Liverpool v Real Madrid: Champions League final pictures
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Real Madrid could get one over on Liverpool for the second time in a matter of days after initiating ‘direct contact’ with Monaco over the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni. The Reds are reportedly among the interested parties trying to rival Los Blancos for the midfielder’s signature, but may need to get a move on to avoid missing out.
Top clubs from around Europe began to seriously take note of Tchouameni’s potential last summer, and Chelsea supposedly came close to pulling the trigger. With another year of experience under his belt, the Frenchman’s stock has only increased and he looks certain to leave Monaco over the coming weeks.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid have stepped up their pursuit by initiating ‘new contact’ with the French club, and they are now in ‘direct talks’ for the player. Liverpool and PSG remain in the mix, but may need to act quickly before Real make more progress.
In years gone by, interest from the Spanish giants would have rendered the situation a foregone conclusion. But the Kylian Mbappe saga, in which he turned his back on a summer move in favour of staying in France, could set a new trend.
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At least that’s what the Reds will hope if they are to retain the motivation to press on with a swoop for Tchouameni. Missing out to Madrid for the second time in a week would be a crushing blow for Jurgen Klopp, after he and his players were left devastated by losing the Champions League final.
The Reds went into the clash as clear favourites to lift their third trophy of the campaign, but they were unable to mount a response to Vinicius Jr’s tap-in. Klopp and the squad were still in relatively good spirits for an open-top bus parade upon their return to Merseyside, which was met with a healthy turnout of fans.
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Liverpool’s ageing midfield contingent could prompt transfer market action this summer, whether they land Tchouameni or not. Steven Gerrard urged his former side to recruit a number eight who can reach doubles figures every season, and while the defensive-minded Monaco star does not quite fit that brief, he has been a mainstay in Ligue 1 for the past two seasons which has helped him break into the French national team.
Klopp may also be tasked with the daunting matter of replacing Senegalese sensation Sadio Mane. Entering the final year of his contract, the flying forward has supposedly decided that it is time to take on a new challenge, and Bayern Munich are reportedly ready to capitalise.
The developments come contrary to Mane’s stance prior to the Champions League final, which suggested that he was set to stick around. “I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure,” he said. “It’s special. I will give you all you want to hear then.
“I love what I am doing and I sacrifice myself all the time. I am working hard every single day on the pitch and in the gym and I get better and better, that’s the most important. I am trying my best to help the team.”
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