Liverpool fuelled further hope they can revive their Premier League title defence as Mohamed Salah's fine second-half brace earned a 3-1 win at West Ham.

Jurgen Klopp's men ended a five-match winless run in the league by beating Tottenham 3-1 on Thursday.

And they produced another indication of a resurgence despite the absence of Sadio Mane because of a minor injury, Salah's double and Georginio Wijnaldum's late effort moving third-placed Liverpool within four points of leaders Manchester City.

City have a game in hand, but a five-point advantage over fifth-placed West Ham, who got a consolation through Craig Dawson, will at least quell talk of the Reds missing out on the Champions League.

Each side managed just one shot on target in the first half, with Divock Origi particularly profligate as he wasted presentable chances either side of half-time.

Michail Antonio bent a 56th-minute effort wide of the right-hand post, and his failure to find the necessary accuracy was duly punished by Salah.

Curtis Jones replaced James Milner and, within 34 seconds of coming on, he teed up the opener when Salah curled his lay-off into the top-left corner from just inside the area.

Salah's second owed more to outstanding counter-attacking football than to his individual brilliance as Liverpool pounced after clearing a West Ham corner.

Trent Alexander-Arnold played a stunning cross-field pass to Xherdan Shaqiri, whose last touch before being substituted was a perfect left-wing cross that Salah deftly controlled and flicked beyond Lukasz Fabianski.

The gloss to a superb second-half performance was added in wonderful fashion as substitutes Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined neatly, the former teeing up Wijnaldum to tap in a third.

Yet there was a late blemish as Dawson scuffed home a close-range finish from a corner, though it came far too late to prevent their six-match winning run in all competitions from coming to an end.

Sergio Ramos is reportedly set to quit Real Madrid and is eyeing Manchester United, while David Alaba is apparently not a target for Manchester City.

Ramos, 34, seems set to leave Madrid at the end of the season with his contract expiring.

With the defender appearing no closer to agreeing to a new deal, he could make the move to the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – RAMOS TO QUIT MADRID, EYES MAN UTD

Ramos is ready to quit Real Madrid and his camp are set to target Manchester United as his next destination, according to the Mirror.

Manchester City, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Everton have also been linked with the defender.

Ramos has been at Real Madrid since 2005, winning five LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other honours.

 

ROUND-UP

- Another defender set to move at season's end is David Alaba, with the Bayern Munich star linked with numerous European giants as his contract comes to an end. But 90min reports Manchester City will not be making an approach for the Austria international.

- Amid an injury crisis at centre-back, Liverpool could sign a defender before Monday's transfer deadline. The Evening Standard reports they are interested in Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

- Arsenal may not be done in this transfer window, either. The Mirror says Arsenal are considering a move for Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt.

- Marcos Rojo is set to get a Manchester United exit. Sky Sports reports the defender will terminate his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season, before joining Boca Juniors on a free transfer.

Jurgen Klopp fears Manchester City "could run away" with the Premier League as Liverpool desperately fight to keep hold of their title.

City beat Sheffield United 1-0 on Saturday to make it a club-record 12 wins in a row, with eight top-flight victories on the bounce moving Pep Guardiola's side seven points clear of the champions.

The Reds, who ended a five-match winless league slump with an impressive 3-1 win at Tottenham on Thursday, head to in-form West Ham on Sunday needing a victory to keep the pressure on.

It is in stark contrast to last term, when Klopp's charges roared clear to win the league by 18 points. In fact, with only just over the half the season gone, no side can now surpass Liverpool's tally of 99 from last term.

Klopp was asked whether this might be the most exciting title race, with so many clubs in the mix, and if perhaps it could be won with the fewest points, a record belonging to Manchester United after their 1996-97 triumph with 75 on the board.

But the German warned that Guardiola's men are looking nicely poised to claim the trophy back, with his own side's chances hampered by injuries.

"Will it be the most exciting run-in with different teams in and around? Could be, but City could run away now as well. They're in a good position, playing good football again," he said.

"I don't know, I don't know if it will be the lowest amount of points, I don't even know how many points are out there to get.

"What we see is it's a difficult season for all teams, maybe apart from West Ham and Leicester look pretty good as well.

"So a lot of teams look good but we all have our ups and downs during the season.

"It's for a sure a season when you need to be lucky with injuries, to be really on top of things. More so than in other years because of the amount of games in a specific period.

"But I can imagine watching from outside it's really exciting, especially for a neutral fan. I don't know who will be champions at the end of the season." 

Liverpool lost the influential Virgil van Dijk to a serious knee injury in the Merseyside derby back in October, while centre-back partner Joe Gomez is likely to miss the rest of the campaign having damaged his patella in November.

Joel Matip's fitness issues reared their head again in the win at Spurs when he damaged his ankle.

The Anfield club have had to utilise defensive midfielder Fabinho almost exclusively in defence this term, with skipper Jordan Henderson also filling in at centre-back.

Jurgen Klopp is full of praise for the "football smart" Jordan Henderson as the Liverpool captain looks set to continue at centre-back – a position he could switch to on a full-time basis later in his career. 

The reigning Premier League champions continue to have issues at the heart of their defence due to injuries, Joel Matip the latest to go down after suffering ankle ligament damage in the 3-1 win at Tottenham on Thursday. 

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees, there is still the possibility Liverpool could make a move before the January transfer window closes to strengthen that area of their squad. 

Fabinho has filled in admirably having moved back from midfield, but he too is now sidelined. The Brazilian's absence saw Henderson start in defence against Spurs, a game that involved an enforced change of partner at half-time, Nathaniel Phillips coming on to replace the injured Matip. 

The England international again demonstrated his versatility – and perhaps gave a further glimpse into his long-term future – during an assured display at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Klopp impressed by how serenely his skipper has managed to adapt to the complexities of playing in the role for the Reds. 

"We should not forget that he is actually an eight, which makes it even more special. He's an eight, transformed into a six, transformed into a four," Klopp said ahead of Sunday's trip to West Ham. 

"He can play all these positions. The first thing that says is about how football smart Hendo is. His physical skills are obvious, but just how football smart he is.  

"They are completely different positions, especially the eight. There are some teams who play with a six so deep that it's kind of a three at the back, but he never played like this. That would have made the transition quite easy. We play with a six in a different way – that's how it is." 

Despite playing in defence, Henderson still made 29 passes in the opposing team's half in the triumph over Spurs; it was his chipped ball over the top that found Sadio Mane and led to Liverpool's opener on the stroke of half-time, scored by Roberto Firmino. 

The 30-year-old did not look like a fish out of water when playing there in Premier League fixtures against Southampton and Manchester United either, suggesting that – when the time is right – he could make a permanent switch from versatile midfielder to ball-playing centre-back. 

"I wish him a long career," Klopp said when asked about Henderson's potential to shift deeper as his career progresses. 

"Centre-half is one of the positions he can play, thankfully for us. He had a good game against Tottenham, too.  

"What makes it so exciting is, with his football skills, he can be very influential in our build-up as well. He had a big hand in our first goal, a nice little chip for Sadio, who then made the square pass for Bobby."

Henderson has not been dribbled past by an opponent during his three league outings at centre-back, with Liverpool conceding twice in those fixtures. It is a small sample size, of course, but it is a sign of Klopp's faith in his players that he has not looked to change the style of play or tactical approach to ease the burden on those covering for absent team-mates. 

Against West Ham, Henderson seems set to be utilised in the role again. Either Phillips or Rhys Williams will be in the team alongside him, though Klopp remains hopeful Fabinho is not too far away from a return, potentially in time for a home clash against Manchester City on February 7.

Perhaps by then the Liverpool boss will have a new signing to pop on the defensive carousel. Matip's fragility has seemingly increased the urgency to explore options ahead of Monday's deadline, but panic buys are not part of the long-term plan at Anfield.

If there is no defensive addition, however, Klopp at least knows that he has on-field lieutenant in Henderson that is capable of thriving, no matter where he lines up.

Kylian Mbappe's future continues to dominate headlines.

For so long, Real Madrid have been favourites to prise Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu.

But Premier League champions Liverpool are believed to be stepping up their pursuit.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL FRONTRUNNERS FOR MBAPPE

Liverpool are ahead of Real Madrid in the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe , according to Canal+ show Late Football Club.

Mbappe has been tipped to leave Ligue 1 champions PSG for LaLiga holders Madrid at the end of the season.

But Liverpool are reportedly the frontrunners to prise the France World Cup winner to Anfield amid doubts over Mohamed Salah 's future.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Madrid are preparing for the departure of Sergio Ramos as their star captain nears an exit. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked with the likes of PSG , Juventus , Manchester United and Manchester City .

- Will Roma striker Edin Dzeko and Inter's Alexis Sanchez swap clubs? Sky Sport Italia reports an exchange deal could be set to collapse. City reportedly turned down a chance to re-sign Dzeko, who has a fractured relationship with Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca.

Milan are continuing to target Palmeiras and Uruguayan defender Matias Vina , says Calciomercato.

- Cadena Cope reports PSG want to sign Barcelona defender Emerson , who is on loan at Real Betis.

- Sport Bild journalist Christian Falk says United are interested in RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano , but Bayern Munich lead the race to secure his services at season's end. Upamecano has also been linked to the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool .

- Falk also confirmed that Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate has a release clause in excess of €40million (£35m) amid interest from United , Liverpool and Tottenham .

United are eyeing Barca's Ousmane Dembele if Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho does not arrive ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, according to Falk.

Jurgen Klopp acknowledged Liverpool's injury woes have had a knock-on effect with the stability and structure of the rest of his line-up.

Liverpool lost the influential Virgil van Dijk to a serious knee injury in the Merseyside derby back in October, while centre-back partner Joe Gomez is likely to miss the rest of the campaign having damaged his patella in November.

Joel Matip's own fitness issues reared their head again in Liverpool's 3-1 victory over Tottenham on Thursday when he damaged his ankle.

The Premier League champions have had to utilise defensive midfielder Fabinho almost exclusively in defence this term, with skipper Jordan Henderson also filling in at centre-back.

Liverpool's triumph over Tottenham Spurs ended a five-match winless run in the top flight that has threatened to damage their title defence beyond repair.

Klopp explained how the issues in defence have also affected Liverpool in other areas of the pitch.

"Football is all about individual skills of course, we have to bring it together to make it work," he said.

"So, it's about the structure of the team, about stability, about reliability, knowing what the other boy is doing in this moment, react on it, prepare your action. 

"It's about leadership as well, on the pitch, who leads the line, who used to do that. It's not a secret Virgil van Dijk was our last line. So, organisation wise, move up, these kind of things, with the ball a little as well, that's how it is it developed that way. 

"That was a job for a little while for Joe, who grew in the job. Then Joe was out, Joel played together with Fabinho so both players are not the most vocal players on the pitch. 

"Plus we miss our most natural six when we speak about structure and stability, it changed the whole set-up. 

"Usually in football when one player has the ball all the others know kind of what will happen, because they are used to it, he steps in or plays the long pass, all that was gone in a period when we played every three days. 

"The boys did really well with that to be honest but it cost a lot of energy and focus to adapt to these things, it cost most of all fluidity."

WHAT ARE LIVERPOOL MISSING IN VAN DIJK?

It should come as little surprise that Liverpool are far more successful with Van Dijk in the team than without him.

Going back to start of last season, Van Dijk has played in 57 games across all competitions for the Reds, while missing out on 30.

With Van Dijk involved they have a win percentage of 71.9 compared to 53.3 when he has not played. Additionally, the average points per game drops from 2.3 to 1.9 .

Perhaps a little surprisingly, Liverpool concede slightly fewer goals per game – but the 1 as opposed to 1.1 is negligible and the fact their average goals drops from 2.2 to 1.9 suggests Klopp's point about the positional changes in his team bears fruit.

From the start of last season to the date of Van Dijk's injury, only Manchester City (42) and Sheffield United (45) had conceded fewer than their 46 among teams that were playing in the top flight across both seasons.

Moreover, the Reds ranked second for clean sheets (16) and fewest shots on target faced (134), while they were third for fewest shots total faced (386). Somewhat surprisingly, they had 28 errors leading to shots (including goals) although this may be attributed to the style employed by Klopp.

Since Van Dijk's injury, Liverpool still compare favourably in terms of goals conceded (only City with six have shipped fewer than their 10), but nine teams have more clean sheets. They also slip slightly to third for fewest shots on target faced (45).

In that same time period, Van Dijk ranked sixth for duels won (256), 11th for recoveries (239), 11th for clearances (170) and second for aerial duels won (203) in the Premier League.

LACK OF REALISTIC REPLACEMENTS?

One solution of course is for Liverpool to enter the transfer market ahead of the deadline on Monday, but the mid-season window is traditionally tricky to find good deals.

Klopp has made no secret of the fact that Liverpool will reinforce if the right solution comes along, but with clubs reluctant to sell their best players during the season the German may have to make do.

"We know the clubs where the better centre-halves are playing, where they are obviously interesting, tell me if one of these clubs need money and has to sell a player," Klopp said.

"We see the situation, we lost two probably two of best of the centre-halves in the market at all in the space of six-seven weeks.

"That's massive, you have to look, find a solution in that moment. We tried, we see the situation, we don't close our eyes. to play your season you need to be lucky with injuries, we know that. we are not lucky in these moments. 

"I said all the time we're busy checking specific things in the market, we always did, we'll do it now as well and we'll see if something will happen or not."

Jurgen Klopp retains "a glimpse of hope" Joel Matip's ankle injury is not serious and re-emphasised Liverpool are working on bringing in the right reinforcement at centre-back.

Reds boss Klopp stated after Thursday's 3-1 win at Tottenham that Matip had sustained ankle ligament damage.

However, when previewing Sunday's Premier League trip to West Ham, Klopp said he is awaiting the results of a scan to ascertain the level of the damage.

Fabinho, who did not feature against Spurs due to a muscular issue, will not be ready to face the Hammers, though.

"Joel, last night after the game I was - especially with that - pretty emotional," Klopp said. 

"Meanwhile there is still a glimpse of hope it's not that serious – we don't have the final results, the scan didn't happen yet. 

"We will know more in three or four hours hopefully. Fabinho, no chance for the weekend."

Any absence for Matip comes at a difficult time for Liverpool, who still have Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on their long-term injury list.

Following the Spurs game, Klopp said Liverpool would not make a signing simply to boost the numbers at centre-back, where Jordan Henderson filled in against Spurs and partnered youngster Nat Phillips for the second half.

The German struck a similar tone, adding: "I don't know [if we will sign a defender], but we will try. 

"[It's] funny when you think Liverpool is just fine with the situation and don't care. We try, there's nothing to say until something happens so we will see. 

"The situation yesterday didn't make it easier or whatever but still we will try to do the right things. If that's possible we will do it. If not, not."

"My thoughts didn't change. My words might have! It's the same situation. We work on this, if we don't sleep, we work. We will see . 

"Everything is long-term. It's about a solution, and that's what we are working on.

"I am not sure there is an £80million centre-back available at the moment or that teams would sell. This player of this calibre, probably other teams would not want to sell them now. 

"Of course we need to find the right player, that's clear. It needs to suit our financial situation, that's clear too. It's both."

The likes of Phillips and Rhys Williams have both been given extended game time this season and Klopp says he trusts the youngsters to perform.

"We speak constantly but not maybe the talks you think we have. They have talent and will have a proper career, that's fine," he added. 

"We have trust as well, let them do things in a specific way. We are different and do things differently, some of the things we have to do exactly right because we do them together and some things are individual. 

"It's not like every day we give them a book about playing in the Premier League, we trust the boys."

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool would only sign "the right player" despite their defensive problems increasing with the loss of Joel Matip to an ankle injury.

Matip missed the 3-2 FA Cup loss at Manchester United last Saturday but returned for Thursday's Premier League win at Tottenham, partnering Jordan Henderson in defence in the absence of Fabinho.

However, the Cameroon international had to be substituted at half-time of the 3-1 victory over Spurs with what Klopp later confirmed as ankle ligament damage.

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees and Fabinho struggling with another muscle problem, the Reds finished the match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with Henderson alongside the inexperienced Nat Phillips.

Klopp, though, is not prepared to sanction a new signing before the transfer window closes simply to add extra numbers to his squad.

"You can imagine that we think about everything, of course," he said. "We thought the whole time, we think the whole time, it's about doing the right thing.

"I'm not picky or whatever… but we need to find the right player. We have players still. Not a lot, to be honest, in the defence line it is incredible what's happening there, it's really incredible. But that's it."

Liverpool's convincing win over Jose Mourinho's men, delivered through goals from Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane, was just their second in eight games in all competitions.

Firmino's first-half opener ended a wait of 482 minutes for a Premier League goal, in which time the champions had attempted 93 shots without finding the net. 

"I am completely happy about the performance and, yes, it's about the boys," Klopp said. "They put a proper shift in. It was a brave performance in a game against a counter-attacking monster, which they are and that makes it even more special. For tonight, it was really good."

The win moved Liverpool back into fourth place in the table, four points behind leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

Jose Mourinho fears Harry Kane could be out for "a few weeks" after the Tottenham captain injured both ankles in a 3-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Thursday.

England striker Kane did not return for the second half at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after requiring treatment twice in the opening 45 minutes.

Kane has been struck with ankle problems in the past and although Mourinho was unsure over the extent of the damage his talisman sustained, the Spurs boss is braced for having to cope without him in the short term at least.

Asked about Kane's injuries, the Portuguese told Match of the Day: "Two ankles, the first was a bad tackle, it was Thiago [Alcantara]. The second one I didn't know well.

"But two injuries in both ankles, the second one worst than the first one – a few weeks [out], I don't know.

"There are some players you can't replace. When it happens it happens but I believe we have to fight against it, we cannot do anything else."

Spurs face Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday before taking on Chelsea in a London derby, then face clashes with Everton and Manchester City before coming up against Wolfsberger over two legs in the Europa League next month.

Their eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions was brought to a juddering halt by champions Liverpool, who rediscovered their goalscoring touch with strikes from Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had made it 2-1 with a stunning first goal for Spurs after Alexander-Arnold capitalised on a mistake from Hugo Lloris early in the second half.

Son Heung-min had an early goal disallowed for offside after Mane missed a glorious early chance to open the scoring and Mourinho felt Tottenham only had themselves to blame for a defeat that leaves them eight points behind leaders City in sixth place.

"My analysis is that we started very well, but before we scored the offside goal we showed immediately what the game was going to be for us – a big occasion for Mane, a big defensive mistake," he said.

"That was the game for us, the team in the first half was very well organised, the goal is another mistake in the same position.

"The second half we had to make changes, we lose Harry, had to change the structure of the team. First minute, same mistake, second goal. Good reaction, another mistake and goal.

"It was a team fighting against its own mistakes. Some individual mistakes that you saw, you can replay and I cannot say much more than that."

"I'm not only a good-weather coach," said Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool's trip to Tottenham. How prophetic.

In the pouring north-London rain on Thursday, the Reds manager took a patched-up defence and misfiring attack to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and put on a show, one that will have the Manchester clubs feeling a touch of nerves.

Liverpool's 3-1 victory was their sixth in a row against Spurs and Klopp's fifth in nine league games against Jose Mourinho, but this was still something of a surprise. The Reds had won once in seven games in all competitions, lost their last two at home to Burnley and away to Manchester United, and struggled their way through 482 minutes and 93 shots without scoring in the league.

They welcomed back Joel Matip and captain Jordan Henderson but lost Fabinho to a muscle problem, and Matip himself only lasted the first half. This was a patched-up, pockmarked line-up tasked with stopping Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who have scored and assisted 41 times between them this season.

They had to ride their luck early on, the remarkably ruthless Son slotting past Alisson with his first chance only to be penalised for an offside heel. There was an element of fortune about Liverpool's opener, too: Sadio Mane's scuffed cross reached Roberto Firmino for a tap-in only because Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris chose to let it bobble between them.

But it was a goal, and a win, that Klopp's men wholly deserved.

Mourinho seemed to sense it, too. If he was furious with Firmino's goal, he was apoplectic when Trent Alexander-Arnold, another whose form has been questioned, rifled in a second just after half-time after Lloris parried the ball right to his boot. Pierre-Emile Hojgbjerg blasted in a stunning reply but it never felt as though Liverpool's lead was under threat, even after Mohamed Salah's goal was disallowed for a distant Firmino handball.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made sure of it when he let Alexander-Arnold's deep cross reach Mane, who blasted home. It's now 21 goal involvements in the league for the right-back since the start of last season, the most of any defender in the competition. That patchwork defence then made certain Alisson did not have another save to make, even with Son, Erik Lamela, Steven Bergwijn and Gareth Bale on the pitch, the injured Kane having exited at half-time.

This was not 'vintage' Liverpool, if there can be such a thing. There were poor misses and errant backheels apiece from Salah and Mane, and Thiago Alcantara was ineffective even before suffering a cut head. They were also given a huge helping hand by some abject Spurs defending. But for a team who haven't won a league game for over a month, this was pretty emphatic.

Klopp's men are now back to within three points of United and four of leaders Manchester City. They meet Pep Guardiola's men at Anfield on February 7 – a match they will now likely go into with a far sunnier outlook.

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored for the first time this season and laid on an assist as Liverpool ended their Premier League goal drought with a 3-1 victory at Tottenham.

The champions had not scored in their previous four games amid a five-match winless run in the top flight, but ended their slump at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday to move four points behind leaders Manchester City in fourth place.

Roberto Firmino opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time after Son Heung-min had a goal ruled out for offside and Alexander-Arnold added a second shortly after the restart.

Spurs suffered a big blow when Harry Kane could not return for the second half after having treatment on both ankles, but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg halved the deficit within two minutes of Alexander-Arnold’s strike.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool, who lost Joel Matip to injury at the break, breathing space as Tottenham's eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions came to a halt in a major setback to their hopes of challenging for the title.

Mane wasted a glorious chance to give the Reds an early lead when he fired wide from close range and that looked to be costly when Son finished clinically soon after, but the goal was ruled out for offside following a VAR check.

Son shot straight at a grateful Alisson on the counter-attack before Mane was twice denied by Hugo Lloris, as the Reds dominated possession without being able to end their top-flight goal drought.

The breakthrough came just before the interval, though, fit-again captain Jordan Henderson – playing as a centre-back with Fabinho ruled out – piercing the Spurs defence with a brilliant ball over the top for Mane, who set Firmino up for a tap-in.

Jose Mourinho made a double change at half-time, with Kane and Serge Aurier replaced by Erik Lamela and Harry Winks, while Nathaniel Phillips took Matip's place at the heart of Jurgen Klopp's back four.

Alexander-Arnold doubled Liverpool's lead two minutes into the second period with a clinical right-foot finish following a mistake from Lloris, who palmed Mane's shot into his path.

Hojbjerg quickly got Spurs back into the match with a rasping long-range drive before referee Martin Atkinson disallowed a Mohamed Salah goal for handball against Firmino.

Liverpool were not to be denied a third goal after 65 minutes, though, the excellent Alexander-Arnold whipping in a cross that Joe Rodon failed to deal with and Sane punished the defender by lashing home with his left foot.

Liverpool suffered another injury blow as Fabinho was ruled out of Thursday's Premier League clash at Tottenham but captain Jordan Henderson returned.

Fabinho has moved back from midfield into the heart of the champions' defence impressively with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees, but the Brazil international missed out against Spurs due to a minor muscle issue.

Henderson sat out the shock home defeat to Burnley and the FA Cup fourth-round loss at Manchester United last week, but the skipper returned to fill in at centre-back again alongside Joel Matip.

James Milner lined up for his 550th Premier League appearance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Sadio Mane returning to the starting line-up as the Reds looked to end a five-match winless run in the top flight.

Tottenham were without Sergio Reguilon due to a muscle injury, so Matt Doherty came into the side in the only change from their last Premier League game at Sheffield United.

Kylian Mbappe wants time to make a decision on his future as Real Madrid await a signal from the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Mbappe, 22, has been linked with a move to Madrid and his contract at PSG ends in 2022.

But will the forward end up at the Santiago Bernabeu?

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID WAIT FOR MBAPPE

Real Madrid are waiting for a signal from Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, according to Marca.

The report says Mbappe has asked for time to decide his future.

While Madrid have been most strongly linked with a move for Mbappe, Liverpool are also reportedly interested.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Madrid and Fabrizio Romano says a new contract for midfielder Luka Modric is imminent. The Croatian midfielder's current deal expires at the end of the season.

- Dele Alli's future is set to be a constant talking point until at least the end of this transfer window. ESPN claims Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to let the midfielder leave for PSG. Romano reports Spurs are still looking for a replacement and were working on re-signing Christian Eriksen, but Inter wanted a loan fee and the midfielder's salary paid in full.

- Lyon star Houssem Aouar was linked to Arsenal last close season, but the midfielder could head elsewhere. Gianluca Di Marzio reports Juventus are looking at the 22-year-old as an option ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

- Lucas Torreira seems set to move on from Atletico Madrid. Diario AS says Monaco are favourites to sign the midfielder, who is on loan at Atletico from Arsenal.

- Said Benrahma has made an impression at West Ham. Sky Sports reports West Ham have converted their loan for Benrahma from Brentford into a permanent move, paying £20million plus add-ons. The report says West Ham are also in talks to sign RB Leipzig forward Hwang Hee-chan.

Jurgen Klopp is not expecting any arrivals at Liverpool before the end of the January transfer window.

The Premier League champions have continued to be linked with moves for defenders amid their form slump and with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined through injury.

But, asked if he expected anything to change before the transfer window closes on February 1, Liverpool manager Klopp told a news conference: "Not really. No, not really.

"I would not say absolutely 100 per cent no, but I don't expect anything to happen to be honest."

Ahead of a trip to Tottenham on Thursday, Liverpool are winless in five Premier League games, sitting fifth in the table and seven points behind Manchester City.

Klopp said his side would continue pushing to turn their season around and he believes they are capable.

"We talk about things, that's clear. We don't ignore the things," he said.

"We have meetings, of course, and speak about the things just to make sure that we understand the situation in the right way – as a challenge, and a challenge is absolutely fine.

"As always with a challenge, it's all about how you approach it. We are in it. We are not happy about the situation, but we can sort it, however you would say it, and that's what we do.

"And we will fight. We will fight the situation, we will fight tomorrow night [against Tottenham], these kinds of things. That's what we'll do. We will see what we get for it."

Jose Mourinho believes Liverpool are still more than capable of winning the Premier League this season. 

Jurgen Klopp's reigning champions are on a five-game winless streak in the top flight and were dumped out of the FA Cup by Manchester United on Sunday. 

They travel to top-four rivals Spurs on Thursday having won just one of their last eight away Premier League games, Klopp's men netting as many goals in that one win – 7-0 against Crystal Palace – as they have managed in the other games combined.

Mourinho – who has lost his last three meetings with Liverpool, his longest losing run against an opponent in his top-flight managerial league career – dismissed suggestions the Reds are a spent force, pointing to the loss of Virgil van Dijk to injury as justification for their poor form. 

"I think Liverpool since that season when they lost with an incredible number of points [2018-19 when they finished second to Manchester City with 97 points], they have been phenomenal," he said.

"They win the Champions League, they win the league. Come on. The team is the same or better. The coach is the same or better, because a coach is a job where experience helps you. For me, a coach with one more year is better. 

"They've got some very good players. They lost a fundamental player [Van Dijk]. We can say what we want, we can try to hide things, but there are some players that are special. 

"Even sometimes the defensive process has a relation to an attacking player and the attacking process sometimes has a relation to a defensive player. 

"A team very stable defensively is a team with much better conditions to attack. They lost Van Dijk, so if they had one or two results not the best, didn't score as many goals, it's normal that they went into a phase of less confidence. But for me, they are the same. Nothing changed."

Asked if Liverpool needed to retain the title to be considered a truly great team, Mourinho said the Merseyside club had nothing to prove.

"A champion is champion," he added. "You win the title, you are the champion. Period. 

"There are leagues where the champion is decided in pre-season. Where you know who is going to win that league. This is not the Premier League.

"Only one team is going to be champion, only four teams are going to be top four, only two more are going to the Europa League. But you cannot say other people fail. This is the beauty of the Premier League. 

"So for me, Liverpool is an amazing team and they still can win the Premier League. Of course they can."

Thursday's game comes six weeks since Mourinho and Klopp exchanged terse words after Liverpool's last-gasp 2-1 win over Spurs at Anfield.

But while the Portuguese feels his touchline demeanour has mellowed, he believes he is punished more harshly than other managers when he steps out of line. 

"In my case, I felt an evolution," he said. "I felt an evolution on emotional control. I felt calmer, I am better, I can read the game. 

"I'm even happy for the assistants to go to the touchline. I felt that I had to change my behaviour, which 'm really, really happy with. I cannot speak for other guys. 

"What I can speak about is when I didn't behave well, I paid the price in two ways. One was to see matches on TV. And another was big money fines. And I feel that some of the other guys, it doesn't happen the same. 

"But, if the referee and the fourth official are there to do their job, I just hope they do their job and act the way they have to act."

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