Liverpool's summer transfer activity is sure to bring a surprising name or two to the table as Brendan Rodgers continues to try to shape his squad ahead of the 2013-14 season, but one name that has been linked recently might surprise more than most.
Queens Park Rangers have already been relegated from the top flight for this season, and the Reds have now been linked with a summer move for their goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who will likely leave on a free transfer (via Express).
The Brazilian arrived from Inter Milan at the beginning of the campaign as QPR sought to spend big to move up the table, and has been one of the few success stories this year with the Hoops stuck in the drop zone for most of the season.
After immediately replacing Rob Green between the sticks, Cesar has been the regular No. 1—though the arrival of new boss Harry Redknapp did temporarily change that for a spell.
All in all, Julio Cesar has played 24 times in the league this season, compared to 13 appearances for Green.
Is he someone Liverpool should be looking to as a possible summer addition, though?
At age 33, he's certainly not going to be termed "one for the future." Cesar is a Brazil international with 67 caps to his name and most recently featured in the March friendly against Russia. Experience, then, is a big asset to his game. He is a proven winner, too, as a big player in Jose Mourinho's all-conquering Inter Milan side of 2009-10.
While the more sprightly side of his game might have disappeared by now, he is still an excellent shot-stopper and his reflexes are certainly better than his main opposition for the starting jersey at Loftus Road.
Distribution has been a difficult one to call this term. QPR have been largely horrendous on the ball, lacking organisation and ability at the back too often, and switching from Neil Warnock to Mark Hughes to Harry Redknapp within the past two seasons has left them bereft of a style of play or comfortable, familiar game plan to fall back on.
For Liverpool, current first-choice Pepe Reina has had his insecure moments this season, having started the season in rather desperate form and also suffering injuries along the way. However, he has certainly recaptured much of his better form and ability over the past five months or so.
Increased competition in that department, though, would benefit the club and probably Reina himself, too. While Brad Jones has performed well at times when called upon and is clearly a positive presence in the dressing room, he would not be relied upon as a true option to play 20 or 30 games during the season.
Julio Cesar, on the other hand, has already proven he is capable of doing so.
If he is indeed available to leave QPR, there will doubtless be more teams interested in signing him, at least for a season. Having said that, the likes of Jussi Jaaskelainen and Mark Schwarzer continue to prove that age is no barrier for Premier League goalkeepers, while Brad Friedel will likely want to find a new club, too, despite being into his 40s.
Cesar could certainly provide Liverpool with a second "first-choice capable" goalkeeper, leaving Jones as a third pick. Would he genuinely be given the chance to replace Reina at times? Debatable. Then again, that may not be his immediate priority.
What is clear is that for experience, ability and cost—as a free signing—he could turn out to be an inspired addition to the squad.