Liverpool FC news recap: Trent return, Hughes' first hire, Alonso talk

Here’s our Liverpool FC news recap for Thursday 21 March. Trent Alexander-Arnold has his sights set on a return date.

Jurgen Klopp has a return date in mind for Trent Alexander-Arnold - but the Scouser feels he can beat it. That's one of the biggest stories to come out of Thursday on a day when Richard Hughes technically made his first move as sporting director.

(Even if he hasn't quite taken on the job yet)

There's also been plenty of Xabi Alonso talk, as always, with clubs working their way around his future. Here's our Liverpool FC news recap for Thursday.


Trent Alexander-Arnold plots return

Trent Alexander-Arnold has a return date for Liverpool in mind - but it’s different to Jurgen Klopp’s plan. Neither expects him to face Brighton, however.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold file photo File photo dated 23-12-2023 of Liverpool s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who hopes his initiative to find jobs for academy prospects who fail to become professional footballers is the beginning of a wider conversation . Issue date: Tuesday February 6, 2024. FILE PHOTO EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publica... PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRL Copyright: xPeterxByrnex 75260694

Trent Alexander-Arnold has a return date in mind as he continues his rehab from injury. The Scouser has been out for over a month now - and is unlikely to return during the international break.

Brighton, it seems, will come too soon - that's according to both The Times and the Telegraph. Instead, the latter claims Alexander-Arnold hopes to return against Sheffield United on April 4th.

What's particularly interesting about that is Jurgen Klopp's feeling that the fixture at Old Trafford three days later is a more probable return date. To say the pair are 'at odds' would be going too far, but they clearly have different ideas here.

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Mark Burchill to join Liverpool

Liverpool are closing in on the appointment of Mark Burchill. He joins in the wake of Richard Hughes becoming sporting director at Anfield.

Incoming sporting director at Liverpool, Richard Hughes

The Times, and many others, report that Mark Burchill is set to join Liverpool's scouting team. He'll arrive from Bournemouth and is said to be following Richard Hughes from the Cherries.

Hughes was confirmed as the Reds' new sporting director on Wednesday, though he won't officially take up the role until June 1st. Liverpool are completing a deal for his first request, however, with Burchill.

Burchill is Bournemouth's Chief Scout, having moved their after being sacked as Livingston manager in 2015. He was only briefly a manager, taking over as an interim boss the previous season.

But despite only managing 45 games, Burchill did win a trophy - the Scottish Challenge Cup. After that, though, he opted out of a career in management and focused on scouting.

He's clearly done well there, too, impressing enough that Hughes wants to bring him to Liverpool this summer. A deal is supposedly close and should be announced very soon.

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New Bayern target?

With Liverpool's new behind-the-scenes structure now in place following the appointments of Michael Edwards (FSG's CEO of football) and Richard Hughes (sporting director), Liverpool are now expected to step up their efforts to land Jurgen Klopp's successor, with Xabi Alonso the number one target.

00 Antonio Conte attends at the fourth episode of Rai tv program Belve at Fabrizio Frizzi studios., Credit:Mario Cartelli / Avalon Italy, Rome PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxUSA Copyright: xMarioxCartellix/xAvalonx 0814134044

Bayern too had been expected to make an aggressive push for their former midfielder. However, there are now suggestions they are widening their search.

La Repubblica claims that instead of Alonso, Bayern's first-choice to replace the departing Thomas Tuchel is actually former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Conte.

The 54-year-old has been out of work since leaving Spurs in 2023 and was 'contacted a few months ago' by Bayern.

While Conte is described as a 'priority' for Bayern, negotiations are expected to be difficult with the Italian preferring a return to Serie A.

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Leverkusen director on Alonso

Along with Liverpool, Bayern Munich are reported to be interested in Alonso, though the man himself has kept his cards close to his chest as he focusses on a potentially historic season.

Xabi Alonso

Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso is a target for Liverpool and Bayern Munich

Leverkusen club chiefs have regularly insisted that their head coach will remain in charge for the foreseeable future, despite the interest. However, sporting director Rolfes has now admitted that the future is uncertain.

“You never have 100 percent security,” Rolfes said, via Kicker: “If an executive wants to go to another club, what happens then?

“Of course you have to prepare certain scenarios.”

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Saudi interest in Salah

Speaking on JD Football’s YouTube channel, transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano insisted the Saudis aren't going away, but suggested Mo Salah could stay at Liverpool depending on the 'project' presented to him in the post-Jurgen Klopp era.

Mohamed Salah

Brentford v Liverpool, London, UK - 17 Feb 2024 Goal celebrations for Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Brentford and Liverpool at The GTech Community Stadium, London on 17 February 2024 London The GTech Community Stadium London England Copyright: xMicahxCrook/PPAUKx PPA-089862

He said: "In the final week of August, from what I’m hearing, they from Saudi sent the proposal which was around £100m plus add-ons which was around a £150m package for Mo Salah.

"It was massive money and Liverpool decided to say no together with the player to continue together for one more season.

"From Saudi, the interest is still there. They will try again, they want to try again. At the moment there is no discussion with Liverpool or with Mo as they know they are 100% focused on this season.

"So let’s see what happens in the summer in terms of proposal and negotiations. I’m sure Saudi will try again for Mo Salah but I’m also sure that Mo is very happy in Liverpool."

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