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Fantasy football scout tips gameweek 17: Jamie Vardy, Mohamed Salah, Danny Ings and more

Jamie Vardy

After scoring in each of his last nine games and twice last week it was no surprise to see Vardy's ownership moved north of 50%, meaning he is not much of a 'tip' anymore.

But seeing as he is more likely in your team than not, our advice is to captain him. That way he is still valuable, as you take double the points of his non-captaining owners.

Mohamed Salah

Remember him? Salah was the Vardy of his day, once in more than half of fantasy squads, but his ownership has dropped to a mere 21% this season after an inconsistent start to the campaign.

But Salah hit a goal and assist last time out against Bournemouth, followed by another goal in the midweek victory over Salzburg. Basement-dwelling Watford visit Anfield on Saturday.

Danny Ings

Missed the boat on Vardy? Not to worry. Ings keeps his place among our picks as he provides a brilliant budget option, with a goal in each of his last five appearances.

Southampton are still struggling to move clear of the relegation places but welcome the leaky West Ham, managed by under-pressure Manuel Pellegrini, to St Mary's for Saturday's tea-time kick-off.

James Maddison​

If you are not already on a Leicester double or triple-up, it would appear wise to change that quickly. Even though there are tough tests on the horizon, Brendan Rodgers' in-form title-chasers host Norwich at the King Power this weekend.

Youri Tielemans and Ayoze Perez have their admirers, but Maddison has consistently been the most productive member of their midfield and registered two assists in last Sunday's win at Villa Park.

George Baldock

While we have all enjoyed John Lundstram's points over the past few months, have we overlooked one of the most adventurous full-back partnerships in the Premier League? That was certainly the case last time out.

Both George Baldock and Enda Stevens returned attacking points for Sheffield United on Sunday and stand every chance of doing so again for the visit of Aston Villa, though we prefer the slightly cheaper Baldock.

Honourable mentions: Vicente Guaita, Martin Kelly, Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic, Chris Wood


This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/fantasy-football-scout-tips-gameweek-17-fpl-a9244101.html

'Nobody is leaving Leicester City in January' insists manager Brendan Rodgers

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has ruled out any departures during the January transfer window as he looks to keep pace at the top of the Premier League.

The Foxes host struggling Norwich on Saturday aiming to stay within striking distance of leaders Liverpool, who are heading off for the Fifa Club World Cup in Qatar.

The likes of England duo Ben Chilwell and James Maddison along with midfielder Wilfried Ndidi have all been touted as potential targets for rival clubs at the start of 2020.

Rodgers, though, maintains there are no thoughts of allowing any departures.

“There will be nobody leaving in January, categorically,” the Leicester manager said. “I am speaking regularly with (director of football) Jon (Rudkin) and Top (owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha).

“It is really clear, we want to keep this squad together. It is an exciting team with growth and development in it, so we want to ensure they stay around beyond January.”

Rodgers added: “It’s the nature of the game that when you are doing well there will always be speculation around you, (players like) James and one or two of the other boys, they understand that.

“But long may it continue because he (Maddison) has been absolutely brilliant and started the season very well. James is a bright young player with a big future. He had a great spell at Norwich, they had to sell him I understand because the club needed the money, and has continued to flourish here.

“He is very hungry to be better and that is what is key. He has been consistently very good and he has a great hunger for the game.”

Rodgers indicated Leicester would look to strengthen the squad if the right opportunity presented itself.

“We have got a top squad and want to continue to improve, that is very important, but there has to be the availability and someone who is affordable for us,” he said.

Despite having chalked up eight straight Premier League wins, Rodgers is not expecting an easy ride against a Norwich side battling for points at the other end of the table.

“Win our next game, that’s always been our mantra, to never look too far ahead,” the Leicester manager said. “It’s hard to forecast in football and all you can do is bring your best game into the game.

“Of course, Norwich are sitting at the wrong end of the table and they don’t want to be there, but they’ve shown they can win, so we have to prepare for them and a tough game.”

Although in charge for just 10 months, Rodgers had been rewarded with a new contract until 2025.

The former Liverpool and Celtic boss confirmed his backroom staff – Kolo Toure and Glen Driscoll – had also finalised extensions.

“The staff who came in with me had been with me for a long time, so it was important after I agreed that they were the same, so that is all done,” he said.


This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/leicester-city-transfer-news-chilwell-maddison-ndidi-brendan-rodgers-a9244171.html

Takumi Minamino: How Liverpool beat Manchester United to transfer of RB Salzburg star

Liverpool have been in discussions with Red Bull Salzburg over a £7.25million January deal for Takumi Minamino since November, catching their rivals for his signature cold. 

Manchester United were one of the clubs scouting the Japan international as an alternative to Leicester’s James Maddison, while Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach tried to make a late push for the attacking midfielder. The latter’s manager, Marco Rose, had coached Minamino during his spell at Salzburg.

As The Independent has revealed, the strong relationship between Liverpool and the Austrian club gave the European champions a huge advantage in the pursuit of the 24-year-old, whom they are due to announce in the winter window pending a medical and sealing personal terms.

Michael Edwards, sporting director of the Premier League’s pacesetters, was aware of the player’s clause for a lengthy period while United were not. 

He has spent a considerable amount of time working with Salzburg on inspiration for Liverpool’s new £50m training complex and has great rapport with Christoph Freund, his counterpart at the Austrian champions.

While all the headlines and hype has surrounded Erling Haaland, it is Minamino and Hwang Hee-chan that have most interested England’s top sides.

Liverpool have monitored both, watching the former since 2013 but his development over the last two years has really peaked the interest of Jürgen Klopp. 

Minamino, who has netted five goals in the last four World Cup qualifiers and has been luminary for Salzburg in Europe, could easily have fetched over £25m without his release clause. 

The deal will represent another example of Liverpool’s stellar recruitment work in terms of their forward-thinking. Minamino’s cost mirrors the fees Ryan Kent and Rafael Camacho were sold to Rangers and Sporting Lisbon respectively.


This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/liverpool-fc-transfer-news-takumi-minamino-manchester-united-melissa-reddy-latest-a9244071.html

Takumi Minamino: Liverpool agree January transfer deal for RB Salzburg attacker

Liverpool have fended off competition from Manchester United to agree a January deal in principle with Red Bull Salzburg for Takumi Minamino, who has a paltry release clause of just £7.25million.

Christoph Freund, sporting director of the Austrian champions, told The Independent this week that the 24-year-old is ready to accelerate his development at one of Europe’s elite clubs after five years of service. 

Liverpool’s excellent off-field relationship with Salzburg - their new £50million training base was inspired by their Champions League group opponents - has helped them push past a queue of interest in Minamino, which includes United and several Bundesliga sides.

The player himself had originally expected his next destination to be Germany’s top-tier and given his modest nature, was said to be taken aback that the Premier League leaders were heavily pursuing him.

“He is an outstanding player with an outstanding personality,” Freund told The Independent. “The big clubs have been watching him and if I was them, I’d have no hesitation to sign him. Takumi is ready to make the next step in January.”

Salzburg used the option to extend Minamino contract’s last February to 2021, and without the escape clause, could have comfortably fetched over £25million for the Japan international.

Liverpool’s appreciation of the attacking midfielder pre-dates his impressive displays against them in the Champions League as the club keep a close eye on Salzburg’s talent hub, through which Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have also progressed from. 

The Austrian’s are famed for recruiting young players with high ceilings and affording them to opportunity to develop in a professional setting much earlier than would typically be the case. 

Minamino fits Jürgen Klopp’s mould of a technically gifted footballer with exceptional workrate, a stellar attitude and the desire for further advancement. 

His age ticks the box of Liverpool’s recruitment profile and an added advantage is the commercial opportunities the European champions would gain from his signing.


This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/takumi-minamino-liverpool-transfer-news-release-clause-latest-a9243476.html

Takumi Minamino: How could Liverpool line-up with Salzburg's Japanese midfielder?

Liverpool have made their first significant stride into the January transfer market after agreeing a deal in principle to sign RB Salzburg playmaker Takumi Minamino.

The Japanese midfielder has a release clause of just £7.25m and has been trailed by a number of Europe’s top clubs, including Manchester United and several Bundesliga sides.

“He is an outstanding player with an outstanding personality,” Salzburg’s sporting director, Christopher Freund, told The Independent. “The big clubs have been watching him and if I was them, I’d have no hesitation to sign him. Takumi is ready to make the next step in January.”

However, the 24-year-old’s arrival could spell a shake-up for Jurgen Klopp’s already congested midfield, where Minamino will be competing with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri amongst others.

Check out the gallery below to see how Liverpool could line-up, and their squad in full, with Minamino in the team:

Please click through the gallery above.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.


This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/liverpool-fc-transfer-news-takumi-minamino-rb-salzburg-fee-klopp-a9243566.html