Liverpool Transfer Rumors: Adding Douglas on a Free Transfer Would Be Smart Move

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2013

ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 8:  Douglas of FC Twente in action during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between FC Twente and Levante UD held on November 8, 2012 at the FC Twente Stadion in Enschede, Netherlands. (Photo by Anoek de Groot/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

The goal for Liverpool next season is simple—Champions League or bust. And after the team made several smart signings this year and adapted well to new manager Brendan Rodgers' style, it seems like a feasible goal if the team can add a few pieces to the puzzle.

But Manchester City or Chelsea this is not, meaning Rodgers must do smart business over the summer if he is to fill the team's various needs with productive players.

It looks like one such target will be FC Twente defender Douglas. From Lee Bryan of the Daily Mail:

Liverpool are looking to sign Brazilian defender Douglas on a free transfer.

The 25-year-old has been a long-term target for Newcastle who failed with a £4 million offer last summer while Inter Milan have also shown interest.

However, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has expressed interest after realising Douglas is out of contract. Rodgers is unlikely to have more than £25 million to spend this summer, unless Luis Suarez is sold, and wants at least four players.

Douglas is sure to create polarizing opinions if he is signed. On one hand, he has always been regarded as a talented centre-back with a lot of potential, and nabbing him on a free transfer could end up being a brilliant piece of business.

On the other hand, Douglas hasn't exactly been consistent for FC Twente, and there is a reason the club is willing to lose him on a free transfer this summer. Teams don't just give away solid centre-backs for free, and he would have likely been moved last summer were he not trying to qualify to play for the Dutch national team.

Of course, he may have been moved with a bit more fanfare than question marks last year. After playing just 18 games for FC Twente this year amid some truly inconsistent play, he'll be somewhat of a project for Rodgers.

But the manager may not have any choice but to take that chance on such a smart piece of business. Jamie Carragher is retiring, while Martin Skrtel offers up more questions than answers himself and could be moved.

Addressing the position is a huge need. Unfortunately, it won't be Liverpool's only need, meaning Rodgers is going to have to find some bargains somewhere if his summer budget is indeed limited. If Douglas is one of those bargains, he's a risk worth taking.

I would like to see Liverpool add another deep-lying midfielder. Another attacker, preferably out wide, would make sense for the team (and will likely cost a pretty penny). Reinforcements defensively will be needed.

There is shopping to do but a limited amount of money in Rodgers' pocket. If he can land free transfers with obvious talent but in need of some more coaching and consistency, so be it.

You don't get to the Champions League without taking some calculated risks, after all.