Liverpool are in a state of flux at the moment, held hostage by the Luis Suarez transfer saga and the realization that, following a finish outside the top four in the Premier League last term, luring attractive transfer targets to Anfield will be no easy task.
As such, the Reds haven’t been involved in much summer speculation short of a potential Suarez move to the Emirates to play for Champions League contenders Arsenal.
Loaning Pepe Reina to Napoli didn't make many waves, but Reina himself was upset about the club’s decision to move him. As quoted by Andy Hunter of The Guardian, Reina was disappointed by the circumstances:
If I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving. It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first. I thought that I deserved better than that even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football.
Reina’s loan came in wake of the Reds’ purchase of Simon Mignolet—one of the only highlights of an otherwise bland transfer period for Liverpool.
But the Reds could be on the move for some complementary pieces as they attempt to sort out the Suarez drama.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest transfer rumours involving Liverpool with just over a month remaining of the summer transfer window.
Suarez wants to play for a Champions League contender, and he’s done everything he can to force Liverpool’s hand short of handing in an official transfer request.
Arsenal haven’t been able to persuade the Reds to sell, however, failing with two initial offers to acquire the 26-year-old. The last offer of £40,000,001 was designed to trigger a clause in Suarez’s contract requiring Liverpool to inform him of Arsenal’s offer, but Brendan Rodgers and the Reds swiftly turned down the bid.
Now it seems Arsenal are preparing a third bid for the Uruguayan, this time with an additional £2.5 million tacked on, per Steve Stammers of the Daily Mirror:
Arsenal will make THIRD bid to sign Liverpool star Luis Suarez.
The Gunners are ready to test the Anfield giants' resolve by offering £42.5million for the Uruguayan striker.
The Merseysiders have already turned down a bid of £40m - plus £1 - from Arsenal, who believed the extra quid was enough to trigger a release clause in Suarez’s contract.
After rejecting Arsenal’s second offer, it seems unlikely the Reds would be willing to part with Suarez for an additional £2.5 million—though reports of a recent meeting between the striker and his club may yield some new information on the situation.
As noted by David Hytner and Andy Hunter of The Guardian, that discussion may not have gone well for Liverpool’s chances of persuading Suarez to be content with staying:
Suárez held talks over his future with the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and the chief executive Ian Ayre on Thursday. The club's refusal to discuss how the meeting went has been interpreted by Arsenal as a positive sign for them. If Suárez had indicated any willingness to stay at Anfield, then Liverpool would have been expected to publicise it.
Still, Liverpool hold all the cards at this point in the process. Without a bid that will knock the Reds off their feet, Suarez will remain at Anfield.
Liverpool may not have made any major moves in the transfer market to this point, but they have quietly strengthened a defense that conceded 43 goals in the league last term.
The next step in the process will be to shore up the left-back position with another solid defender capable of slowing the EPL’s top wingers.
Per John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Rodgers has his sights set on Benfica left-back Lorenzo Melgarejo:
Brendan Rodgers is trying to sign Benfica left back Lorenzo Melgarejo on a season-long loan.
Liverpool are also likely to want to put in a £9m clause giving them first option on making the deal permanent next summer.
Kop boss Rodgers wants to strengthen his left back options and 22-year-old Melgarejo has been converted from being a winger.
Per Hunter, the loan could cause some work permit problems, however, as the full-back has only played in one match for his country.
Given Melgarejo’s inexperience at the position, attempting to secure him on a loan isn't a bad idea. Should the 22-year-old assert himself as a productive defender, Liverpool could look to retain him on a long-term deal without the initial risk of locking him up this summer.