Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that the Liverpool owners will be in attendance at Anfield for the Reds’ home game against Aston Villa on Saturday evening. The Liverpool chief has also hinted they are set to discuss the club’s January transfer targets, with FC Basel’s Mohamed Salah—a player who has been perennially linked with a move to Merseyside—likely to be a major talking point.
Per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, the Liverpool boss has plenty to discuss with the club’s American owners but admits he has been citing some targets for a while now:
They are coming over to watch the Villa game and we will have a conversation over a nice meal about how everything is going.
The transfer window will obviously be part of the discussion but that won’t just be rolled up into these few days. We’ve been talking about that since the summer.
The Reds are well-placed in the Premier League, currently occupying the fourth and final Champions League berth. They are just six points off the very summit of the table and hold a one-point advantage over Merseyside rivals Everton, who are currently in fifth place.
In another boost, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard have both returned from injury in recent weeks, and the two were both on the scoresheet as Liverpool ran out 5-3 winners against Stoke City in their last Premier League outing.
Nonetheless, if this Liverpool team are to achieve their Champions League ambitions this season, a little injection of quality during this window will surely provide major impetus and refreshment to the squad.
Rodgers knows this all too well, especially after he recruited Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in the 2013 window. Both players galvanized the Liverpool team and inspired some superb results in the season run-in.
Now, the Liverpool boss will be courting players of a similar stature who can come into his squad and make a comparable impact. The owners look set to give him their full backing in pursuit of these sorts of talents, per Pearce’s aforementioned article:
The owners have been great in terms of if there is something there to be done that will help us I am sure they will support that.
We are assessing a whole raft of players, it is just a question of whether they are going to be available to bring in now. It certainly won’t be for a lack of trying.
Salah is a player who can make that sort of impact. He is a shrewd, intelligent young playmaker who could offer an excellent supply line to Sturridge and Luis Suarez.
Talk early in the window suggested Liverpool were on the cusp of securing a deal, but recent reports imply he is more likely to be tempted by the riches of Zenit St Petersburg than the Northwest of England, per the Mirror’s Liam Prenderville.
But Liverpool seem to have maintained an interest in the Egyptian international, and Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail has suggested he may be the only player to come into Merseyside during this window. With that in mind, the Reds will be desperate to secure his signature.
Whilst in Sturridge and Suarez they have two of the Premier League’s most prolific forwards, Wheeler suggests that Rodgers is looking for more areas of the pitch.
Jordan Henderson has improved significantly this season, as has Raheem Sterling, but neither look likely to chip in with a double-figure goal return. Coutinho, too, a player from which big things were expected of this campaign, has struggled with injury and a loss of form.
Salah will offer a much more clinical head in front of goal—he has scored six times in 18 starts for FC Basel in all competitions this season, per WhoScored—but with all of the aforementioned talent at Rodgers’ disposal, where would Salah fit into his Liverpool system?
It’d potentially be a great problem to have, and you suspect that will be a prominent topic of conversation when Rodgers and the owners sit down for their meal!