Liverpool Transfer Speculation: 5 Targets the Reds Could Still Sign in August
With under 72 hours remaining in the 2012 summer transfer window, teams are finalizing plans for the season and looking at last-minute transfer targets that they might have the opportunity to pick up.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has already made four signings this summer, splashing out over £28 million to bring in Fabio Borini, Joe Allen, Oussama Assaidi and Nuri Sahin (loan), but like many others, could well be looking to make more.
Time may be ticking, but Liverpool still has plenty of time to sign new players.
Here are five potential targets to watch for in the summer transfer window's final three days.
5. Ibrahim Affelay
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A talented 26-year-old with his best years still ahead, Ibrahim Afellay has become somewhat of a fringe player at Barcelona, but while he may be lacking match practice, his versatility and star status would be welcome additions to the Liverpool side.
The Dutchman has scored twice for Barcelona in 34 appearances since joining from PSV Eindhoven in 2011, but has failed to establish himself in the first-team.
An attacker who can play either on the wing, in midfield, or in a deeper forward role, Afellay would be a nice fit in the Liverpool 4-3-3, and would certainly help usher in Brendan Rodgers' pass-and-move mentality having learned from the best at Camp Nou.
Affelay is available, according to Metro: Will Liverpool pounce?
4. Theo Walcott
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With the signings of Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, combined with the continued emergence of Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal finds itself with a logjam up front, and Theo Walcott could find himself a victim.
As a result, the 23-year-old England winger is reportedly reluctant (via The Daily Telegraph) to sign a new contract with the Gunners, and Liverpool, the club Walcott supported as a boy, could be ready to swoop.
Walcott has established himself as one of the Premier League's finest wingers in recent years, with 24 goals and 22 assists in 84 games over the last two seasons, and his all-around game would mark a revolutionary addition to the Liverpool side.
Walcott could be available for around £11 million.
3. Cristian Tello
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Even those who fail to break through at superpower Barcelona would have an immense effect on the Liverpool first XI.
A dynamic 21-year-old, Cristian Tello, who can play at both forward and on the wing, brings skill, speed, technique and a healthy dose of tiki-taka pedigree. He could well be a perfect fit in Brendan Rodgers' 4-3-3 formation.
Liverpool has been linked (via Daily Mail) with the Spaniard throughout the summer, but has failed to tie up a deal. Look for Rodgers to push hard in the next few days if he wants to complete a deal for the talented youngster.
2. Daniel Sturridge
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Liverpool's top scorer in the Premier League last season, Luis Suarez, scored 11 goals in the Premier League.
It's no secret that the team's greatest need is a pure, natural, unselfish, efficient and prolific goalscorer.
Team GB Olympian Daniel Sturridge has scored 22 goals (with 11 assists) in 83 games for Chelsea since joining from Manchester City in July 2009, but has failed to settle at Stamford Bridge due to his reluctance to play on the wing as opposed to his preferred position as a striker.
Considering that, Sturridge might be a wonderful fit at Anfield. The 22-year-old is eager to prove himself, wants to play in the formation that Liverpool will provide, and would have teammates that could help him reach greatness.
Brendan Rodgers is apparently keen (via Daily Mail) to seal a £10 million deal for the Sturridge in the coming days, and at that price, he could find himself a bargain.
1. Clint Dempsey
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Clint Dempsey, who scored 23 goals in 46 games last season, has been one of Liverpool's top targets this summer, with the Reds having pursued him so much so that Fulham has filed an official grievance with the Premier League over the club's conduct.
The 29-year-old American brings the wonderful finishing ability that the Reds have been starved for since Fernando Torres left, but also has the movement and vision to make players like Fabio Borini and Luis Suarez better.
Dempsey, left out of Fulham's two first games this season, may not be a perfect fit in a 4-3-3 formation, as he is at his best when dropping deep in front of a striker. However, with the likes of Joe Allen, Steven Gerrard, and Nuri Sahin supplying him from midfield, he could well build on his 23 goals, regardless of what formation the club employs.
It would not be surprising to see Liverpool finally tie up a deal for the USA attacker in the coming days.