Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp to block January exit for frozen-out Liverpool star

Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi, Curtis Jones Liverpool

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will block Newcastle’s attempts to land striker Divock Origi in the January transfer window, claims a report.

Newcastle under new Saudi ownership are looking at strengthening Eddie Howe’s squad in the winter transfer window. Howe’s men are yet to win a game this season and are bottom of the Premier League. However, they are not cut adrift and Amanda Staveley, who is running football matters, is of the opinion that a solid transfer window could help them survive.

Howe, who has experience of steering Bournemouth to safety in the top flight, is hopeful of repeating the job on Tyneside. He is understood to be chasing “domestic-based players with extensive previous experience of playing in the Premier League”.

And one of those targets is understood to be Reds attacker Origi. The Northern Echo report that Staveley believes that Origi might well be receptive to a move away to kickstart his career again.

Of course Belgian Origi is not a British player, but he does have plenty of top-flight experience. However, he has found game time at Anfield thin in the last two years.

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He has yet to start a game in the Premier League this season and has made just three starts in cup competitions. Last season Jurgen Klopp afforded him just two Premier League starts and the player was looking to leave in the summer.

Fabrizio Romano in June said: “Divock Origi is ready to leave Liverpool. There are offers.”

But nothing materialised, even though Klopp admitted he though the player would move on.

However, the player’s desire to leave has remained.

In an with LFC Transfer Room, Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri revealed that Origi still wanted out in search of “more playing opportunities”.

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Origi needed for cover

Of course Origi, who is under contract until 2022, has some tough competition. He is behind Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino in the pecking order at Anfield.

But Klopp will be without Salah and Mane, who will head to Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations at the end of December.

The tournament starts on January 9 and runs to February 6.

Roberto Firmino also suffered a serious hamstring injury during Liverpool’s 2-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid. That was at the start of November, he has not featured since and has yet to return to training.

Therefore, “any approach from Newcastle will almost certainly be quickly rebuffed”, per the source.

Howe is also looking to strengthen a rearguard which has shipped in 27 goals in 12 games. In fact that will be a “priority”, but Howe remains concerned about the lack of options in attack.

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