Liverpool are just over a month away from starting to defend their Premier League crown.
The Reds secured a long-awaited league title this summer and now have only a few more weeks before the 2020/21 campaign begins in September.
Despite the new season just a few weeks from resuming, much of the conversation around Anfield has been about potential newcomers.
The whole hill Kostas Tsimikas is expected to come from Olympiacos this week, but what about some other new recruits?
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ECHO’s Reds correspondent Paul Gorst has answered questions about Liverpool̵
Below is a complete transcript of webchat:
Gini Wijnaldum will sign a new contract? If not, is Liverpool considering selling him in this transfer window?
PG: This is really insecure, right?
I was told that Liverpool made the decision in a lockdown to protect all contract negotiations and transfer discussions, which meant that there would be some progress in Wijnaldum’s situation.
Now it’s still going on again, and that’s one of the club’s biggest issues right now.
He played 37 times last season in the Premier League so he is clearly a big name for Jurgen Klopp, so it is impossible to suggest that the club does not want to renew its business.
The ball may be in his court but when he is in the last 12 months, the club has a big decision to make.
Personally, I do not think they will download him. They will do their utmost to make sure he signs.
Who is the most realistic replacement for Dejan Lovren?
PG: Tough one, I’m convinced Ben White was scouted during much of last season’s championship campaign at Leeds.
And I think there is – or at least was – interest in Sevilla Diego Carlos earlier this year. His request for a price or emission clause may be a bit on the high side now.
Liverpool, however, need an experienced center-back to cover the loss of Lovren. He played over 200 Premier League matches for Liverpool and Southampton.
A young person who comes to replace him is a big issue.
Is there any truth in Ismaila Sarr as a possible transfer? If so, would that not hinder Harvey Elliot’s progress?
PG: There are, but it’s not as black and white as saying he’s coming to Liverpool.
At the end of last week, I was told that he is one of a number of options that have been looked at and tracked.
His profile fits the bill as far as backing up to the top three with high potential ceilings.
Like the hunt for Jamal Lewis, Liverpool probably feel they can draw quality from a relegated side.
The problem, however, may be the price.
Watford paid £ 25m for him last summer and he has only strengthened his reputation in the Premier League. I would not be too sure to say that he will be a Reds player before the end of the transfer window, but I have confirmed that he is interested.
As for Elliott’s progress, he has only recently turned 17 in recent months, so there is absolutely no pressure on him to claim a more regular place in the first team.
The club has high hopes for him and sees him as a long-term Liverpool player for the next ten years at least, so the arrival of someone older to fight for a place in the top three is not considered a massive obstacle for Elliott right. now.
I have always been under the impression that we would see some developments with the Thiago transfer when his season ends with Bayern Munich in Lisbon. Do you think there will be contact between us and Bavaria when their campaign is over?
PG: It is a sensible thought, but I have been told on two separate occasions that Thiago Alcantara is not being considered in Liverpool’s recruiting room.
It seems that he is anxious to leave Bayern Munich this summer and why would he not want to come to Liverpool right now?
But no, I do not think he will sign for the Reds. All the noise from this deal seems to come from the end of Bavaria.
At 29 years old, I’m not sure he has the profile the club is looking at.
Although, of course, he is a quality player.
Klopp traditionally likes new recruits early, do you expect movement at further signings before the Evian training camp?
PG: Traditionally, Klopp preferred his signings at the door early.
Every manager would tell the same thing, but with the window open until the first week of October and the club still largely assessing its finances, I think it may be possible that we see movement a little later than usual.
Klopp said a couple of weeks ago that the club would play something of a waiting game so it looks like that will be the plan.
The club confirms another trip to Evian-les-Bains but Klopp is keen to make it happen.
Last year, the Reds played Lyon in Geneva, close to where their training camp was based and I know the boss is a big fan of the intense work he can do there.
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Is there any interest in Ozan Kabak?
PG: No. My colleague Connor Dunn recently wrote that he is not a player under consideration.
Has Liverpool gathered any friendships before the season?
PG: As of now, the club has no concrete plans for the season.
They are back at Melwood today after two weeks off, so plans may start to take more shape in the next few days in terms of friendship.
I do not think we will see too many.
The club also has Community Shield to compete at the end of this month.
We saw a few months ago that the club could arrange a friendship with Blackburn fairly quickly, so I would suggest that it could be a similar type of program with some Anfield friendships behind closed doors against teams within 50 miles or so.
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Premier League champions Liverpool end their first signing of the summer after agreeing a deal for Kostas Tsimikas.
Olympiaco’s defender has emerged as the Red’s top scorer to compete with Andy Robertson on the left back.
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Has the club got a new sponsor for shirt sleeves? Something in the pipeline when it comes to sponsorship at the training site?
PG: The club is talking, I think, when it comes to sponsoring sleeves.
Their agreement with Western Union recently ended and there is another way they can explore as a revenue stream.
However, I doubt that the club will put a naming right on the new training site.
The club has investigated the possibility of naming the stand when Anfield Road is expanded, but it is early days for that.
It shows that the club is at least open to that sponsorship area. But nothing in the pipeline as far as I know with the new Kirkby facility.
How long has the club been tracking Kostas Tsimikas? Is he better than Jamal Lewis?
PG: The club has been aware of Tsimikas for about three years.
Scouts were sent to Willem II to keep track of Pedro Chirivella’s development when they noticed Tsimika’s and his ability.
So Liverpool have been keeping an eye on it ever since.
But as expansive and extensive as their scouting network is, they will be aware of so many players across Europe.
I have no idea if he’s “better” than Jamal Lewis.
I can not say that I have seen him (Tsimikas) much other than the odd Europa League game against Arsenal and Wolves.
Lewis was highly ranked and the fact that he was the first one they offer speaks volumes but Tsimikas also has lots of pedigrees.
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