Liverpool midfielder Arthur Melo is facing up to four months out of action because he needs surgery on an injury suffered in training at the start of the week.
Having worked hard on his fitness during the international break, Arthur was left out of Liverpool’s Champions League win over Rangers on Tuesday as a result of the muscle problem the day before.
Now, following several days of medical assessment, The Athletic has reported that a decision has been made for the Brazilian to go under the knife before the end of the weekend.
Arthur, on loan at Anfield from Juventus, won’t play again until 2023 and is expected to miss between three and four months while he recovers.
A four-month layoff would mean Arthur does not return until early February, by which time more than half of his loan deal will have elapsed. Once recovered, he will need to work on his match fitness and having played so little in recent months as it is, that could take some time.
Overall, it likely reduces the chances of Liverpool exercising their €37.5m (£33m) option with Juventus to make the transfer a permanent one next summer.
It is a major personal blow to the player, who had recruited a personal physio, fitness coach and nutritionist to work alongside Liverpool staff to help get him ready to play.
The former Barcelona midfielder had been working with Liverpool’s Under-23 squad, even featuring as an over-age player in the EFL Trophy and Premier League 2 to build his fitness. He has had only 13 minutes on the pitch with the first-team as a substitute against Napoli in the Champions League.
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Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration
Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.
The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.
Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:
“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”
Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.
“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”
Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!
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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player
Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.
Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.
On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.
It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.
Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.
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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.
Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.
He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.
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