Paul is here with all of today’s LFC news including Liverpool reportedly inquiring about Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain, there will be no punishment for the Reds regarding Virgil Van Dijk, Danny Ings is back in training, Shrewsbury have become the first English team to introduce safe standing and Markovic could move to Watford for £12m.
Liverpool are to receive no punishment as a consequence of the recent Virgil Van Dijk “tapping up” saga that has been a prominent part of LFC news over the recent weeks. The Reds were forced to apologise for Southampton for meeting with the player in person in Blackpool without permission, and on the 7th June officially declared they had dropped interest in the player, completing perhaps one of the most well known transfer f*ck-ups in recent history. That apology was accepted by the Saints and, despite reports that Liverpool could be punished by the FA, it was confirmed today that the matter will be taken no further based on ‘insufficient evidence’ to bring charges.
As a side note to that story, The Times writer Matt Hughes has claimed that FSG will not be going back in for Van Dijk despite some media outlets claiming the move could still be on. The owners are concerned about the branding and reputation of the club in the transfer market. Make of that what you will, but perhaps we should be questioning why Paul Joyce of The Times, a journalist with closer ties to Liverpool, isn’t the one reporting this.
Some good news emerging for Liverpool yesterday was that of Danny Ings returning to training after being sidelined with another devastating knee injury in November. It was a real blow for the forward as the injury was sustained not longer after recovering from a similar injury in the other knee. (Although, if you had a girlfriend like his, you’d probably want to be at home as much as possible too!) The striker posted a video of him kicking footballs and doing training exercises at Melwood onto his Instagram account (where, coincidentally, you can also find pictures of his girlfriend for anyone interested). You can also check it out on our Facebook page here. It’s potentially too early in the recovery process for Ings to have a real part to play in the pre-season campaign, but it’s certainly an encouraging sign to see him taking part in kicking a ball. With some luck, we may be able to have him back at full fitness again by Christmas.
The main story for Liverpool today is perhaps the Daily Mirror revealing last night that they have made contact with Arsenal over a potential signing of winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The involvement of respected journalists Dave Maddock and John Cross certainly gives the story some substance, although by all means, journalists are journalists and no one is putting 100% of their faith in either of those guys any time soon. Chelsea and Manchester City are thought to be monitoring the situation as it is thought that Chamberlain would rather leave than sign a new contract at the Emirates. However, the strained relationship between the two clubs after the Luis Suarez saga (what were they smoking over at the Emirates?) in 2013 still could prove an issue for Liverpool in trying to get this deal over the line.
Finally, in news unrelated to LFC, Shrewsbury Town (League 1) announced yesterday that they are attempting to crowd-fund a safe standing section in their ground. It’s been a topic discussed at length in recent months, and Shrewsbury are the first club to move forward with plans to install a 400 seat rail-seated section in the ground. It looks unlikely that Liverpool will entertain the prospect in including this at Anfield at any point in the near-future, but could this be the way forward for English football?