Football NewsTuesday 22nd November 2016

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Liverpool ‘want Southampton duo’, Man City, United and Chelsea track 'new Luis Figo'

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Liverpool ‘want Southampton duo’, Man City, United and Chelsea track 'new Luis Figo'

Claude Puel has made an impressive start as Southampton manager and this is because he has continued a rich tradition that was started by his illustrious predecessors Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino.

Just like they did, before every match the Frenchman makes an impassioned motivational speech in the changing room, where he reminds each and every one of his players that if they perform well enough, they can reach the pinnacle of football - the promised land for any Saints player. That with bravery and determination, they too can one day sign for Liverpool.

The latest players to be inspired by this message - and by the famous stories of Anfield legends such as Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert - are Virgil van Dijk and Sam McQueen.

The Star reports that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wants to make the defensive duo the next players to make the well-trodden route from St Mary’s to Anfield.

As is the tradition, Saints will be compensated handsomely for the transfer. An offer of £40m is predicted to be forthcoming in January, as Klopp seeks to solve his problem positions of centre-back and left-back.

An even more well-trodden route is the one that Steven Gerrard repeatedly made from his house to Anfield over the past 20 years, and he could be about to retrace his steps. The Mirror says the former Reds midfielder turned down the chance to manage MK Dons because he wants to become a coach at Liverpool instead.

In further manager gossip, the Sun says Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew will be sacked if his side loses to Swansea next weekend.

The Eagles board are said to be “almost out of patience” with Pards after five straight defeats and could turn to Chris Coleman or Sam Allardyce to replace him.

But perhaps Allardyce, or Pardew for that matter, might be more intrigued by the possibility of a vacancy at West Ham.

The Telegraph reports that Slaven Bilic is “under increasing pressure” at London Stadium and the Hammers board are “considering other options” including Eddie Howe, Rudi Garcia, Rafa Benitez and Roberto Mancini. No mention of Allardyce or Pardew yet unfortunately, but that’s just a matter of time after all the others reject them.

Elsewhere, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are planning to send scouts to watch Sporting Lisbon starlet Gelson Martins - dubbed “the next Luis Figo” (Sun), Leicester and Southampton are plotting a move for Swansea’s £15m-rated Gambian winger Modou Barrow (Mirror) and Valencia are the latest club tipped to help West Ham out by taking up Simone Zaza’s loan deal in January (Express). The details of that deal are the subject of much debate but the latest data suggests the Italian’s move to east London will automatically become permanent if he plays 20 games, scores a goal or makes first contact with extra-terrestrials - whichever comes first.

@darlingkevin

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