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Monday Kickoff: Liverpool stocking up; Real Madrid after Pogba; and more

DivockOrigiBelgium3-RussiaWorldCup2014 (Getty)


Few teams have been as busy this summer as Liverpool FC, and the Merseyside club are showing no signs of slowing down during the transfer window.

Liverpool are on the verge of signing Belgium National Team forward Divock Origi and Serbia and Benfica winger Lazar Markovic in deals that are estimated to cost around £35 million in transfer fees, according to reports in the English press. Origi has impressed in his first international tournament and Liverpool likely see the 19-year-old as a depth signing to play behind Daniel Sturridge.

Markovic meanwhile is coming off a strong year with Benfica and at age 20, is prime to move on to a bigger league and prove his talents in both the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

Liverpool, who are expected to offload the mercurial striker Luis Suarez this summer, are also in talks to sign their third Southampton player of the summer, Dejan Lovren. Brendan Rodgers’ club have already wrapped up the signings of Ricky Lambert, Adam Lallana, and German youngster Emre Can.

Here are some more stories to start off your Monday:


In a move that looks oddly similar to trading of players in American sports, Real Madrid are willing to part with a prized asset if it means they can acquire Paul Pogba.

The French international is at the top of the list for many teams and Real Madrid are no exception. Juventus currently have the 21-year-old midfielder locked up until 2016 but manager Antonio Conte is an admirer of Angel Di Maria and would be willing to let Pogba leave in return for Di Maria and cash, according to reports in France.

Real Madrid are already reportedly bringing in another central midfielder in Toni Kroos this summer and are interested in acquiring James Rodriguez from Monaco, though the negotiations for that potential deal have not begun.

Di Maria suffered a thigh injury in Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Belgium last Saturday and is more than likely going to miss the rest of the World Cup due to the injury. In addition to Juventus, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly highly interested in the Argentine star.


Brazil have appealed Thiago Silva’s yellow card, though it looks very unlikely to be rescinded. (REPORT)

Galatasaray have appointed former Italy National Team head coach Cesare Prandelli as the Turkish club’s new head coach. (REPORT)

Former Arsenal and Chelsea left back Ashley Cole is on the verge of signing with AS Roma. (REPORT)

Young Schalke 04 midfielder Leon Goretzka has suffered a hamstring tear in a training match and will miss at least eight weeks of action. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid are eying Zenit St. Petersburg midfielders Cristian Ansaldi and Axel Witsel. (REPORT)

Algeria National Team head coach Vahid Halilhodzic has resigned from his position, despite a plea from the president of the country. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you see Liverpool completing these deals? Do you expect to see Markovic and Origi play a lot during the season? How would Paul Pogba fit into Real Madrid’s squad if acquired?

Share your thoughts below.


    • Tall, lanky yet smooth players like him tend to look lazy compared to other players and not just in soccer. They just make it look so easy.

  1. love what Brendan Rogers is doing with Liverpool! Has them trending young and continental. He’s trying to identify the talent before they get on the Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea radar screen. Love that approach!

    Also love the move for Turkey picking up Prandelli! They have too much raw talent not to qualify for the next Euros and World Cup

    • Agreed, would have loved to see Yedlin going there and playing/growing with Sturridge, Sterling and the rest of that young crew. Rodgers is a great manager especially with young players. He gives them a chance but still provides that discipline that they need at that age.

      • I really don’t want any USMNT player in England. They don’t have a winter break and it seems to wear players down. I’d rather see them in the Dutch, Spanish, German or Italian league. Plus Liverpool wanted Yedlin to go one trial with them. What an insult. I don’t remember the last time I heard a WC player having to prove himself at a trial right after the WC especially one that played well.

      • So you expect them to just throw some millions at him after only watching him play a couple of games?
        Not going to happen. Especially an American player with their history of flopping in the EPL.

      • People put to much stock in a certain league and not enough in the right team, coach and situation. Now I could be wrong and it could be a horrible fit in reality, but with what B. Rodgers is doing at Liverpool right now, I could see it as being a perfect place for Yedlin…Obviously this is all hypothetical.

        Also, Dempsey, Howard, Guzan, Friedal, Mcbride and others seemed to handle the rigors of the BPL quite well. Yedlin seems like the athlete with the type of build that could handle it.

  2. Real is about to become a dream team if they make that move, amongst others. Assuming Modric, di Maria & Illara are heading out… this is quite the XI:



    • Kroos may be going there, where is a silly buy because they already have modric. I dont see pogba going there, and i dont really see james going there. Many say james rodriguez needs to go to a big club, in fact he’s actually at a big club with tons of money to spend.

      • James is at a very rich club, not a very big club. They are well known and have had success before (because of their money) but they average less than 10k in attendance…guess it depends on your definition of a big club.

      • “Rodriguez recently revealed his passion for Real Madrid, as saying: ‘It would be a dream to play there. It is the best league in the world. I prefer Real Madrid to Barcelona.’ “

      • I would define a big club by how much they win, not their average attendance. That’s why Newcastle fans still believe they’re a big club even though they’ve won basically nothing in the last 80 years or so.

      • why? Kroos would cost Madrid £20M, James would cost £40M (his buyout clause), while Juve want to trade Pogba for Di Maria plus cash. according to transfermarkt, Pogba is worth just short of £40M while Di Maria is worth about £24M. that leaves Juve probably asking for about £16M. in total it would be £76M (Bale cost about £80M) for those three players.

      • I will eat my shoe if Pogba goes for 40 mil pounds, I believe PSG has already bid more than that in the past. That site is good for a baseline but Pogba’s isn’t going for that little.

      • the key is Juve said they are willing to make it happen if they get Di Maria. i agree that the website is usually a baseline, so take it with a grain of salt, but it won’t be significantly more. not to a point that would price Madrid out. not with Di Maria involved in the deal and Juve really wanting him.

        we’ll see!

    • Just because there is all this individual talent doesn’t mean they can play well collectively.
      Think of all the egos that need to be managed. One time, they also had :

      Robben, Sneijder, Van Nistelrooy, Higuain, Robinho, Saviola, Julio Baptista, Cannavaro

      Robben and Sneijder did not play well until they left Real Madrid. They thrived as big
      fish in small pond.

      • I wouldn’t say that Robben and Sneijder can only make it in small ponds. Both of them won the UCL with Bayern and Inter respectively. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

      • Bayern and Inter are great teams, but they are not at the galatico level as Real Madrid. Maybe they know the secret that you can have too many superstar players for them to work well collectively.

        BM have Robben, Ribery and …
        Inter have Guarin, Palacio and …

      • I would put Bayern on the same level as Real, especially in the last decade. However Inter is clearly a couple notches behind.

      • The point isn’t debating which team is better, but which team has more galatico type of players. With too many of them, there is no guarantee all the single individual qualities can be put together to play collectively as a team.

        BM is successful because they play well collectively, just as Barca. RM on the the other hand always seem to struggle collectively with their great individual players.

      • Fair enough and you make a valid point. Just adding more superstars isn’t always the answer.

    • i don’t see Modric going anywhere…or Illara. i think Xabi and Casemiro have more to worry about than Modric or Illara. i think Kroos, Rodirguez, Isco, and Modric will effectively be competing against each other while Khedira, Pogba, Xabi, Illara, and Casemiro would be competing.

      as much as it sucks, it sounds like Di Maria will be moving on. if not, Carlo has used him as a “LCM” in a 4-3-3 regularly, so that would just be more competition. to me, i would say these players, of the ones listed above and assuming Di Maria is gone, would be my personal focus (in no particular order):

      Rodriguez, Pogba, Modric, Isco, Illara, Kroos, and Khedira.

      and like you said, then you consider CR, Bale, and Benz are there…along with Jese and Morata. that’s a pretty balanced attack and midfield.

  3. Not sure how Atletico Madrid expect to be able to afford Witsel, they aren’t exactly flush with cash and he was bought for 45 mil euros just two years ago.


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