Holland hopeful Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk can make Euro 2020 squad after ‘giant steps’ in rehab

Virgil van Dijk has to decide himself whether he is fit in time for Euro 2020 finals, insists Holland boss Frank de Boer – who hints Liverpool star ‘has made giant steps in his rehabilitation’ from serious knee injury

  • Virgil van Dijk remains a big fitness concern ahead of this summer’s Euros
  • The Liverpool star has been out since October with a ruptured cruciate ligament
  • Jurgen Klopp urged Holland not to jeopardise his career by rushing him back 
  • But Frank de Boer is still hopeful the Dutch centre back will be fit for the Euros

Frank de Boer is hopeful Virgil van Dijk will make Holland’s Euro 2020 finals squad but admits it is completely the player’s decision whether he will be ready in time.

Liverpool star Van Dijk has been sidelined since October 17 with a ruptured cruciate ligament following a challenge from Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in the Premier League.

The Dutch centre back has returned to very light training for Liverpool but it it still unknown when he will return ahead of this summer’s eagerly-anticipated Euros.

Virgil van Dijk is stepping up his recovery having not played since October 17 for Liverpool

Frank de Boer will be desperate to have Van Dijk fit for Euro 2020 finals but won't force him

Frank de Boer will be desperate to have Van Dijk fit for Euro 2020 finals but won’t force him

De Boer has since urged caution but remains optimistic that he could have Van Dijk available for the Euros.

‘I think he has to decide, it is his career,’ the Holland boss told ESPN just over a month before the Euros gets underway.

‘I can imagine that he is in a dilemma. Can it mean something for Oranje? I hope he has made giant steps in his rehabilitation.’

De Boer’s latest comments surrounding his captain and star defender come after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp urged Holland not to jeopardise his career by rushing him back.  

The Holland boss (centre) admits he is hopeful Van Dijk has made giant steps in his rehab

The Holland boss (centre) admits he is hopeful Van Dijk has made giant steps in his rehab

The Liverpool manager said: ‘I don’t want to hold Virgil back but you can’t force it as well. You are all long enough in the business to know that if you want to play you have to train before – and proper football training.

‘It takes weeks. Not a week before. You cannot be 10 or 11 months out, train for one week and then play football. That is not possible, it should not be possible.

‘No one is holding Virgil back – I can promise all the people in Holland that we cannot force it, and we will not.

‘We speak about a player and his career, so nobody should force it and nobody will.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recently urged Holland not to rush Van Dijk back for the Euros

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recently urged Holland not to rush Van Dijk back for the Euros

‘Not Holland, not us and not Virgil as well. It’s just about getting as fit as possible.

‘Nobody knows at the moment when that will be exactly, but you can imagine for sure it will be very, very tight with the Euros because he is not in team training yet and will not be in the next few weeks.

‘So I don’t know. But in the end it’s a decision of Virgil and he will get massively influenced by the feeling in his knee.’

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Ryan Giggs to help Wales prepare for Euro 2020 on informal basis

Ryan Giggs to help Wales prepare for Euro 2020 on informal basis following his removal as head coach after being charged with three seperate offences including ABH last month

  • Ryan Giggs will lend a hand to Wales new head coach Rob Page for Euro 2020 
  • The former Manchester United winger was removed as his nation’s head coach 
  • Giggs was charged with three seperate offences last month, including ABH 

Ryan Giggs is ready to lend a hand to Wales’ Euro 2020 campaign after Rob Page replaced him as manager for the tournament.

Wales appointed Page after Giggs was charged with actual bodily harm and two other offences last month. The former Manchester United winger has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Page revealed he had spoken to Giggs recently and that the former Manchester United winger, who steered Wales to qualification, was open to helping Page on an informal basis as Wales prepare for only their second major tournament since 1958.

 Ryan Giggs will still lend a hand to Wales’ Euro 2020 campaign after being replaced as coach

‘We’ve been in touch and I had a great conversation with him last week,’ said Page. ‘You don’t go from being friends and colleagues and working together in a close environment to then not speaking.

‘Of course I’m going to speak to him and he wants what’s best for Wales. With regards to decisions and finalising things that will be me, but what Ryan has said is that if I need any advice or a different perspective on things then he’s always going to be there.

‘It’s great to hear that but ultimately now the decisions moving forward will be from myself and my coaching staff.

‘These are difficult circumstances, there is no hiding from that. We are dealing with the situation in the best way possible. Common sense prevails and it’s continuity that the players want as well.

‘Finally and thankfully we are all clear about what is going to happen, Ryan included, and we can focus on the job in hand – preparing a team for Euro 2020.’

Rob Page has stepped into the breach after Giggs was charged with ABH and other offences

Rob Page has stepped into the breach after Giggs was charged with ABH and other offences

Page has held talks with senior players, including captain Gareth Bale, since he was handed the reins. Wales open their tournament against Switzerland on June 11, with the match currently due to take place in Baku.

They are due to have a training camp in Portugal before they travel to the tournament, with Page keeping a close eye on his players during the final rounds of league action.

He added: ‘[The players] have not let outside influences affect them and have been calm through the process. We don’t take out foot off the gas. We up the intensity if and get them ready mentally and physically.’

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Jurgen Klopp begs Holland not to risk Virgil van Dijk’s career by picking him for Euro 2020

Jurgen Klopp begs Holland not to risk Virgil van Dijk’s career by picking him for Euro 2020 after Liverpool defender posted clip of himself running on the training ground as he continues recovery from knee injury that has kept him out since October

  • Virgil van Dijk has been out since suffering the injury back on October 17
  • Dutch defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in game with Everton
  • It was originally hoped Van Dijk might return before end of Liverpool’s season
  • But that appears unlikely despite the defender running again in training
  • Jurgen Klopp has urged Holland not to pick Van Dijk for the Euros this summer 

Jurgen Klopp has urged Holland not to jeopardise Virgil van Dijk’s career by rushing him back for this summer’s European Championship.

The Dutch defender has been sidelined since October with a ruptured cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play for Liverpool before the end of the season.

That’s despite Van Dijk exciting fans by posting a video of himself running on the training ground last week as he continued his recovery.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk posted an Instagram clip of himself running in training this week – but he remains unlikely to return to action before the end of the season 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp played down hopes Van Dijk will be returning to action soon

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp played down hopes Van Dijk will be returning to action soon

Van Dijk, 29, is Holland’s captain but Klopp believes it is too risky to select him for the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament, which begins on June 11.

The Liverpool manager said: ‘I don’t want to hold Virgil back but you can’t force it as well. You are all long enough in the business to know that if you want to play you have to train before – and proper football training.

‘It takes weeks. Not a week before. You cannot be 10 or 11 months out, train for one week and then play football. That is not possible, it should not be possible.

‘No one is holding Virgil back – I can promise all the people in Holland that we cannot force it, and we will not.

‘We speak about a player and his career, so nobody should force it and nobody will.

Van Dijk is Holland's captain but Klopp has urged them not to select him for Euro 2020

Van Dijk is Holland’s captain but Klopp has urged them not to select him for Euro 2020

Van Dijk suffered horrific knee injury following reckless challenge by Jordan Pickford last year

Van Dijk suffered horrific knee injury following reckless challenge by Jordan Pickford last year

The Reds were dealt a huge blow when van Dijk injured his ACL against Everton in October

The Reds were dealt a huge blow when van Dijk injured his ACL against Everton in October

‘Not Holland, not us and not Virgil as well. It’s just about getting as fit as possible.

‘Nobody knows at the moment when that will be exactly, but you can imagine for sure it will be very, very tight with the Euros because he is not in team training yet and will not be in the next few weeks.

‘So I don’t know. But in the end it’s a decision of Virgil and he will get massively influenced by the feeling in his knee.’

Van Dijk has been out after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee following a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on October 17.

The Dutchman has provided a number of encouraging updates for supporters in recent weeks

The Dutchman has provided a number of encouraging updates for supporters in recent weeks

He has been pictured in the gym and doing some ball work as he targets a return to action

He has been pictured in the gym and doing some ball work as he targets a return to action

The defender required surgery and has spent time in Dubai during his rehabilitation. But initial optimism that he would return before the end of the season and prove his fitness for Euro 2020 has faded.

His absence had a major effect on Liverpool’s Premier League title defence and they are fighting to qualify for next season’s Champions League as they head to Old Trafford to play Manchester United on Sunday.

De Boer insists that the final decision will rest with the player and he needs to submit his squad list for the tournament – featuring 26 names instead of the usual 23 – by June 1.

Holland play Scotland on June 2 and Georgia on June 6 in warm-up matches before they begin their tournament against Ukraine in Amsterdam on June 13. Austria and North Macedonia also feature in their group.

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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl fears star striker Danny Ings won’t play again this season

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl fears star striker Danny Ings won’t play again this season due to a hamstring injury as England ace faces race against the clock to get fit for Euro 2020

  • Hasenhuttl admits he doesn’t know if Danny Ings will play again this season
  • Southampton’s star striker picked up a hamstring problem against Tottenham
  • The 28-year-old is yet to return to training and is a doubt for this summer’s Euros
  • Ings’ fine form has put him in contention to make Southgate’s England squad 

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl does not know whether influential top scorer Danny Ings will play again this season, making him a major doubt for this summer’s Euros.

Ings was forced off by a hamstring problem in last week’s 2-1 defeat by Tottenham after scoring his 10th Premier League goal of the campaign.

The 28-year-old England international has not returned to training and will definitely be absent for Friday evening’s game at home to Leicester.

Ings pulled up with a hamstring injury during the club's 2-1 defeat by Tottenham last week

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl (left) has admitted that he doesn’t know if Danny Ings (right) will play again this season after he picked up a hamstring injury last week

‘It (Ings’ injury) is not worse than it looked; I don’t know if he comes back for the last few games (of the season),’ Hasenhuttl said.

‘We have Liverpool and then five games in two weeks so we need every player.’

His fine form up front for the Saints has put him into contention for a place in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad.

However, should he fail to recover in time, Ings will cruelly have to watch the tournament from the comfort of his own home.

Ings scored his 10th Premier League goal of the season in the 2-1 defeat by Tottenham

Ings scored his 10th Premier League goal of the season in the 2-1 defeat by Tottenham

However, he pulled up with the hamstring issue not long after and was subbed off

However, he pulled up with the hamstring issue not long after and was subbed off

Before pulling up with a hamstring injury at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Hasenhuttl told Ings to ‘forget about making the England squad’ and instead focus on turning Southampton’s season around. 

‘This is always my job, to bring the best out of every player,’ the Saints boss said earlier this month. ‘If he has a (place in the) Euros or not, he is part of this club.

‘He has a contract with this club, so that contract means he has to do everything and just to help us, this is the deal we made. I don’t care about the mentality for the Euros – this is something like a bonus for him.

‘The most important thing is that he helps us win games, that he helps us in climbing the table. This is the deal we have with him, and so long as he is here, he tries to give his part to this deal and we give our part of the deal.

Ings is running out of time to force his way into Southgate's thinking before Euro 2020 in June

Ings is running out of time to force his way into Southgate’s thinking before Euro 2020 in June 

‘We offer him everything that is possible to make him better – and this is how it should be with every player.’

But Hasenhuttl feels Ings has all the qualities needed to make Southgate’s final 23-man cut.

‘Ingsy is definitely one of them (players in contention) and when he is fit, when he plays well and when he scores, then he must be part of this (England squad),’ Hasenhuttl added.

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Leicester winger Harvey Barnes out for the rest of the season with knee injury

Leicester winger Harvey Barnes out for the rest of the season after setback in his recovery from a knee injury as hopes of a late push for Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 are ended

  • Harvey Barnes ruled out of the remainder of the season and also Euro 2020
  • Leicester winger required a second ‘minor operation’ on his injured knee
  • Barnes was initially looking at six weeks out and hoping to make the FA Cup final
  • But Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed he won’t be back this season
  • It ends any chance Barnes had of winning a place in the England squad  

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Harvey Barnes will miss the rest of the season after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.

Winger Barnes has required a second ‘minor operation’ after initially damaging his knee in Leicester’s defeat against Arsenal in February.

He was facing at least six weeks out and hoping to be fit in time for the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 15, Leicester’s penultimate game of the season.

Leicester winger Harvey Barnes will miss the remainder of the season with his knee injury

Barnes was carried from the field on a stretcher during Leicester's loss to Arsenal in February

Barnes was carried from the field on a stretcher during Leicester’s loss to Arsenal in February

But Rodgers revealed: ‘He has just gone in to have a second, only a minor operation just to clear up some of the damage in his knee so it will probably rule him out for the rest of the season but the plan is really to get him through this second little operation and be back for pre-season and fit and ready for next season.’

Barnes had been in brilliant form this season, scoring 13 times in 36 games, and was being touted for an England call up ahead of this summer’s Euros.

Any hopes of making a late push for Gareth Southgate’s squad are cruelly now over for Barnes though.

Rodgers said: ‘Yes, yes I would think so. It’s a shame because he has been absolutely outstanding this season for us and we hoped he could be back to play some part but it’s not to be. The most important thing is to get his knee right and get him ready for next season.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Barnes needed a second operation

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Barnes needed a second operation

Barnes had enjoyed an excellent season and was being tipped by some for the England squad

Barnes had enjoyed an excellent season and was being tipped by some for the England squad

‘He’s disappointed but clearly understood it was always going to be difficult for him [to get back for the final].

‘He and we were fully aware, I mentioned at the beginning, it was an injury that at best was going to be six weeks and it can be up to 12 weeks so he’s in, what, I think it will be his seventh-odd week.

‘It’s just a minor issue around that and it was a case of do we deal with it now or let it settle or do we do something about it and unfortunately it will put him out of the next number of weeks but hopefully ensure he is back with everyone else for pre-season so he was keen to go down that route.

‘It’s just unfortunate for him but he is positive now about getting back and being ready for the new season.’

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Oops! Euro 2020 trophy clatters to the floor during live broadcast in Bucharest

Oops! Euro 2020 trophy clatters to the floor during live broadcast in host city Bucharest after wind blows down advertising board… leaving shocked officials scrambling to pick the silverware up off the floor

  • The Euro 2020 trophy was seen plummeting to the floor live on air in Romania
  • The trophy was knocked to the ground after the wind blew over a board behind
  • The trophy did survive the incident and was put back on display afterwards 

Romanian officials were left somewhat red-faced when the Euro 2020 trophy was seen plummeting to the floor live on air. 

The trophy, which was out on display behind the female reporter, was knocked to the ground after an advertising board was blown over in the wind. 

Staff were quick to react, scrambling across the front of the camera to check on the status of the trophy. 

The Euro 2020 trophy was seen plummeting to the floor live on air in Romania (above)

Luckily, the Euro 2020 silverware survived the fall and was put back on display at the Bucharest stadium.  

The trophy is currently making its way around the 11 European host cities, with its most recent destination being Bucharest in Romania. 

The tournament trophy was knocked to the ground after the wind blew over a board behind

The tournament trophy was knocked to the ground after the wind blew over a board behind

Staff were quick to react, scrambling across the front of the camera to check on the the trophy

Staff were quick to react, scrambling across the front of the camera to check on the the trophy

The Trophy has already featured in Rome – the city that will host the first game of the tournament.

During its stay in Italy, the trophy was photographed next to the Cities most notable landmarks, including the Colosseum. 

The Euro 2020 trophy – known as the Henri Delaunay Cup – will be ultimately be lifted on 11 July at Wembley by the winner of the tournament. 

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