VAR to be used in Premier League next season

VAR was used at the World Cup earlier this year (Getty Images)Video assistant referees (VAR) will be used in the Premier League from the start of next season.

The decision was made following a vote from all 20 Premier League clubs and now the use of video replays will be used to assist officials during matches once next season begins.

VAR was used at the World Cup this summer, while the technology is now being used in La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga.

In April, Premier League clubs voted against implementing VAR for the start of this season after officials struggled with the technology during FA Cup games.

But a statement from the Premier League on Thursday read: ‘Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to introduce Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to the competition in the 2019/20 season.

VAR is already being used in Serie A (AP Photo)‘At a Shareholders’ Meeting today, clubs were provided with an update on the non-live VAR trials being undertaken by the League and Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL) this season.

‘Key learnings from VAR’s use in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and other leagues across the world, were discussed in detail.

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‘The Premier League’s non-live testing programme will remain in place for the rest of this season, with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently, and developing a clear protocol for communicating VAR decisions to fans.

‘The League will now formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and FIFA to use VAR next season.’

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Jurgen Klopp first to start party after Champions League heartbreak, says Steven Gerrard

Klopp has suffered three cup final defeats with Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp was the first to start the party after Liverpool lost heartbreaking cup finals in the Champions League and Europa League, according to Steven Gerrard.

The German has appeared in three major finals as Liverpool boss and has lost each one, with the latest heartbreak coming in the Champions League in May against Real Madrid.

Liverpool have improved again since that defeat and Klopp is now targeting a Premier League title tilt this season.

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Gerrard, a former Liverpool captain and current Rangers manager, explained he admires Klopp because the coach knows when to switch off.

He told the Guardian: ‘I was like a sponge, watching and learning. I watch him on TV and see how he handles situations.

‘I could never be Jurgen with his charisma and energy. But if I can take a few things from him it will be such a help.

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard watches Klopp closely (Picture: Getty)‘And if I text, call or see him, Jurgen’s always got time for me,’ he said.

‘Jurgen’s really good at switching off. When the game is on he’s very emotional but once it’s over he can park the emotion.

‘That’s why he’s so good at handling the pressure. After cup finals and a big setback he’ll be the one to start the party.

(Picture: Getty)‘Tomorrow is a different day and that’s a big lesson I have to learn.

‘I have to live my life outside football while still being a manager. It is difficult but I’m trying.’

Gerrard’s management career has started promisingly at Ranger with the Gers third in the Scottish Premiership, just two points behind leaders Celtic.

Barcelona look to Liverpool to complete Ousmane Dembele transfer

Dembele could be offloaded by Barcelona (Picture: Getty)Barcelona are prepared to sell Ousmane Dembele to Liverpool in January, reports say.

The forward’s stock at Barcelona has plummeted in recent months with Dembele failing to turn up for training and continually irking his head coach Ernesto Valverde.

Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to make a club record transfer bid of £85million for Dembele, despite the attacker’s attitude problems.

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The Daily Mail claim Barcelona see Liverpool as the most likely destination for Dembele, and are ready to do a deal.

But Barcelona are concerned Liverpool will not spend above the odds for Dembele.

The Catalan giants paid Borussia Dortmund £96m to bring Dembele to the Nou Camp a year ago, and are aware Liverpool would scoff at any attempt for Barcelona to recoup that transfer fee.

Barcelona paid £96m to sign Dembele (Picture: Getty)Dortmund are due to receive a further £26m when certain appearance-related add-ons are met, but selling Dembele in January would allow Barcelona to side-step those further charges.

Klopp has been a long-time admirer of Dembele, who first broke onto the scene at his former club of Dortmund.

Dembele is still considered one the best young forwards in the world, but his attitude has been questioned by Valverde and France coach Didier Deschamps.

(Picture: Getty)Valverde still considers Dembele a valuable asset in his team and Barcelona will not part with the 21-year-old mid-way through the season unless Liverpool come close to matching their £96m asking price.

Klopp believes a £85m offer may be enough to convince Barcelona to sell Dembele in January.

Liverpool are chasing a Premier League title this season and could make a significant signing in January to boost their chances.

MORE: Jurgen Klopp ready to smash Liverpool’s transfer record with £85m bid for Ousmane Dembele

Virgil van Dijk stuns Liverpool fans with amazing heading training

Van Dijk captains the Netherlands (Picture: Getty)Virgil van Dijk’s impressive heading ability may be down to the Liverpool defender’s incredible training methods.

The centre-back is renowned on Merseyside for his ability in the air, and Van Dijk’s aerial talents has brought some much needed stability to Liverpool’s defence in the last ten months.

Van Dijk is a big favourite at Liverpool, but is currently on international duty with the Netherlands.

The 27-year-old offered a glimpse into how he improves his heading ability and how uses every inch of his 6ft 3in frame.

A video captured from inside the Netherlands’ camp shows Van Dijk leaping through the air to head a ball hanging from the ceiling.

It’s an ingenious way to improve a player’s aerial ability, and the short clip is sure to rise Van Dijk’s stock at Liverpool even more.

Liverpool fans were hugely impressed and swooned over their defender’s leap.

He could probably head the Moon if he wanted to
— Lewis Jones (@LewisJones_90) November 15, 2018

Club action for Liverpool and Van Dijk does not resume until the end of the month, with an away trip to Watford next on the agenda for the Reds.

Van Dijk will captain the Netherlands against France and Germany in the next week.

MORE: Bayern Munich confident of completing Aaron Ramsey transfer after breakthrough in talks

Virgil van Dijk talks up Liverpool move for Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt

The 27-year-old has been impressed by his teenage centre-back partner (Picture: Getty)Virgil van Dijk would be keen on a reunion with Netherlands teammate Matthijs de Ligt at Liverpool and says he is happy to give his opinion on the centre-back if the club ask for it.

Ajax starlet De Ligt, who plays alongside Van Dijk in the centre of the Dutch defence, is already alerting the attention of a host of major clubs, such as Manchester City and Barcelona, after some impressive displays for club and country.

Van Dijk is an enormous fan of the precocious 19-year-old and expects he is already on Liverpool’s watch list.

Netherlands take on France and Germany in the coming days (Picture: Getty)‘He is already very far, especially at that age,’ Van Dijk told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

‘A good defender, good boy, calm, knows what he wants and hopefully he makes the right choice in his next step.’

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Asked if that next step might be Liverpool, he continued: ‘He will be on the list, because they have enough scouts at the club.’

He was then asked if would be better equipped to judge De Ligt than a scout, and replied: ‘No, but if they need my opinion at Liverpool, I will give it.’

Van Dijk and De Ligt have started to form a formidable partnership (Picture: Getty)De Ligt has captained both club and country despite still being a teenager and looks set to earn a big-money move to a European giant next summer.

Centre-back is probably not a priority for Liverpool, though, who spent £75m on Van Dijk less than a year ago and have the likes of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip to partner him.

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Liverpool & Chelsea target Christian Pulisic open to Premier League transfer switch

Pulisic has many suitors (Picture: Getty)Christian Pulisic admitted he sees ‘no reason’ why he would not one day play in the Premier League.

The Borussia Dortmund forward has long been linked with a transfer switch to England, with Liverpool long-term admirers of the burgeoning talent.

Chelsea too have chased Pulisic in the past and the 20-year-old is now in the final 19 months of his current Dortmund deal.

(Picture: Getty)Pulisic would have the pick of Europe’s top clubs should he decide to leave Dortmund, but the winger insisted he was in no hurry.

‘England, the Premier League, is a league where lots of kids dream of playing so there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here,’ he said.

‘As you can see, we are having a great year at Dortmund and I am enjoying every moment of that. Then when the time comes for me to talk in the breaks about my future, then that’s when those things happen.

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic says Liverpool will not win the title because of Dejan Lovren

Mateo Kovacic says Dejan Lovren will cost Liverpool the title (Getty Images)Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has joked that Liverpool will not win the Premier League title this season because of Dejan Lovren.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently second in the Premier League and have not suffered a defeat in their 12 games so far.

But Chelsea have also emerged as early title challenges as they remain unbeaten under Maurizio Sarri and are only four points behind league leaders Manchester City.

But Kovacic has jokingly dismissed Liverpool’s title credentials because of his Croatia teammate Lovren.

The Chelsea midfielder linked up with his Croatia team-mates to raise money for charity on Monday, while the players also watched a film showcasing their nation’s run to the final at the World Cup this summer.

Dejan Lovren is struggling for playing time at Liverpool this season (Getty Images)More: Football

According to 24Sata, Kovacic joked after the film: ‘Liverpool will not be English champions. Why? Because they have Dejan Lovren.’

Lovren has already been given plenty of stick from his Liverpool teammates Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah after claiming that he was one of the best defenders in the world.

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Alisson admits Liverpool have told him to work on concentration and mental strength

Alisson admits adapting to the Premier League has been difficult (Picture: Getty)Liverpool summer signing Alisson has revealed that the club have told him to work on his concentration levels and mental strength.

The 26-year-old arrived with a huge reputation from Roma in the summer and Jurgen Klopp was so convinced by his talents that he sanctioned a world-record £65million move.

Klopp was determined to bring a top-class goalkeeper to Anfield following Loris Karius’ horror show in the Champions League final and Alisson has kept eight clean sheets in his opening 16 matches for the Reds.

However, Alisson admits he’s feeling the pressure of his price tag as he is expected to be ‘perfect’ at all times.

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The Brazilian was caught out earlier this season at Leicester when his willingness to play it out from the back led to Rachid Ghezzal’s second-half goal.

Asked about his start at Liverpool, Alisson replied: ‘The Premier League has great intensity.

‘You have to be really focused all the time. One thing that is important here is the concentration and focus. They are asking me to be really mentally strong.

The Brazilian has kept eight clean sheets for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)‘My team have a really great defence, so it’s not often the ball comes near my net.

‘But I have one or two opportunities to show my quality, so I need to be focused all the time.’

Jurgen Klopp was prepared to pay a world-record fee for Alisson (Picture: Getty)Alisson admits that adapting to the Premier League has not been ‘easy’ but he is determined to be a success on Merseyside.

‘I came here for a high price and some people expect to me to be perfect. It’s not easy, but I’m trying,’ he added.

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‘It’s too early to say if I’m satisfied with how I’m playing, but I’m working to be perfect, I’m working to be better.

‘I’m really, really happy with my move to the Premier League. I’m working really hard to help Liverpool to achieve their goals and also for the Brazil national team.’

Jurgen Klopp ready to smash Liverpool’s transfer record with £85m bid for Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele is firmly on Jurgen Klopp’s radar (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp is reportedly pushing Liverpool to launch an £85million offer for Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele.

Dembele, 21, has had a frustrating time since arriving at the Nou Camp in August 2017 and disciplinary problems are believed to be hampering the youngster’s development.

Didier Deschamps revealed earlier this week that Dembele consistently turns up late for France training but Klopp is ready to take a punt on the temperamental World Cup winner.

According to The Sun, Klopp is looking to bolster his attacking options this winter and believes the addition of Dembele can significantly boost Liverpool’s title chances.

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Klopp would have to smash Liverpool’s transfer record once again after spending £75m on Virgil van Dijk last January.

Barca splashed out £135.5m on Dembele ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, though, and will be reluctant to make a massive loss on the Frenchman.

Didier Deschamps on Ousmane Dembele earlier this week

‘Ousmane has been with us for a while. That’s his usual trick to be late, but in his defence, I’m sure he’ll say: “I’m not the only one.”

‘Whether at a big club like Barcelona, in the French national team or elsewhere, he has to pay attention to that.

‘It’s part of the life and requirements of a professional footballer.

‘He must improve to prevent it from becoming negative. These are situations that can be repeated. The sooner he understands that, the better for everyone.’

Didier Deschamps admits that Ousmane Dembele turns up late for training (Picture: Getty)Dembele was dropped from Ernesto Valverde’s squad for Barca’s clash with Real Betis after the former Borussia Dortmund forward apparently breached team rules.

It was reported that Dembele failed to properly inform club officials of his illness but his agent, Moussa Sissoko, laughed off the speculation.

‘All these criticisms make me laugh. It had already begun with a so-called delay at the meeting before the Champions League match against Inter,’ Sissoko told RMC Sport.

‘I am surprised very serious newspapers can report this information because Ousmane didn’t arrive late. His coach has confirmed the fact he was not in the starting XI was not due to a delay.’

Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to spend £85m on Ousmane Dembele (Picture: Getty)Sissoko insisted that Dembele really was ill and poured cold water on rumours that the youngster could be on his way out of Barcelona.

‘It is true that Ousmane was sick [before Betis],’ Sissoko added.

‘He had not slept all night, he was very tired. He missed the morning training and what the club has blamed us for is that he did not provide notification so a doctor can come to assess him.

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‘He did that late. But he was sick, the club confirmed he had a (gastrointestinal illness), he missed training because of that. I’m surprised we can make controversy when he is sick.

‘Ousmane continues to work. He is in a big club, he is in the national team and Didier Deschamps continues to call him. He is very much demanding of the players’ behavior and their performances, so if Ousmane is today in the French team, he deserves it.

‘I also had Eric Abidal [Barcelona sporting director] on the phone and he is very happy with Ousmane, he told me he was training very well. He does not question him at all right now.’

Virgil van Dijk should be shouting at frustrated Roberto Firmino, says Liverpool legend John Aldridge

Virgil van Dijk could help get the best out of Roberto Firmino, says John Aldridge (BPI/REX)Virgil van Dijk has been urged to bring the best out of an ‘out of sorts’ Roberto Firmino by Liverpool legend John Aldridge.

Firmino has scored just one goal in his last 11 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And in the 2-0 win over Fulham on Sunday, the Brazilian was dropping too deep in midfield to have much of an impact Liverpool’s attacking play.

Aldridge believes Firmino is ‘frustrated’ because he is not constantly involved in Liverpool’s build-up play but feels Van Dijk should be urging the Brazilian to hold his position in attack.

‘Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Fulham couldn’t paper over the cracks when it comes to how badly Roberto Firmino is struggling right now,’ Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.

Roberto Firmino has scored only one goal in his last 11 appearances (Getty Images)‘Firmino is just out of sorts completely – I don’t know what’s wrong with him mentally – but he’s just not on the same wavelength as anyone else on the pitch.

‘He’s getting that frustrated he’s coming to the back four to try and receive possession.

‘They should be shouting at him. If I were Virgil van Dijk I’d be telling him to get up the park and not [be] cluttering things up for the midfield players.

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‘But that’s frustration from the lad, because it’s not happening for him up there he wants to come back and get hold of the ball.

‘Firmino wants to get touches but he shouldn’t want to back there – he’s a forward – and needs to be dragging the opposition centre-half away.

‘He doesn’t even look like scoring right now but he’s pivotal to Liverpool with his movement and little deft touches in and around the 18-yard box.’

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