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Liverpool Transfer Gossip Roundup: Dries Mertens, Theo Walcott, Merkel Latest

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2016

Liverpool Transfer Gossip Roundup: Dries Mertens, Theo Walcott, Merkel Latest

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    Liverpool's most recent Premier League match, a 0-0 home draw against Stoke City, showed once more the need for further firepower once the January transfer window opens up.

    With Brendan Rodgers only a few months into his rebuilding of the Liverpool team, however, it is likely that over the coming two windows more than just a goalscorer will need to be added to the squad.

    The world media have been quick to give viewers a run-down on who they believe the Reds to be looking at over the next few months, with some perhaps rather less likely than others to bear fruition.

    Here is a round-up of all the latest rumours concerning Liverpool transfers.

Angelo Ogbonna, Torino

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    24-year old Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna is one of Brendan Rodgers' top targets according to givemefootball.com, who have the tall central player as being an option if the Reds can persuade him to join Liverpool instead of Manchester United, who are also interested.

    Ogbonna has spent the past four years as an important member of the Italian team and is rated at around £16 million.

    He is of Nigerian descent, but has four international caps for Italy, where he was born, and was a member of the Euro 2012 squad.

Granqvist and Merkel, Genoa

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    Staying in Italy now, prominent Italian journalist and commentator Gianluca Di Marzio writes on his own webpage that Liverpool have sent scouts on a dual-purpose trip to the country to watch two of Genoa's talents.

    Another defender, this time former Wigan Athletic Sweden international Andreas Granqvist, is the first target, while the more exciting young midfielder Alexander Merkel is the second.

    Merkel is a German youth player who was born in Kazakhstan and spent the past few seasons with AC Milan, who he played for a handful of times. After a spell owned by both AC and Genoa, his current club bought out AC's share in the summer, leaving him owned by just the one club.

    At 20 years of age he is already seen as a potential star of coming years.

    Granqvist is a 27-year old defender who has been at Genoa for over a year since leaving Wigan. It seems an unlikely Liverpool target in all honesty, given the strength in depth at the club in this position and the ranks of youngsters hoping to make their mark.

Dries Mertens, PSV

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    Goals are something Liverpool have lacked for a few seasons now, and goals also happens to be something that PSV attacker Dries Mertens offers in relative abundance.

    Despite playing from the flank more often than not and not as a true forward, Mertens is adept at cutting infield and driving towards goal, as well as getting in the box as a support forward and, importantly, at finishing off his chances.

    Mertens scored 21 goals in his first season at PSV and has started this season off just as well with four goals already.

    Givemefootball.com have Liverpool and Spurs both vying for his signature come January.

Nicolas Gaitan, Benfica

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    More from the creative midfield mould than the goalscoring one, Nicolas Gaitan is Liverpool's next target.

    According to Metro, the Reds bid for the Argentine playmaker in the summer but were knocked back, and though they would be interested in doing business again this coming January, it seems that Russian side Anzhi Makachkala are ready to outbid the Reds to let Gaitan join up with the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Lass Diarra.

    The story also points out that the Reds might therefore turn to the aforementioned Dries Mertens as a result.

Theo Walcott, Arsenal

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    We finish off the transfer round-up with the latest news on rumoured long-term Liverpool target Theo Walcott.

    Currently warming the substitutes bench with regularity at Arsenal, Walcott is in the final year of his Emirates Stadium contract and Liverpool have been linked with a move for the winger-cum-forward for some time.

    However, media outlet London24 state that the latest news is that Walcott is still intent on staying with Arsenal and would like to sign a new contract, making a move away from the club in January less likely.

    Walcott scored the eventual winning goal for his team against West Ham over the weekend after coming on as substitute, and then set up Santi Cazorla for the third goal late on.

     

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