Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has signed a new five-year deal with the Premier League champions.

The Brazil international is into his fifth season with City and is now under contract until the end of the 2025-26 campaign.

Ederson has been a regular under Pep Guardiola since arriving at the Etihad Stadium from Benfica in June 2017, making 195 appearances for the club in total.

He has kept 94 clean sheets and won every domestic honour available, a haul that includes three Premier League titles, four EFL Cups and one FA Cup.

The transfer window officially closed on Tuesday, meaning clubs across Europe must now make do with the players available to them until at least January.

It has been an eventful few months, with Lionel Messi ending his 21-year association with Barcelona by joining Paris Saint-Germain and Cristiano Ronaldo sealing an emotional return to Manchester United from Juventus.

The drama continued to unfold right through until the final stages of the window as Antoine Griezmann rejoined Atletico Madrid on an initial loan and Chelsea snapped up Saul Niguez from the Spanish champions, while Real Madrid brought in rising star Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes.

With Kylian Mbappe staying at PSG and Harry Kane still a Tottenham player, Jack Grealish's £100million switch to Manchester City from Aston Villa was the biggest deal in monetary terms, followed by Romelu Lukaku's £97.5m (€115m) move to Chelsea from Inter.

Stats Perform takes a look at the best deals that went through.

Hakan Calhanoglu: Inter to Milan (free transfer)

After failing to agree new terms at Milan, Calhanoglu completed a shock move across the city to rivals Inter, signing a three-year deal.

While not necessarily the most popular transfer, getting a player who created 98 chances last season – the most of any player in Europe's top five leagues – for free is quite something.

The Turkey international got a goal and an assist on his debut in the 4-0 win over Genoa, prompting coach Simone Inzaghi to proclaim the player "doesn't realise how good he is".

Manuel Locatelli: Sassuolo to Juventus (loan with €25m obligation)

One of Italy's most prized young assets, Locatelli secured a move to Juventus on a two-year loan that includes an obligation to buy for an initial €25m.

Among midfielders in Serie A last season, the 23-year-old made the most touches (3,304), passes (2,749) and tackles (81). He then impressed as Italy won Euro 2020, scoring twice in the group-stage win over Switzerland.

For a club looking to strengthen while saving money, this could prove a shrewd deal for Juve.

 

Danny Ings: Southampton to Aston Villa (£25m)

Villa appear to have invested the money they received for Grealish in shrewd fashion, signing Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia and striker Ings.

While the Ings deal materialised very quickly in early August, he certainly did not seem to need much time to adjust to new surroundings, scoring twice in his first three league games this season.

With 34 goals across his final two league campaigns with Southampton, there is reason to think the 29-year-old could be one of the smartest signings of the window.

Lionel Messi: Free agent to Paris Saint-Germain

The most spectacular free transfer of all time came after Barcelona had agree a new contract with Messi only to be forced to admit they could not let him sign it due to financial restrictions.

A tearful Messi bade farewell to his boyhood club before securing a move to PSG, who now boast a frankly terrifying forward line of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe.

Describing it as a 'free' transfer is somewhat misleading given the various costs involved in the different aspects of the deal, but for PSG to sign arguably the greatest player in history without paying a transfer fee is pretty amazing business.

 

Romelu Lukaku: Inter to Chelsea (£97.5m)

Chelsea smashed their transfer record to bring back Lukaku, whose last action in his first spell at the club was to miss a penalty in the UEFA Super Cup shoot-out loss to Bayern Munich in 2013.

Lukaku plundered 24 goals and 11 assists in 2020-21 to fire Inter to the title and claim Serie A's MVP award, after which he pushed for a return to Stamford Bridge, where he felt he had unfinished business.

It might have been a serious financial outlay, but Lukaku showed in the 2-0 win at Arsenal what a difference he could make to a Chelsea side who are extremely tough to beat but not exactly free-scoring.

Eduardo Camavinga: Rennes to Real Madrid (€30m)

Madrid may have missed out on top target Mbappe, but they managed to get a deal over the line for fellow Frenchman Camavinga, bringing an end to 18 months of speculation surrounding the young midfielder.

It is the first time Madrid have spent money on a transfer fee since 2019, when they signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea for €100m, and in Camavinga they are signing a player for the here and now rather than the future.

Since making his debut for Rennes in April 2019, no player in Ligue 1 has attempted (230) or won more tackles (139) than the three-cap France international, who will now provide competition for Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Federico Valverde.

 

Saul Niguez: Atletico Madrid to Chelsea (loan with option to buy for £30m)

After being regularly linked with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool in recent years, Saul will finally get a chance to play in the Premier League with Chelsea this season.

A box-to-box midfielder, the Spain international is at his best operating in a central role, though his versatility and workrate have often seen him deployed out wide by Atletico coach Diego Simeone.

He made just 22 league starts last season, his lowest figure since 2014-15. However, since August 2019, Real Madrid's Casemiro (190) is the only midfielder to have attempted more tackles than Saul (159) in LaLiga.

Antoine Griezmann: Barcelona to Atletico Madrid (loan deal with an obligation to buy)

Two years after leaving Atletico in a big-money transfer, Griezmann has returned to the Spanish capital to boost an attack that already includes Luis Suarez, Joao Felix, Angel Correa and fellow new recruit Matheus Cunha.

Griezmann's Camp Nou career never truly took off and he failed to score or create a single opportunity across Barca's first three league games this season.

But Simeone will be confident he can get the Frenchman, who scored 94 LaLiga goals in 180 appearances in his first stint at the club, operating at somewhere close to his former glory.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus to Manchester United (£12.9m rising to £19.7m)

Twelve years after departing Old Trafford, Ronaldo is once again a Manchester United player after completing a surprise return to the club where he won the first of his five Ballons d'Or.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances under Alex Ferguson in his first spell, 42 of those goals coming in the 2007-08 season alone, and he remains a prolific forward despite his all-round game changing with time.

The Portugal captain scored 29 league goals in his third and final season with Juventus to win the Capocannoniere, making him the first player to finish as top scorer in Serie A, LaLiga and the Premier League.

What does the future hold for Juventus post-Cristiano Ronaldo?

Moise Kean arrived following Ronaldo's return to Manchester United but it was a relatively quiet transfer window in terms of incomings.

Juve, though, are reportedly planning for 2022 already and they are targeting a pair of forward stars.

 

TOP STORY – DUO EYED BY JUVE

Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic or Paris Saint-Germain's Mauro Icardi are in Juventus' plans for 2022, according to the front page of Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

Juve had a quiet end to the transfer window after Cristiano Ronaldo left Turin for Manchester United.

But Juve are reportedly set to target either Vlahovic – also linked with Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Inter – or Icardi at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

– Staying in Turin and Tuttosport says Juve will do everything to re-sign star Paulo Dybala. He has been linked with United, Tottenham and PSG previously.

 Lyon are expected to complete the signing of former Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng on a free transfer, claims Fabrizio Romano.

– Sky Sport Italia reports free agent Franck Ribery is in negotiations with Hellas Verona. Ribery is without a club since leaving Fiorentina at the end of 2020-21.

 Lautaro Martinez will sign a new deal with Inter until 2025 worth €6million per year, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Barcelona, City and Tottenham have been linked.

Saul Niguez wants to rediscover his best form at Champions League holders Chelsea after his Atletico Madrid frustrations, saying: "I don't want to see the Saul that you've seen these last two years".

Saul will spend the 2021-22 season on loan at Chelsea following Tuesday's deadline-day move, with the European champions reportedly having the option to buy the Spain international for £30million (€34m) after paying an initial loan fee of £5m (€5.8m).

The 26-year-old was part of Atletico's title-winning side in LaLiga last season, however, he found himself playing out of position under Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital.

As he prepares for life at Stamford Bridge, Saul – also linked with Premier League giants Manchester United and Liverpool – is relishing the opportunity to start fresh in London.

"The only negative was not playing in my position [at Atletico]," Saul said in an interview with Ibai Llanos on Twitch.

"I could not show what I would like. I had a block in my head that did not allow me to play in another role. Chelsea's option was to leave my comfort zone. It won't be easy to get into that team."

A box-to-box midfielder, Saul is at his best operating in a central role, though his versatility and work-rate has often seen him deployed out wide by Simeone.

Saul made only 22 league starts last season, his lowest figure since 2014-15. This perhaps explains why he ranked only fourth in the Atleti squad for attempted tackles in the top tier, with 57.

However, since August 2019, only Real Madrid's Casemiro (190) had attempted more tackles by a midfielder than Saul (159) in LaLiga.

"At Chelsea I will train in my position. Then we will see if I play. That is the biggest cause of my decision," Saul added.

"I want to go to Chelsea, try the experience and then see what happens. I don't want to think further. I want to go, compete and help Chelsea.

"Personally, I want to go back to being the Saul that I want to see. I don't want to see the Saul that you've seen these last two years. I was very frustrated not being able to show people what I am capable of."

Cristiano Ronaldo will play in all three of Portugal's fixtures during the international break following his return to Manchester United, head coach Fernando Santos said.

Ronaldo completed his United comeback on Tuesday, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner re-joining the Red Devils from Juventus for a second spell following his successful first stint at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009.

Amid the hype in Manchester, Ronaldo's attention has swiftly turned to matters with Portugal as Santos' men prepare to face Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.

Portugal will also meet Qatar in a friendly on Saturday before resuming their road to Qatar 2022 against Azerbaijan on Tuesday.

As Ronaldo stands on the cusp of breaking his tie with Ali Daei for the most international goals in men's football (109), Santos confirmed the 36-year-old's availability.

"I am interested in [Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes'] motivation while playing for the national team. You're a British journalist, you can ask them about Manchester United when they are back at their club," Santos told reporters.

"For me, the important thing is that they will be focused on the national team. I can say that they are motivated for the three matches we have ahead of us.

"There is no doubt that Ronaldo and all the players are able to play against Ireland. I understand all the attention we get because of him. He is going to play in three matches.

"We will have to manage some things, mostly in the second match, we will have to manage things. It will not be easy for the players to play three matches in seven days.

"We have to manage them across all the games, but mostly the second. It is always important because it is a national team match."

Formerly a dazzling winger but now a penalty-box poacher, Ronaldo has netted 674 times across 895 club games in all competitions, averaging a goal every 108 minutes.

Those 674 goals break down into 122 with his supposedly weaker left foot, 110 with his head and 440 with his favoured right boot.

Following his arrival as a fresh-faced teenager from Sporting in 2003, he scored 118 times for United across 292 appearances before his departure in 2009.

Between his entrance on the Premier League stage and his final appearance in May 2009, Frank Lampard (131) and Thierry Henry (124) are the only two to have a hand in more English top-flight goals than Ronaldo (118) – Henry (92) the only one to outscore Ronaldo's 84.

Ronaldo is a five-time winner of the Champions League, leading the all-time scoring charts with 134 goals in 176 games – 14 ahead of second place, and eternal rival, Lionel Messi.

Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez were the big names to move late on deadline day, with Atletico Madrid having a busy night.

Griezmann's move to his former club completed a day of outgoings for Barcelona, who sold Emerson Royal and Ilaix Moriba, as well as loaning out Ray Minaj.

Ronald Koeman's Barca did get one player in, however, who will seemingly replace Griezmann in attack.

Barca's LaLiga rivals Real Madrid did not manage to get a mega deal for Kylian Mbappe over the line, despite a reported bid of €200m having been lodged on Tuesday, though Los Blancos did sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga.

Cristiano Ronaldo's move back to Manchester United was confirmed early on, but there was plenty of late action in England, too.

 

Another returning king as Chelsea call on Saul

Romelu Lukaku back to Chelsea. Ronaldo back to United. Now, Griezmann has made a return to one of his former clubs, with the 30-year-old re-joining LaLiga champions Atleti on a season-long loan.

There is an option to make the deal permanent for €40million – just the €80million less than Barca paid for the France forward in 2019.

Replacing Griezmann at Barca is Luuk de Jong, with Koeman turning to his compatriot from Sevilla. Messi to De Jong... not quite the end to the window Barca fans would have had in mind.

Saul, meanwhile, is leaving LaLiga. He has joined Chelsea on a loan deal from Atleti, with an option to buy for a reported £30m.

 

No Madrid move for Mbappe... yet

A third Madrid bid for Mbappe was reportedly lodged, and ignored, on Tuesday, as Florentino Perez's obsessive hunt of the Paris Saint-Germain star proved fruitless.

However, Mbappe is out of contract next year, so he may well be a Galactico soon enough.

One player who will be playing in the famous all-white strip this season is teenage midfielder Camavinga, who has joined from Rennes.

As well as keeping Mbappe, PSG added to their squad, completing a stellar transfer window by signing Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes to fill what has proved a problem position. Pablo Sarabia went the other way.

In Italy, Milan marked a quiet end to the window overall by confirming the signings of Yacine Adli and Messias Junior.

Inter already had their business done, while Juventus confirmed Moise Kean's return on Tuesday morning. The Bianconeri also signed Mohamed Ihattaren, who was then loaned to Sampdoria.

Ronaldo headlines Premier League moves

The early confirmation of Ronaldo's move back to United being complete was the biggest story of the day in England's top flight. It also paved the way for the Red Devils to sell Daniel James, who moved to Leeds United.

Arsenal blocked Everton's attempts to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles, though Hector Bellerin did leave the Gunners to head to Real Betis on loan. Mikel Arteta's Gunners completed their record-breaking transfer window (in terms of overall spend) with the acquisition of Japan defender Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna. Earlier in the day, Arsenal loaned out Reiss Nelson and Alex Runarsson.

Their north London rivals Tottenham completed the signing of Emerson from Barca, with Serge Aurier's time at Spurs subsequently being brought to an end by the mutual termination of his contract.

Everton's hunt for a right-back was to no avail. The Toffees did bring in Salomon Rondon on a free transfer, handing the forward a two-year deal with an option for a third. James Rodriguez was involved in a mooted part-exchange deal with Porto for Luis Diaz, but the Colombian star is staying put.

Manchester City rounded off their dealings by sending out seven players on loan. Among them was Patrick Roberts, who was one of three players to join Ligue 1 club Troyes.

Wolves were unable to complete deals for Kieffer Moore or Boubacar Kamara. A late offer from Spurs for Adama Traore was reportedly rejected.

Czech Republic midfielder Alex Kral joined West Ham on loan from Spartak Moscow. He was the Hammers' second signing of the day, with Croatia playmaker Nikola Vlasic having arrived early on.

There were two outgoings at Celtic. Scotland international Ryan Christie signed for Bournemouth, while Crystal Palace bought striker Odsonne Edouard for a reported £15m. The Hoops replaced him with Greece forward Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Chelsea have completed the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez on loan for the remainder of the season.

The European champions were successful with a late move for Saul on deadline day and reportedly have an option to buy for £30million (€34m) after paying an initial loan fee of £5m (€5.8m).

Saul had been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool previously but will get his first experience of playing in the Premier League for the Blues.

The 26-year-old was part of Atleti's title-winning side in LaLiga last season, but Diego Simeone refused to rule out the prospect of the player leaving after a 2-2 draw with Villarreal on Sunday.

Saul is contracted to the reigning Spanish champions until 2026 but may have played his last game for the club.

"I am very excited to start this new challenge with Chelsea. Blues fans, I am one of you now and I can't wait to wear the shirt, start training and see all of you. See you soon!" Saul said.

Saul's arrival comes after Chelsea paid out a club-record fee to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge from Inter earlier in the same transfer window.

Club director Marina Granovskaia said of the latest recruit: "We welcome Saul to the club and believe he completes our squad as we compete for honours in five different competitions this season.

"He is a proven winner, a player with huge experience and we know he will be very well-suited to the challenges that face us on all fronts in the coming year."

A box-to-box midfielder, Saul is at his best operating in a central role, though his versatility and work-rate has often seen him deployed out wide by Simeone.

He made only 22 league starts last season, his lowest figure since 2014-15. This perhaps explains why he ranked only fourth in the Atleti squad for attempted tackles in the top tier, with 57.

However, since August 2019, only Real Madrid's Casemiro (190) had attempted more tackles by a midfielder than Saul (159) in LaLiga.

The Spaniard is a proven goal threat too, with his best tally of six coming in 2019-20. When compared to Chelsea's current crop of midfielders, only Jorginho, who takes penalties, has matched or beaten Saul's scoring record.

Chelsea were also believed to be keen to sign Jules Kounde from LaLiga as well, though a deal for the Sevilla centre-back failed to materialise.

Chelsea have completed the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez on loan for the remainder of the season.

The European champions were successful with a late move for Saul on deadline day and reportedly have an option to buy for £30million (€34m) after paying an initial loan fee of £5m (€5.8m).

Saul had been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool previously but will get his first experience of playing in the Premier League for the Blues.

The 26-year-old was part of Atleti's title-winning side in LaLiga last season, but Diego Simeone refused to rule out the prospect of the player leaving after a 2-2 draw with Villarreal on Sunday.

Saul is contracted to the reigning Spanish champions until 2026 but may have played his last game for the club.

"I am very excited to start this new challenge with Chelsea. Blues fans, I am one of you now and I can't wait to wear the shirt, start training and see all of you. See you soon!" Saul said.

Saul's arrival comes after Chelsea paid out a club-record fee to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge from Inter earlier in the same transfer window.

Club director Marina Granovskaia said of the latest recruit: "We welcome Saul to the club and believe he completes our squad as we compete for honours in five different competitions this season.

"He is a proven winner, a player with huge experience and we know he will be very well-suited to the challenges that face us on all fronts in the coming year."

Arsenal have signed versatile defender Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna and allowed Hector Bellerin to join Real Betis on loan for the rest of the season.

The Gunners are reported to have paid Serie A side Bologna £17million (€19.8m) to land the Japan international on deadline day.

Tomiyasu, 22, had previously been linked with Tottenham but has instead joined their north London rivals on a long-term contract.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told the club's official website: "Takehiro is a strong defender with good experience in Serie A and at international level.

"He's a versatile defender with great defensive qualities, high technical ability and composure on the ball.

"He will be an important member of our squad. We look forward to Takehiro joining up with us when he returns from international duty."

Long-serving full-back Bellerin has left the bottom side in the Premier League to return to his homeland with Betis.

The 26-year-old, who joined the London club a decade ago, won the FA Cup three times during his time with the Gunners.

Goalkeeper Alex Runarsson and midfielder Reiss Nelson also departed on loan for the rest of the season before the window closed, though Ainsley Maitland-Niles has remained at the club.

Serge Aurier has left Tottenham following the mutual termination of his contract.

The Ivorian missed the start of the season as Spurs made a 100 per cent start in the Premier League, winning all three of their matches.

Aurier made 110 appearances for Spurs after arriving from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, scoring eight goals.

The full-back helped the club reach the Champions League final in 2019, as well as the EFL Cup showpiece two years later.

"I have really enjoyed my time at Spurs and would like to thank the club and the fans," he told the club's official website.

"But I feel now is the right time for me to move onto a new challenge."

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard on a four-year deal.

Edouard joins for a reported £15million and becomes the Eagles' seventh arrival of this transfer window under Patrick Vieira.

The 23-year-old scored 86 goals in 179 appearances during his four-year stint at Celtic. His last game for the Scottish giants was Sunday's Old Firm derby, in which he missed a golden chance in a 1-0 defeat to rivals Rangers.

A former France youth international, he won three Scottish Premiership titles with the Hoops, as well as two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups.

"I'm very happy to be here today," he told Palace's official club website.

"I can't [wait] to start to train with the team and to play for this club. 

"Scoring goals in the Premier League may be the biggest challenge in my career. 

"But I'm confident in myself and my team-mates to be successful."

Edouard arrives with Palace 14th in the Premier League having collected two points from their opening three games.

He could make his debut when the Eagles welcome to Tottenham to Selhurst Park on September 11.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has allegedly blocked a potential loan move to Everton for midfielder Donny van de Beek, according to the player’s agent.

The Netherlands international is yet to kick a ball this season, appearing as an unused substitute in each of United’s opening three Premier League games.

Van de Beek played 19 times in the top flight last term, with his future reportedly uncertain after just a single year at Old Trafford.

The former Ajax man received assurances heading into this campaign from Solskjaer, who told the media: "Donny knows that when he keeps on performing and training how he does for us, he'll be fit and ready when he plays."

According to widespread reports, Van de Beek was nevertheless keen on departing the Red Devils in favour of a loan switch to Everton.

However, Solskjaer is alleged to have blocked the move, much to the dismay of the midfielder and his agent Guido Albers.

"Manchester United are holding everything back," Albers told Voetbal International. "It's disappointing that United are not cooperating."

Reports subsequently emerged from The Athletic claiming no such loan offer had been made for Van de Beek.

Harry Kane has insisted his conscience is clear as he aims to win trophies with Tottenham despite a desired move to Manchester City collapsing.

Having expressed his desire to leave Spurs at the end of last season, the England captain was strongly linked with a record-breaking transfer to the Premier League champions during the window.

But despite City boss Pep Guardiola publicly stating his interest in the 28-year-old, a move failed to materialise with Spurs refusing to negotiate.

Following an extended break due to his Euro 2020 exertions with England, Kane returned in Tottenham's 1-0 win at Wolves earlier this month.

The striker subsequently released a statement revealing that he would remain at his boyhood club, who he first joined at the age of 11, and he went on to score twice as Nuno Espirito Santo's side beat Pacos de Ferreira 3-0 to qualify for the inaugural Europa Conference League.

Despite the saga, Kane was adamant he did not let me the media attention get to his head, and has now set sights on ending a long wait for silverware.

"I knew what the situation was between me and the club, and that's the way it'll stay," he said.

"I was quite calm with the situation, but when you're in it and you know the truth, then your conscience is clear.

"Everyone has their opinions on it, but that's part of the parcel of the profession we're in. I think anyone involved in the football industry knows the ins and outs.

"A lot of people that know me will say I'm a professional athlete who's dedicated my life to this game and that's what I'll continue to do.

"I'm fully focused with club and country and looking forward to a great year.

"The aim has always been to win silverware with Tottenham and it's been that aim every year."

Cristiano Ronaldo's sensational return to Manchester United has been met with 'palpable' excitement inside the dressing room, according to goalkeeper Lee Grant.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is officially back at Old Trafford for a second spell after completing a £12.9million (€15m) – rising to £19.7m (€23m) – move from Juventus on Tuesday.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances during his first spell at the club under Alex Ferguson between 2003 and 2009.

The forward also won three Premier League titles, the Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup before his world-record transfer to Real Madrid.

Grant says he and his United team-mates are relishing Ronaldo's eagerly anticipated return to Carrington following the international break.

And the goalkeeper believes his influence will be of huge benefit to all the players throughout the squad – regardless of their experience.

"The excitement is palpable [in the dressing room] not just with the younger players," Grant told talkSPORT.

"The thing that struck me and made me realise this is huge is actually the reaction of our more senior players. 

"If Lee Grant is excited, who is one of our back-up goalkeepers, and thinking the impact that it's going to have on me and my training and the level I've got to bring, imagine what that is going to do for our more senior players.

"I was at the nursery picking up one of my children and one of the guys – one of our more senior players – to see the look on his face and his excitement, bordering on giddiness at the fact we've been able to bring Cristiano in was a real eye opener for me.

"We talk about the impact Edinson [Cavani] had when he came to the football club and the impact he’s having to this day.

"Ronaldo will bring that same level of professionalism and example that is vital for our young players, who are still making their way in the game.

"We've got young players, but they are top young players, so to learn from the pinnacle, the apex predator in Cristiano Ronaldo, there's going to be none better."

Liverpool centre-back Nat Phillips has penned a new long-term contract with Jurgen Klopp's side.

Phillips came to the fore last term, appearing 20 times for the Reds in all competitions as they suffered a defensive crisis with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk both long-term absentees.

The 24-year-old played an integral part in Liverpool's Champions League qualification, starting 15 top-flight games and keeping seven clean sheets to secure a third-place finish.

Indeed, the Liverpool defender impressed as a stand-in and only lost two Premier League games in which he started, boasting a remarkable 73.3 per cent win rate that dropped to 39.1 per cent without him.

Phillips, who now sees Klopp's defensive options return to take his starting place, recorded a league-high 7.92 successful duels per 90 minutes among defenders and ranked sixth on the list for most duels contested per 90 minutes (13.05).

On signing his new deal, he told the club's official website: "Obviously after last year, it’s really nice to get that reward from the club.

"I’m happy to be sticking around and being available if the club need to call on me again. I’m excited for the next chapter and just to see what that brings.

"It is nice that the club has shown me that recognition and hopefully I can bring more of the same with whatever opportunities come my way."

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