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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Is Liverpool vs West Ham on TV? Date, kick-off time, odds and team news

Liverpool go into the game in great shape (Picture: EPA)In-form Liverpool host West Ham at Anfield in the Premier League this weekend.

The Reds will be going into the game as favourites following their scintillating Champions League performance against Porto in midweek.

Jurgen Klopp’s men will want to apply pressure on Manchester Utd as they sit two points below their rivals.

A win will see them climb into second position with the Red Devils facing Chelsea on Sunday.

David Moyes have turned around West Ham’s early season woes and they currently sit in 12th position, a win at Anfield should see them propel to the top half of the league.

Sadio Mane has been in wonderful form (Picture: AFP/Getty)What time is Liverpool vs West Ham kick-off?

This Premier League game will be held on Saturday 24 February.

The game will be played at Anfield.

Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

What channel can I watch it on?

The match will be not be televised live on TV in the UK.

Highlights can be watched on Match of the Day at 10.30pm.

West Ham United manager David Moyes has turned his side’s fortunes around (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)Team news

The Hammers are still missing Arthur Masuaku who is serving his six-match suspension.

Patrice Evra is available to make his debut, despite being banned from all European competitions, and Andy Carroll and Pedro Obiang are all sidelined with injuries.

Manuel Lanzini has returned to training and is hopeful of returning to first-team action at Anfield after his hamstring injury.

Elsewhere, Winston Reid is struggling this a throat infection.

Manuel Lanzini will give the Hammers a fitness boost (Picture: Getty Images)Liverpool will have a full strength squad, after they came through their 5-0 Champions League win against Porto last week unscathed.

Nathaniel Clyne made his return to first team training but is unlikely to be risked.

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What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)

Liverpool – 2/9

Draw – 6/1

West Ham – 14/1

Pre-match Opta stats

Liverpool have won their last two Premier League matches against West Ham, 4-0 in May 2017 and 4-1 in November 2017 – they haven’t scored 4+ goals in three consecutive PL games versus a single opponent since doing so versus Norwich between 2012 and 2013.
West Ham are unbeaten in their last three away games in all competitions at Liverpool, drawing the last two (W1 D2).
David Moyes has never won against Liverpool at Anfield in all competitions as a manager (D7 L7), failing to win with Everton, Man Utd and Sunderland.

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Marko Arnautovic ‘not afraid’ of £75m defender Virgil van Dijk as West Ham prepare for Liverpool clash

Marko Arnautovic is enjoying a productive run for West Ham (Picture: Getty)West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic insists he is ‘not afraid’ of Virgil van Dijk and is ready to test himself against Liverpool’s £75m defender.

Van Dijk joined the Reds in January from Southampton in a deal that eclipsed the £50m Manchester City spent on Kyle Walker last summer.

Liverpool are enjoying a fine run and thrashed Porto 5-0 in the Champions League last week to put one foot in the draw for the quarter-finals.

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But Arnautovic, who has scored eight goals this season, will do everything he can to ensure Liverpool – and Van Dijk – endure a difficult afternoon on Saturday.

‘I’m a football player and I have respect for every opponent, every defender and every team, but I’m not afraid of anyone and I’m not afraid to take them on and to make things happen,’ he told West Ham’s official website.

‘I’m fit and I will do my best like I always do. I played at Anfield twice when I was with Stoke and it’s a hard place to go, we all know that Liverpool is one of the best teams in the Premier League.

The Austrian has scored seven goals in his last 11 games (Picture: Getty)‘But I think we have also done well in the last few games and you can always make something happen. It’s not going to be easy, as it’s another Premier League game and we know football can be crazy.

‘It’s going to be hard, but they are all hard and we will go there and try to take something out of the game.

‘It doesn’t motivate me only because it is against one of the top teams, as I try to do my best to be at my maximum in every game but, in this game, we need not just one man to perform, but all eleven men to perform.’

West Ham ensured a dismal start to the 2017-18 campaign under Slaven Bilic but results have picked up since David Moyes was appointed manager in November.

Roberto Firmino to face no charge over alleged racial abuse towards Mason Holgate

Mason Holgate claims he was racially abused by Roberto Firmino. (PA Wire)Roberto Firmino will face no action from the Football Association after being accused of racially abusing Mason Holgate.

The incident occurred during Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup in January after Firmino was pushed into the crowd by Holgate.

Firmino reacted angrily and ran towards Holgate before he was stopped by referee Bobby Madley, but the Everton defender became irate after the Liverpool attacker had spoken and was restrained by his Everton teammates.

The FA has confirmed that they took statements from 12 players and officials from both teams, the match referee and the fourth official but claim that no-one directly heard the words alleged to have been said by the Brazilian.

A statement from the FA read: ‘Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino.

Firmino was pushed into the crowd by Holgate. (AFP/Getty Images)‘However, we are completely satisfied that the allegation was made in absolute good faith by Holgate and that there is no suggestion of this being an intentionally false or malicious allegation.

‘We continue to take all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and would encourage all participants who believe that they have been the subject of or witness to discriminatory abuse to report this through the appropriate channels.’

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Holgate became irate after Firmino had spoken. (EPA)‘Holgate and Everton followed the proper process by reporting the matter to the match officials at the time and subsequently to The FA.

‘We receive a significant number of complaints of discrimination in any one season and thoroughly investigate all complaints we receive. Following consideration of all of the evidence received, not all cases will result in a charge being issued.’

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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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Liverpool fans love Virgil van Dijk’s reaction to hearing Manchester United’s defeat to Newcastle

Virgil van Dijk couldn’t hide his delight after hearing Manchester United’s defeat. (LFCTV)Virgil van Dijk couldn’t hide his delight after hearing about Manchester United‘s defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho‘s side were beaten 1-0 at St James’ Park, which gave Liverpool the opportunity to close the gap on second place.

And Jurgen Klopp’s side seized their chance as goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah sealed a 2-0 win over Southampton.

The victory means Liverpool are now only two points behind United, and Klopp’s side could potentially overtake their rivals with a win at Old Trafford next month.

Van Dijk, however, had not known United’s latest setback before he faced his former club in Sunday’s final Premier League fixture.

And when told about the result after Liverpool’s win, the Dutch centre-back looked pretty pleased.

VAN DIJK’S INTERVIEW

Interviewer: Were you aware of Manchester United’s result, did that put any added pressure on getting three points today?

Van Dijk: What did they do?

Interviewer: They got beat.

Van Dijk: Did they? Oh… unlucky. I didn’t know, it’s good for us, obviously.

Van Dijk’s interview clearly went down with Liverpool fans, who couldn’t get enough of the defender’s reaction to United’s loss at St James’ Park.

Just seen VVD reaction when he found out united lost. Absolutely epic, I love him just for that 😂👌— liana busby (@libuzbusby) February 11, 2018

@AnfieldEdition @adamgottalent The spirit of Lucas lives on!— VorsprungdurchJürgen (@happydobbin44) February 11, 2018

Vvd unlucky > lucas unlucky

#LFC— My Surname is Khan™ (@ejaz_k) February 12, 2018

VVD being smug is my fave thing, the smirks when he was booed today, laughing when he turned into a left winger for… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…— n (@heytaarnold) February 11, 2018

Vvd unlucky scum lost 😆😆😆— mighty kopites 1892 (@AFGHAN1972) February 11, 2018

That video of Van Dijk when he finds out Man U lost is the best thing ever 😂😂😂😂😂 “unluckaaaay”— Rebecca (@rebecca_Jxx) February 12, 2018

@AnfieldEdition HAHAHAHA— TMS” 🇪🇬 (@TikkaMohSalah) February 11, 2018

@AnfieldEdition Laddddd— 🔴🇫🇮 (@PaceManMane) February 11, 2018

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Virgil van Dijk sends message to Southampton boo boys after Liverpool win

The Dutch defender says fans don’t know what really happened last summer (Picture: Getty)Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says he enjoyed his return to Southampton despite being booed throughout Sunday’s match as his new club beat his old team at St Mary’s.

The Dutch defender became the most expensive defender in the world after Southampton finally sanctioned his £75 million move to Anfield in January, and he looked the part as he kept a clean sheet at his old stomping ground.

Liverpool went ahead early on through Roberto Firmino and doubled their lead just before the break thanks to Mohamed Salah, and always looked comfortable from that moment.

Van Dijk accidentally went into the home dressing room when he arrived at St Mary’s (Picture: Getty)The match marked Van Dijk’s first return to St Mary’s since leaving the club and he felt the hostile reception he received was unwarranted, though enjoyed Liverpool’s performance – and result – regardless.

He told Sky Sports after the match: ‘I enjoyed it a lot. I just focused on the game. I enjoyed being back, I have a lot of good memories here.

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‘Unfortunately they are not in a good position right now, but as a Liverpool player I’m happy with the win. You can’t do anything about the reception, I just did my own thing.’

He expanded further to the BBC, saying: ‘You just enjoy it. It’s the only thing I think you can do. I think it is a bit unfair because no-one really knows what happened over the summer and the last few months but I just kept my head down and enjoyed it.

Salah and Firmino combined twice to score both Liverpool’s goals against Saints (Picture: Getty)‘I think we should have scored more. We deserved the win but we should have made it a bit easier for ourselves.

On whether it hurts to see Southampton – who dropped into the relegation zone – struggle, he added: ‘Definitely. I have a lot of good friends here, I care for the club. It is difficult to get out of the relegation zone but they have quality players.’

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Chelsea and Arsenal most likely to miss out on the top four, predicts Phil Neville

Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham on Saturday (Getty)Phil Neville has predicted Arsenal and Chelsea will be the sides most likely to miss out on a place in the top four following the latest round of action.

Defeats for Arsenal and Manchester United and impressive wins for Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham have shaken up the top six over the weekend.

Man City beat Leicester 5-1 and coupled with a shock defeat at Newcastle for Manchester United, Pep Guardiola’s side look more certain to win the title than ever.

‘Obviously first position 16 points clear is Man City – the league’s done,’ Neville told Match of the Day’s Facebook page.

‘It shows the gulf in class between Man City and the rest of the league.’

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Sergio Aguero scored four at the weekend (Reuters)Neville then went on to place Manchester United second, Liverpool third and Tottenham as his favoured choice for the final Champions League qualification place ahead of reigning champions Chelsea.

‘Because of Manchester United’s defeat today, Liverpool’s good form and Tottenham’s good form the second to fifth positions have been really condensed. It’s really tight. One point between United and Liverpool now. It’s a difficult one to call.

‘Arsenal [who were beaten 1-0 by Spurs on Saturday] are out of it for me.

‘Chelsea in fifth, they’ve got a big game against West Brom on Monday.

Antonio Conte’s side take on West Brom on Monday (Getty)‘I’ve said all season United will finish in the top four and finish second and I’m not going to change my mind now.

‘I think Liverpool are going to be the next best team in third position and then it’s between Tottenham and Chelsea.

‘It’s whether Chelsea can get their ship in order I suppose as we know Tottenham have got quality, they’re a settled team, they’ve got a good system, a great manager.

‘It looks at this moment in time that Chelsea are the team that are going to have to fight hardest to finish in that top four.’

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Chelsea, currently fifth, take on West Brom on Monday evening when they will have the chance to move a point above fourth-place Spurs.

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Liverpool ahead of Manchester United in race to sign Deportivo La Coruna winger Pinchi

Pinchi is wanted by Manchester United and Liverpool. (Getty Images)Liverpool are leading Manchester United in the race to sign Deportivo La Coruna winger Pinchi, according to reports.

The 22-year-old made his La Liga debut last season but has made only one substitute appearance in the Copa del Rey this term.

Pinchi, whose full name is Oscar Garcia, is a regular for Deportivo’s B team and has scored six goals in 22 appearances this season.

The Sun claims that Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have all expressed an interest in signing the winger, but it’s Klopp’s side who are ahead in the race as it stands.

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Jurgen Klopp is reportedly leading the race to sign Pinchi. (AP Photo)Pinchi’s contract with Deportivo expires this summer, which means he could leave for a small compensation fee.

The report also claims that Pinchi is being monitored by several Premier League scouts and has impressed representatives from United.

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

Mohamed Salah has been in sensational form this season (Picture: Getty Images)There will be plenty of reunions as Southampton host Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mane will all be hoping to play for the Reds against their former club when they meet at St Mary’s.

Tottenham defender reveals plan to stop new Arsenal signing Aubameyang

Southampton are unbeaten in four Premier League games and have moved two points away from the relegation zone as a result of their win at West Brom last weekend.

Liverpool are riding high, third in the table, but have suffered frustrating results in recent weeks, losing to Swansea and conceding in the last minute to draw with Tottenham.

Mauricio Pellegrino is constantly under pressure as Saints boss (Picture: Getty Images)When is Southampton vs Liverpool?

The match is on Sunday, February 11 with kick-off at 4.30pm.

What TV channel is Southampton vs Liverpool on?

Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League will be showing the game live with coverage following the Newcastle vs Man Utd contest.

Jurgen Klopp can’t afford a slip up at St Mary’s (Picture: REUTERS/Andrew Yates)Team news

Southampton are reasonably clear on the injury front, with only striker Charlie Austin out with a hamstring problem.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are definitely without Nathaniel Clyne, but are hoping to welcome back Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan and Adam Lallana, at least to the substitute’s bench.

James Ward-Prowse will still have dreams of an World Cup place with England this summer (Picture: Getty Images)What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)

Liverpool – 3/4

Draw – 14/5

Southampton – 7/2

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Head-to-head in last 5 meetings

18 Nov 2017 – Liverpool 3-0 Southampton – Premier League

07 May 2017 – Liverpool 0-0 Southampton – Premier League

25 Jan 2017 – Liverpool 0-1 Southampton – League Cup

11 Jan 2017 – Southampton 1-0 Liverpool – League Cup

19 Nov 2016 – Southampton 0-0 Liverpool – Premier League

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