Dani Ceballos wanted to quit Real Madrid for Liverpool in January

Dani Ceballos wanted to join Liverpool in January. (Getty Images)Real Madrid blocked Dani Ceballos from joining Liverpool in the January transfer window, according to reports in Spain.

Jurgen Klopp’s side opted to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a £142 million deal last month and were reportedly in the market for a replacement.

Monaco refused to sell Thomas Lemar, while Liverpool also attempted to bring Naby Keita’s transfer forward.

But according to Spanish TV show El Chiringuito, Liverpool were also trying to sign Ceballos but their efforts were rejected by Madrid.

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Ceballos has started only two games in La Liga this season. (Getty Images)The report claims that the midfielder wanted to join Anfield and a transfer could go through this summer.

Ceballos joined in a £14.5 million deal from Real Madrid last summer but has failed to secure a regular role under Zinedine Zidane.

Reports have claimed that tensions between Ceballos and Zidane were raised even further on Wednesday evening after the 21-year-old was brought on for just 29 seconds in the 3-1 win over Leganes.

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Ex-Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann slams ’embarrassing’ Manchester United and ‘anti-football’ Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has been slammed by ex-Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann. (Getty Images)Ex-Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has slammed Manchester United’s ’embarrassing’ display against Sevilla and has described the performance as ‘anti-football’.

Jose Mourinho’s side played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in Spain on Wednesday evening.

United were reliant on another brilliant performance by David De Gea, whose sublime reflex save to deny Luis Muriel shortly before half-time kept the score level.

Mourinho’s attack, meanwhile, struggled to trouble Sevilla and Scott McTominay registered the only shot on target for United during the match.

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David De Gea pulled off a sublime save to deny Luis Muriel (Reuters)‘A good Sevilla performance,’ Hamann told RTE.

‘De Gea came to the rescue a few times, from Manchester United’s point of view, it was dreadful, it was anti-football in a way.

‘For a club the size of United, for the money they’ve spent in recent years, I thought it was an embarrassing performance.’

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Porto ball boy tried to steal Liverpool hat-trick hero Sadio Mane’s match ball

The Senegalese forward was in sensational form in Portugal on Wednesday (Picture: Getty)Liverpool’s Champions League hat-trick hero against Porto, Sadio Mane, almost missed out on taking home the match ball but was saved by teammate Andy Robertson.

The Senegalese forward was in superb form for the Reds at the Estadio do Dragao, netting three times alongside goals from in-form duo Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

It is customary for hat-trick scorers to claim the match ball as a souvenir, though one cheeky Porto ball boy tried to deny Mane his prize – until Robertson chased him down.

Mane finally got his match ball only after Robertson’s intervention (Picture: Getty)He told Liverpool’s official website: ‘I had to go running after the ball boy for his ball at the end – he was nearly upset!

‘Luckily, I managed to get it. They were three class finishes from him.

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‘Mo and Bobby have stolen the headlines in the last couple of weeks. But Sadio is on my side and he is a workhouse, he works so hard. He took the limelight and got his three goals.’

Liverpool’s 5-0 win in Porto has virtually sealed their progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and they may have their third kit to thank.

Robertson was keen to highlight how hard Mane works off the ball (Picture: Getty)When Liverpool have worn the florescent orange number, they have averaged four goals per game – scoring 24 times in six outings – and Robertson thinks he knows the reason why they are so good in their third kit.

The Scotland international joked: ‘Maybe teams think we’re too bright to come near us, maybe we’re doing something to their eyes! This kit has been quite lucky for us – long may it continue.’

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Liverpool take 24 hours to break Manchester City’s Champions League record

Liverpool were untouchable against Porto (Picture: Reuters)Liverpool blew Porto and their fans away in the Estadio do Dragao as they thrashed the Portuguese side 5-0.

The emphatic result virtually assures Liverpool of a spot in the quarter-finals and the Reds also set a new Champions League record for an English side.

The 5-0 victory is the biggest away win in the knockout stages for an English side in the tournament.

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Manchester City were the previous holders of the record after beating Basel 4-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday night.

City’s reign as the English away kings however was short-lived as Liverpool smashed Porto just 24 hours later.

Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick in the five-star display while Roberto Firmino and club top scorer Mohamed Salah were also on the scoresheet.

(Picture: EPA)

(Picture: Getty)

(Picture: Reuters)Mane is just the fourth Red to score a hat-trick in Europe after Philippe Coutinho, Yossi Benayoun and Michael Owen.

The Reds has also restricted Porto to just three shots on target as Loris Karius was never really threatened in the Liverpool goal.

Liverpool return to Anfield for the second leg with a formidable advantage and Porto supporters will now be praying for a miraculous comeback.

(Picture: Getty)

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

West Ham (H) – Sat Feb 24Newcastle United (H) – Sat March 3Porto (H) – Tues March 6 (Champions League)Manchester United (A) – Sat March 10Watford (H) – Sat March 17Crystal Palace (A) – Sat March 31

(Picture: EPA)A goalkeeping mistake set Liverpool and Mane on their way to victory, before Porto shipped three goals in the second 45 minutes.

Liverpool are also the Champions League’s top goalscorers with 28 goals and 25 of those coming in their last five games.

‘The third one,’ Mane said when asked which of his goals was his favourite. ‘It was a nice strike.

‘I’ve always enjoyed playing with these great players. Without the team [behind us] though we are nothing. They give us the ball.’

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Jurgen Klopp names Manchester City as the ‘strongest’ team in the Champions League but insists Liverpool can win competition

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool face Porto in the last-16 of the Champions League (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has named Manchester City as the ‘strongest’ team in the Champions League – but insists Liverpool are capable of defying the odds to win the competition.

Ahead of the first leg of Liverpool’s last-16 clash with Porto on Wednesday evening, Klopp said his team’s performance against City last month proved they can compete with the best.

Scoring three goals within nine minutes, the Reds blew Premier League leaders City away before Pep Guardiola’s side mounted a late and futile comeback as they were beaten 4-3.

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Since that defeat, City have won three of their four league fixtures and thrashed Basel 4-0 on Tuesday to put themselves on the verge of a Champions League quarter-final.

The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will hope to join City in the last eight and Klopp believes his side have more than enough strength to compete with Europe’s elite clubs.

‘I know it already we can compete with them, I don’t have to look at them,’ Klopp said ahead of Wednesday’s clash Estádio do Dragão in Porto.

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‘I think probably the strongest football team in Europe at this moment is Manchester City. So we played them twice already at the highest level.

‘PSG is a little different, but I don’t look at them, I know it already [we can compete with them]. If we meet them [Man City] then we could beat them. That is how it is.

‘The last 16 in Europe there are so many good teams around who want to be in the competition and we are in.’

Having won 15 of their 27 Premier League games this season, Liverpool are third – above Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal – with 11 fixtures remaining.

Premier League leaders Manchester City thrashed Basel on Tuesday (Picture: Getty)The Reds must focus their entire efforts on the Champions League for now, however, and Klopp admits his side have been ‘waiting for this’ for several months.

‘Now we have to show that we don’t only want to be part of the competition – we are quite ambitious,’ the German boss said. ‘That is how it is and we have to take it seriously.

‘It feels different and you should not ignore that. You should not ignore the song at the beginning of the game. When you hear it – you sit at home and you think, “I want to be part of that”.

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‘It is the biggest club competition. But my experience taught me it is football, so the better side you have the better the chances, and we have quite a good football team.

‘I can not score the goals or whatever but we will be in the right mood for that game tomorrow. It was a long break between the group stage and now, but from the moment we were through we have been waiting for this and that’s what we have to show.’

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Michael Owen’s Champions League predictions including Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City

The Champions League returns this week with four mouthwatering Round of 16 ties featuring three Premier League teams. Ahead of the games BetVictor brand ambassador Michael Owen makes his predictions…

Basel v Manchester City

Basel have never gone further in the competition than the Round of 16 and I expect Man City to have one foot in the quarter-final after their midweek tie at St Jacob Park.

City have only won one of their six away games in the Champions League knock-out stages and are yet to keep a clean sheet in those half a dozen ties, but they are likely to have too much class and goals for the Swiss side.

Man City won 5-1 at the weekend, with Sergio Aguero scoring four (Getty)Basel will take heart from the fact they have won four of their last five home Champions League games against English sides, but City are slowly coming to terms with the competition and, having reached the semi-final last term, will be looking to improve on that record this spring.

Prediction: Basel 1-4 Manchester City

Juventus v Tottenham

Harry Kane warmed up for the tie with a goal in the North London derby (Getty)Juve are unbeaten in their last 22 home Champions League games and kept nine clean sheets in their last 14 Champions League games in the Juventus Stadium. Spurs, however, are one of only four teams unbeaten in the Group Stages and I feel they can score in Turin.

Harry Kane has been directly involved in over half of Spurs’ goals in the competition with six goals and two assists from the team’s 15 goals. This really is an evenly balanced tie and I expect to see both sides find the back of the net in what promises to be a fascinating game.

Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Tottenham

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Porto v Liverpool

Mo Salah’s brilliant form continued at the weekend with a goal and an assist against Southampton (Getty)Liverpool are back where they belong in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2008/09 season. The Reds are unbeaten in four previous ties against the Portuguese champions and I think they will make it five on Wednesday.

Liverpool scored 23 goals in their six group games but I expect Porto to play a cagey game in the hope of taking a clean sheet back to Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side are a confident selection to qualify for the last eight, but it would not surprise me if they had to settle for a draw in the first leg midweek.

Prediction: Porto 1-1 Liverpool

Real Madrid v PSG

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick at the weekend (Getty)Real Madrid have reached the semi-finals in the last seven seasons and last year they became the first side to lift the Trophy since 2010 who had not finished top of their group in qualifying for the knockout stages.

This is, arguably, the most eagerly anticipated matchup of the last 16 but I expect the Whites to take a lead back to Paris given the French side have lost four of their last six games on the road in the Champions League.

I note Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick at the weekend and this Madrid side know how to peak at the right time – I expect to see a home win.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 PSG

Michael Owen is a Brand Ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.

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Porto vs Liverpool TV channel, kick-off time, date, odds and team news

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have been in sensational form for Liverpool (Picture: REUTERS)Liverpool return to Champions League action on Wednesday evening as they travel to Porto for the first leg of their round of 16 clash with the Primeira Liga leaders.

The Reds picked up a comfortable 2-0 win at Southampton on Sunday in the Premier League which took them back to third in the table, only two points behind Manchester United in second.

Antonio Conte endorses Luis Enrique as his Chelsea replacement

Porto are in good form themselves, though, winning all three games in February so far and hammering Chaves 4-0 on Sunday.

The Portuguese outfit are two points clear at the top of their domestic league with a game in hand over nearest rivals Benfica and Sporting.

Porto are coming off a comprehensive win at the weekend (Picture: AFP PHOTO)When is Porto vs Liverpool?

The match is on Wednesday, February 14 with kick-off at 7.45pm.

What TV channel is Porto vs Liverpool on?

BT Sport 2 will be showing the game live with coverage starting at 7pm.

Jurgen Klopp has his sights set on a Champions League quarter-final (Picture: AP Photo/Rui Vieira)Team news

Porto look likely to be without leading marksman Vincent Aboubakar who has been struggling with injury and missed Sunday’s game.

Danilo Pereira, Ivan Marcano and Andre Andre are all injured as well, whilst Felipe will miss the game after his red card in the final group stage game against Monaco.

Emre Can will miss the game due to suspension as well, and Klopp will be without Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan and Nathaniel Clyne through injury.

Porto’s head coach Sergio Conceicao is enjoying an impressive first season in charge (Picture: Getty Images)More: Football

What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)

Liverpool – 13/10

Draw – 13/5

Porto – 11/5

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Jamie Redknapp predicts which Premier League sides will progress in the Champions League

The draw for the Champions League took place yesterday (Getty)Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp is backing the Premier League teams to perform well in the Champions League Round of 16, but not all of them will progress.

Yesterday’s draw saw five English sides paired up with opponents from the continent.

Tottenham will play Juventus, Man City are against Basel, Chelsea face Barcelona, Liverpool take on Porto and Manchester United were handed Sevilla.

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Chelsea take on Barcelona in the Round of 16 (Getty)Redknapp believes all of them will progress to the quarter-finals – except Chelsea. However, he believes Antonio Conte’s side have a chance up against Lionel Messi and Co.

‘This is still a game they can win, especially with Eden Hazard in great form,’ he told the Daily Mail. ‘Barcelona are not the same prospect they were a few years ago but will be favourites.’

Tottenham’s reward for progress is a meeting with Italian champions Juventus (Getty)

Champions League Round of 16 draw and dates

Tuesday February 13Juventus vs TottenhamFC Basel vs Man City

Wednesday February 14FC Porto vs LiverpoolReal Madrid vs PSG

Tuesday February 20Chelsea vs FC BarcelonaBayern vs Besiktas

Wednesday February 21Sevilla vs Man UnitedShakhtar vs Roma

Tuesday March 6 Liverpool vs FC PortoPSG vs Real Madrid

Wednesday March 7Tottenham vs JuventusMan City vs FC Basel

Tuesday March 13 Man United vs SevillaRoma vs Shakhtar

Wednesday March 14FC Barcelona vs ChelseaBesiktas vs Bayern

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Of the other English sides in the competition, Tottenham have arguably the toughest assignment. But Redknapp thinks that facing a big-name opponent could work in their favour.

‘Tottenham get turned on by these huge games. They have excelled at Wembley against Liverpool and Real Madrid — teams who have gone at them.’

MORE: Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions, including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United

Liverpool v Porto: Everything you need to know about Champions League clash

(Picture: Getty)Liverpool face a tough test in the last 16 of the Champions League as they drew Porto in the draw on Monday.

The Reds topped their group and managed to avoid some big names, including Real Madrid, by drawing the Portuguese champions.

Here we run down all you need to know about the clash and how the Reds match up with Porto.

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME THEY PLAYED PORTO

Fernando Torres scored a brace last time Liverpool faced Porto (Picture: Getty)The last time Liverpool went toe-to-toe with Porto was in 2007 with qualification for the Champions League knockout stages up for offer.

The Reds have played Porto just four times in their history and have yet to be beaten.

Liverpool smashed Porto 4-1 in their last meeting at Anfield. The Reds also secured a 1-1 draw in the reverse group fixture, how Liverpool would love a repeat of those results.

ODDS FOR FIRST TIE

(Picture: Getty)Liverpool win – 13/8

Draw – 23/10

Porto win – 13/8

WHEN ARE THE GAMES PLAYED

Liverpool will play the first leg on Wednesday February 14 and then welcome Porto to Anfield on Tuesday March 6.

PORTO’S STAR PLAYER

Vincent Aboubakar (Picture: Getty)Vincent Aboubakar has been Porto’s star man in the group stages with five goals in five appearances.

The striker has already scored 20 times in all competitions this season and will be the danger man for Liverpool.

HOW PORTO CAME THROUGH THEIR GROUP

Porto finished runners-up in their group, four points behind Besiktas.

Despite two losses and a draw in the group stage, Porto managed to pip Leipzig to second place thanks to three crucial wins.

But, Porto demonstrated a mean defence, conceding just five times.

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Champions League draw: Man Utd take on Sevilla as Chelsea face Barcelona

The draw took place on Monday (Picture: Getty Images)Manchester United will take on La Liga side Sevilla in the last-16 of the Champions League, while Chelsea picked up a tricky clash with Barcelona.

Antonio Conte’s Premier League champions will take on the current Spanish leaders in arguably the toughest game for the English sides, although the draw was largely positive from a British perspective.

Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a tricky tie against Serie A champions Juventus, who were losing finalists in the 2016/17 season.

Manchester City, meanwhile, were handed a favourable draw against Basel – although the Swiss side did beat Manchester United in the group stages – while Liverpool will face Porto.

Guardiola will be happy with the draw (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Spurs will face Juventus (Picture: Bongarts/Getty)Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain will take on reigning champions Real Madrid in what is one of the ties of the round, while Roma take on Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayern Munich face Besiktas.

It’s been a good season for the English teams in Europe thus far, with Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United all winning their groups.

Chelsea were the only side to fall slightly short, but still progressed in second place behind Roma in Group C and ensured England became the first country to see five teams reach the knockout stages.

Mourinho guided United to top of Group A (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea finished second behind Roma (Picture: AMA/Getty)Jose Mourinho’s United topped Group A ahead of Basel and Spurs pipped current holders Real Madrid to top spot in Group H, while Liverpool edged Sevilla in Group E.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City finished above Shakhtar Donetsk, while Paris Saint-Germain – who smashed the record for most goals in the the Champions League group stages – Besiktas and Barcelona were the other group winners.

The first legs will take place across February 13/14 and February 20/21, while the second-leg ties will kick-off on March 6/7 and March 13/14.

Full Champions League draw

Juventus v SpursBasel v Man CityPorto v LiverpoolSevilla v Man UtdReal Madrid v PSGRoma v Shakhtar DonetskChelsea v BarcelonaBayern v Besiktas