Liverpool transfer round-up: Wijnaldum and Messi discussed by Klopp, Mane anger

Liverpool are preparing for the official start of their 2020/21 season, a campaign in which they’ll defend their status as champions of England for the first time in three decades.

The Reds’ season gets underway on Saturday with the Community Shield at Wembley against Arsenal, but while a battle for silverware takes place on the pitch, the club are spinning plenty of plates off it, too.

Several players have been linked with moves away from Anfield, with first-team players such as Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana having departed already to Zenit and Brighton respectively.

In terms of incomings, Kostas Tsimikas is the single new arrival, although Liverpool have also made a handful of youth signings this summer.

Jurgen Klopp’s side could make a couple of big moves in the transfer market, though, as they look to build on their recent success and – to use the words of the manager – attack another clutch of trophies. Here are the latest transfer rumours regarding the Anfield club.

Wijnaldum contract situation 'open', says Klopp

Georginio Wijnaldum has only a year left on his Liverpool contract and continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona.

Recent reports suggest he has not yet held talks with the Reds over an extension, and Klopp was asked about the Dutch midfielder and his potential exit ahead of the Community Shield.

The Liverpool boss didn’t, however, offer any firm indication of whether the midfielder would be staying on Merseyside.

“That’s an open contract situation, obviously, otherwise we would know,” the manager said.

“That means we don’t talk about it, that’s all. I never did, so why should I change it now? That’s all between us and the player, and all these kinds of things.

“It’s all good in the moment, it’s all fine. Gini looked very good in the pre-season, played obviously a couple of good seasons for us, so that's all I can say about that.”

It has been suggested that Wijnaldum might make way for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago to arrive at Anfield.

'No chance' of Liverpool entering Messi race

Not that it would have been expected, but Klopp has closed the door on any suggestion Liverpool will look to exploit Lionel Messi’s unhappiness at Barcelona.

The world’s finest player looks set to depart the Camp Nou as things stand, and Klopp fielded a question on him ahead of the match with Arsenal.

Naturally, there was no hesitation about acknowledging Messi’s quality, but the finances involved are little more than a fairytale for a club which is built on self-sustainability.

Klopp said: "Yeah, who doesn't want Messi in their team?! But no chance. The numbers are absolutely not for us. But… good player, to be honest!"

He also said that it would make Manchester City “more difficult” to beat if the Argentine joins Pep Guardiola at the Etihad, but expressed doubts over whether the move would eventually happen.

Mane 'very angry' after failed Real Madrid move

With reports surfacing of Barcelona having been offered Sadio Mane, Spanish media have revisited last summer and a potential switch to rivals Real Madrid.

The print edition of Diario Sport, via Sport Witness, claims members of Mane’s camp approached the Santiago Bernabeu club over the possibility of doing a deal, but it never went much further than that.

That’s because Liverpool refused to even entertain the notion of speaking to Real Madrid, leaving the No.10 “very angry” with his club and unhappy about the lack of a new contract.

Mane only signed a new contract in November 2018, seven months or so before the rumoured Real interest, so the latter claim seems somewhat spurious.

Awoniyi linked as Edouard replacement

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One player who definitely won’t be with the Reds this coming season is Taiwo Awoniyi.

The Nigerian striker does not have a work permit to play in England and has yet to feature for the Reds since signing five years ago.

The 23-year-old has been on loan at five different clubs in three different countries and the Daily Star says Celtic are keen on signing him.

They would be looking at him as a replacement for Odsonne Edouard, who could leave this summer after Celtic failed to reach the Champions League group stage.

A £9million fee is reported as being the price for Awoniyi, who was with Mainz in the Bundesliga last season.

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