Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Analysing How Brendan Rodgers Can Spend Reds' Money

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IDecember 26, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15:  Manager Brendan Rodgers of liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on December 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

With Liverpool sitting atop the Premier League at Christmas, there is real belief among supporters of the Anfield side that the club are in line for a top-four place this season and a possible title challenge.

The latter, though, is heavily dependent on the continued fitness of key players, with injury to Luis Suarez in particular potentially devastating given the importance of his current role to the side.

Qualification to the Champions League is the club's holy grail, with the riches afforded to participants a major boost to revenue compared to rivals who miss out.

It may well be, then, that the Reds opt to delve into the transfer market this January in an attempt to secure their place in European football's premier competition next season.

But which players should manager Brendan Rodgers be eyeing?


Mohamed Salah (FC Basel)

Per the Mirror's David Maddock, Egyptian winger Salah is already close to a £7 million switch to Anfield, having impressed for club side Basel in European competitions over the past two seasons.

Salah is an electric presence who has caused problems for the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham in 2013 alone. While he may not always live up to his billing, he certainly has a taste for the big occasion.

He is almost the prototype Rodgers wide forward, with his pace and directness not dissimilar to the likes of Wayne Routledge or Nathan Dyer. He is, though, a considerably better and more skilled player than both.

If he can develop his game at Anfield to add the extra consistency needed at the top level, 21-year-old Salah could go on to be a fantastic player at Premier League level.


Fernando (Porto)

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11:  Fernando Reges (L) of FC Porto competes for the ball with Oliver Torres (R) of Atletico de Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Group G match at Vicente Calderon Stadium on December 11, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Go
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Linked with Everton last summer, Brazilian midfielder Fernando recently acquired his Portuguese citizenship, and according to A Bola, via 101 Great Goals, he has attracted the attention of Liverpool.

A typical holding midfielder, Fernando would likely arrive at Anfield to displace countryman Lucas Leiva, who has not been the same player since suffering a couple of major injuries in recent seasons. While there is hope he will recover to previous levels, Liverpool need better if they are to meet their objectives.

He would be the ideal shield for Liverpool's back three but is also an excellent distributor of the ball when in possession. Indeed, he has been a major and often unsung member of Porto's successful sides of recent years.

Liverpool's defensive midfield pivot can definitely be improved. Securing Fernando, out of contract next summer per Transfermarkt, could be a big step in that direction.


Will Hughes (Derby)

DERBY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Will Hughes of Derby abvances under pressure from Tyler Blackett (L) and Stephen Dobbie (R) of Blackpool during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Blackpool at iPro Stadium on December 07, 2013 in Derby,
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Derby youngster Hughes has been linked with Liverpool for some time and, indeed, was reported to have already agreed a £12 million move to the club in November by the Express' James Dickensen.

That story was swiftly denied by the club, per BBC Sport, but what is not disputed is that Hughes is on the Anfield radar and they would like to fend off opposition for his signature from their Premier League rivals.

Any move for the 18-year-old Englishman would inevitably see him loaned back to Steve McClaren's Derby, with the East Midlands side hoping to secure promotion to the Premier League this campaign.

While that would not benefit the Reds 2013-14 season, they may well decide that Hughes is a talent worth investing in with a view to long-term success.


Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea runs with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Another name on Brendan Rodgers' radar, per John Percy and Jason Burt of the Telegraph, is Chelsea's 24-year-old left-back Ryan Bertrand.

While he is not a name that will set Liverpool pulses racing, he is undoubtedly a decent player and has played for Brendan Rodgers with both Chelsea's reserve side and Reading in the past.

Neither Jose Enrique or Aly Cissokho has been particularly inspiring this season, and with Cissokho's loan expiring next summer, an additional left-back is a priority over the next six months.

Whether Bertrand would be seen as first choice or as backup to either Enrique or a new signing next summer, he would not let Liverpool down and would be an extra English face in the dressing room.


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