Liverpool Linked With Trio
Liverpool are looking to bring in at least three new faces before the start of next season. However, the Reds face stiff competition over at least one of the names they are being linked with, while manager Brendan Rodgers will be at a disadvantage without Champions League qualification.
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, Burnley’s Danny Ings and PSV Eindhoven forward Memphis Depay are all being linked with interest from Anfield and it was the latter name that engaged reporters’ minds when Rodgers was interviewed after Saturday’s goalless draw with West Bromwich Albion.
Depay was reportedly in talks with Liverpool last week after he flew to England along with his agent – something he has denied – but Rodgers was keen not to commit himself.
“I can’t confirm either way – you know me, in terms of speculation of players,” he said.
“The kid is a very talented player, of course, but I wouldn’t like to confirm either way.”
Rodgers acknowledged that his spending power may be limited without Champions League money to back up his transfer kitty and that could affect the calibre of player he goes for.
“That would be more for the players,” he added. “But if it is right for the players and if the project is right for them to learn and develop …
“If we are not in the Champions League, which now looks likely, players will still maybe want to come. Of course, they want to play in the Champions League. I just think if they have watched us over a few years – and this is a season we miss out on – if we can regroup, get some quality starters in for the summer, we can go on another great adventure next season and hopefully get back in there.
“It’s clear we need the goal threat for next year. There’s going to be a whole raft of players that I’m sure will be looked at, then will be up to the club if they’re affordable and if they’re available.
“We’ve identified that as a priority. We’ll have to see availability first, and then take it from there.”
The Daily Telegraph adds Ings and Benteke to the list of Liverpool targets and while Ings has long been regarded as an Anfield target Benteke is a more recent addition to what is a speculative list of targets. The Belgium international is rated by Villa at around £30million. Ings would cost much less.
Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini are all likely to be sold to raise cash to re-invest into the squad.