- Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is still playing through pain as he manages a heel problem, Jurgen Klopp has revealed. The midfielder missed three matches earlier this month with the injury, but has played in the last two games against Manchester United and Swansea City. Klo...Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is still playing through pain as he manages a heel problem, Jurgen Klopp has revealed. The midfielder missed three matches earlier this month with the injury, but has played in the last two games against Manchester United and Swansea City. Klopp backs Gerrard the manager However, Henderson is still contending with discomfort as Liverpool closely manage the problem. Asked if it was similar to the heel issue Henderson struggled with last season, Klopp said: "It is different - similar but still different. We know much more from last year about it. "We don't train a lot in this period between the games so instead of running one day, when the players who have played 90 minutes are running for recovery, he is on the bike – that is maybe the only difference with what we do with him. "The rest is how I said - you don't use the phrase 'bite on his teeth' [grit his teeth]? Klopp: I won't buy new defenders "You know what it means, it is not the moment to feel nothing, he always feels a little bit, but he can cope with it." Liverpool face Southampton at Anfield on Wednesday, trailing 1-0 on aggregate going into the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tie. Klopp has no fresh injury concerns as his side look to complete a comeback and reach Wembley. "We played Southampton last year in this cup, twice in Premier League again," he said. "Against us they are a footballing side, against us they defend pretty deep. Against us, I think that is a sign of respect. The reasons behind Liverpool's slide "This time, both sides were frustrated. They had counter-attack, really clear moments, where they had chances. For us, 1-0, 0-0 is no different. "It is still all to play for. Southampton is in a good run at this moment with good results, but we want to go to the final too."
- Southampton manager Claude Puel insists his decision to give Virgil van Dijk the captain's armband has not been made in a bid to persuade the Dutch defender to remain at St Mary's Stadium. Van Dijk was named as team captain in the wake of former skipper Jose Fonte's departure to...Southampton manager Claude Puel insists his decision to give Virgil van Dijk the captain's armband has not been made in a bid to persuade the Dutch defender to remain at St Mary's Stadium. Van Dijk was named as team captain in the wake of former skipper Jose Fonte's departure to West Ham last week, with Steven Davis taking on club captaincy duties. Gerrard: Liverpool need Van Dijk But the Netherlands international has been persistently linked with a move away from the south coast and counts Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City among his reported admirers. "We haven't given him the captaincy just so that he will stay here," Puel stressed ahead of Southampton's EFL Cup semi-final second-leg clash with Liverpool. "When Jose hasn't played, we've had Virgil, Steven or Maya Yoshida – we had different captains. "I think it's normal for me to give this possibility to Virgil because he is an example on the pitch. Puel unsure on Van Dijk's fitness "It's important he will stay the captain of the team and Steven Davis captain of the club, for the dressing room and vice-captain of the team. "I think they are two men with good values and an example every time in the training sessions, on the pitch and in the dressing room." Puel could be forced to select a third captain as Southampton defend a 1-0 lead at Anfield on Wednesday, with both men carrying knocks, but the Frenchman is confident in the leadership qualities throughout his squad. "Different players can have an importance on this squad – Ryan Bertrand, Maya Yoshida, James Ward-Prowse," he added. "He's a young player but he knows this role and this mentality with the [England] Under-21s. I think we have a good squad and different players can bring the good message." Fonte completes West Ham switch Discussing Fonte's departure for a reported £8million, Puel commented: "It's been a difficult situation since the start of the season with discussions about his contract. It is always difficult. "It was difficult to play with all these things in his head. "We wish Jose all the best because he was a good captain for Southampton."
- Jurgen Klopp says that he will not look to the transfer market to solve Liverpool's defensive fragilities, despite their stunning 3-2 defeat by Swansea City. The Reds have won only one of their last six games in all competitions - an FA Cup third-round replay against fourth-tie...Jurgen Klopp says that he will not look to the transfer market to solve Liverpool's defensive fragilities, despite their stunning 3-2 defeat by Swansea City. The Reds have won only one of their last six games in all competitions - an FA Cup third-round replay against fourth-tier Plymouth Argyle - hampering their chase of Chelsea in the Premier League and leaving them with a 1-0 deficit to Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-finals. Defensive lapses were to blame for Swansea's first and third goals at Anfield on Saturday, while Joel Matip has been a sore loss to the Reds as the farcical situation over his international retirement was allowed to drag on by FIFA. James Milner has had to fill in at left-back this season, while Klopp has given both Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet time as first-choice goalkeeper as he struggles to find the right formula at the back to complement the Premier League's most potent attack. But the manager feels that a forward line shorn of the Africa Cup of Nations-bound Sadio Mane and the injured Philippe Coutinho as well as a poor team approach to defending is to blame. "We missed Sadio... we missed Phil for a time... we missed Joel Matip," Klopp told reporters ahead of Wednesday's second leg against the Saints. "As much as I like Sadio, it's not that we had problems because we missed Sadio. We made other mistakes, not because we're not scoring enough goals. We scored enough goals to win the games. "You always speak about defence, or players. I speak about the whole defence of the team. If it was to buy one player and fix it, I'd be silly not to do it but it's not that simple. "I knew about the problems we had after Christmas and that was disappointing. I saw before the game [against Swansea] that we are back on the right track and we could see the freshness coming back in training. "But then we have this game and it's not so nice. But that's part of life too. "We had a long meeting after the game so I'm ready for the rest of the season. We've come through a very intense period."
- Christian Pulisic has penned a three-and-a-half-year deal with Borussia Dortmund, to put rumours of a move to Liverpool to rest. Official: BVB sign 'new Ibra' Isak The United States international has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Signal Iduna Park, making 19 appearances in...Christian Pulisic has penned a three-and-a-half-year deal with Borussia Dortmund, to put rumours of a move to Liverpool to rest. Official: BVB sign 'new Ibra' Isak The United States international has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Signal Iduna Park, making 19 appearances in all competitions and scoring twice. His season has been littered with links to Liverpool, but Dortmund bosses have long maintained that they intended to tie the 18-year-old to fresh terms. And they have done just that, with Pulisic signing a new deal that will keep him at Dortmund until 2020. "I still have a lot to learn," Pulisic said in a statement. "Here at Dortmund are the best conditions for me. "Here I have the chance to play in front of 80,000 fans. We have the best fans in the world, it could not be better." Christian Pulisic verlängert bis zum 30. Juni 2020 // Christian Pulisic has extended his contract until 30 June 2020. #22until2020 #bvb pic.twitter.com/YuyHYb7ptE — Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) January 23, 2017 Pulisic's standout performance this term came as a second-half substitute against Ingolstatdt, setting up a goal for Adrian Ramos before scoring a stoppage-time equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw. The race for the Golden Shoe Shelling points in games like that has left Thomas Tuchel's side fourth in the Bundesliga - 12 points adrift of Bayern Munich at the top. However, the future in Westphalia is bright, with Pulisic's extension confirmed on the same day that Alexander Isak was signed from under the noses of Real Madrid and after Julian Weigl committed his future to the club. Weigl recently extended his deal until 2021 in the face of reported interest from the Santiago Bernabeu. "We are very happy to have secured the future of another talented player after Julian Weigl," sporting director Michael Zorc said. "Christian is already an important figure in the team and, like Julian Weigl, will become a cornerstone of our sporting future."
- Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted he is keen to bring in players during the January transfer window but is finding it hard to do business. Mason stable after fracturing skull The Reds slipped to a shock defeat at Swansea on Saturday in a fixture that has seriously den...Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted he is keen to bring in players during the January transfer window but is finding it hard to do business. Mason stable after fracturing skull The Reds slipped to a shock defeat at Swansea on Saturday in a fixture that has seriously dented their titles hopes, having dropped 10 points behind leaders Chelsea. The defeat saw Liverpool lose their 17-game unbeaten run at Anfield and Klopp admits he is looking to strengthen his squad before the end of the month. “I understand it is absolutely normal that people ask whether we should have brought players in,” he told The Guardian. “The situation is yes, on the one side pretty simple, but on the other hand it is pretty difficult. It is not that we don’t want to bring players in. We do. “But the thing is, the players we want because we think they help us, the clubs don’t sell. It is not about money in this situation, it is the winter transfer window. “Clubs are saying ‘no, we have half a year to go, we cannot find another player like this, we prefer to take money in the summer than a few pounds more in the winter than whatever’. “So it is pretty easy. You see the situation. It’s tight, it’s close, we know that, but if the right decision is not possible in signing the right player then you cannot make the wrong transfer.” Ibrahimovic demands respect for Rooney Klopp also admits that the club are finding it difficult to identify players who would improve his squad, such is the strength of depth at his disposal currently. “It is not as if there are 20 players out there who could make this team stronger, who are running around and are available,” he added. “That is the situation. That is why I say we know the situation, we are prepared to move, but for the right player. We are not the only side who can decide the outcome of that, though, are we? The selling club makes the decision too.”