I told Rafa that Barry couldn’t replace Alonso at Liverpool – Gerrard

Steven Gerrard has revealed that he had to talk former Liverpool manager out of signing Gareth Barry for the Anfield side.

Alonso departed the club in 2009, when he moved to Real Madrid after five years on Merseyside, but Gerrard believes that more should have been done to keep the Spaniard, who retired in the summer after a three-year stint with Bayern Munich.

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He was a vital player with the Reds in the heart of the midfield alongside Gerrard, and the club icon says that Barry, who was then with Aston Villa, was originally earmarked as his replacement.

“He wanted to move Xabi on and bring in Gareth,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “Now, for me that wasn’t the right move, although I’m a big fan of Gareth Barry.

“I’d rather have him in to play alongside Xabi because I think they could have worked together.

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“I don’t think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi with Gareth. The fans love Xabi, he’s a world-class player, and for me, Rafa should have been doing everything to keep him and not have him move on.”

Alberto Aquilani was eventually named as the successor to Alonso, though the Italian managed only 18 Premier League appearances in his one year at Anfield.

Barry, meanwhile, went to Manchester City that summer before a spell at Everton. He is now with West Brom.

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Liverpool must ‘pray’ they can keep Coutinho – Gerrard

Steven Gerrard believes it will take a stroke of divine intervention for Philippe Coutinho to not leave Liverpool for Barcelona.

The attacker was involved in a summer tag-of-war that saw him go AWOL from the Reds’ squad towards the end of the transfer window in a bid to force a deal through.

Liverpool 20/1 to win Champions League

Jurgen Klopp’s side saw off the danger, but Gerrard believes there is only so long they can keep hold of the Brazil international.

Asked on BT Sport how Liverpool can keep him at the club, the club legend replied: Pray! He’s South American, his dream is to go to Barcelona. 

“I think the key in this situation is do Barcelona come back? Or are they upset that he hasn’t come? 

“Liverpool will want to keep him for a long, long time, there’s no doubt about that. They love him.”

Coutinho, 25, was vital as Liverpool defeated Leicester 3-2 on Saturday, and Gerrard was happy to sing the player’s praises.

“He produces moments of genius and he’s a world class footballer.

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“Barcelona don’t come for you for that amount of money unless you’re world class. 

“Liverpool need to try and keep hold of him for as long as possible because with him in the team, when Sadio Mane comes back, we know Liverpool will score heavily and they will be one of the most exciting teams in the league.”

The Reds are sixth in the standings, five points behind leaders Manchester City after six games.

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Guardiola played ‘great role’ in Manchester City move – Mendy

Benjamin Mendy has admitted that Pep Guardiola had a huge bearing on his decision to move to Manchester City in the summer.

The France international left-back swapped Monaco for the Etihad Stadium in July, becoming the world’s most expensive defender when he moved for a fee of £52 million.

Man City 9/1 to win Champions League

He has made a promising start to life in the Premier League and is delighted to have the chance to work with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.

“I wanted to taste football abroad and leave with my head held high, and Guardiola played a great role in my decision,” he told TF1’s ‘Telefoot’.

“We talked frankly about football and philosophy, and he is a continuation of the excellent coaches I have had. I am proud of the start I’ve had to my career.”

The 23-year-old has set his sights high in the game, targeting glory on a personal, club and international level.

“Can I become the best left-back in the world? Why not?” he said. 

“There is a long way to go, but with work anything is possible. It’s not completely crazy. 

“The objective for this season? Win two or three titles with Manchester City; We have one of the best projects in Europe and we want to continue writing the history of this club. 

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“France are going to qualify for the World Cup and we can win it, I believe so. We have good young players and experienced players.”

He also spoke about former team-mate Kylian Mbappe, who reportedly snubbed Manchester City to sign for Paris Saint-Germain.

“It was a personal choice. The best thing is that he feels good and I know he good he feels, so that’s great for him,” he said. 

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Legendary former Juventus star Pavel Nedved comes out of retirement

At the age of 45, former Juventus midfielder and Ballon d’Or winner Pavel Nedved is coming out of retirement.

Czech legend Nedved signed for amateur side FK Skalna in his homeland after retiring from football in 2009. 

It is a return home for Nedved, who started his career in Skalna before going on to win Serie A titles among others with Juventus and Lazio.

P?ESTUP PAVLA NEDV?DA PO TVRDÝCH JEDNÁNÍCH POTVRZEN! Držitel Zlatého mí?e Pavel Nedv?d se vrací po dlouhých letech na m…

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Posted by FK Skalná on Friday, 22 September 2017

Skalna is also the home of his 18-year-old son Pavel Jr.

It remains to be seen when Nedved – who won 91 caps for Czech Republic – will be available to play due his commitments with Juve, where he is vice-chairman of the Scudetto holders.

Dream Team FC reports that the Serie A side are willing to give him time away from his responsibilities in order for him to play for the Czech club. 

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D.C. United sits Bill Hamid as European clubs circle

Bill Hamid is enjoying another standout season for D.C. United, but it is starting to look more and more like it will be his last with his hometown team.

The situation between Hamid and United isn’t getting any better as the goalkeeper plays out the final year of his MLS contract, and things appear to be on the verge of getting ugly.

Hamid’s looming status as a free agent has drawn the attention of European scouts, with sources telling Goal that Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic had traveled to D.C. to see him in person this weekend. The only problem with that plan is Hamid isn’t going to play.

Sources tell Goal that D.C. United is planning to sit him for Saturday’s home match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Veteran Steve Clark is expected to get the nod, though rookie Eric Klenofsky is also a possibility to start in goal.

Such a move could be explained as a chance to look at one of the club’s other goalkeepers after falling out of the playoff picture, but it is still a curious one given Hamid’s status as one of Major League Soccer’s best. Contract talks between Hamid and United have reached a standstill, making it tough to believe the decision to sit him against San Jose isn’t related to the contract impasse.

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The 26-year-old goalkeeper is in the midst of a standout season, having recovered from a pair of knee injuries that cost him time each of the previous two years. His play in 2017 earned him a return to the U.S. national team, for whom he posted an important shutout in the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Long regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in MLS, Hamid is sure to generate interest from European clubs as he becomes a free agent in January. Though England wouldn’t be an option because of work permit restrictions, he would be an enticing option in other leagues — such as the Bundesliga — especially given his age, talent and price tag.

If United goes through with the plan to sit Hamid, it could do some serious damage to a decade-plus-long relationship between the club and a player who came up in the team’s academy system before signing as a homegrown player and becoming an All-Star and U.S. national team selection. That said, if United doesn’t believe Hamid is going to re-sign, then giving Clark or Klenofsky some starts down the stretch is understandable — even though it may mean even worse results from a team already enduring a terrible season.

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