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Barca set to beat Liverpool, United to young defender



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TOP STORY: Destination Barcelona for Junior Firpo

Barcelona look set to become the front-runners in the pursuit of Real Betis defender Junior Firpo as the Spanish club

The news will not be music to the ears of Manchester United or Liverpool, both of whom have been linked to the 22-year-old over the summer

Barcelona had an initial bid of £ 18 million rejected, with Betis hoping their Spanish counterparts could go as high as £ 27m to take him off their hands. It's thought that Firpo could come in to compete with Jordi Alba at left-back. Other options Ernesto Valverde is reportedly considering David Alaba, Ricardo Rodriguez and Raphael Guerreiro

However, the Dominican Republic-born Spain under-21 international is versatile enough to play on the left or center-back if required, meaning

If Barca does not get a deal over the line, one of those Premier League rivals could still pounce

LIVE BLOG

08.00 BST: Jurgen Klopp has ruled out and Liverpool return for Philippe Coutinho telling ESPN FC he hopes the midfielder "finds his luck at Barcelona."

The 27-year-old left Anfield for Camp Nou in a £ 142 million deal in January 2018, but it has found it extremely difficult to cement and start a spot in the center of the park for La Liga's champions or win over their fans

Liverpool has been an easy and obvious link given Coutinho's four-and-a-half happy years on Mers (19659007) And while Klopp greatly appreciates the Brazilian international as a player and person, he will not sanction a massive outlay

"In general, Phil Coutinho helps everybody in the world, still – 100%," Klopp told ESPN FC during an exclusive interview in New York during Liverpool's pre-season tour. "It's not like that. I like Phil, I think he's a fantastic footballer and all that stuff, but it would be a big big big big big money signing and it's not our year for that.

"It's just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better – we included – but I really hope that he finds his luck at Barcelona

"Or maybe he found it there. I know exactly how he is doing, but the rest is just a newspaper talk and stuff like that.

"If everything was true what newspapers write about me – wow! If it's similar to what they write about me, I'd say he's completely happy at Barcelona and wants to sign a new six-year contract or whatever. "

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp tells ESPN FC's Melissa Reddy that re-signing Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona would take "big, big money" and "it's not our year for that."

PAPER TALK (by Steve Wright): Klopp rules out move for Bale

Gareth Bale Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said, speaking to Sky Sports.

Bale is desperately looking for a new club after a recent fallout with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane led the latter to say that it would be "best for everyone" if the Welshmen left.It was rumored that Bale could be joining the Chinese side of Jiangsu Suning, but that depended on meeting his exorbitant wage demands

Giving his thoughts on Bale's link to Liverpool, Klopp said: "He's an outstanding player. I like him a lot, but it's not about him. You have to create a team. A team is not a collection of the best individual players. They have to work together. "

United target Longstaff staying put

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has warned that midfielder Sean Longstaff will not be sold, amid speculation that Manchester United has lining up a £

Bruce, recently appointed the new boss at Newcastle following Rafael Benitez's departure, did not coin his words, saying: "We do not want to sell our best young players, that's for sure. So that will not happen. I am very confident of that. "

Belleving that Longstaff will be a key figure in Newcastle's squad going forward, Bruce likened him to the former United Midfielder Michael Carrick

– Rumour Rater:
– All major completed transfer deals

Tap-ins

– After Atletico Madrid supposedly ended their interest in Christian Eriksen Manchester United has been asked to be kept updated on the situation regarding the Spurs playmaker, according to Daily Mail. The Danish international has just one year left on his contract at Tottenham and could be sold for around

– Not about to let and transfer ban to stop them from being involved in the rumour mill, Chelsea have joined West Ham and Ajax in keeping tabs on Portsmouth youngster Leon Maloney The Sun reports. The 18-year-ol D, often deployed as a winger, scored an impressive 26 goals for the club's last season, and Chelsea is hoping they will be able to reduce their ban and snap to Maloney up in January


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