Strengthening Liverpool: Five Possible INs and OUTs This Summer
After Liverpool's second-place finish to Manchester United in the Premier League, their manager Rafael Benitez has vowed to add quality to his squad in order to win the title next year.
Over the past couple of months, Liverpool have been linked with numerous players from Marouane Chamakh to David Villa, and from Gareth Barry to Aaron Lennon. However, there are also several players rumoured to be set for an exit this summer.
After filtering the rumours and analysing the squad, these are the players which I think have the highest possibility of coming to and leaving Anfield in the summer.
Having failed to sign Gareth Barry, and with Carlos Tevez more likely to sign for Manchester City, Rafa may switch his sights to David Silva.
The Valencia winger is heavily linked with a move to Liverpool at the moment, and Benitez was rumoured to have spoken to the player personally.
Apparently a bid has been tabled for Silva, and if Real Madrid don't get involved in a tug-of-war with Liverpool, the deal could go through anytime soon.
The second priority would be a striker, as Benitez insisted on bringing in at least one striker in the summer.
Tevez was a likely option, but it seems that Benitez does not wish to splash big cash on a striker. That could open the door for Middlesbrough's Tuncay Sanli to move to Anfield.
Personally, I feel that Almeria's Alvaro Negredo has the biggest possibility of ending up in Liverpool among the rumoured strikers. There were reports earlier claiming that Real Madrid could buy Negredo via a clause and would use him as a makeweight to lure Xabi Alonso, but the deal collapsed.
So, Liverpool could end up paying a little more by buying him directly from Almeria, without the help of Real Madrid.
Liverpool's failure to sign Barry means they are still desperate to add one or two English players in the squad.
Portsmouth's Glen Johnson could well be on his way to Liverpool, having impressed many last season. He might be the solution for Liverpool's full-back problems, and more importantly, he is English.
Alonso looks set to stay in Liverpool, and the possibility of Javier Mascherano leaving Liverpool at the moment is near zero. Lucas Leiva was one of Rafa's favourites last season, but Liverpool do need another central midfielder.
The trio of Steven Gerrard, Alonso, and Mascherano should remain. Therefore, there should be more than just Lucas as covers.
Spain's Under-21 international Javi Martinez appears to be very much a possibility of becoming a part of Liverpool in the summer. The towering 20-year-old is highly rated in Spain and would give offer Rafa more options in the midfield.
Lastly, the fifth most probable signing is also a striker—and again, it is not going to be an expensive one. He is available for free but has not attracted many clubs due to his being prone to injury. Sounds familiar?
Although Benitez said that he was not going to sign Michael Owen, Gerrard's plea to have Owen back could make Benitez reconsider Lil' Mikey. Owen's little options could well force him to take a pay cut, and Liverpool will surely benefit by signing him at a lower risk.
Benitez kept no secret about the possibility of selling Ryan Babel to raise funds not long ago, and it seems to many fans that Babel has the highest probability of leaving in the summer.
Yossi Benayoun looks set to extend his stay. Nothing much is being said about Albert Riera, and if the Silva deal goes through, it should mark the end of Babel's Liverpool career.
Being the third choice for the left-back position in the pecking order, Andrea Dossena had seen himself playing in the left-wing position a couple of times last season.
Providing the options Benitez has in those positions, Dossena should be the one sacrificed to make way for new members. There shouldn't be a problem offloading him, as several Serie A clubs are already monitoring him.
Andriy Voronin has just ended his one-year loan with Hertha Berlin and does not fancy a move back to Anfield. Hertha's failure to qualify for the Champions League next season means they cannot afford to buy their talisman of last season. However, his form in Bundesliga should attract several clubs, and he could be used as a makeweight to land David Silva as well.
Charles Itandje did not play a senior game last season, and he should have been higher up in the list. Liverpool offered him to several Ligue 1 clubs before the transfer season closed last summer but could not sell him. Offloading him is not an easy task at all.
Philipp Degen is the fifth most likely leaver in the summer. Having spent most of his time nursing injuries, he could well be sold to raise more funds.
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