Liverpool round-up: James backs Klopp's Mignolet stance; Matip linked with summer switch

A selection of the latest stories in the media involving Liverpool Football Club this Thursday morning.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James has backed the decision to give Simon Mignolet a new contract at the club despite a costly error in last weekend's draw against West Bromwich Albion.

James was not averse to making the odd error himself while playing for Liverpool but in an interview with the Liverpool Echo, he has backed the way manager Jurgen Klopp has handled the situation.

He said: “There have been questions asked about Simon ever since he joined Liverpool. I think a lot of that is down to the calibre of goalkeepers Liverpool had before him. It wasn’t easy replacing someone like Pepe Reina who had done so well for the club.

“The goalkeeping position at Liverpool will always be under scrutiny because it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. You have to be one of the best in the world to survive there.

“I liked the way Klopp came out after the game and tried to take the blame himself for the first goal. It means a lot for a manager to come out and back you like that."

At the weekend Liverpool travel to Vicarage Road to take on Watford with the Reds aiming to close the gap on the sides above them and position themselves well over the festive season.

A legend at both clubs is John Barnes and he believes that a top four finish is within the grasp of the Reds, though the title may be beyond them this season, as they currently trail Leicester City by 11 points.

He told the Daily Mirror: “They are not title contenders yet, and I’m still not getting carried away just because Jurgen Klopp is here, but there is a positive vibe and unity around the club again. Realistically, fourth place is possibly within our grasp and then, depending on who he signs in the summer, he can think about making a major push for the title.”

Several reports indicate that Klopp is looking to the Bundesliga for one of his first signings but they may not arrive until the summer.

The Times reports that Klopp is interested in bringing 24-year-old Schalke defender Joel Matip to the club when he becomes a free agent in the summer. 

The Daily Express has said the centre-back can play in a defensive midfield role, therefore giving him more of an appeal.

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