Premier League • England

Liverpool enter negotiations for top target as Jurgen Klopp ‘doesn’t trust’ two stars

Liverpool target Luis Diaz Porto

Liverpool have reportedly entered discussions over the signing of Luis Diaz as Jurgen Klopp doesn’t trust two of his attacking options.

The Reds are without Mo Salah and Sadio Mane due to the Africa Cup of Nations. Their first game without the influential pair ended in a frustrating goalless draw with Arsenal, who were down to 10 men for the majority of the Carabao Cup match.

Liverpool then beat Brentford 3-0 at the weekend, with Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino all getting on the scoresheet.

Reports suggest Klopp’s team could go big to bring Diaz in before the transfer window closes on January 31. The Porto forward, 25, has been in great form in Portugal this campaign.

He is second in the Primeira Liga scoring charts, having hit 13 goals in 17 outings so far. Only Benfica ace Darwin Nunez has more.

Diaz also bagged two goals in Porto’s Champions League group campaign, both against AC Milan. They ultimately could got not get out of Group B and will now compete in the Europa League.

According to Caught Offside, who cite Spanish outlet El Nacional, Liverpool are in talks with Porto over Diaz’s potential move to Anfield.

The Merseyside club have the funds to secure his services and are doing ‘all they can’ to make this happen. Spanish giants Barcelona are known admirers, but Liverpool are in pole position to complete a deal.

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The update comes amid Klopp’s apparent ‘lack of trust’ towards two players. The report states he cannot rely on Minamino or Oxlade-Chamberlain to fill the boots of Salah and Mane.

That is despite the two stars getting on the scoresheet in Sunday’s victory at Anfield.

Clearly, Minamino and Oxlade-Chamberlain are not on their team-mates’ level. However, they can still prove to be useful over the next few weeks.

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Pep Ljinders talks Liverpool attack

Meanwhile, Liverpool coach Pep Ljinders has been speaking to reporters ahead of the upcoming game against Arsenal.

The Reds travel to the Emirates in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Chelsea are eagerly waiting to discover who their opponents will be in the final.

During a press conference, Ljinders insisted Liverpool have learned to deal without Salah and Mane.

“Especially after last season we knew that we needed to create different weapons,” the assistant boss said.

“Goals from everywhere, last passes from everywhere, dribbles from everywhere not just based on counter-attacks or the speed of these two boys.

“They give us so much direction in our game, but what I like is that we don’t have one weapon. We have so many different ways to attack.

“How we are evolving as a team is important and I really like it.”

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