Hamburg

Hamburg slideshow

No clubs sell their big stars in January - so why have Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho?

 “January is a difficult market to do business. No-one wants to sell their best players.” How often do you hear managers say this? The winter transfer window comes with a warning - don’t expect much; top performers are not available; it is the wrong time to buy and sell. Except, it seems, where Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho are concerned. I can’t understand Liverpool’s decision to sell Coutinho now. Not mid-season. No matter how much I hear about boyhood dreams; efforts to convince him to stay; and how much family, representatives or even sponsors pushed for it, why this month? The financial reward is vast. So is the risk. Liverpool are well placed to finish runners-up to Manchester City. They have a kind Champions League draw. The Liverpool team of January 2018 is superior to that of January 2005, which won the competition. They have lost just four of their last 44 games, continuously improving. Why endanger momentum? Regardless of how much Coutinho agitated, Liverpool could have stood firm. While some players such as Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk lost form after being denied their summer move, Coutinho was the opposite. He has never played better for Liverpool than between September and December this season. I am sure the Brazilian would have recovered from his disappointment for four more months. Klopp is losing an integral part of his team Credit: Getty images It was more risky to keep him in August than now. No-one knew how he would react on his return to the side. He demonstrated it was in his nature to always give 100 per cent, so why expect different in February? When the move was denied last summer the player and his agent must have expected he would be retained for the year. What changed? I agree the £142 million fee is astronomical. The transfer market is crazy, but for Coutinho to become the second most expensive player in world football is extraordinary. He has become an outstanding player, but he is not the best in the Premier League like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez when they made their moves to La Liga. He is behind Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. But I still fear a mid-season deal unnecessarily jeopardises Liverpool's Champions League place for next season. If they do not finish in the top four everyone will point at Coutinho’s sale.  Imagine the fillip for Liverpool’s top four rivals. If Kane ever leaves Spurs for Real Madrid, or Sanchez leaves Arsenal for Manchester City, their Champions League hopes will immediately diminish. Liverpool lost Suarez to Barcelona after missing out on the title in 2014 Credit: Reuters The frustration for Liverpool supporters is every time the club looks capable of challenging for top honours they become prey. They finished second to Manchester City and lost Luis Suarez. Before that we came second to Manchester United and lost Xabi Alonso. Liverpool are not alone in being forced to accept their place in the football pyramid. Barcelona and Madrid eventually get what they want. Even Manchester United had to submit to Real when Ronaldo wanted out. Losing stars is not a recent Anfield phenomenon, either. In 1977 the club sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg for a record fee. In 1984 they sold their captain Graeme Souness to Sampdoria at a time Italian football was the wealthiest in the world. In 1987 Ian Rush joined Juventus. The difference is they left with a sack full of trophies, Keegan and Souness as European Cup holders, while Rush had won the League/FA Cup Double a year earlier. Losing the player is not the biggest problem. It is when they leave, what they leave behind, and how well the void is filled that has been the greatest cause of Anfield stress. Liverpool sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg in 1977 Credit: Getty images Coutinho goes after five years without a trophy. For Torres it was the same. Suarez won just the League Cup. All left with the club craving a return to what it once was, having played their part in generating hope. They got close but then the rebuilding had to start afresh. That intensifies the dissatisfaction. You can accept and recover from major sales after a successful period, but not in the midst of reconstruction. Liverpool dipped after the exits of Alonso, Torres and Suarez. They panicked, believing they had to act to appease those demanding they reinvest. Inadequate replacements such as Alberto Aquilani, Andy Carroll and Mario Balotelli arrived. The three managers in charge at the time – Rafa Benitez, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers - were gone the following year. Huge sums were received and wasted. Bad transfers cost jobs. The Carroll fee kept rising because Newcastle knew Liverpool had the Torres cash. The rest of English football was laughing when it rose to £35 million.  Where the Coutinho departure differs is Liverpool have a more balanced squad now than in 2009, 2011 and 2014. They do not need to panic buy. If a long-term target can be signed they should act, but otherwise it is right to wait. Having been criticised a few year ago, Liverpool’s recruitment team has been more astute recently; Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez have proved to be exceptional signings. Virgil Van Dijk and the soon-to-arrive Naby Keita promise much. These recruits ensure Klopp can direct his resources on pursuing one or two high class players rather than six or seven, as was the case with the Suarez money. At the start of next season we will be seeing a fully-formed Klopp team rather than a developed version of the squad Rodgers left behind. Recruitment has certainly improved at Liverpool Credit: PA This makes me more optimistic longer-term than I was following the Suarez transfer.  Earlier this season I argued Liverpool may never win the title under Klopp. My reasoning is based on finances. City and United working in a different market. While Liverpool posses the Coutinho money, temporarily at least, that has changed. Klopp is in a better position to at least challenge his Premier League rivals for the most coveted stars. The £142 million brings opportunity. Since he joined Liverpool he has recouped £34 million more than he has invested. If he and his scouts continue to spend well, Liverpool will emerge stronger. Van Dijk’s arrival addresses the need for a centre-back. I will be staggered if Klopp does not target a more trustworthy goalkeeper. Too many people also appear to have forgotten Adam Lallana – England’s most technically gifted player – who will slot into the midfield role Coutinho has occupied for most of the season. Nothing will persuade me selling Coutinho now makes sense. Selling one of your best players can never be a cause for satisfaction. But the parallels with the sales Alonso, Torres and Suarez are not so valid. Liverpool are less fragile now. It is up to Klopp to succeed where both Benitez and Rodgers failed in 2009 and 2014 – ensuring a mega receipt of cash does not reverse a position of growing strength into one of debilitating weakness.

No clubs sell their big stars in January - so why have Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho?

 “January is a difficult market to do business. No-one wants to sell their best players.” How often do you hear managers say this? The winter transfer window comes with a warning - don’t expect much; top performers are not available; it is the wrong time to buy and sell. Except, it seems, where Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho are concerned. I can’t understand Liverpool’s decision to sell Coutinho now. Not mid-season. No matter how much I hear about boyhood dreams; efforts to convince him to stay; and how much family, representatives or even sponsors pushed for it, why this month? The financial reward is vast. So is the risk. Liverpool are well placed to finish runners-up to Manchester City. They have a kind Champions League draw. The Liverpool team of January 2018 is superior to that of January 2005, which won the competition. They have lost just four of their last 44 games, continuously improving. Why endanger momentum? Regardless of how much Coutinho agitated, Liverpool could have stood firm. While some players such as Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk lost form after being denied their summer move, Coutinho was the opposite. He has never played better for Liverpool than between September and December this season. I am sure the Brazilian would have recovered from his disappointment for four more months. Klopp is losing an integral part of his team Credit: Getty images It was more risky to keep him in August than now. No-one knew how he would react on his return to the side. He demonstrated it was in his nature to always give 100 per cent, so why expect different in February? When the move was denied last summer the player and his agent must have expected he would be retained for the year. What changed? I agree the £142 million fee is astronomical. The transfer market is crazy, but for Coutinho to become the second most expensive player in world football is extraordinary. He has become an outstanding player, but he is not the best in the Premier League like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez when they made their moves to La Liga. He is behind Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. But I still fear a mid-season deal unnecessarily jeopardises Liverpool's Champions League place for next season. If they do not finish in the top four everyone will point at Coutinho’s sale.  Imagine the fillip for Liverpool’s top four rivals. If Kane ever leaves Spurs for Real Madrid, or Sanchez leaves Arsenal for Manchester City, their Champions League hopes will immediately diminish. Liverpool lost Suarez to Barcelona after missing out on the title in 2014 Credit: Reuters The frustration for Liverpool supporters is every time the club looks capable of challenging for top honours they become prey. They finished second to Manchester City and lost Luis Suarez. Before that we came second to Manchester United and lost Xabi Alonso. Liverpool are not alone in being forced to accept their place in the football pyramid. Barcelona and Madrid eventually get what they want. Even Manchester United had to submit to Real when Ronaldo wanted out. Losing stars is not a recent Anfield phenomenon, either. In 1977 the club sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg for a record fee. In 1984 they sold their captain Graeme Souness to Sampdoria at a time Italian football was the wealthiest in the world. In 1987 Ian Rush joined Juventus. The difference is they left with a sack full of trophies, Keegan and Souness as European Cup holders, while Rush had won the League/FA Cup Double a year earlier. Losing the player is not the biggest problem. It is when they leave, what they leave behind, and how well the void is filled that has been the greatest cause of Anfield stress. Liverpool sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg in 1977 Credit: Getty images Coutinho goes after five years without a trophy. For Torres it was the same. Suarez won just the League Cup. All left with the club craving a return to what it once was, having played their part in generating hope. They got close but then the rebuilding had to start afresh. That intensifies the dissatisfaction. You can accept and recover from major sales after a successful period, but not in the midst of reconstruction. Liverpool dipped after the exits of Alonso, Torres and Suarez. They panicked, believing they had to act to appease those demanding they reinvest. Inadequate replacements such as Alberto Aquilani, Andy Carroll and Mario Balotelli arrived. The three managers in charge at the time – Rafa Benitez, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers - were gone the following year. Huge sums were received and wasted. Bad transfers cost jobs. The Carroll fee kept rising because Newcastle knew Liverpool had the Torres cash. The rest of English football was laughing when it rose to £35 million.  Where the Coutinho departure differs is Liverpool have a more balanced squad now than in 2009, 2011 and 2014. They do not need to panic buy. If a long-term target can be signed they should act, but otherwise it is right to wait. Having been criticised a few year ago, Liverpool’s recruitment team has been more astute recently; Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez have proved to be exceptional signings. Virgil Van Dijk and the soon-to-arrive Naby Keita promise much. These recruits ensure Klopp can direct his resources on pursuing one or two high class players rather than six or seven, as was the case with the Suarez money. At the start of next season we will be seeing a fully-formed Klopp team rather than a developed version of the squad Rodgers left behind. Recruitment has certainly improved at Liverpool Credit: PA This makes me more optimistic longer-term than I was following the Suarez transfer.  Earlier this season I argued Liverpool may never win the title under Klopp. My reasoning is based on finances. City and United working in a different market. While Liverpool posses the Coutinho money, temporarily at least, that has changed. Klopp is in a better position to at least challenge his Premier League rivals for the most coveted stars. The £142 million brings opportunity. Since he joined Liverpool he has recouped £34 million more than he has invested. If he and his scouts continue to spend well, Liverpool will emerge stronger. Van Dijk’s arrival addresses the need for a centre-back. I will be staggered if Klopp does not target a more trustworthy goalkeeper. Too many people also appear to have forgotten Adam Lallana – England’s most technically gifted player – who will slot into the midfield role Coutinho has occupied for most of the season. Nothing will persuade me selling Coutinho now makes sense. Selling one of your best players can never be a cause for satisfaction. But the parallels with the sales Alonso, Torres and Suarez are not so valid. Liverpool are less fragile now. It is up to Klopp to succeed where both Benitez and Rodgers failed in 2009 and 2014 – ensuring a mega receipt of cash does not reverse a position of growing strength into one of debilitating weakness.

No clubs sell their big stars in January - so why have Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho?

 “January is a difficult market to do business. No-one wants to sell their best players.” How often do you hear managers say this? The winter transfer window comes with a warning - don’t expect much; top performers are not available; it is the wrong time to buy and sell. Except, it seems, where Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho are concerned. I can’t understand Liverpool’s decision to sell Coutinho now. Not mid-season. No matter how much I hear about boyhood dreams; efforts to convince him to stay; and how much family, representatives or even sponsors pushed for it, why this month? The financial reward is vast. So is the risk. Liverpool are well placed to finish runners-up to Manchester City. They have a kind Champions League draw. The Liverpool team of January 2018 is superior to that of January 2005, which won the competition. They have lost just four of their last 44 games, continuously improving. Why endanger momentum? Regardless of how much Coutinho agitated, Liverpool could have stood firm. While some players such as Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk lost form after being denied their summer move, Coutinho was the opposite. He has never played better for Liverpool than between September and December this season. I am sure the Brazilian would have recovered from his disappointment for four more months. Klopp is losing an integral part of his team Credit: Getty images It was more risky to keep him in August than now. No-one knew how he would react on his return to the side. He demonstrated it was in his nature to always give 100 per cent, so why expect different in February? When the move was denied last summer the player and his agent must have expected he would be retained for the year. What changed? I agree the £142 million fee is astronomical. The transfer market is crazy, but for Coutinho to become the second most expensive player in world football is extraordinary. He has become an outstanding player, but he is not the best in the Premier League like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez when they made their moves to La Liga. He is behind Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. But I still fear a mid-season deal unnecessarily jeopardises Liverpool's Champions League place for next season. If they do not finish in the top four everyone will point at Coutinho’s sale.  Imagine the fillip for Liverpool’s top four rivals. If Kane ever leaves Spurs for Real Madrid, or Sanchez leaves Arsenal for Manchester City, their Champions League hopes will immediately diminish. Liverpool lost Suarez to Barcelona after missing out on the title in 2014 Credit: Reuters The frustration for Liverpool supporters is every time the club looks capable of challenging for top honours they become prey. They finished second to Manchester City and lost Luis Suarez. Before that we came second to Manchester United and lost Xabi Alonso. Liverpool are not alone in being forced to accept their place in the football pyramid. Barcelona and Madrid eventually get what they want. Even Manchester United had to submit to Real when Ronaldo wanted out. Losing stars is not a recent Anfield phenomenon, either. In 1977 the club sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg for a record fee. In 1984 they sold their captain Graeme Souness to Sampdoria at a time Italian football was the wealthiest in the world. In 1987 Ian Rush joined Juventus. The difference is they left with a sack full of trophies, Keegan and Souness as European Cup holders, while Rush had won the League/FA Cup Double a year earlier. Losing the player is not the biggest problem. It is when they leave, what they leave behind, and how well the void is filled that has been the greatest cause of Anfield stress. Liverpool sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg in 1977 Credit: Getty images Coutinho goes after five years without a trophy. For Torres it was the same. Suarez won just the League Cup. All left with the club craving a return to what it once was, having played their part in generating hope. They got close but then the rebuilding had to start afresh. That intensifies the dissatisfaction. You can accept and recover from major sales after a successful period, but not in the midst of reconstruction. Liverpool dipped after the exits of Alonso, Torres and Suarez. They panicked, believing they had to act to appease those demanding they reinvest. Inadequate replacements such as Alberto Aquilani, Andy Carroll and Mario Balotelli arrived. The three managers in charge at the time – Rafa Benitez, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers - were gone the following year. Huge sums were received and wasted. Bad transfers cost jobs. The Carroll fee kept rising because Newcastle knew Liverpool had the Torres cash. The rest of English football was laughing when it rose to £35 million.  Where the Coutinho departure differs is Liverpool have a more balanced squad now than in 2009, 2011 and 2014. They do not need to panic buy. If a long-term target can be signed they should act, but otherwise it is right to wait. Having been criticised a few year ago, Liverpool’s recruitment team has been more astute recently; Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez have proved to be exceptional signings. Virgil Van Dijk and the soon-to-arrive Naby Keita promise much. These recruits ensure Klopp can direct his resources on pursuing one or two high class players rather than six or seven, as was the case with the Suarez money. At the start of next season we will be seeing a fully-formed Klopp team rather than a developed version of the squad Rodgers left behind. Recruitment has certainly improved at Liverpool Credit: PA This makes me more optimistic longer-term than I was following the Suarez transfer.  Earlier this season I argued Liverpool may never win the title under Klopp. My reasoning is based on finances. City and United working in a different market. While Liverpool posses the Coutinho money, temporarily at least, that has changed. Klopp is in a better position to at least challenge his Premier League rivals for the most coveted stars. The £142 million brings opportunity. Since he joined Liverpool he has recouped £34 million more than he has invested. If he and his scouts continue to spend well, Liverpool will emerge stronger. Van Dijk’s arrival addresses the need for a centre-back. I will be staggered if Klopp does not target a more trustworthy goalkeeper. Too many people also appear to have forgotten Adam Lallana – England’s most technically gifted player – who will slot into the midfield role Coutinho has occupied for most of the season. Nothing will persuade me selling Coutinho now makes sense. Selling one of your best players can never be a cause for satisfaction. But the parallels with the sales Alonso, Torres and Suarez are not so valid. Liverpool are less fragile now. It is up to Klopp to succeed where both Benitez and Rodgers failed in 2009 and 2014 – ensuring a mega receipt of cash does not reverse a position of growing strength into one of debilitating weakness.

No clubs sell their big stars in January - so why have Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho?

 “January is a difficult market to do business. No-one wants to sell their best players.” How often do you hear managers say this? The winter transfer window comes with a warning - don’t expect much; top performers are not available; it is the wrong time to buy and sell. Except, it seems, where Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho are concerned. I can’t understand Liverpool’s decision to sell Coutinho now. Not mid-season. No matter how much I hear about boyhood dreams; efforts to convince him to stay; and how much family, representatives or even sponsors pushed for it, why this month? The financial reward is vast. So is the risk. Liverpool are well placed to finish runners-up to Manchester City. They have a kind Champions League draw. The Liverpool team of January 2018 is superior to that of January 2005, which won the competition. They have lost just four of their last 44 games, continuously improving. Why endanger momentum? Regardless of how much Coutinho agitated, Liverpool could have stood firm. While some players such as Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk lost form after being denied their summer move, Coutinho was the opposite. He has never played better for Liverpool than between September and December this season. I am sure the Brazilian would have recovered from his disappointment for four more months. Klopp is losing an integral part of his team Credit: Getty images It was more risky to keep him in August than now. No-one knew how he would react on his return to the side. He demonstrated it was in his nature to always give 100 per cent, so why expect different in February? When the move was denied last summer the player and his agent must have expected he would be retained for the year. What changed? I agree the £142 million fee is astronomical. The transfer market is crazy, but for Coutinho to become the second most expensive player in world football is extraordinary. He has become an outstanding player, but he is not the best in the Premier League like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez when they made their moves to La Liga. He is behind Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. But I still fear a mid-season deal unnecessarily jeopardises Liverpool's Champions League place for next season. If they do not finish in the top four everyone will point at Coutinho’s sale.  Imagine the fillip for Liverpool’s top four rivals. If Kane ever leaves Spurs for Real Madrid, or Sanchez leaves Arsenal for Manchester City, their Champions League hopes will immediately diminish. Liverpool lost Suarez to Barcelona after missing out on the title in 2014 Credit: Reuters The frustration for Liverpool supporters is every time the club looks capable of challenging for top honours they become prey. They finished second to Manchester City and lost Luis Suarez. Before that we came second to Manchester United and lost Xabi Alonso. Liverpool are not alone in being forced to accept their place in the football pyramid. Barcelona and Madrid eventually get what they want. Even Manchester United had to submit to Real when Ronaldo wanted out. Losing stars is not a recent Anfield phenomenon, either. In 1977 the club sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg for a record fee. In 1984 they sold their captain Graeme Souness to Sampdoria at a time Italian football was the wealthiest in the world. In 1987 Ian Rush joined Juventus. The difference is they left with a sack full of trophies, Keegan and Souness as European Cup holders, while Rush had won the League/FA Cup Double a year earlier. Losing the player is not the biggest problem. It is when they leave, what they leave behind, and how well the void is filled that has been the greatest cause of Anfield stress. Liverpool sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg in 1977 Credit: Getty images Coutinho goes after five years without a trophy. For Torres it was the same. Suarez won just the League Cup. All left with the club craving a return to what it once was, having played their part in generating hope. They got close but then the rebuilding had to start afresh. That intensifies the dissatisfaction. You can accept and recover from major sales after a successful period, but not in the midst of reconstruction. Liverpool dipped after the exits of Alonso, Torres and Suarez. They panicked, believing they had to act to appease those demanding they reinvest. Inadequate replacements such as Alberto Aquilani, Andy Carroll and Mario Balotelli arrived. The three managers in charge at the time – Rafa Benitez, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers - were gone the following year. Huge sums were received and wasted. Bad transfers cost jobs. The Carroll fee kept rising because Newcastle knew Liverpool had the Torres cash. The rest of English football was laughing when it rose to £35 million.  Where the Coutinho departure differs is Liverpool have a more balanced squad now than in 2009, 2011 and 2014. They do not need to panic buy. If a long-term target can be signed they should act, but otherwise it is right to wait. Having been criticised a few year ago, Liverpool’s recruitment team has been more astute recently; Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez have proved to be exceptional signings. Virgil Van Dijk and the soon-to-arrive Naby Keita promise much. These recruits ensure Klopp can direct his resources on pursuing one or two high class players rather than six or seven, as was the case with the Suarez money. At the start of next season we will be seeing a fully-formed Klopp team rather than a developed version of the squad Rodgers left behind. Recruitment has certainly improved at Liverpool Credit: PA This makes me more optimistic longer-term than I was following the Suarez transfer.  Earlier this season I argued Liverpool may never win the title under Klopp. My reasoning is based on finances. City and United working in a different market. While Liverpool posses the Coutinho money, temporarily at least, that has changed. Klopp is in a better position to at least challenge his Premier League rivals for the most coveted stars. The £142 million brings opportunity. Since he joined Liverpool he has recouped £34 million more than he has invested. If he and his scouts continue to spend well, Liverpool will emerge stronger. Van Dijk’s arrival addresses the need for a centre-back. I will be staggered if Klopp does not target a more trustworthy goalkeeper. Too many people also appear to have forgotten Adam Lallana – England’s most technically gifted player – who will slot into the midfield role Coutinho has occupied for most of the season. Nothing will persuade me selling Coutinho now makes sense. Selling one of your best players can never be a cause for satisfaction. But the parallels with the sales Alonso, Torres and Suarez are not so valid. Liverpool are less fragile now. It is up to Klopp to succeed where both Benitez and Rodgers failed in 2009 and 2014 – ensuring a mega receipt of cash does not reverse a position of growing strength into one of debilitating weakness.

No clubs sell their big stars in January - so why have Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho?

 “January is a difficult market to do business. No-one wants to sell their best players.” How often do you hear managers say this? The winter transfer window comes with a warning - don’t expect much; top performers are not available; it is the wrong time to buy and sell. Except, it seems, where Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho are concerned. I can’t understand Liverpool’s decision to sell Coutinho now. Not mid-season. No matter how much I hear about boyhood dreams; efforts to convince him to stay; and how much family, representatives or even sponsors pushed for it, why this month? The financial reward is vast. So is the risk. Liverpool are well placed to finish runners-up to Manchester City. They have a kind Champions League draw. The Liverpool team of January 2018 is superior to that of January 2005, which won the competition. They have lost just four of their last 44 games, continuously improving. Why endanger momentum? Regardless of how much Coutinho agitated, Liverpool could have stood firm. While some players such as Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk lost form after being denied their summer move, Coutinho was the opposite. He has never played better for Liverpool than between September and December this season. I am sure the Brazilian would have recovered from his disappointment for four more months. Klopp is losing an integral part of his team Credit: Getty images It was more risky to keep him in August than now. No-one knew how he would react on his return to the side. He demonstrated it was in his nature to always give 100 per cent, so why expect different in February? When the move was denied last summer the player and his agent must have expected he would be retained for the year. What changed? I agree the £142 million fee is astronomical. The transfer market is crazy, but for Coutinho to become the second most expensive player in world football is extraordinary. He has become an outstanding player, but he is not the best in the Premier League like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luis Suarez when they made their moves to La Liga. He is behind Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. But I still fear a mid-season deal unnecessarily jeopardises Liverpool's Champions League place for next season. If they do not finish in the top four everyone will point at Coutinho’s sale.  Imagine the fillip for Liverpool’s top four rivals. If Kane ever leaves Spurs for Real Madrid, or Sanchez leaves Arsenal for Manchester City, their Champions League hopes will immediately diminish. Liverpool lost Suarez to Barcelona after missing out on the title in 2014 Credit: Reuters The frustration for Liverpool supporters is every time the club looks capable of challenging for top honours they become prey. They finished second to Manchester City and lost Luis Suarez. Before that we came second to Manchester United and lost Xabi Alonso. Liverpool are not alone in being forced to accept their place in the football pyramid. Barcelona and Madrid eventually get what they want. Even Manchester United had to submit to Real when Ronaldo wanted out. Losing stars is not a recent Anfield phenomenon, either. In 1977 the club sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg for a record fee. In 1984 they sold their captain Graeme Souness to Sampdoria at a time Italian football was the wealthiest in the world. In 1987 Ian Rush joined Juventus. The difference is they left with a sack full of trophies, Keegan and Souness as European Cup holders, while Rush had won the League/FA Cup Double a year earlier. Losing the player is not the biggest problem. It is when they leave, what they leave behind, and how well the void is filled that has been the greatest cause of Anfield stress. Liverpool sold Kevin Keegan to Hamburg in 1977 Credit: Getty images Coutinho goes after five years without a trophy. For Torres it was the same. Suarez won just the League Cup. All left with the club craving a return to what it once was, having played their part in generating hope. They got close but then the rebuilding had to start afresh. That intensifies the dissatisfaction. You can accept and recover from major sales after a successful period, but not in the midst of reconstruction. Liverpool dipped after the exits of Alonso, Torres and Suarez. They panicked, believing they had to act to appease those demanding they reinvest. Inadequate replacements such as Alberto Aquilani, Andy Carroll and Mario Balotelli arrived. The three managers in charge at the time – Rafa Benitez, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers - were gone the following year. Huge sums were received and wasted. Bad transfers cost jobs. The Carroll fee kept rising because Newcastle knew Liverpool had the Torres cash. The rest of English football was laughing when it rose to £35 million.  Where the Coutinho departure differs is Liverpool have a more balanced squad now than in 2009, 2011 and 2014. They do not need to panic buy. If a long-term target can be signed they should act, but otherwise it is right to wait. Having been criticised a few year ago, Liverpool’s recruitment team has been more astute recently; Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez have proved to be exceptional signings. Virgil Van Dijk and the soon-to-arrive Naby Keita promise much. These recruits ensure Klopp can direct his resources on pursuing one or two high class players rather than six or seven, as was the case with the Suarez money. At the start of next season we will be seeing a fully-formed Klopp team rather than a developed version of the squad Rodgers left behind. Recruitment has certainly improved at Liverpool Credit: PA This makes me more optimistic longer-term than I was following the Suarez transfer.  Earlier this season I argued Liverpool may never win the title under Klopp. My reasoning is based on finances. City and United working in a different market. While Liverpool posses the Coutinho money, temporarily at least, that has changed. Klopp is in a better position to at least challenge his Premier League rivals for the most coveted stars. The £142 million brings opportunity. Since he joined Liverpool he has recouped £34 million more than he has invested. If he and his scouts continue to spend well, Liverpool will emerge stronger. Van Dijk’s arrival addresses the need for a centre-back. I will be staggered if Klopp does not target a more trustworthy goalkeeper. Too many people also appear to have forgotten Adam Lallana – England’s most technically gifted player – who will slot into the midfield role Coutinho has occupied for most of the season. Nothing will persuade me selling Coutinho now makes sense. Selling one of your best players can never be a cause for satisfaction. But the parallels with the sales Alonso, Torres and Suarez are not so valid. Liverpool are less fragile now. It is up to Klopp to succeed where both Benitez and Rodgers failed in 2009 and 2014 – ensuring a mega receipt of cash does not reverse a position of growing strength into one of debilitating weakness.

Reece Oxford ready to make move permanent – providing Borussia Monchengladbach make offer of £15m

Reece Oxford, the West Ham defender, may yet get a permanent move to the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach if the club are prepared to increase their offer to around £15 million for the teenager, with RB Leipzig also interested. Although Oxford’s progress on loan this season at Monchengladbach was initially slow, he finally broke into the first team in December before the winter break in Germany, starting their last three games against Freiburg, Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen. Monchengladbach have already offered around £8m for the England Under-20 player which has been rejected by West Ham. The 19-year-old, who made his West Ham debut aged 16, was recalled from Germany by his parent club after the New Year but has not figured under David Moyes having injured an ankle in his first training session back in England. The likelihood is that a decision will be made on his future once the FA Cup third-round replay against Shrewsbury Town has been played next Tuesday. The loan deal with Monchengladbach could also be resurrected if the clubs are unable to make an agreement on price with Oxford himself eager not to spend the rest of the season as a squad player at West Ham. Oxford has also attracted interest from RB Leipzig who have a good record of spotting value in young players and are currently fifth in the Bundesliga and in the Europa League knockout stages. The world-record fee for a defender of £75m paid by Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk has underlined the value of an experienced and talented centre-back and previously Moyes has said that he would prefer to keep his best young players, including Oxford. West Ham would listen to offers for Diafra Sakho and Javier Hernandez in this window, and if they could raise money may look to make a permanent signing. There is an interest in the former Chelsea winger and forward Andre Schurrle, now at Borussia Dortmund, should they be able to make changes to the squad.

FILE PHOTO: St. Pauli's Naki lies on pitch during German Bundesliga soccer match against Hoffenheim in Hamburg

FILE PHOTO: FC St. Pauli's Deniz Naki lies on the pitch during their German Bundesliga first division soccer soccer match against TSG Hoffenheim in Hamburg, Germany, August 28, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Charisius/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: St. Pauli's Naki lies on pitch during German Bundesliga soccer match against Hoffenheim in Hamburg

FILE PHOTO: FC St. Pauli's Deniz Naki lies on the pitch during their German Bundesliga first division soccer soccer match against TSG Hoffenheim in Hamburg, Germany, August 28, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Charisius/File Photo

Goals keeping Bundesliga exciting despite Bayern racing away

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017 file photo. Hamburg's Jann-Fiete Arp plays the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and Hamburger SV at the Schwarzwald Stadium in Freiburg, Germany. The 19-year-old Weston McKennie at Schalke and the 17-year-old Jann-Fiete Arp at Hamburger SV have also impressed. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP,file)

Man City closing in on £60m deal for Virgil van Dijk

Manchester City are closing in on a £60 million deal for Southampton centre-half Virgil van Dijk.   The runaway Premier League leaders have made the recruitment of Van Dijk their priority in next month’s transfer window and are increasingly confident of landing the Holland defender ahead of rivals Chelsea and Liverpool and Barcelona in Spain.   City are in talks with Southampton over a transfer, with the South Coast club now prepared to cash in on the 26-year-old, who is contracted at St Mary’s until June 2022.   Pep Guardiola tried and failed to sign a centre-half in the summer when West Bromwich Albion rejected a £21 million bid for Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans and City were unable to offload Eliaquim Mangala.   But Vincent Kompany’s persistent injury problems have left the league leaders light in central defence and that situation has been exacerbated in recent weeks after John Stones was sidelined by a hamstring injury.   Vincent Kompany's fitness issues mean he cannot be relied upon Credit: AFP Guardiola has been concerned about disrupting the harmony in the dressing room, which is one reason why City are likely to wait until the summer before moving for Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, not least amid concerns about the potential repercussions with Sergio Aguero.   But the City manager is keen to guard against any more central defensive headaches by bringing in Van Dijk and boosting competition in the position.   Van Dijk would initially come in as third choice centre half behind Stones and Nicolas Otamendi should City pull off a deal but Guardiola believes he has the quality to become an important long-standing addition as the club chase a Premier League and Champions League double during the second half of the campaign.   Principally, Guardiola feels Van Dijk’s playing style and attributes would chime with City’s approach although the Dutchman, at 6ft 4in tall, would also bring extra height and physicality to the side. Inigo Martinez, of Real Sociedad, and Evans have been City’s other centre half targets in the event a move for Van Dijk hits complications.   Antonio Conte is desperate to bring Van Dijk to Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea manager has already urged the rest of the Premier League’s big clubs to try to keep the player out of City’s clutches amid fears the leaders will become unstoppable if they sign him.   Antonio Conte wants to bring Van Dijk to Chelsea Credit: AFP Liverpool tried and failed to sign Van Dijk last summer and were reported to the Premier League by Southampton over an alleged illegal approach for the defender and the prospect of losing out to City on a primary target would be a serious blow to the Merseyside club. Meanwhile, it has emerged that the City owner Sheikh Mansour, has no plans to attend a game this season and would likely even miss the Champions League final if Pep Guardiola’s rampaging side got that far in the competition.   Mansour watched City’s 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City on Dec. 13 on television from Abu Dhabi in the company of club chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak.   But he is not expected to personally attend a match at the Etihad Stadium this term and is unlikely to make a rare public appearance even if City reach their maiden European Cup final in Kiev on May 26. City face Basel in the first leg of their last 16 tie in February. Those close to the Sheikh insist he is a very passionate fan but they also maintain he is a private person and has not sought the limelight since his takeover of City in 2008 transformed the fortunes of the club.   City’s 3-0 Premier League win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in August 2010 remains the only competitive game to date that the Sheikh has attended. In 2015, he attended City’s friendly against Hamburg in Al Ain. Six years earlier, he watched City take on the United Arab Emirates national team in Abu Dhabi.

Man City closing in on £60m deal for Virgil van Dijk

Manchester City are closing in on a £60 million deal for Southampton centre-half Virgil van Dijk.   The runaway Premier League leaders have made the recruitment of Van Dijk their priority in next month’s transfer window and are increasingly confident of landing the Holland defender ahead of rivals Chelsea and Liverpool and Barcelona in Spain.   City are in talks with Southampton over a transfer, with the South Coast club now prepared to cash in on the 26-year-old, who is contracted at St Mary’s until June 2022.   Pep Guardiola tried and failed to sign a centre-half in the summer when West Bromwich Albion rejected a £21 million bid for Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans and City were unable to offload Eliaquim Mangala.   But Vincent Kompany’s persistent injury problems have left the league leaders light in central defence and that situation has been exacerbated in recent weeks after John Stones was sidelined by a hamstring injury.   Vincent Kompany's fitness issues mean he cannot be relied upon Credit: AFP Guardiola has been concerned about disrupting the harmony in the dressing room, which is one reason why City are likely to wait until the summer before moving for Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, not least amid concerns about the potential repercussions with Sergio Aguero.   But the City manager is keen to guard against any more central defensive headaches by bringing in Van Dijk and boosting competition in the position.   Van Dijk would initially come in as third choice centre half behind Stones and Nicolas Otamendi should City pull off a deal but Guardiola believes he has the quality to become an important long-standing addition as the club chase a Premier League and Champions League double during the second half of the campaign.   Principally, Guardiola feels Van Dijk’s playing style and attributes would chime with City’s approach although the Dutchman, at 6ft 4in tall, would also bring extra height and physicality to the side. Inigo Martinez, of Real Sociedad, and Evans have been City’s other centre half targets in the event a move for Van Dijk hits complications.   Antonio Conte is desperate to bring Van Dijk to Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea manager has already urged the rest of the Premier League’s big clubs to try to keep the player out of City’s clutches amid fears the leaders will become unstoppable if they sign him.   Antonio Conte wants to bring Van Dijk to Chelsea Credit: AFP Liverpool tried and failed to sign Van Dijk last summer and were reported to the Premier League by Southampton over an alleged illegal approach for the defender and the prospect of losing out to City on a primary target would be a serious blow to the Merseyside club. Meanwhile, it has emerged that the City owner Sheikh Mansour, has no plans to attend a game this season and would likely even miss the Champions League final if Pep Guardiola’s rampaging side got that far in the competition.   Mansour watched City’s 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City on Dec. 13 on television from Abu Dhabi in the company of club chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak.   But he is not expected to personally attend a match at the Etihad Stadium this term and is unlikely to make a rare public appearance even if City reach their maiden European Cup final in Kiev on May 26. City face Basel in the first leg of their last 16 tie in February. Those close to the Sheikh insist he is a very passionate fan but they also maintain he is a private person and has not sought the limelight since his takeover of City in 2008 transformed the fortunes of the club.   City’s 3-0 Premier League win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in August 2010 remains the only competitive game to date that the Sheikh has attended. In 2015, he attended City’s friendly against Hamburg in Al Ain. Six years earlier, he watched City take on the United Arab Emirates national team in Abu Dhabi.

Man City closing in on £60m deal for Virgil van Dijk

Manchester City are closing in on a £60 million deal for Southampton centre-half Virgil van Dijk.   The runaway Premier League leaders have made the recruitment of Van Dijk their priority in next month’s transfer window and are increasingly confident of landing the Holland defender ahead of rivals Chelsea and Liverpool and Barcelona in Spain.   City are in talks with Southampton over a transfer, with the South Coast club now prepared to cash in on the 26-year-old, who is contracted at St Mary’s until June 2022.   Pep Guardiola tried and failed to sign a centre-half in the summer when West Bromwich Albion rejected a £21 million bid for Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans and City were unable to offload Eliaquim Mangala.   But Vincent Kompany’s persistent injury problems have left the league leaders light in central defence and that situation has been exacerbated in recent weeks after John Stones was sidelined by a hamstring injury.   Vincent Kompany's fitness issues mean he cannot be relied upon Credit: AFP Guardiola has been concerned about disrupting the harmony in the dressing room, which is one reason why City are likely to wait until the summer before moving for Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, not least amid concerns about the potential repercussions with Sergio Aguero.   But the City manager is keen to guard against any more central defensive headaches by bringing in Van Dijk and boosting competition in the position.   Van Dijk would initially come in as third choice centre half behind Stones and Nicolas Otamendi should City pull off a deal but Guardiola believes he has the quality to become an important long-standing addition as the club chase a Premier League and Champions League double during the second half of the campaign.   Principally, Guardiola feels Van Dijk’s playing style and attributes would chime with City’s approach although the Dutchman, at 6ft 4in tall, would also bring extra height and physicality to the side. Inigo Martinez, of Real Sociedad, and Evans have been City’s other centre half targets in the event a move for Van Dijk hits complications.   Antonio Conte is desperate to bring Van Dijk to Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea manager has already urged the rest of the Premier League’s big clubs to try to keep the player out of City’s clutches amid fears the leaders will become unstoppable if they sign him.   Antonio Conte wants to bring Van Dijk to Chelsea Credit: AFP Liverpool tried and failed to sign Van Dijk last summer and were reported to the Premier League by Southampton over an alleged illegal approach for the defender and the prospect of losing out to City on a primary target would be a serious blow to the Merseyside club. Meanwhile, it has emerged that the City owner Sheikh Mansour, has no plans to attend a game this season and would likely even miss the Champions League final if Pep Guardiola’s rampaging side got that far in the competition.   Mansour watched City’s 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City on Dec. 13 on television from Abu Dhabi in the company of club chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak.   But he is not expected to personally attend a match at the Etihad Stadium this term and is unlikely to make a rare public appearance even if City reach their maiden European Cup final in Kiev on May 26. City face Basel in the first leg of their last 16 tie in February. Those close to the Sheikh insist he is a very passionate fan but they also maintain he is a private person and has not sought the limelight since his takeover of City in 2008 transformed the fortunes of the club.   City’s 3-0 Premier League win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in August 2010 remains the only competitive game to date that the Sheikh has attended. In 2015, he attended City’s friendly against Hamburg in Al Ain. Six years earlier, he watched City take on the United Arab Emirates national team in Abu Dhabi.

US boxer Shannon Briggs tries to enter the venue where Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko and Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria were to meet for a public training session on November 12, 2014 in Hamburg, northern Germany

US boxer Shannon Briggs tries to enter the venue where Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko and Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria were to meet for a public training session on November 12, 2014 in Hamburg, northern Germany

US boxer Shannon Briggs tries to enter the venue where Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko and Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria were to meet for a public training session on November 12, 2014 in Hamburg, northern Germany (AFP Photo/DANIEL BOCKWOLDT)

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Kalidiatou Niakate of France reacts during the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK092. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the coach Olivier Krumbholz (R) after winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK092. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the coach Olivier Krumbholz (R) after winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

Qui sont les Françaises championnes du monde de handball ?

©Axel Heimken/DPA/MAXPPP ; The French team celebrates the world championship title during the 2017 World Women's Handball Championship finals between Norway and France in the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. Photo: Axel Heimken/dpa

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France Beatrice Edwige (R) and Allison Pineau (L) celebrate winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Alexandra Lacrabere (L) and Camille Ayglon Saurina (R) of France celebrate winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Bronze medalist team of The Netherlands celebrates on the podium at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Hamburgo, Balonmano, Países Bajos; Holanda, Alemania) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Silver medalist team of Norway celebrates on the podium at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Bronze medalist team of The Netherlands celebrates on the podium at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Hamburgo, Balonmano, Países Bajos; Holanda, Alemania) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France (C) celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France (C) celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate with the trophy after winning the Women Handball World Championship final match between France and Norway in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate after winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate after winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate after winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Players of France celebrate after winning the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

SUKK051. Hamburg (Germany), 17/12/2017.- Estelle NZE Minko (C) of France in action against Sanna Charlotte Solberg (L) and Stine Ruscetta Skogrand (R) of Norway during the Gold medal match between France and Norway at the Women Handball World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, 17 December 2017. (Noruega, Hamburgo, Balonmano, Alemania, Francia) EFE/EPA/SRDJAN SUKI

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes