Liverpool are set to bolster their squad in the January transfer window with the loan signing of Cristian Tello from Barcelona, but the Reds must make sure a permanent deal is in place to sign the player at the end of the season.
Tello has been a long-term target for Liverpool, according to a report by James Gheerbrant in The Independent, but his lack of chances to impress this season has led to the player accepting that his future may lay elsewhere.
The Barca speedster recently said: “I’m young, I want to play and enjoy. If it is not possible at the club, I will consider the outcome at the end of the season.”
Having monitored the player for some time, Liverpool will be keen to add Tello to their ranks in a bid to solidify their prospects of a top-four finish in the Premier League.
However, should he hit the ground running at Anfield, the club would likely face considerably more competition to sign the versatile winger permanently in the summer, underlining the importance of striking a deal now.
Brendan Rodgers has made massive strides in a short space of time as Liverpool manager and has been largely successful in the transfer market, but as the team continue to develop on the pitch, so does the need to keep raising the bar in terms of the players that arrive at the club.
Iago Aspas has struggled to make the grade with Liverpool and has been linked with a loan move to Swansea, per Liam Prenderville of Mirror Football, and 21-year-old Luis Alberto has been used infrequently.
Tello boasts superior talent to those two players though and would immediately challenge Raheem Sterling and Victor Moses for a place in the starting XI due to his schooling at La Masia and understanding of Rodgers' footballing philosophy.
With 10 strikes in 47 appearances for Barca in La Liga, he is not afraid to weigh in with his share of goals from out wide and would not be daunted by the big stage, having scored in each of the most recent two Champions League campaigns. He was also part of the Spain Under-21 side that won the 2013 European Championship.
Tello would also add depth to the squad, and with Daniel Sturridge due to return from injury soon, it would give Rodgers some fearsome attacking prospects as well as a collection of players capable of maintaining a serious challenge for Champions League football.