Liverpool Transfer Rumours: The Top 8 Players Linked with the Reds in April
While the transfer window has now been shut for three months, and will not open again for another month, the transfer market is still full of discussions.
Liverpool, currently sitting in eighth in the Premier League, are sure to be active in the window this summer. Simply put, the team needs to improve. After a month of March in which there was plenty of transfer chatter, April was a big month for Liverpool in terms of players being linked with a move to Anfield.
Here are the top eight players mentioned in transfer rumours with the Merseyside club this month.
8. Victor Moses
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Popular opinion among Liverpool fans is that one of the team's biggest needs this summer is a new winger. The £20 million Stewart Downing experiment has failed, and the need that was so big this summer remains.
According to a report by Metro, Reds boss Kenny Dalglish might be ready to look to Wigan for his new wide player. Nigerian international Victor Moses has called off his contract talks at the DW Stadium, and Liverpool might be ready to swoop.
The 21-year-old Moses, a player firmly in line with the Reds' transfer policy, brings a unique skill set that has allowed him to find success in the Premier League. The left-sided winger has speed, smarts and technical ability but also plays a physical game that gives him a certain intimidation factor against defenders. He has consistently improved over his past three seasons with Wigan and is only going to get better.
Victor Moses is one of the brightest talents in English football. Liverpool would do well to secure his services this summer.
7. Olivier Giroud
Right now, Liverpool's top goalscorer, Luis Suarez, finds himself at 11th in the League in scoring. For a team with aspirations like Liverpool's, 11th just won't do. At this point, there is little doubt the team's biggest need is a pure, natural, goalscoring striker.
The Daily Mail reports that the Reds may turn to £50 million-rated Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud.
A powerful 6'4" frontman, Giroud has scored 37 times in 78 games over the past two seasons with Montpellier. Strong in the air as well as on the ground, the 25-year-old French international is at his best when spearheading an attack, a role he might well be exposed to at Anfield.
Giroud is believed to have a release clause at £13.5 million. At that price, he might be too good of an opportunity to pass up.
6. Rasmus Elm
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It is pretty obvious that the Liverpool side has lacked creativity this season. At times, the team has struggled to build attack from midfield, and improvements are needed to ensure that the hole is filled this summer.
According to the International Business Times, the Reds may already have agreed an £8 million deal to sign AZ Alkmaar midfielder Rasmus Elm, who has reportedly signed a five-year contract, with the move to be completed this summer.
The signing of Rasmus Elm would certainly mark an excellent capture for Liverpool. Likely the top midfield talent to come out of Sweden since Lyon's Kim Källström, Elm has spent the past three seasons with Alkmaar, where he has constantly impressed with his consistency, intelligence and flawless fundamentals.
The Blågult international, who can play all across the midfield in both defensive and attacking positions, will undoubtedly be an underrated pickup and is a player who could have a huge impact on the Liverpool team next season.
5. Gylfi Sigurdsson
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It's no secret Liverpool have been searching for a long-term replacement for Anfield legend Steven Gerrard. The midfielder, who has made 577 appearances for the Merseyside club, is almost 32 and is beginning to show early signs of a decline. It's time for the Reds to make moves to replace him.
According to the Daily Mirror, that man could be on-loan Swansea star Gylfi Sigurdsson, available for £10 million.
The Hoffenheim midfielder wowed on loan at Swansea in the second half of the season, putting his box-to-box ability and sneaky offensive talents on full display to score seven goals in 17 games. He is a dynamic, all-action midfielder who would look good in the heart of the Liverpool midfield.
A player who has proven himself at the top level, Gylfi Sigurdsson is ready to step up and become a superstar. That could be at Liverpool.
4. Luuk De Jong
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Liverpool's defense has been stellar this season, with the 37 goals conceded in 35 games good for third best in the Premier League. The team's attack force, however, has been nothing short of dreadful, with the 43 goals scored placing them at 13th in the League, behind the likes of Blackburn, Norwich and Swansea.
According to Metro, Kenny Dalglish might be set to look to 21-year-old Holland international Luuk De Jong to solve his goalscoring crisis.
A clever attacker, the FC Twente youngster has made his name as one of the most prolific strikers in Europe in the past few seasons with 57 goals in 116 games. A player with speed, size and skill, De Jong has all the tools necessary to be a hit in the Premier League.
A £12.5 million deal for this talented youngster would be a bargain for Liverpool.
3. Gaston Ramirez
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In the past 18 months, Liverpool have signed two Uruguayans under the age of 24.
According to a Daily Mail report, they may make it three this summer. Liverpool have bid £16.3 million for Bologna midfielder Gaston Ramirez, and a decision from the Italian side will be reached by this summer.
A 21-year-old attacking midfielder, Ramirez has spent the past two seasons in Serie A after joining from Peñarol. He has appeared in 55 games, scoring 11 goals. He would inject some much-needed flair into the Liverpool side.
A dynamic youngster following in the footsteps of Barcelona superstar Alexis Sanchez, the Fray Bentos-native brings creativity, skill and a hardworking mentality, all qualities the Merseyside team has been starved for this season.
While the price tag may seem excessive to some, the opportunity to get one of Europe's brightest young talents is too good to pass up for the Reds. Surrounding Ramirez in the kind of talent Anfield can provide could make Gaston Ramirez world-class.
2. Alberto Aquilani
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Liverpool worked hard this summer to add to their central midfield pool with the signings of Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson, but, while abundant in quantity, the group has lacked quality.
According to talkSPORT, Kenny Dalglish is willing to welcome back Reds loan midfielder Alberto Aquilani from AC Milan, in a move that would mark a major improvement to the Liverpool team.
The Rossoneri have a deal in place with Liverpool that says that if the 27-year-old plays more than 25 games this season, he will sign permanently in a £6 million deal. It appears that they are not going to allow him to play the 25 games, meaning he would return to Anfield this summer.
Aquilani has spent the past two seasons in Italy (first with Juventus, then Milan), and his 58 phenomenal performances have left Liverpool fans, to say the least, ruing over what might have been had Liverpool given the Italian more of a chance in the team after completing his £17 million move in August 2009.
A clinical playmaker who loves playing in the hole behind the strikers, Aquilani would give Liverpool one of the best midfields in the Premier League alongside Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva.
He may have struggled to adapt to the English game, but one fact about Aquilani is undoubtedly true: the talent and potential is immense. He has yet to be given a real chance to break into Dalglish's team. Alberto Aquilani could well become a hugely important free transfer for Liverpool, one with devastating impact.
1. Fernando Llorente
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The team's inability to score has not been for lack of creativity in midfield, but rather because, with Andy Carroll struggling, the Reds have no top-flight finishers.
If a Metro report is to be trusted, that could be solved this summer, with giant Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente under Kenny Dalglish's consideration.
While Llorente would likely cost Liverpool upwards of £25 million, the odds are that the 27-year-old would yield immediate results. A classic No. 9, Llorente has established himself as one of Europe's premier strikers over the past few seasons with 112 goals in 232 total games (including 28 goals in 45 games this season) for Bilbao, and alongside a playmaker like Luis Suarez, that goals per game rate of 0.48 would likely only improve.
The Spaniard is ready for a new challenge and may look to the Premier League to find it. Fernando Llorente would well and truly be the perfect summer signing for Kenny Dalglish and his Liverpool.
Follow Jake Ware on Twitter at @JacobWare95