Latest Liverpool Transfer Rumors and What to Make of Them
Liverpool's activity in the summer transfer window had better get started on Day 1 if the rumour sections of the global media is anything to go by, as Brendan Rodgers, Ian Ayre and co. look set to have a very busy summer indeed.
As usual, some of the rumours and players linked with the Reds need to be taken with a pinch of salt, or sometimes a massive spoonful, but there are always a few names who appear to at least fit the criteria the club require.
Here are the latest names who have seen themselves next to Liverpool in the papers and websites, along with a look at whether they would be a good fit.
Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz resurfaces this week, being linked with a Premier League move to both Manchester United and Liverpool.
The Champions League's top goalscorer for this season is reported to be available for just £10 million (via Express), a more than reasonable sum of money for a free-scoring striker aged 27. With Liverpool fans still yet to see the best, or the reliably good, of Fabio Borini, there is a thought that another forward could be added to the ranks.
However, having made his mark in the Champions League this season and approaching the last two or three years of being at the top of his game, it is unlikely that Yilmaz might make this the summer where he moves to a club not in the top competition.
It is also perhaps unlikely that the Reds fork out an eight-figure sum for a player of that age who isn't absolutely the top player available.
Another long-standing rumour resurfaces next, with news that Liverpool want to reunite Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard in the centre of midfield.
The two combined to wonderful effect for some five seasons under the reign of Rafa Benitez, reaching an FA Cup final and two European Cup finals as part of the same team before Alonso departed for Real Madrid.
£8.5 million seems a low enough starting price (via Mirror Football) for the Reds to bring in some much-needed experience and quality, but is Xabi the right man at the right time?
Unfortunately for his many admirers, probably not. Alonso is not a destroying deep midfielder, but a creative one. Essentially, he occupies the same role that Steven Gerrard now performs for Liverpool, having been seen in a mainly deeper area this season. It is unlikely that the two will play together again, unless a serious re-shaping of the side takes place.
Despite the recent improvements of Pepe Reina, speculation continues to link the Spaniard with a move away and a number of replacements to come in to Anfield in return. The most prominent of the names appears to be Swansea City keeper Michel Vorm, who has seen his name once more linked with Liverpool (via Telegraph).
Ultimately, the likelihood of any move for Vorm depends entirely on Brendan Rodgers' plans for Reina.
If he remains convinced that the current first choice will continue to improve, be a big part of the team going forward and cannot be improved upon by bringing in a replacement, then the Reds have no need spend money on Vorm.
The mooted fee of £5 million in some places isn't prohibitive, but an established goalkeeper barring his way would be.
With Jamie Carragher retiring this summer, Liverpool will definitely need to bring in at least one central defender, and that number could rise if Seb Coates and/or Martin Skrtel leave the club as well. To that end, a number of centre-backs have already been linked with the club and more will surely follow.
Joleon Lescott's rumoured possibility of a move (via Metro) can very likely be placed in the category of "won't happen."
A left-sided centre-back, 30 years old, out of favour at his current club, a former Evertonian and not the vocal or strong leader that Liverpool require all point to this being a non-starter.
We finish up our latest roundup with Liverpool's reported move for Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Shakhtar Donetsk attacker has scored 19 goals in 21 league games for his side this season and has shown a good mix of playmaking, attacking and hard-working attributes which make him an appealing option for the No. 10 role at Liverpool.
A £12 million fee is reported as being enough to tempt a sale (via Telegraph) which would be something of a bargain; any likely transfer could rise to rather more than that and there would doubtless be plenty of competition.
Mkhitaryan would be a good signing for Liverpool if the defensive issues were taken care of first, but it remains to be seen how likely it actually turns out to be.