Tuesday 20 March 2018

Liverpool face wait for Teixeira as Shakhtar dig in over transfer fee

Liverpool's Joao Carlos Teixeira. Photo: Phil Noble via Reuters
Liverpool's Joao Carlos Teixeira. Photo: Phil Noble via Reuters

Jamie Holland

Liverpool appear to have been priced out of a January move for striker Alex Teixeira after Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive Sergei Palkin set the fee at £53 million - for a summer transfer.

The Reds opened negotiations with the Ukrainians last week, making an initial offer of £24m. That was immediately declined and, although talks have continued, the two parties are so far apart in their valuation of the 26-year-old Brazilian, it now seems unlikely there will be any deal done before the transfer window closes.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he has not given any thought to Daniel Sturridge's long-term future even though he does not know when the England forward might return to fitness.

Sturridge has managed just 106 minutes over three matches since Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers at Anfield and is not in contention for today's English FA Cup fourth-round match against West Ham or next Tuesday's trip to Premier League leaders Leicester after more interruptions to his training schedule.

Since he moved to Merseyside three years ago, Sturridge has been unavailable for 54.8pc of his time at the club.

"I don't know what happens after Leicester," said Klopp. "Daniel is still working. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's a bit worse because of one or the other issues.

"He has done a lot of sessions in the last few weeks but it is always interrupted through a few breaks so he needs consistency in sessions and that is what we try to do.

"I've seen him playing, I've seen him a few times in training and there is no doubt about his quality but that is not the thing to think about.

"I am not here to think about what happens with a player in the future. We have to work in this moment together with Daniel on his fitness."

West Ham have already beaten Liverpool twice this season and manager Slaven Bilic is aiming to field a strong team at Anfield this evening as he attempts to complete an unlikely hat-trick.

"If I didn't believe that we could go through then we would put kids in again as we have a big game next Tuesday against Aston Villa," Bilic said. "But I really believe we have a chance to knock them out.

"Liverpool are on fire because of their result on Tuesday, they play at home, and they have some great players, of course.


"But, on the other hand, we want it, we are hungry, we have a good team, we are in good form and we have been quite consistent throughout the whole season. Of course, we are very, very optimistic."

Bilic expects Liverpool to make several changes after their marathon League Cup semi-final against Stoke last Tuesday, but the Croat believes that the best way to maintain fitness is by playing games and that constant competition helps to keep players fresh.

"When you get yourself in the rhythm of playing, there is no better way to maintain fitness than by playing and playing and playing," he claimed.

"If it was the other way round then the big clubs like Barcelona or Real Madrid, or the ones who are playing in the Champions League or all the cups would never have their players fit to play in all the games they do."

Irish Independent

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