Liverpool Transfer Speculation: 5 Options for Reds' Midfield

Tony Lucadamo@tonylucadamoContributor IIIJune 21, 2012

Liverpool Transfer Speculation: 5 Options for Reds' Midfield

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    Liverpool is in desperate need of an attack-minded central player to partner Steven Gerrard in midfield.

    I am assuming that Brendan Rodgers will bring the 4-3-3 that made him famous at Liberty Stadium to Anfield. If he does, Lucas will likely slot in as the defensive midfielder, with Gerrard playing a modified RACM position.

    The third member of the midfield triangle, however, persists as a matter of considerable uncertainty.

    Current options include Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey. The viability of any of the above as an every-game starter remains to be seen.

    What follows is a list of five players who could provide intriguing competition for a place in the first XI.  

Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle

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    Yohan Cabaye has seen his stock rise considerably since leaving France last summer for Alan Pardew's Newcastle.

    He is the dynamic force behind much of Newcastle's attacking movements. The Frenchman is a box-to-box midfielder with the kind of composure and passing ability that Brendan Rodgers covets.

    Cabaye starts for his national team. Further, he has been linked (per to a host of large English sides, including Arsenal, among others.

    The midfielder comes with the added bonus of proven Premier League success. The risk is minimal.

    However, his price tag will be substantial. In addition, Pardew has not indicated a desire to let him go, and his interest in Liverpool is unclear.

    That said, if he can be persuaded, Fenway Sports Group (FSG) should move on him.

Alberto Aquilani, AC Milan (Loan)

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    Fox Sports reports that Alberto Aquilani is set to rejoin Liverpool.

    Aquilani has the ideal set of attributes for the job. The Italian possesses outstanding vision, he does not give the ball away easily, and he can make the difficult pass.

    Yet, something is not right here.

    He never quite adjusted to life in English football the first time around. Further, despite relatively successful spells at Juventus and AC Milan, neither team saw fit to sign him for relatively paltry sums.

    Collectively, these factors amount to a large red flag.

    "El Principino" is the best option for the time being. But I would not put all my chips in his corner.

Joao Moutinho, FC Porto

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    Nearly all the press surrounding Portugal's run to the quarterfinals this summer has centered around the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Doing so undersells some of the outstanding play elsewhere. On that list, I would include Joao Moutinho. He is the creative force behind much of their forward movement.

    The Portuguese has long starred at the club level, most recently with Porto. After all, there is a reason Andre Villas-Boas tried to take his talisman with him to Stamford Bridge.

    Moutinho is ready to ply his trade in a major league. Liverpool presents an ideal opportunity, where he could start immediately and fit into a system to which he is well accustomed.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Hoffenheim

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    According to BBC, the Icelandic midfielder appears set to be Brendan Rodgers' first signing on Merseyside.

    Gylfi Sigurdsson had an outstanding campaign for Swansea City while on loan from Hoffenheim. Because the Swans never technically owned the player, he does not fall under the list of names off limits to Rodgers.

    He is young (22), can pass (85 percent completion rate) and can shoot (seven goals since January). Further, he has a great relationship with Rodgers and appears set to cost less than £10 million, per the Daily Mail.

Isco, Malaga

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    It is easy for a club to get overlooked in La Liga when they are not Barcelona or Real Madrid. It is similarly easy for a midfielder to get overlooked if he is Spanish.

    That is exactly what both Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga and star midfielder Isco have done.

    The young Spaniard has developed into a major creative force alongside Santi Cazorla and Joaquin. And at just 20, he has already gotten two caps for the senior Spanish team. has him listed at just £7 million. That is likely far too little for a player of his caliber. However, if FSG can secure his signature for anything comparable, it should jump at the chance.

    You could be looking at the next Xabi Alonso.