Liverpool notebook - officials dismiss manager talks after secret flight raises eyebrows at club

Ruben Amorim is questioned by reporters at Lisbon airport
Ruben Amorim is questioned by reporters at Lisbon airport -Credit:CMTV

Liverpool return to Premier League action when they host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon in Jurgen Klopp's penultimate match at Anfield.

Having seen their title hopes all but ended with a frustrating April, the visit from Ange Postecoglu's side is the first of a three-game run before the campaign ends at home to Wolves on May 19 and the Reds still have a chance to secure 84 points, which would be their fifth highest of the Premier League era.

Ahead of Sunday's game, Paul Gorst brings you all the latest off-diary news in the ECHO's Liverpool Notebook.

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Liverpool duo to be assessed further

After Saturday's 2-2 draw with West Ham United, Liverpool's players were given three days off but Andy Robertson and Harvey Elliott will be assessed upon their return to training.

Both players limped away from the London Stadium after the 2-2 draw but crucially did not need the aid of crutches or braces, which are sometimes used as precautions for those who have suffered injuries during matches.

Elliott looked particularly despondent as he shuffled out on to the team bus and while it is hoped neither issue is serious the midfielder will be checked over alongside his colleague Robertson, who has already had a significant spell on the sidelines this term with a shoulder injury, picked up on Scotland duty back in October.

Liverpool currently have long-term absentees Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip sidelined alongside Diogo Jota, Ben Doak and Conor Bradley and Klopp will provide an update on both Robertson and Elliott in his Friday press conference.

Amorim antics raise eyebrows

Ruben Amorim's decision to hold 'secret' talks with West Ham United last week raised some eyebrows within the camp at Liverpool.

The Sporting manager was at one stage under consideration for the role that is soon to be vacated by Jurgen Klopp at Anfield before Liverpool entered into talks with Feyenoord for Arne Slot last week.

Amorim flew to London for talks with West Ham with Chelsea forced to come out and deny that the flight chartered to the capital was anything to do with them amid speculation over Mauricio Pochettino's own future at Stamford Bridge.

And while reports in some sections of the Portuguese press have claimed the flight was for talks with both West Ham and Liverpool with the blessing of Sporting, they have since been dismissed by some Anfield officials, with Slot now set to be appointed as Klopp's successor.

Amorim admitted it was a mistake on his part to fly to England last week with agent Raul Paid da Costa while the battle for the Premiera Liga title went on, saying on Saturday: "Let’s get the elephant out of the room. I’ll talk about this once. The first thing is that the club was aware of my trip. It’s important and changes the context.

"The second situation, talking about the cloak of secrecy surrounding the trip. I 'secretly' parked the car outside, passed around 15 people, took photos with people and got on the plane. Therefore, remove a little bit of that thing that was done behind our backs, mainly from the club.

"The most important point – my trip was a mistake. The timing was completely off, it didn’t seem right to me at the time. It was inappropriate, even more so when I am so demanding with my players, I am always the first to say that each one’s individual problems cannot be overcome by the team and, therefore, it was my fault.

"I have to accept it and live with it. Thinking coldly afterwards, it is very clear. It’s also not true that I didn’t explain to the players. I gave it to the players and the staff. Now it’s time to move forward, also using the public part to apologise to Sporting fans, the staff and especially, publicly, to my players."

Claims that Amorim was offered a £10m signing-on fee alongside a three-year deal worth £10m year to be the next manager have been discredited by Liverpool sources.

Quansah attracting Ghana interest

Having enjoyed a breakthrough season as a first-team player at Liverpool, Jarell Quansah is attracting international interest.

The England Under-20 international has yet to be called up to Gareth Southgate's senior side after an impressive term that has seen him make 30 appearances in total for Klopp's team.

Quansah may have to wait until after this summer's European championships before he is given a chance to impress on the international stage but his form this term will surely have made those within the national setup sit up and take note.

That is certainly the case with the Ghanaian international team, who are pursuing Quansah to pledge his allegiance to them going forward.

The Reds defender is eligible for Ghana on his father's side, with his grandfather believed to be a former international but is so far still of the belief he can eventually represent England at senior level.