Liverpool Summer Transfer Rumors: 11 Best Players Linked to the Reds so Far
Many of the Reds' summer signings have flopped, and while the club looks good on paper, that has not translated into results this season.
Even though Liverpool will almost certainly not be playing in the Champions League next season, their Carling Cup win guarantees that European football will return to Anfield, and that will certainly help to attract the type of reinforcements the club needs.
Because such additions are clearly necessary, the rumor mill has been churning at full capacity to give fans the hope that they crave.
If you want to get wishful about the club's prospects for next season, here are 11 of the best players who have recently been linked with a move to Anfield.
According reports, Brazilian defender Dede has been attracting a lot of attention from European clubs, among them Liverpool.
The 23-year-old currently plies his trade for domestic club Vasco da Gama and could probably be had for a reasonable out of money, at least in today's market.
With Jamie Carragher in the twilight of his career, it may be wise for Liverpool to start planning for a future without their stalwart.
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Barcelona youngster Christian Tello has been given his first-team shot with the Catalan club this season and has shined as a winger in Pep Guardiola's famous flowing system.
The 20-year-old's impressive performances have gotten him linked to foreign clubs, and Liverpool is one of the teams most strongly mentioned as a possible suitor for Tello.
His contract is reportedly up at the end of next season, which could potentially be the catalyst for a deal. However, Liverpool would be wise to reject any of Barca's infamous buy-back clauses as part of a transfer for Tello.
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Keisuke Honda is one of the most dynamic, skilled and versatile midfielders currently playing in Europe.
He can play as a central midfielder, attacking midfielder, winger or even as a second striker playing off the shoulder of the last defender.
Wishful fans, however, will be discouraged by the fact that his club is reportedly willing to dramatically increase Honda's wages in order to keep him in Russia.
Former Arsenal star Havard Nordtveit has been greatly impressing during his time with Borussia Monchengladbach (phew), and is therefore being linked with a move back to one of England's biggest clubs.
It is not clear why the Norwegian international with the scholarly name was let go by Arsene Wenger when he had so much promise, but it appears that Nordtveit would be open to a Premier League return.
The youngster has stated:
Premier League is a great league and it's every boy's dream to play there. I said that I will play there once in a lifetime. Whether it happens in one year, five years or 10 years. It is always flattering to be linked to clubs like this, even if it's just rumours.
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Seydou Keita clearly needs to seek a move away from the Camp Nou if he is to get anything resembling regular playing time.
Sitting behind the midfield quartet of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi is not exactly a recipe for success.
The 32-year-old is now into the last quality years of his career, and he says that he is "flattered" to be linked with Liverpool. Stay tuned—this one might actually have some merit.
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I admit that I have a man-crush on Clint Dempsey. My fellow Yank has been carrying the U.S. National Team with aplomb, and he's been leading Fulham with equally scintillating style.
While I'd love to see him make a move to my favorite club, Arsenal, Dempsey is more often mentioned as a possible Liverpool target.
The Reds would be extremely lucky to get the supremely talented American, and he could add the type of energetic wing play that the likes of Stewart Downing has not provided.
If you don't believe me, take Steve Nicol's word for it. The Anfield legend has waxed lyrical about Dempsey, stating:
I'll tell you what he does inside the box: he puts the ball in the net; he makes sure he gets on the end of things; he's brave, and he reads the game well; he's calm under pressure when he needs to be.
Luuk de Jong
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It appears that Liverpool have a genuine interest in bringing in another hot Eredivisie striker in Luuk de Jong of FC Twente.
The 21-year-old Dutch international has a prolific scoring record of 24 goals in 67 league appearances for the Enschede, and, crucially, his agent has confirmed that the Reds have expressed interest in bringing de Jong on board.
While many Eredivisie imports have struggled to adapt to the English game in the past, de Jong appears to have the physique and pedigree to succeed and provide a breath of fresh air to Liverpool's foundering attack.
The club is going to have to act quickly to secure de Jong's services, though, as his agent also stated that several other foreign teams have been monitoring the striker's progress.
One of the lesser-known names on this list, Jackson Martinez is a Colombian international who currently plies his trade for Mexican club Jaguares as a striker.
The 25-year-old claimed this week that he has drawn interest from several Premier League clubs, and a move to England would be "important to my life."
Though Martinez was reluctant to mention any of the teams specifically, Liverpool, in particular, have displayed a "strong interest" in signing the player, according to the same story.
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Shinji Kagawa is often mentioned as a possible transfer target for Liverpool, who are never afraid to add to their already stacked midfield.
The Japanese Borussia Dortmund star is quick, has a wide passing range and can operate on the wing when necessary.
He would certainly add quality and dynamism to Liverpool's midfield, but reports are that he is ready to pen a new contract at Dortmund following his domestic success with the club.
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Nineteen-year-old Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha has had a breakthrough season for Crystal Palace, featuring prominently in their npower Championship campaign and a takedown of Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Blessed with both ability and pace, Zaha can pick a move from his bag of tricks to beat a defender, or just blow past his man with a piercing run.
His performances have not gone unnoticed, and he is being tipped as a potential transfer target for Kenny Dalglish and his administration this summer. There is no disputing that the young Zaha has oodles of potential, and if Liverpool can bring it out, they will have made a fantastic buy.
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With the abundant of talent on show at Barcelona, even great players like Pedro can get crowded out when everyone is healthy and kicking.
Alexis Sanchez has eaten many of Pedro's minutes this season, and with Isaac Cuenca, the aforementioned Christian Tello and the rest of La Masia breathing down his neck, one would not blame Pedro for being uneasy about his standing at the club.
Luckily, Liverpool is apparently ready to save the Iberian from purgatory. According to the report, the Catalans very well might be willing to sell if an appropriate offer is made for Pedro, and the Reds could use dynamic, technically-proficient, creative wingers.
As with many Barca players, Pedro might be reluctant to leave the only club he has known since boyhood. But if he begins to be further frozen out of a healthy squad filled with world-class talent, the ability to consistently play top-level football could trump any homesickness he may feel.