (Daily Mirror, May 26).

Nathaniel Phillips - Liverpool are considering sanctioning defender Nat Phillips' return to Bournemouth on loan next season (Sunday Mirror, June 12).

Takumi Minamino - Liverpool's forgotten star Takumi Minamino could be set for a fresh start away from Anfield with a move that could hand a £17m boost to the Reds' transfer budget (Sunday Express, June 12). Forward will wait until after Liverpool's clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday before considering his future at the English Premier League club (Kyodo News, May 25).

Caoimhin Kelleher - Kelleher will hold discussions around his Liverpool future after the June block of internationals, with the goalkeeper admitting that he is "not sure" if he will be moving on from Anfield to play regularly next season. (Daily Mirror, June 7).

Confirmed Liverpool signings

Calvin Ramsay - Aberdeen, £6.5m

Darwin Nunez - Benfica, £85m

Fabio Carvalho - Fulham, undisclosed

Confirmed Liverpool departures

Divock Origi - released

Loris Karius - released

Sheyi Ojo - released

Ben Woodburn - released

Elijah Dixon-Bonner - released

Luis Longstaff - released

Sean Wilson - released

Conor Bradley - Bolton, loan

Sadio Mane - Bayern Munich, £35m

Adam Lewis - Newport, loan

Billy Koumetio - Austria Wien, loan

Takumi Minamino - Monaco, £15.5m

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Mane joins Bayern | Klopp: He leaves Liverpool a modern-day icon

Wed, 06/22/2022 - 12:15

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool in a deal worth up to £35m.

The 30-year-old has signed a contract with the German champions until 2025.

Bayern will pay Liverpool an initial £27.5m with a further £5m based on appearances, and will pay another £2.5m based on individual and team achievements.

The deal eclipses what Liverpool paid for Mane - £31m plus £2.5m in add-ons - with Southampton not getting any additional money.

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As he leaves the Premier League for the Bundesliga, we look at Sadio Mane's best goals for Southampton and Liverpool

Mane had just one year remaining on his contract at Anfield and departs following the club-record signing of Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica.

He departs Merseyside having made 269 appearances in all competitions since joining from Southampton in 2016, during which he scored 120 goals and registered 48 assists.

In his six years at Anfield, he won the Premier League, the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Mane: This is the right time for this challenge

Sadio Mane has revealed he had "no doubts" about leaving Liverpool to join Bayern, having followed the club during his time at Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg.

He said: "I'm very happy to finally be with FC Bayern in Munich. We had a lot of talks and I felt the great interest of this big club from the start.

"So there was no doubt in my mind right from the start: This is the right time for this challenge. I want to achieve a lot with this club, also internationally.

"During my time in Salzburg I followed many FC Bayern games - I like this club very much!"

In a separate farewell interview with Liverpool, Mane explained it was important for him to leave the club on good terms, saying: "I sent a long text to say goodbye to everybody, which is normal. They were sad, as I was, but it is part of life. We just have to accept it.

"That was the plan from the beginning - to leave Liverpool in a very good way. It was fantastic in the club, in the dressing room.

"I am friendly with everybody, the coaching staff and even the kitchen staff, the ladies in the kitchen! So, for me leaving in a good way is so, so important - and [for] the fans as well."

Klopp: Mane a modern-day Liverpool icon

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Sadio's story: relive the best and worst of Mane's Premier League journey

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool's fans to "respect" Mane's move to Germany and has labelled the forward one of the club's "greatest ever players".

The 55-year-old told Liverpoolfc.com: "It's a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise.

"One of Liverpool's greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.

"He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And, yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football.

"But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have.

"The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.

"I respect completely his decision and I'm sure our supporters do also. If you love LFC, you have to love Sadio - non-negotiable. It is possible to do this while accepting our loss is Bayern's gain.

"We wish him nothing but success in every match he plays in, unless, of course, it's against us. His star will continue to rise, I have no doubts."

Analysis: Bayern get their main Mane for feature

Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:

"Bayern Munich get their main Mane. He very quickly became their priority target once they realised he was spurning Liverpool's attempts at offering him a new contract and that he actually did want a fresh challenge.

"They made a massive play for him with both the sporting director and technical director holding a four-hour meeting with Mane after hearing from Julian Nagelsmann that he was determined to get the player.

"They spelt out how he was going to fit in tactically and technically, how they would build a squad with him as the focal point. Apart from all the footballing elements, they showed him what it means to represent Bayern Munich, the relationship with the fans and the experience of parades around the city, giving him a flavour of the emotional connection the players have with the fans.

"Liverpool are now in this period of evolution with Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez but the front three of Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah really set Liverpool up for the success they have had. The players they have now brought in have a template to work off and can come in and settle because of the functionality and the structure that front three have implemented."

'Mane's commitment cannot be faulted'

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Sadio Mane has landed at Munich airport ahead of a move to Bayern Munich, with former Liverpool forward John Barnes impressed with Mane's time at the club

Former Liverpool midfielder John Barnes told Sky Sports News:

"This is modern football - players come and go. The only thing clubs can demand from their players is that they give 100 per cent commitment while they're on their books and that's what Sadio Mane did.

"It was the same with Gini Wijnaldum last summer. It's sad to see him going, but Mane decided he needed a new challenge. Financially, it's a better move for him also but you can't complain about what he's done as while he was here he was absolutely fantastic.

"It'll be disappointing to see him leave as the club did all they could to keep him but they couldn't be held to ransom over paying him what he wanted.

"Liverpool have already brought in Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, so what bringing in Darwin Nunez should change is it will give Liverpool more a threat within the penalty box.

"We're a very good team on the counter-attack with space in behind, but every now and then when teams defend deep and in numbers, we've not had that big presence in the box which is what Nunez will give us.

"It will give us a real orthodox presence to get on the end of crosses in addition to what we already have. Players do need time to bed in, but the majority of Jurgen Klopp's signings have hit the ground running."

Which positions are Liverpool targeting? Liverpool transfers

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor:

Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how intent they are to add further quality up top.

They have already secured the signature of Darwin Nunez, but it makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts. The departure of Mane, who also had one year left on his deal, and Divock Origi having already decided to go, makes reinforcements in that area a priority.

With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further overhaul in midfield could depend on the futures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade-Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63-game season and hasn't played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and both could look for more regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade-Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.

Strengthening the back-line does not appear to be a priority with Ibrahima Konate offering another option to Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and centre-back.

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Monaco agree deal to sign Liverpool's Minamino

Tue, 06/21/2022 - 21:13

Monaco have agreed a deal worth £15.5m (€18m) with Liverpool to sign Takumi Minamino.

The fee is an initial £12.9m (€15m) plus a further £2.6m (€3m) in add ons.

Minamino, 27, signed from Red Bull Salzburg in 2020, and has played 55 times for Liverpool, scoring 14 times.

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Liverpool fixtures: Reds begin at Fulham

Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League campaign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6.

It will be the fourth season in a row in which Liverpool have started a new campaign against a Premier League newcomer.

But after then facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side will take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.

September will feature away trips to both Everton and Chelsea in September and Liverpool will also face back-to-back clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15 respectively.

Liverpool's final game before the season stops temporarily for the winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12 before returning to action at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4, before tricky-looking clashes in consecutive weekends at City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season at Southampton.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Disabled Liverpool fans to reveal horrific treatment at CL final

Tue, 06/21/2022 - 10:45

Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association Chair Ted Morris will give his account on what happened on the day of the Champions League final to the French Senate on Tuesday.

There were chaotic scenes ahead of the European showpiece between Liverpool and Real Madrid on May 28, with long queues to enter the Stade de France, people seen breaching fences, reports of robbery and pickpocketing by locals and police using tear gas on supporters.

French senators last week demanded the state recognise responsibility and identify guilty parties behind the chaos outside the national stadium that marred the event.

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Sky Sports' Melissa Reddy explains the scale of distress suffered by disabled Liverpool supporters at the Champions League final that was heard by the French senate on Tuesday.

They also questioned why government officials allowed surveillance video of the scene, in which police pepper-sprayed fans and families, to be deleted instead of ordering it to be handed over to investigators.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of his appearance in Paris, Morris gave his account of the issues he faced that day in the French capital.

"We arrived at the station at 3pm and it was surprising that there wasn't a single police officer," he said.

"We headed up towards the stadium and went to a McDonald's for three hours. In those three hours, I've never seen so many fans pickpocketed in my life - it was one after the other. It was absolutely bizarre. That gave us an insight into how this day was going.

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Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains how the Champions League final delay occurred, with thousands of Liverpool fans being held up outside the Stade de France

"Then we made our way round to the soft ticket check area, which just wasn't fit for purpose at all. There were local people just walking in. I had a conversation with one of our police officers from Merseyside Police at around 6.15pm and he was extremely worried by events.

"It was just chaotic. There was no organisation, no police presence on the turnstiles to help or even act as a deterrent.

"I had no interest in the game because, for two hours, I was getting text messages from people at the club and our disabled supporters about the distress that was going on outside, so the game just became irrelevant. We could have won 6-0 and I still wouldn't have cared.

"I was going to leave at half-time and I got a message saying don't leave at half-time, it's not safe. So we stayed until the 86th minute, left the ground and the steward wouldn't open the gate. We had a heated discussion and he opened the gate because there were still loads of locals trying to get in.

"We headed off towards the underground station called La Plaine. We went under the underpass and there were lots of policemen there. As we left the underpass, literally within a minute, there were hundreds of locals to our right-hand side just attacking us. I'm in a wheelchair and I was terrified.

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French police used tear gas against Liverpool fans, stewards tried to hold back crowds with wheelie bins. Sky News has combed through footage from the Champions League final to find out what actually happened on that night

"There were bottles raining in, there were knives; they were running in, assaulting people and running out. And when we eventually got to the train station, the police tear-gassed us. I'll never understand that, no matter how they try and explain it.

"We went up in the accessible lift to the platform and there was a little girl about six years old in a Liverpool kit with her dad. Her eyes were streaming, red raw and she was completely and utterly traumatised. All she'd done was go to Paris to watch a festival of football and how she'll ever be able to go to a football match or even trust the authorities is beyond me. It was unnecessary and absolutely horrific."

'We are going to Paris to expose the myths, lies and mistruths'

Joining Morris in front of the senate is Joe Blott - chair of Liverpool Supporters' Union Spirit of Shankly - who has told Sky Sports of his intention to "explain the horrors" of that evening in the French capital.

"Since I have been chair, it's probably the most important meeting that I have attended on behalf of Spirit of Shankly, Liverpool fans and football fans across the world," he said.

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Sky Sports News' chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol says the events outside the Stade de France do not tally with what French interior minister Gerald Darmanin considered fraud

"What we are hoping for is an opportunity to expose the myths, the lies and the mistruths that have been put forward by certain members of the French authorities. But also to explain the horrors of that evening, particularly for some fans with disabilities, and share some testimonials of people's experiences that night which will hopefully bring to life the problems that we had.

"First of all, it was Liverpool fans arriving late - and your footage alone dispelled that myth. We then heard that fans were scaling the walls to get in and they weren't Liverpool fans, as we know, because they were still outside. We know that Liverpool fans behaved absolutely impeccably during that time and, quite clearly, it was through their heroics that nobody was seriously injured or worse actually suffered loss of life as a consequence of that.

"The French authorities wanted to hold the game in Paris to show they could host an event such as this, but they quite literally have proven that they cannot do that, so they have got a lot of learning to do if they want to hold the Olympics [in 2024] and the Rugby League World Cup [in 2025]."

'Hillsborough survivors and families horrified by similarities'

Blott added the events were glaringly similar to those that unfolded during the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 97 Liverpool fans were killed at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

He added: "It became a narrative that we have heard before as football fans - and particularly as Liverpool fans that, first of all, you don't look at yourself for blame; you look to point the finger at others and then when that myth gets dispelled, you pick another one and another one.

Liverpool supporters show their tickets as they struggle to get into the Champions League final Image: Liverpool supporters show their tickets as they struggle to get into the Champions League final

"We are happy to go through each of those myths and expose them for what they are - people just not taking responsibility for the actions they took on the night.

"We have been horrified, as have survivors and families of Hillsborough, by the similarities. We know what the truth is; it is legally watertight that no fans were involved in any kind of disorder at Hillsborough in 1989, so any slur from the French authorities put forward, we'll certainly be dispelling. Clearly they were trying to manage and control this on the basis that they didn't want fans in there; they wanted the event, but not the fans.

"They also disregarded the police intelligence that had been put to them by police authorities over here that, in the last 10 years, Liverpool fans have behaved impeccably abroad. Yet they chose to use a narrative that would suggest there were a whole host of hooligans coming. The problem then was that when those hooligans didn't arrive - because they don't exist - they still went to their own brutal tactics of treating us that way."

'This is not just about Liverpool fans, it's about all football supporters'

Speaking on Sky Sports News on Tuesday morning, The Anfield Wrap's John Gibbons explained how the campaigning against the treatment is on behalf of the wider football community.

"You hope to hear of more accountability," he said. "The quotes we've been getting through from UEFA is a disgrace to be honest with you so it looks like they're not taking any responsibility.

Liverpool fans - 2022 Champions League final

"The blame has been placed on the fans in the same way the French government ministers. I want accountability and I also want no football fans to have to put up with what we went through.

"It's not about Liverpool fans, it's about all football supporters feeling they can go and celebrate the game. That's what it was in Madrid, it was in Kiev and it should've been in Paris.

"You want guarantees from UEFA that in the future they'll make sure it's much smoother and that supporters who have spent a lot of money to be there are treated much better and are safer.

"After what we'd been through, we couldn't really care about the result, and it was a Champions League final."

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Liverpool sign Aberdeen's Ramsay for £6.5m

Sun, 06/19/2022 - 10:55

Liverpool have completed the signing of Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay for £6.5m.

Liverpool are paying an initial £4m up front with a further £2.5m coming in the form of add-ons.

The 18-year-old recently travelled to Liverpool to finalise personal terms and undergo a medical. The defender has signed a five-year deal at Anfield and will link up with Jurgen Klopp's squad for pre-season. Liverpool have no plans to loan Ramsay out.

"I'm just buzzing and it's a dream come true really to be here," the defender told Liverpool's official website after completing his move.

"It was a dream come true to play for Aberdeen, and now to be at one of the biggest, if not the biggest club in the world, it's a massive achievement and I'm looking forward to trying to show the fans what I've got.

"Hopefully I can come in in pre-season, show everyone at the club, the staff, players what I've got and then we'll see what happens from there."

Ramsay broke into the Aberdeen first team in 2020/21 and made 33 appearances in the season just finished, scoring one goal and registering nine assists across all competitions.

His performances earned him the SFWA Young Player of the Year Award while he also has European experience through the Europa Conference League, along with U21 international experience.

Liverpool had been locked in talks with the Dons over the defender after making an initial £4m offer, with £2m in add-ons.

However, it is understood Aberdeen wanted at least £5m up front, with £5m in add-ons.

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Ramsay scored his first goal of the season in a draw against Dundee

But the £6.5m fee agreed ensures Ramsay will become Aberdeen's record sale, surpassing their current record of £3m from Nottingham Forest for Scott McKenna. The Dons have also received an extra £1m for the centre-back this summer after Forest were promoted to the Premier League.

Ramsay becomes Liverpool's third signing this summer after the arrivals of Darwin Nunez in a club-record £85m deal from Benfica and Fabio Carvalho, who signed from Fulham.

Sky Sports News revealed last week that Ramsay's preferred choice was to join Liverpool, out of a number of interested clubs in England, Germany and Italy.

In January, Aberdeen rejected a bid for the player from Bologna - understood to be an £830,000 loan offer, with an obligation to buy for £3.3m.

'One of the best young full-backs in the world' Ramsay won the award after an impressive season at Aberdeen Image: Ramsay won the Scottish Football Writers' Young Player of the Year award after an impressive season at Aberdeen

Liverpool have identified Ramsay as a long-term right-back rival for England star Trent Alexander-Arnold - a player Ramsay has highlighted as one of his biggest influences.

"As a full back, watching Trent and his crosses and his technical ability - if I can get to that level then it would be a bonus," he said.

"Andy Robertson at Liverpool and (Kieran) Tierney at Arsenal have been brilliant and they're players I look up to, especially as they are full-backs like me. I feel I could go on to do that as well."

Speaking during the season, Dons manager Jim Goodwin wasn't surprised by the growing interest in the teenager.

He said: "Prior to January, Calvin was probably one of the best young full-backs in the world to be perfectly honest. That is not an over-exaggeration.

"His stats, his data in terms of his attacking numbers, putting crosses in the box were incredible.

"He had a little dip in form. Whether that was because his head was turned in January with whether he was moving or not moving."

Who is Calvin Ramsay? Calvin Ramsay featured for Scotland under-21s this year Image: Ramsay featured for Scotland under-21s this year

The youngster was one of the shining lights for Aberdeen as they endured a tough season in the Scottish Premiership ultimately finishing 10th in the table.

The 18-year-old produced some inspiring performances that showcased his natural talent, attracting interest from top clubs in England and Europe.

But Liverpool have won the race for the young player who is regarded by many as one of the most talented teenagers in European football.

He broke into the team in the 2020/21 season and made 33 appearances for the Dons over the campaign just finished, scoring one goal.

Ramsay made his European debut in a 5-1 victory over Swedish side BK Hacken last July in a UEFA Europa Conference League qualifier, starting at right-back and setting up the first goal.

'Ramsay to challenge Trent at right-back'

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SkySports' Mark McAdam goes over what Calvin Ramsay will offer Liverpool after completing his 6.5million signing.

Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam:

"Calvin Ramsay is a hugely exciting young talent north of the border for the past 18 months or so. Nine assists which is really significant for a right-back. Jurgen Klopp is moving and shaping this transfer window at the moment.

"He's been watched by a lot of Premier League sides over the last 18 months or so, and some in Europe as well. Klopp wants to sign good, talented players who are ready to jump into the first-team, but they also like hungry players with huge potential and Ramsay is that.

"This is not a player who Liverpool want to loan out and see if they can get into the team, this is someone to challenge Trent Alexander-Arnold immediately and want him to turn up on the first day of pre-season."

"What this says for Liverpool is they have a plan and a strategy - you can see that in the philosophy in their three signings. Darwin Nunez is ready to rock and roll at the highest level, with Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay, you have two young, exciting players who are raw but talented.

"They don't want to just sign finished ready-made players for the first-team, Klopp wants to develop players. Calvin Ramsay ticks all those boxes He's an attacking full-back, that's what Liverpool fans want to see. He's right-footed, five foot ten, athletic and a big part of his game is assists. You see with Alexander-Arnold.

"We are talking glowingly about what Liverpool are doing in the transfer market. They've paid, in essence, £85m for Darwin Nunez but they've recouped a huge chunk of money with the sale of Sadio Mane.

"Liverpool have invested that money in Nunez and two young players. Take your hat off to Liverpool. If you are a Manchester United fan, Chelsea fan, Arsenal fan, you look at what Manchester City and Liverpool are doing and you're saying: I'm jealous. I'm envious. This is good targeted business and they're making early moves in the window and when Liverpool players come for pre-season, the young players will be able to gel."

Liverpool fixtures: Reds begin at Fulham

Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League campaign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6.

It will be the fourth season in a row in which Liverpool have started a new campaign against a Premier League newcomer.

But after then facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side will take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.

September will feature away trips to both Everton and Chelsea in September and Liverpool will also face back-to-back clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15 respectively.

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Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor reacts to their Premier League fixtures including early 'tough games' against big rivals.

Liverpool's final game before the season stops temporarily for the winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12 before returning to action at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4, before tricky-looking clashes in consecutive weekends at City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season at Southampton.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Nunez in, Mane out: All part of Liverpool's methodical evolution

Sat, 06/18/2022 - 09:00

Sadio Mane's exit for Bayern Munich and Darwin Nunez's entry into Liverpool is a story of team evolution and how a taxing task was made straightforward by smart methodology...

Over the past week, there has been discourse suggesting the signing of Darwin Nunez spelled the end of Sadio Mane's Anfield career.

Prior to the Champions League final, Mohamed Salah's assertion that he would be remaining at Liverpool this summer sparked the same talk: a new beginning for the Senegal international.

While getting a premier replacement in, and not wanting to lose two world-class forwards on a free next year forms part of the context of Mane's switch to Bayern Munich, the truth is his exit was an eventuality.

The reason is simple: Evolution - on the player's behalf and Liverpool's. Mane was the first transformer of the Jurgen Klopp era and the club's successes over the past six years are owed in large part to his contributions on and off the ball.

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As he leaves the Premier League for the Bundesliga, we look at Sadio Mane's best goals for Southampton and Liverpool

Mane has earned a fresh challenge, surroundings, and responsibility while Liverpool continue their process of advancing the squad without being heavily clouded by sentiment.

Back in 2018, when the club prioritised a policy of retention and tied Roberto Firmino, Salah and Mane down with new long-term contracts, they visualised a number of scenarios.

The best case was maximising the prime years of the trio as the squad developed together and lifted silverware, before a measured rebuild occurred.

There was awareness that football's apex predators in the market - Real Madrid, Barcelona and newly Paris Saint-Germain - could be prepared to pay head-spinning sums to land one of the coveted trio.

Had the coronavirus pandemic not depressed the market, aligned with the financial crisis of La Liga's giants and the emergence of Kylian Mbappe, the above had felt like the most likely outcome. A big sale would have neatly funded Liverpool's next phase, much like Philippe Coutinho's exit to Camp Nou had done.

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Dharmesh Sheth explains all the details and potential impacts after Liverpool have agreed to sell Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich for a deal worth up to £35m

The club were convinced Barca would attempt to recruit Firmino, and as such, inserted a clause into the Coutinho agreement dictating the Catalans would have to pay a €100m premium above any valuation if they tried to lure another player from Anfield before 2020.

Another scene pondered was that their standout players would win enough silverware and pour so much of themselves into the club that they would naturally seek a fresh challenge.

Whatever happened, Liverpool were sure of one outcome: they would need to construct the "next great team" while still being competitive.

Former sporting director Michael Edwards had first circled this after the Champions League victory in 2019 and the recruitment team, despite backing themselves to pull it off, had always viewed the attack as the most taxing to reshape.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane, left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal

Firmino, Salah and Mane were the machine powering Liverpool's blitzes, before adapting to become safe bets when a more rounded and steely possession-based approach materialised.

They worked well together, worked well for each other, and worked Klopp's blueprint to the tee. The emotional bond for the trio within the squad, among staff and with the fanbase would also increase the difficulty of rejuvenation.

Yet in the space of 20 months, and with the expertise of Edwards' successor Julian Ward, Liverpool have recruited Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez to drive the forward line.

This has been achieved with no upheaval, little fuss, and for a combined initial cost of £142m.

Luis Diaz's introduction galvanised Liverpool Image: Luis Diaz's introduction galvanised Liverpool

Jota and Diaz have already proved to be incredible value and Nunez is determined to continue that trend.

Mane departs as a Liverpool legend, with the club's blessing and deepest gratitude. They would have liked to have banked more, at least £5m beyond the £35.1m package Bayern tabled, but his desire to only move to the Allianz, his years of high performance, the solid relationship between the clubs, and the smooth Thiago negotiation led to a happy compromise.

It speaks volumes of Liverpool's methodology and foresight that they are ceding one of the world's best players - a Ballon d'Or candidate - without it feeling crushing to the club's ambitions.

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Darwin Nunez says he was surprised at the set-up and structure at Liverpool and plans to win a lot of trophies with his new club. (Credit: LFCTV)

The Salah situation is the next conundrum to navigate, and while the threat of leaving on a free to a Premier League rival is regularly leaked from his end as a negotiating tactic, Liverpool remain calm over the present and future.

Their quiet discussions with Kylian Mbappe, despite that transfer never being financially viable (nor politically possible as Real discovered), reveal a club doing due diligence on every plausible scenario - as was the case in 2018.

Liverpool have been measured, which explains why the scale and efficiency of their refresh as well as the exit of such an exemplary player has felt like just another story rather than a saga.

Liverpool fixtures: Reds begin at Fulham

Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League campaign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6.

It will be the fourth season in a row in which Liverpool have started a new campaign against a Premier League newcomer.

But after then facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side will take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.

September will feature away trips to both Everton and Chelsea in September and Liverpool will also face back-to-back clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15 respectively.

Liverpool's final game before the season stops temporarily for the winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12 before returning to action at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4, before tricky-looking clashes in consecutive weekends at City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season at Southampton.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Liverpool agree £35m Mane sale to Bayern

Fri, 06/17/2022 - 15:00

Liverpool have agreed to sell Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich for a deal worth up to £35m.

Bayern will pay an initial £27.5m with a further £5m based on appearance. The Bundesliga club will pay another £2.5m based on individual and team achievements.

The deal eclipses what Liverpool paid for Mane - £31m plus £2.5m in add-ons - with Southampton not getting any additional money.

Mane has been core to the club's success over the past six seasons so will depart with their blessing and gratitude.

Liverpool have been conscious of needing to evolve their squad without sentiment as a driving factor, and have efficiently recalibrated their attack with the recruitment of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Nunez.

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A look at Sadio Mane's best goals in the Premier League.

Bayern have been confident of landing the Senegal international having received a verbal commitment from him last month. They believed it enabled them to pull off a cut-price deal, especially considering the Nunez development.

The Bundesliga giants also pointed to their 'soft' negotiations with Liverpool for Thiago, selling the midfielder for an initial £20m with a potential £5m in add-ons.

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Dharmesh Sheth with all the details after Liverpool have agreed to sell Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich for a deal worth up to £35m.

New of Mane's impending move came as the Senegal star took part in a parade around his country and returned to play football on a muddy surface in his home town Bambaly. The game saw former Senegalese internationals Papiss Cisse and El-Hadji Diouf also playing with a large crowd watching on.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher tweeted: "My favourite @LFC player of this era, Sadio Mane finally departs low maintenance high performance & never injured! Trophies & goals galore, a true Liverpool Legend. Thank you Sadio."

How Mane embodied Klopp's Liverpool Liverpool's Sadio Mane, left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal

Mane's future had, until the final weeks of the season, been something of a sideshow to that of Salah - even though he too was entering the final year of his contract at Anfield.

It is a familiar dynamic. Mane, although cherished by those associated with Liverpool, tends to receive only a fraction of the attention and acclaim afforded to his team-mate. It has been that way ever since the Egyptian's arrival, a year after his, in 2017.

He departs, however, having played a similarly crucial role in the club's transformation during Klopp's tenure, leaving an indelible mark on Liverpool and indeed on the Premier League as a whole.

for feature

His arrival from Southampton in 2016 signalled the start of the glorious chapter that followed. Mane was, after all, Klopp's first major signing. Fast, ferociously aggressive and ruthlessly efficient, he came to embody Klopp's Liverpool perhaps better than anyone else.

Together with Salah, he helped redefine expectations of wide forwards, reaching double figures for goals in six consecutive seasons and scoring at least 20 in four of them. His overall total of 120 puts him 14th in Liverpool's all-time scoring charts.

The numbers cement his Liverpool legacy while the consistency of his output, as well as the pivotal role he played in the club's first title triumph in 30 years in 2020, ensures Premier League greatness too.

Liverpool fixtures: Reds begin at Fulham The opening round of 22/23 Premier League games Image: The opening round of 22/23 Premier League games

Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League campaign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6.

It will be the fourth season in a row in which Liverpool have started a new campaign against a Premier League newcomer.

But after then facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side will take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.

September will feature away trips to both Everton and Chelsea in September and Liverpool will also face back-to-back clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15 respectively.

Liverpool's final game before the season stops temporarily for the winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12 before returning to action at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4, before tricky-looking clashes in consecutive weekends at City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season at Southampton.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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How Mane embodied Klopp's Liverpool

Fri, 06/17/2022 - 14:30

Jurgen Klopp probably didn't want to be addressing transfer rumours in his press conference ahead of the Champions League final but questions on Sadio Mane's future, however incongruous, were answered at length and with glowing praise.

Mane was described as being "in the shape of his life" ahead of the final, with Klopp adding that he "couldn't care less" about stories linking him with Bayern Munich. "It's a joy to watch him at the moment in training and in games," said the Liverpool boss.

Klopp already knew at that point the meeting with Real Madrid was likely to be Mane's last game for Liverpool. His desire for a new challenge became public within days of defeat at the Stade de France and, a month on, a move to Bayern appears imminent.

It is telling, though, that Klopp was effusive in his praise of the 30-year-old until the last. Liverpool are loathe to lose him but there are no hard feelings. Not after everything he has done for them.

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Watch Sadio Mane's best goals in the Premier League

Mane's future had, until the final weeks of the season, been something of a sideshow to that of Salah - even though he too was entering the final year of his contract at Anfield.

It is a familiar dynamic. Mane, although cherished by those associated with Liverpool, tends to receive only a fraction of the attention and acclaim afforded to his team-mate. It has been that way ever since the Egyptian's arrival, a year after his, in 2017.

He departs, however, having played a similarly crucial role in the club's transformation during Klopp's tenure, leaving an indelible mark on Liverpool and indeed on the Premier League as a whole.

His arrival from Southampton in 2016 signalled the start of the glorious chapter that followed. Mane was, after all, Klopp's first major signing. Fast, ferociously aggressive and ruthlessly efficient, he came to embody Klopp's Liverpool perhaps better than anyone else.

for feature

Together with Salah, he helped redefine expectations of wide forwards, reaching double figures for goals in six consecutive seasons and scoring at least 20 in four of them. His overall total of 120 puts him 14th in Liverpool's all-time scoring charts.

The numbers cement his Liverpool legacy while the consistency of his output, as well as the pivotal role he played in the club's first title triumph in 30 years in 2020, ensures Premier League greatness too.

Only three players have accumulated more Premier League goals than Mane during his time at Liverpool while only one, Tottenham's Harry Kane, has scored more which have proved decisive.

Indeed, one of Mane's greatest strengths, and one which separates him from his peers, is his ability to deliver at key moments, when the pressure is at its most intense and the stakes at their highest.

He is Liverpool's clutch performer, to use a term popular in American sports, and the numbers bear it out. According to Opta, his goals have won Jurgen Klopp's side a total of 63 points in the Premier League at an average of more than 10 per season.

He has been similarly decisive in the cup competitions, the most recent example coming in last season's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley, when his double secured Liverpool's place in a final they would go on to win.

In the Champions League, the raw statistics show Salah has outscored him by 33 goals to 24 during his time at Liverpool but it is worth noting that Mane's total includes 15 in the knockout stages - a percentage of 63 per cent - to Salah's 11 - or 33 per cent.

In fact, since 2016, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski have hit more goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League. It is another statistic which underlines Mane's appetite for the very biggest occasions.

His contribution to Liverpool's success under Klopp is even more impressive given the adaptions he has had to make along the way, switching from right to left to accommodate Salah in 2017, then switching to centre forward to make room for Luis Diaz last season.

Each role came with a different set of tactical requirements but Mane transitioned seamlessly every time, displaying a level of intelligence to match his physical and technical qualities.

"In each position, he is world class," was Klopp's verdict.

Sadio Mane drives forward against Wolves Image: Sadio Mane scored 120 goals in 269 games for Liverpool

"He's always moving for someone else but his performances never drop," added Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher. "It doesn't seem to matter where Mane plays, you get exactly the same from him. The same cannot be said for the rest of the Liverpool attack."

In truth, the same cannot be said of many players.

Mane has not always received the recognition he deserves for his role in Liverpool's recent successes but his importance can hardly be overstated. When it comes to the big moments and the big occasions, his departure will leave a void even Darwin Nunez may find difficult to fill.

Liverpool fixtures: Reds begin at Fulham The opening round of 22/23 Premier League games Image: The opening round of 22/23 Premier League games

Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League campaign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6.

It will be the fourth season in a row in which Liverpool have started a new campaign against a Premier League newcomer.

But after then facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side will take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.

September will feature away trips to both Everton and Chelsea in September and Liverpool will also face back-to-back clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15 respectively.

Liverpool's final game before the season stops temporarily for the winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12 before returning to action at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4, before tricky-looking clashes in consecutive weekends at City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season at Southampton.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool agree £6.5m deal for Aberdeen's Ramsay

Thu, 06/16/2022 - 12:00

Liverpool have agreed a £6.5m deal to sign Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay, with the Reds paying an initial £4m up front and £2.5m in add-ons.

The 18-year-old is now due to travel to Liverpool to finalise personal terms and undergo a medical.

Liverpool had been locked in talks with the Dons over the defender after Jurgen Klopp's side made an initial £4m offer, with £2m in add-ons.

However, it is understood Aberdeen were holding firm and wanted at least £5m up-front, with £5m in add-ons.

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Ramsay scored his first goal of the season in a draw against Dundee

But the £6.5m fee agreed ensures Ramsay will become Aberdeen's record sale, surpassing their current record of £3m from Nottingham Forest for Scott McKenna. The Dons have also received an extra £1m for the centre-back this summer after Forest were promoted to the Premier League.

Ramsay is set to become Liverpool's third signing this summer after the arrivals of Darwin Nunez in a club-record £85m deal from Benfica and Fabio Carvalho, who signed from Fulham.

Sky Sports News revealed last week that Ramsay's preferred choice is to join Liverpool, out of a number of interested clubs in England, Germany and Italy.

In January, Aberdeen rejected a bid for the player from Bologna - understood to be an £830,000 loan offer, with an obligation to buy for £3.3m.

'One of the best young full-backs in the world' Ramsay won the award after an impressive season at Aberdeen Image: Ramsay won the Scottish Football Writers' Young Player of the Year award after an impressive season at Aberdeen

Liverpool have identified Ramsay as a long-term right-back rival for England star Trent Alexander-Arnold - a player Ramsay has highlighted as one of his biggest influences.

"As a full-back, watching Trent and his crosses and his technical ability - if I can get to that level then it would be a bonus," he said.

"Andy Robertson at Liverpool and (Kieran) Tierney at Arsenal have been brilliant and they're players I look up to, especially as they are full-backs like me. I feel I could go on to do that as well."

Speaking during the season, Dons manager Jim Goodwin wasn't surprised by the growing interest in the teenager.

He said: "Prior to January, Calvin was probably one of the best young full-backs in the world to be perfectly honest. That is not an over-exaggeration.

"His stats, his data in terms of his attacking numbers, putting crosses in the box were incredible.

"He had a little dip in form. Whether that was because his head was turned in January with whether he was moving or not moving."

Who is Calvin Ramsay? Calvin Ramsay featured for Scotland under-21s this year Image: Ramsay featured for Scotland under-21s this year

The youngster was one of the shining lights for Aberdeen as they endured a tough season in the Scottish Premiership ultimately finishing 10th in the table.

The 18-year-old produced some inspiring performances that showcased his natural talent, attracting interest from top clubs in England and Europe.

But it appears to be Liverpool who are winning the race for the young player who is regarded by many as one of the most talented teenagers in European football.

He broke into the team in the 2020/21 season and made 33 appearances for the Dons over the campaign just finished, scoring one goal.

Ramsay made his European debut in a 5-1 victory over Swedish side BK Hacken last July in a UEFA Europa Conference League qualifier, starting at right-back and setting up the first goal.

Liverpool fixtures: Reds begin at Fulham Liverpool Fixtures 2022/23 Image: Liverpool Fixtures 2022/23

Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League campaign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6.

It will be the fourth season in a row in which Liverpool have started a new campaign against a Premier League newcomer.

But after then facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side will take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.

September will feature away trips to both Everton and Chelsea in September and Liverpool will also face back-to-back clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15 respectively.

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Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor reacts to their Premier League fixtures including early 'tough games' against big rivals.

Liverpool's final game before the season stops temporarily for the winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12 before returning to action at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4, before tricky-looking clashes in consecutive weekends at City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season at Southampton.

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Liverpool fixtures: Reds begin at Fulham

Thu, 06/16/2022 - 09:00

Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League campaign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday August 6.

It will be the fourth season in a row in which Liverpool have started a new campaign against a Premier League newcomer.

But after then facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side will take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.

September will feature away trips to both Everton and Chelsea in September and Liverpool will also face back-to-back clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15 respectively.

Liverpool's final game before the season stops temporarily for the winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12 before returning to action at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4, before tricky-looking clashes in consecutive weekends at City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season at Southampton.

Liverpool's 2022/23 Premier League fixtures

All fixtures subject to change.

August

6: Fulham (a)

13: Crystal Palace (h)

20: Manchester United (a)

27: Bournemouth (h)

31: Newcastle United (h)

September

3: Everton (a)

10: Wolves (h)

17: Chelsea (a)

October

1: Brighton (h)

8: Arsenal (a)

15: Manchester City (h)

19: West Ham United (h)

22: Nottingham Forest (a)

29: Leeds United (h)

November

5: Tottenham Hotspur (a)

12: Southampton (h)

December

26: Aston Villa (a)

31: Leicester City (h)

January

2: Brentford (a)

14: Brighton (a)

21: Chelsea (h)

February

4: Wolves (a)

11: Everton (h)

18: Newcastle United (a)

25: Crystal Palace (a)

March

4: Manchester United (h)

11: Bournemouth (a)

18: Fulham (h)

April

1: Manchester City (a)

8: Arsenal (h)

15: Leeds United (a)

22: Nottingham Forest (h)

25: West Ham (a)

29: Tottenham (h)

May

6: Brentford (h)

13: Leicester City (a)

20: Aston Villa (h)

28: Southampton (a)

Key dates for the 2022/23 season

The Premier League season will begin on the weekend of August 5-7 - one week earlier than the 2021/22 campaign started.

However, the Premier League will take a break in the middle of the season to accommodate the first ever winter World Cup. The league's final round before the break will be on the weekend of November 12/13 before resuming on Boxing Day with the World Cup final taking place on December 18.

The Premier League's final day will be Sunday, May 28.

Meanwhile, the Carabao Cup final will be held on Sunday, February 26 and the FA Cup final on Saturday, June 3.

The Europa League final will be played on May 31 in Budapest, the Europa Conference League final will be on June 7 in Prague and the Champions League final is scheduled for June 10 in Istanbul.

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Liverpool seal club-record £85m Nunez deal

Tue, 06/14/2022 - 18:55

Liverpool have completed the signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica for a club-record fee of £85m, with the Uruguay striker signing a six-year contract.

The deal is subject to a work permit and international clearance. Darwin will wear the No 27 shirt at Anfield, which was vacated by Divock Origi this summer.

The 22-year-old scored 34 times for Benfica in all competitions last season, including goals in both legs of the club's Champions League quarter-final defeat to Liverpool in April.

The upfront fee of £64m will rise to £85m should Nunez reach a number of milestones outlined in his agreement, which range from scoring goals to winning the Champions League.

"I'm really happy and delighted to be here at Liverpool. It's a massive club," Nunez told Liverpool's club website. "It's a pleasure to be here in Liverpool and I'm very happy to be a part of this great club.

Darwin Nunez has joined Liverpool for a club-record fee Image: Darwin Nunez has joined Liverpool for a club-record fee

"I've played against Liverpool and I've seen them in lots of games in the Champions League, and it's my style of play. There are some great players here and I think it's going to suit my style of play.

"As I say, I've watched quite a lot and it's a very big club and I hope I can give everything that I've got in order to help the team.

"That's one of the reasons why I came here to Liverpool - to win trophies and titles. I want to win a lot of trophies at Liverpool."

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Liverpool transfer target Darwin Nunez is valued at 100 million euros after one hugely prolific season in Portugal in which he scored 23 times for Benfica

After Liverpool's first-leg win in Lisbon, manager Jurgen Klopp praised the player, saying: "A good-looking boy, huh? And a decent player as well! Really good, really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.

'He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it's a big career ahead of him."

Manchester United, Newcastle United and clubs on the continent were also reportedly interested in signing Nunez this summer, however, Liverpool have moved quickly to complete the big-money transfer for their No 1 target.

And that could now pave the way for forward Sadio Mane to join Bayern Munich, with the Senegal international having just a year left on his current deal at the club.

Liverpool have so far rejected two bids from the Bundesliga side for the 30-year-old, the second of which was worth a potential £30m.

Darwin Nunez
Image: Darwin Nunez scored 34 times last season Klopp is convinced he can evolve Liverpool to suit Nunez

Analysis from Sky Sports' Vinny O'Connor

Darwin Nunez is a break from the type of multi-functional players that Liverpool normally go for, but he was Jurgen Klopp's number one target and the German is convinced he can evolve the team to suit the strengths of his new £85m signing.

Klopp and his coaches were hugely impressed with how Nunez played in the Champions League this season and, when analysing the striker ahead of their clash with Benfica, Klopp fell in love with Nunez.

It is therefore no surprise that Liverpool's sporting director, Julian Ward, has moved so quickly to secure a deal for the 22-year-old. Ward utilised his contacts in the Portuguese market and flew to Portugal to make sure the deal was swift and that Liverpool couldn't be gazumped.

While Liverpool have broken their transfer record again, Nunez wages will see him on par with the likes of Diego Jota and Luis Diaz - at around the 140k per week mark - which is considerably less than what Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane earn.

Nunez, like Diaz before him, is not an English speaker but the club believe there are enough Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking players and staff to help Nunez settle in.

Liverpool's decisiveness means that Nunez will benefit from a full pre-season with his new team-mates which will be crucial as Klopp looks to mould his new-look front three.

The view from Portugal: how good is Nunez?

Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda speaking on Sky Sports News:

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Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda says that Liverpool are still in the driving seat to sign Darwin Nunez despite interest from Manchester United and Newcastle

"Darwin Nunez was one of the best players this season in the Portuguese league by far. The other one was Luis Diaz who moved to Liverpool in January and that made Nunez the absolute best player.

"Benfica finished the season in third place and failed to get a direct spot in the Champions League but in 41 games, Nunez scored 34 goals and registered four assists - so you're talking about one of the best strikers.

"He's a 'modern football striker' - like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe - strikers who don't just focus on scoring goals. They focus on playing for the team and making the whole team play well. That's why we're talking about €100m.

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"The biggest defect - or the less good point - about Nunez is his psychological game. In the 2020/21 season, he was not scoring many goals. He played 44 matches and only scored 14. He was criticised by the fans a little bit and the first thing he did was start suspending his social media, blocking people and not reading the comments. This proves he doesn't deal well with critics when things start not going well. And in England, the price tag is the first thing people will talk about when he doesn't start scoring goals.

"When you talk about a player like Darwin Nunez, you think about a typical number nine that plays inside the penalty area. But he can easily play out wide to break spaces for other players in the central areas if teams need him. It's a very good deal for Liverpool, who already used the Portuguese league with Luis Diaz in a massive transfer for Liverpool which the winger completely deserved.

"In Jurgen Klopp's hands, Darwin can be of the top strikers in the world. Nowadays, he's not one of the top strikers because he doesn't play in the top five leagues. We have to see how he develops in the Premier League, which is one of the best leagues in the world."

The making of Darwin Nunez Benfica and Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez

Meet Darwin Nunez, the Uruguayan forward set for a big move from Benfica - and his former coaches are backing him to star in the Premier League.

Sky Sports feature writer Adam Bate speaks to those who have followed his journey from the start to find out more.

Nunez: A statistical gem?

Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Nunez after facing the 22-year-old across two ties in the Champions League back in April. "A good looking boy, huh? And a decent player as well!" joked the Liverpool manager.

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Speaking in April, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp seem to have his eye on Darwin Nunez after Benfica met the Reds in Champions League

"Really good, really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.

"He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it's a big career ahead of him."

Nunez might be Klopp's top target this summer but he is wanted by a raft of powerhouse clubs - so why is the forward in such high demand?

Sky Sports' data and analysis expert Adam Smith looks at the forward's numbers ahead of a potentially huge transfer to the Premier League.

GRAPHIC Which positions are Liverpool targeting this summer? Liverpool transfers

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor:

Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how intent they are to add further quality up top.

It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts while the potential departure of Sadio Mane, who has also got one year left on his deal, and Divock Origi having already decided to go, makes reinforcements in that area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only look to do business for a fee above the €30m that's been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to go.

With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further overhaul in midfield could depend on the futures of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63 game season and hasn't played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and both could look for more regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.

Strengthening the back-line doesn't appear to be a priority with Ibrahima Konate offering another option to Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and centre-back.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Why kick-ins would be 'the biggest mistake'

Tue, 06/14/2022 - 10:15

The proposal to introduce kick-ins represents a huge step back that would be the biggest rule-change mistake football has ever made, according to Liverpool’s renowned throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark.

Kick-ins were discussed at the latest meeting of football's law-making body IFAB in Doha on Monday. While FIFA president Gianni Infantino said there are no plans for a formal trial just yet, Arsene Wenger, the organisation's head of global development, is a fan.

Speaking last year, the former Arsenal boss argued for the return of the kick-in option that was removed in 1863. "The target is to make the game more spectacular and quicker. Maybe with throw-ins you could play with your feet in a limit of five seconds, for example."

Arsene Wenger Image: Arsene Wenger has suggested that kick-ins could be used to help reduce time-wasting

Gronnemark vehemently disagrees.

"It would be the biggest mistake," he tells Sky Sports.

"They would be taking a beautiful thing away. But I am 100 per cent sure they will keep them because they will soon see if they trial it that maybe the ball won't be lost as much with no pressure on the kicker and it will ruin the joy of the game for everyone."

Gronnemark has made a career out of advising some of the game's most famous clubs on how to improve their work from throw-ins. It is an aspect of football that occurs between 40 and 50 times per game but is often overlooked. The Dane has helped to change that.

"I have seen that the development in throw-ins has been better since I got my break at Liverpool," he says. In his expert view, those that are seeking an alternative to the throw-in would be better off focusing on how to improve this key discipline of the game.

"If you are not working on throw-ins, spending time on it in training and have a general lack of knowledge, then, of course, it is challenging. No matter what we are talking about in life, if you don't work on it then it will be a big challenge.

"I have seen people say that it is 10 against 11 inside the pitch when you take the thrower away so you are almost certain to lose the ball. No, you are not almost certain to lose the ball! It can actually be an advantage but coaches don't put the time into it."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark Image: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark

Few are as passionate about the throw-in as Gronnemark. But what is exacerbating his concern is the feeling that football's governing bodies have failed to consider the consequences that will come with kick-ins and how they will change the game.

"There are many different reasons for it. First of all, one of the big challenges with kick-ins is that when you have a free-kick in the opposition half there are teams who decide to put a lot of people into the box and treat it like a corner but from further out.

"Introducing kick-ins will, for sure, bring more long balls into the game. There is no doubt about that. But even though that is a big challenge, and one of the big differences to a throw-in, for me it is just the start of the challenges that come with kick-ins."

The possibility of more long balls is something the lawmakers could try to mitigate with the five-second rule. But Gronnemark anticipates a more nuanced issue that will emerge in time. It relates to this matter of pressure and what happens when it is not there.

"Why is less pressure bad? Look at team sports like handball, basketball and hockey. Anything with a ball. What excites us is that the players are put into pressure situations. The excitement comes when you release that pressure and find space.

"That is really satisfying and not just from throw-ins but also when you have the ball in the middle of the pitch playing with your feet. This situation, relieving pressure and creating valuable space, that is a satisfaction no matter what sport you watch.

"When you introduce kick-ins, it will mean that people have to stand back so you will have less pressure. We want pressure situations. We want as coaches to learn strategies to release that pressure. When that happens, it is exciting.

"With a throw-in, you are often under pressure but that is the challenge. Can you, through your movements, release that pressure? Throw-ins should be seen as a thing that is raising the quality of the game and also for the viewers out there.

"If they decide to introduce kick-ins in the future, I know that we will have so many unpressured situations. They will have to have a distance between the kicker and, if it is taken short, to the receiver too. What will happen instead in those situations?

"When you watch a match and there is no pressure on the ball, it goes to the central defender and then the next defender, the other full-back, back to the defender. That is part of football. But by having kick-ins you will increase the amount of these situations.

"There will be less ball loss. But there will be less excitement too.

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed semi-automated offsides could be used at the 2022 World Cup

"What people are also forgetting is that even if you are good at throw-ins, when you lose the ball you give the opponent an opportunity to have a counterattack. Even though that is bad for your team it is good for football because it is entertaining.

"I am sure they have not thought of this problem with the pressure situations. I am not saying there will never be exciting times for supporters with kick-ins but they will be fewer. Kick-ins would reduce those pressure situations and make the game more boring.

"I cannot understand why nobody is saying kick-ins will be very bad for football. It feels like someone said kick-ins would be good and, instead of thinking it through, many people are now saying kick-ins would be good. I can't find any argument for why they are good."

Thomas Gronnemark working with the players from Belgian club Gent during a winter training camp in Spain in January 2020 Image: Gronnemark working with players from Belgian club Gent in January 2020

Wenger identified throw-ins and free-kicks as "the two big time-wasters at the moment" with the implication that kick-ins would change this. Gronnemark does not accept that reasoning - arguing there are simpler solutions to prevent time-wasting.

"Firstly, I don't think time-wasting is a problem with throw-ins. Why? Because if a team is time-wasting it should be obvious to the referee. If you are using that time to create space, it should also be obvious that the time is being used to keep the ball by moving.

"They won't say it's time-wasting with corners because people understand with this that the players need time to get into the right positions to receive the ball and the kicker needs to be able to set the ball right. This time-wasting argument with throw-ins is not valid.

"And besides, the easiest way to get around time-wasting is to have 60 minutes of effective playing time. This happens in many other sports. We could do that in football. Kick-ins are not an argument against throw-ins regarding time-wasting in any way.

"A five-second rule would also be really bad. Let people create space if they cannot throw it fast. People are suggesting it because they don't know how to solve the challenge. Instead of trying to become better at football, people want to change the rules."

Chelsea's Saul Niguez takes a throw-in

It is easy to be cynical about Gronnemark's passion. Throw-ins are his livelihood. But this final point feels fair. He is already branching out. "I have been coaching the goal-kicks for the goalkeepers." If throw-ins are to be superseded by kick-ins, he will adapt.

But why should he have to? The throw-in is a problem to be solved on the pitch, not by lawmakers. "Learning to make better throw-ins, make higher quality space creation as a team to create chances to score goals, that is the way forward, not kick-ins," he concludes.

"That would be a huge step back."

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Carra 'intrigued' by Haaland to Man City | 'Liverpool needed front-three refresh'

Mon, 06/13/2022 - 17:00

Jamie Carragher says he is intrigued by how Erling Haaland will fit into Pep Guardiola's Manchester City but believes it is "fantastic" that the striker is coming to the Premier League.

The £51m frontman scored 86 goals in 89 matches for Borussia Dortmund and will be an exciting addition to the Premier League champions' frontline after they went through the 2021/22 season without an out-and-out No9.

Sky Sports pundit Carragher says the Norway international could make the difference in the big games for Man City but how he slots into the team's playing style will be key.

"It's a worry for the rest of the Premier League," Carragher said with a smile.

"We are talking about one of the world's greats even at such a young age, but I don't think anyone should be raising the white flag too early because it's going to be really interesting how he fits into the team.

"Pep Guardiola hasn't really used a central striker in the last couple of years and he's still been very successful.

"So, it will be really interesting to see how he settles but from the Premier League's point of view, I think it is fantastic that we've got one of the world's leading players right now joining our league.

"That doesn't always happen, certainly at a young age, and a lot of his best years are going to be in the Premier League.

"So, it'll be really exciting for everyone to watch but it's obviously going to be a tough proposition trying to stop Manchester City."

Carragher says those question marks over Haaland's ability to slip into City's slick style mean his signing doesn't guarantee the team titles.

"They have so many players now who don't play through the middle. They keep the ball so well and they control the game so well. Maybe they will lose a little bit of that," he said.

"So, I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that means City are going to win everything.

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England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane says Manchester City's signing of Erling Haaland and the imminent addition of Darwin Nunez to Liverpool will help him to improve as he competes for the Premier League Golden Boot.

"They have a great team and a great manager, and I actually think Haaland coming in won't make that much of a difference in terms of how many points they get. They always get in the mid-90s for points anyway, which is a remarkable feat.

"He may have been brought in just to make that difference in those games where they just fell short, maybe more in the Champions League than the Premier League actually.

"He'll change, he'll evolve, he's still a lot to learn, he's a young player. He'll learn off one of the greatest coaches in world football. He'll bring things to his game.

"But he should also remember not to change too much. He is what he is. Powerful, his pace, the goals he gets...

"That's what I'm intrigued with, how he fits into that Pep Guardiola style which is a bit more slow and technical than the end-to-end type of football you see in the Bundesliga."

'Liverpool do need to refresh frontline' Benfica's Darwin Nunez, centre, celebrates after scoring against Liverpool Image: Benfica's Darwin Nunez, centre, celebrates after scoring against Liverpool

Meanwhile, City's title rivals Liverpool have reached an agreement with Benfica to sign striker Darwin Nunez in a deal worth up to ​​​​​£85m.

Sadio Mane looks poised to leave the club and while Carragher says it is "sad to see" Liverpool's front three of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino broken up, he believes the refresh brought about by the arrival of Nunez and January signing Luis Diaz was needed.

"Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp normally get the recruitment right, certainly when they spend big and the type of figures we're talking here that's what they spent on the goalkeeper [Alisson] and [Virgil] van Dijk and they made a huge difference," said Carragher.

"Liverpool do need to refresh the frontline because of the age of that front three who have been absolutely fantastic for the last four or five years with Liverpool.

"It is sad to see it broken up in some ways but it had to come to an end sooner or later.

"With Sadio Mane looking like he's going to move on, Liverpool had to do something and he's the one they've identified.

"I think the start of next season Liverpool's front three will be Salah, Nunez and Diaz on the left."

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Aberdeen want £10m deal for Liverpool target Ramsay

Mon, 06/13/2022 - 16:20

Aberdeen want a deal worth up to £10m if they are to sell Calvin Ramsay to Liverpool this summer.

The Dons have been locked in talks with the Champions League finalists over the 18-year-old right-back after Liverpool made an initial £4m offer, with £2m in add-ons.

However, it is understood Aberdeen are holding firm and want at least £5m up-front, with £5m in add-ons.

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Ramsay scored his first goal of the season in a draw against Dundee

Sky Sports News revealed last week that Ramsay's preferred choice is to join Liverpool, out of a number of interested clubs in England, Germany and Italy.

In January, Aberdeen rejected a bid for the player from Bologna - understood to be an £830,000 loan offer, with an obligation to buy for £3.3m.

Their current record sale is £3m from Nottingham Forest for Scott McKenna. The Dons have also received an extra £1m for the centre-back this summer after Forest were promoted to the Premier League.

'Best young full-back in the world' Ramsay won the award after an impressive season at Aberdeen Image: Ramsay won the Scottish Football Writers' Young Player of the Year award after an impressive season at Aberdeen

Liverpool have identified Ramsay as a long-term right-back rival for England star Trent Alexander-Arnold - a player Ramsay has highlighted as one of his biggest influences.

"As a full-back, watching Trent and his crosses and his technical ability - if I can get to that level then it would be a bonus," he said.

"Andy Robertson at Liverpool and (Kieran) Tierney at Arsenal have been brilliant and they're players I look up to, especially as they are full-backs like me. I feel I could go on to do that as well."

Speaking during the season, Dons manager Jim Goodwin wasn't surprised by the growing interest in the teenager.

He said: "Prior to January, Calvin was probably one of the best young full-backs in the world to be perfectly honest. That is not an over-exaggeration.

"His stats, his data in terms of his attacking numbers, putting crosses in the box were incredible.

"He had a little dip in form. Whether that was because his head was turned in January with whether he was moving or not moving."

Who is Calvin Ramsay? Calvin Ramsay featured for Scotland under-21s this year Image: Ramsay featured for Scotland under-21s this year

The youngster was one of the shining lights for Aberdeen as they endured a tough season in the Scottish Premiership ultimately finishing 10th in the table.

The 18-year-old produced some inspiring performances that showcased his natural talent, attracting interest from top clubs in England and Europe.

But it appears to be Liverpool who are winning the race for the young player who is regarded by many as one of the most talented teenagers in European football.

He broke into the team in the 2020/21 season and made 33 appearances for the Dons over the campaign just finished, scoring one goal.

Ramsay made his European debut in a 5-1 victory over Swedish side BK Hacken last July in a UEFA Europa Conference League qualifier, starting at right-back and setting up the first goal.

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Why Nunez gives Liverpool a new dimension

Mon, 06/13/2022 - 13:34

The evolution of Liverpool's front line continues.

It began with the £45m addition of Diogo Jota in 2020. Next was Luis Diaz at £49m last January. Now it is Darwin Nunez, soon to be the club's most expensive ever signing at £85m from Benfica.

Jurgen Klopp is overseeing a process of renewal in attack. His early successes came with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane either side of Roberto Firmino, but all three players, aged 30, 30 and 29 respectively, could conceivably be gone by next summer.

Mane is expected to be first to depart as his move to Bayern Munich draws closer, while Firmino, like Salah, is entering the final year of his contract. Liverpool supporters still hope to see Salah sign a new deal but Firmino's days are surely numbered.

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The players charged with taking on the mantle are on average six years younger and, as happened with Salah, Mane and Firmino, Liverpool will hope they will hit their peaks while at Anfield.

The trio's relative youthfulness - Jota and Diaz are 25 while Nunez is 22 - changes the age profile of the Liverpool squad but Nunez is unique among them in the sense that his attributes could also allow Klopp's side to diversify the way in which they play.

Nunez is a modern No 9 who stands at 6ft 1ins, with an imposing frame which marks him out from Liverpool's other forwards.

It is what caught the eye of Klopp, who marvelled at his physical strength after watching his "tough battles" up against Ibrahima Konate during last season's Champions League.

Nunez showed his goal threat across those two games against Liverpool, scoring in each of them and attempting more shots (six) than any of his Benfica team-mates, while there was also evidence of qualities that will add a different dimension to Klopp's attack.

Nobody won more than his six successful aerials, while only one player, Benfica full-back Gilberto, won more duels in general (15). "Very direct, quick, tall and strong," was Virgil van Dijk's glowing verdict. "Quite difficult to play against," he added.

Klopp, like Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, has never previously been able to call on a player in the mould of Nunez during his time in the Premier League but, like Erling Haaland at City, the Uruguayan will provide a focal point at the tip of his attack.

Nunez's link-up play is an area of his game which requires improvement - he completed only 57 per cent of his passes in the Champions League last season - but his physical stature makes him an effective outlet for long passes.

That is sure to be useful to Liverpool.

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Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam offers more background on Liverpool's £85 million signing from Benfica

Klopp's side have averaged roughly 63 per cent possession in each of the last three Premier League seasons but they like to mix things up on the ball, going long as well as short, and they remain at their deadliest when springing forward at speed.

Opta's advanced metrics show they made more direct attacks than any other Premier League side last season, while only Wolves made more fast breaks. With his pace and strength in the centre-forward position, Nunez could make them even better on both fronts.

He should help them on crosses too.

Liverpool made more crosses than any other Premier League side last season with 897 - 468 of which came from their marauding full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, who operate high up the pitch in order to stretch opponents.

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Manager Jurgen Klopp seemed to have his eye on Darwin Nunez after Benfica met Liverpool in last season's Champions League

Alexander-Arnold and Robertson produced 22 assists between them in the Premier League last season, creating a combined total of 145 chances. It is not difficult to imagine Nunez thriving on that service.

The Uruguayan scored six headed goals for Benfica last season, including five in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, the second-highest total in the division, and netted plenty more from low deliveries into the box, where he is adept at losing his markers and finding space.

He is also a threat from set-pieces and that is just another area in which he should increase Liverpool's goal threat.

Last season, they scored the second-most set-piece goals in the Premier League with 19, but Klopp will be confident of increasing that total with Nunez to aim at, as well as Van Dijk, Konate and the rest.

Nunez is not just a focal point, either.

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Klopp likes his forwards to interchange positions and pop up in different zones in order to flummox opposition defenders and that comes naturally to Nunez, who likes to cut inside from the left and drop deep to create space for team-mates further forward.

It remains to be seen how Klopp will accommodate two players who like to position themselves in left-sided zones in Nunez and Diaz. But the Uruguayan's willingness to drop deep when playing as a central striker should be another asset in a team in which the wide forwards are asked to make diagonal runs towards goal.

Much will of course depend on how he settles into his new surroundings. Not everyone adapts to the Premier League as seamlessly as Diaz did last season. But what's certain is that Nunez will bring qualities Liverpool don't currently have. His arrival signals an exciting new stage in the evolution of Klopp's forward line.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool close to agreeing £85m deal for Benfica's Nunez

Sat, 06/11/2022 - 16:26

Liverpool are close to agreeing a deal worth up to €100m (£85.5m) for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez.

The Premier League club are paying an intial €75m plus €25m in potential add-ons.

If the deal is agreed on Sunday, as expected, the Uruguay international's medical examinations will start on Monday..

The player wants to move to Liverpool and is ready to sign a five-year contract.

Liverpool's director of football, Julian Ward, is in Portugal to try to complete the transfer, with negotiations centred on the structure of the deal.

Nunez scored 34 times for Benfica last season in all competitions, including goals in both legs of the club's Champions League quarter-final defeat to Liverpool in April.

Liverpool are not prepared to enter a bidding war for their number one transfer target, with Manchester United also admirers of the 22-year-old, despite doubts over the futures of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Darwin Nunez

Mane is wanted by German champions Bayern Munich after the Senegal forward refused to commit to Liverpool beyond next season.

The 30-year-old has one year left on his contract and joked the majority of people in Senegal want him to leave Anfield.

Salah also has one year left on his Liverpool contract but announced before last month's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid that he will be staying in Merseyside for at least one more season.

The view from Portugal: how good is Darwin Nunez?

Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda speaking on Sky Sports News:

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Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda says that Liverpool are still in the driving seat to sign Darwin Nunez despite interest from Manchester United and Newcastle. 

"Darwin Nunez was one of the best players this season in the Portuguese league by far. The other one was Luis Diaz who moved to Liverpool in January and that made Nunez the absolute best player.

"Benfica finished the season in third place and failed to get a direct spot in the Champions League but in 41 games, Nunez scored 34 goals and registered four assists - so you're talking about one of the best strikers.

"He's a 'modern football striker' - like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe - strikers who don't just focus on scoring goals. They focus on playing for the team and making the whole team play well. That's why we're talking about €100m.

"The biggest defect - or the less good point - about Nunez is his psychological game. In the 2020/21 season, he was not scoring many goals. He played 44 matches and only scored 14. He was criticised by the fans a little bit and the first thing he did was start suspending his social media, blocking people and not reading the comments. This proves he doesn't deal well with critics when things start not going well. And in England, the price tag is the first thing people will talk about when he doesn't start scoring goals.

"When you talk about a player like Darwin Nunez, you think about a typical number nine that plays inside the penalty area. But he can easily play out wide to break spaces for other players in the central areas if teams need him. It's a very good deal for Liverpool, who already used the Portuguese league with Luis Diaz in a massive transfer for Liverpool which the winger completely deserved.

"In Jurgen Klopp's hands, Darwin can be of the top strikers in the world. Nowadays, he's not one of the top strikers because he doesn't play in the top five leagues. We have to see how he develops in the Premier League, which is one of the best leagues in the world."

The making of Darwin Nunez Benfica and Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez

Meet Darwin Nunez, the Uruguayan forward set for a big move from Benfica - and his former coaches are backing him to star in the Premier League.

Sky Sports feature writer Adam Bate speaks to those who have followed his journey from the start to find out more.

Which positions are Liverpool targeting this summer?

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor:

Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how intent they are to add further quality up top.

It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts while the potential departure of Sadio Mane, who has also got one year left on his deal, and Divock Origi having already decided to go, makes reinforcements in that area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only look to do business for a fee above the €30m that's been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to go.

With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further overhaul in midfield could depend on the futures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade-Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63 game season and hasn't played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and both could look for more regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade-Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.

Strengthening the back-line doesn't appear to be a priority with Ibrahima Konate offering another option to Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and centre-back.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Liverpool's Nunez talks progressing well - but deal not yet agreed

Sat, 06/11/2022 - 16:26

Liverpool's talks to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica are progressing well - but a deal has not been agreed yet.

The player wants to move to Liverpool and is ready to sign a five-year contract.

Liverpool's director of football, Julian Ward, is in Portugal to try to complete the transfer, with negotiations centred on the structure of the deal.

Benfica are asking for at least €100m (£85.5m) but Liverpool are only willing to pay a total they consider fair value.

The Uruguay international scored 34 times for Benfica last season in all competitions, including goals in both legs of the club's Champions League quarter-final defeat to Liverpool in April.

Manchester United are also admirers of the 22-year-old.

But Liverpool are not prepared to enter a bidding war for their number one transfer target, despite doubts over the futures of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Darwin Nunez

Mane is wanted by German champions Bayern Munich after the Senegal forward refused to commit to Liverpool beyond next season.

The 30-year-old has one year left on his contract and joked the majority of people in Senegal want him to leave Anfield.

Salah also has one year left on his Liverpool contract but announced before last month's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid that he will be staying in Merseyside for at least one more season.

The view from Portugal: how good is Darwin Nunez?

Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda speaking on Sky Sports News:

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda says that Liverpool are still in the driving seat to sign Darwin Nunez despite interest from Manchester United and Newcastle. 

"Darwin Nunez was one of the best players this season in the Portuguese league by far. The other one was Luis Diaz who moved to Liverpool in January and that made Nunez the absolute best player.

"Benfica finished the season in third place and failed to get a direct spot in the Champions League but in 41 games, Nunez scored 34 goals and registered four assists - so you're talking about one of the best strikers.

"He's a 'modern football striker' - like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe - strikers who don't just focus on scoring goals. They focus on playing for the team and making the whole team play well. That's why we're talking about €100m.

"The biggest defect - or the less good point - about Nunez is his psychological game. In the 2020/21 season, he was not scoring many goals. He played 44 matches and only scored 14. He was criticised by the fans a little bit and the first thing he did was start suspending his social media, blocking people and not reading the comments. This proves he doesn't deal well with critics when things start not going well. And in England, the price tag is the first thing people will talk about when he doesn't start scoring goals.

"When you talk about a player like Darwin Nunez, you think about a typical number nine that plays inside the penalty area. But he can easily play out wide to break spaces for other players in the central areas if teams need him. It's a very good deal for Liverpool, who already used the Portuguese league with Luis Diaz in a massive transfer for Liverpool which the winger completely deserved.

"In Jurgen Klopp's hands, Darwin can be of the top strikers in the world. Nowadays, he's not one of the top strikers because he doesn't play in the top five leagues. We have to see how he develops in the Premier League, which is one of the best leagues in the world."

The making of Darwin Nunez Benfica and Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez

Meet Darwin Nunez, the Uruguayan forward set for a big move from Benfica - and his former coaches are backing him to star in the Premier League.

Sky Sports feature writer Adam Bate speaks to those who have followed his journey from the start to find out more.

Which positions are Liverpool targeting this summer?

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor:

Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how intent they are to add further quality up top.

It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts while the potential departure of Sadio Mane, who has also got one year left on his deal, and Divock Origi having already decided to go, makes reinforcements in that area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only look to do business for a fee above the €30m that's been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to go.

With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further overhaul in midfield could depend on the futures of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63 game season and hasn't played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and both could look for more regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.

Strengthening the back-line doesn't appear to be a priority with Ibrahima Konate offering another option to Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and centre-back.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

CCTV footage from CL final deleted | Paris police chief apologises for tear-gassing fans

Thu, 06/09/2022 - 18:10

Stade de France CCTV footage from the night of the Champions League final has already been deleted, an official from the French Football Federation has confirmed.

Liverpool fans have been blamed by the French authorities for the chaos outside the ground ahead of the 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid, which saw thousands of supporters locked out and then tear-gassed by police. France's sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera and Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin have both blamed ticketless fans or supporters with forgeries trying to get in.

However, there have been numerous eyewitness accounts of major congestion problems on the approach to the stadium and patient fans being locked out for almost an hour as the issues with scanning tickets intensified.

After the match local gangs then assaulted and robbed supporters making their way back to coaches and trains. But there is no video evidence to corroborate this as it has already been destroyed due to an apparent failure by officials to request copies.

"The images are available for seven days. They are then automatically destroyed," Erwan Le Prevost, director of institutional relations at the FFF, told a French Senate hearing looking into events.

"We should have had a requisition to provide them to the different populations (organisations). The images are extremely violent."

President of the senate law commission Francois-Noel Buffet admitted if they had not properly asked for CCTV to be kept it "would be a serious problem from our point of view".

'The deleted CCTV footage? It's really worrying'

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Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram criticises the authorities for the events at the Champions League final in Paris as police used tear gas and pepper spray on supporters queuing up to get into the Stade de France

Liverpool Metropolitan Mayor Steve Rotheram said the missing footage was just another similarity with the way the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, at which 97 fans died, was handled by the authorities.

"The deleted CCTV footage? It's really worrying. I can't understand why (it was deleted), when we want to know what happened. It shows very clearly there's a real problem. I'm shocked to be honest," he said via video link.

"The problem of the organisation does not come from the tickets or the false accusations against the fans.

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French police used tear gas against Liverpool fans, stewards tried to hold back crowds with wheelie bins. Sky News has combed through footage from the Champions League final to find out what actually happened on that night

"Everything degenerated from the exit of the Metros (stations). Mrs Oudea-Castera and Mr Darmanin have set up a false version which serves the interests of the French authorities.

"It's like with the Hillsborough disaster, we put the blame on the fans. There is no proof of what Darmanin says about the counterfeit tickets.

"It's ridiculous to say there were so many counterfeits. If the situation wasn't so serious, I'd be laughing about it."

Paris police chief apologises for tear-gassing Liverpool fans at CL final

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Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains how the Champions League final delay occurred, with thousands of Liverpool fans being held up outside the Stade de France

Earlier in the hearing Paris police chief Didier Lallement admitted that the managing of the final was "obviously a failure, because people were being pushed around or assaulted while we owed them safety".

Lallement apologised for tear-gassing supporters, who were waiting to enter the Champions League final at the Stade de France.

Speaking at the French Senate on Thursday, he said was sorry for authorising the use of tear gas but felt he had no other option under the circumstances.

Lallement said: "It is obviously a failure. It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined."

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Sky Sports News' chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol says the events outside the Stade de France do not tally with what French interior minister Gerald Darmanin considered fraud

Lallement also admitted his early estimate of 30,000 to 40,000 fans without tickets or with fake tickets was probably inaccurate.

"Perhaps I was wrong," he said. "Whether there were 40,000, 30,000 or 20,000, it didn't change the fact that there were tens of thousands of people who could not fit in."

Lallement also admitted his decision to remove a filtration barrier to avoid congestion had seemingly allowed "undesirables" without tickets to get to the stadium gates.

"There were 300 or 400 people who did not seem to be fans. I don't know if they were people from the housing estates around the stadium," he added.

"Is this a type of delinquent population that we meet in Seine-Saint-Denis? Yes, it happens, but we also meet them in the north of Paris."

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Liverpool chief executive says he's 'horrified' by fans' accounts of their experiences at the Champions League final in Paris Liverpool to meet chair of UEFA's CL final review

Police chief Lallement's apology came after it was revealed Liverpool officials would meet the chair of UEFA's review into problems at the Champions League final in an attempt to help satisfy themselves the process will be fully independent.

European football's governing body appointed the Portuguese politician Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to carry out an inquiry into the circumstances which saw huge congestion issues which led to thousands of fans being locked out of the Stade de France and some being tear-gassed by police prior to Real Madrid's 1-0 win.

However, there have been suggestions Rodrigues has links to UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin and Liverpool are understood to be keen to ascertain the independence and scope of his review.

Officials also want full explanations to 13 questions they submitted to UEFA, only some of which have been partially answered, and details of which experts will be involved on the panel before they can make a decision on whether Rodrigues is the right person to lead the review.

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Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan says he wants to see an independent investigation into the issues experienced by supporters at the Champions League final

It is understood UEFA, which has pledged unconditional access to its files and staff, has outlined its rationale for appointing Rodrigues but has not provided specific responses to the questions posed by the club.

Liverpool hope a meeting with the chair of the review panel, who will also meet Real Madrid officials separately, will provide more extensive answers.

Sources say they are keen to establish the process will be a thorough, independent and transparent investigation as they are unconvinced by the "independent review" terminology.

In the meantime, the club will meet with supporters trust Spirit of Shankly on Thursday to discuss matters surrounding the Champions League final, among other things.

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