Liverpool Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of February 24, 2014

Vince Siu@vincetalksfootyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2014

Liverpool Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of February 24, 2014

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    A disappointing January transfer window hasn’t had its expected effect on Liverpool yet, as the Reds remain unbeaten in the Premier League in the calendar year of 2014 so far.

    Currently just four points off first-placed Chelsea and holding a six-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers could be forgiven for looking ahead to the summer with Champions League football in mind.

    As he prepares for the remaining 11 league matches of the season, he will also be working with his management team to identify potential signings to strengthen his squad this summer.

    Here are the latest Liverpool transfer news and rumours. Stay tuned throughout the week as we provide you with the most recent updates. 

    Last updated: February 27, 2014

Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic Set to Sign New Deal

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    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic has been linked strongly with Liverpool over the past few months, but has reportedly agreed a new contract with Sevilla, according to Estadio Deportivo (h/t Sky Sports).

    Rakitic’s current contract expires in the summer of 2015, but Sevilla president Jose Castro has reportedly claimed that their captain will be extending his deal. 

Joe Allen Linked with Everton

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    A surprise transfer rumour this week sees Joe Allen linked with Merseyside rivals Everton, currently managed by Allen’s former boss at Swansea City, Roberto Martinez.

    According to the Mirror, Martinez is interested in signing Allen if Gareth Barry’s loan move from Manchester City is not made permanent.

    Allen would fit Martinez’s quick passing style at Everton, but an impressive cameo in Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Swansea City last Sunday showed that perhaps the Welsh international might yet have a huge part to play in Liverpool’s top-four challenge. 

Liverpool Targeting Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Liverpool are believed to be interested in a surprise move for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who has been in fine form this season, scoring 14 goals and racking up six assists in 24 La Liga appearances for Carlo Ancelotti’s team this term.

    The Metro report that Benzema fits the “world class” profile that Brendan Rodgers is looking to bring to Anfield this summer if Liverpool secure Champions League football for next season, and that Benzema might be considering an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the current campaign.

    Given that the Reds already have the free-scoring pair of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge on their books, is there room for another striker still? 

Yevhen Konoplyanka May Join Tottenham Hotspur over Liverpool

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    Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka was a high-profile last-minute failure for Liverpool in the January transfer window, and while the Anfield club are reportedly interested in reviving the deal for the summer, it seems that things may not be so straightforward.

    According to the Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur are determined to beat the Reds to the signing of Konoplyanka, who turned in an impressive performance in last week’s Europa League defeat of Spurs.

Bacary Sagna Wants Three-Year Contract to Stay at Arsenal

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna is out of contract at the end of the season, and the Metro recently reported that Liverpool have submitted a lucrative offer for the right-back.

    The latest news from the Mirror suggests that Sagna is requesting a three-year, £100,00-a-week contract extension to stay on with the Gunners. Given Arsene Wenger’s past record with players over the age of 30 (Sagna is 31), it looks likely that he may be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium soon.

Liverpool Linked with Barcelona’s Victor Valdes on a Free This Summer

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Given Brad Jones’ inconsistent performances for Liverpool, they have been linked with a new goalkeeper for a while. Nottingham Forest’s Karl Darlow was reported to be on Brendan Rodgers’ radar back in January, according to the Metro.

    An altogether bigger name is the latest to be linked with the Reds though, as Barcelona’s Victor Valdes is set to leave Camp Nou this summer when his contract expires, according to the Mirror.

    Given Pepe Reina’s recent comments, via Sky Sports, about his future at Liverpool, the on-loan Napoli keeper may well be leaving Anfield at the end of the season. Will it be a case of Spanish international out, Spanish international in?

End of the Road for Daniel Agger?

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Vice-captain Daniel Agger has long been a fan favorite at Liverpool—and indeed is currently their second longest serving player behind captain Steven Gerrard—but if the Times are to be believed, it appears that his days at Anfield may finally be numbered.

    With Brendan Rodgers quickly installing summer signing Mamadou Sakho as his first-choice left-sided centre-back, Agger hasn’t been as prominent a member of the first team as befits a vice-captain: He’s only made 13 appearances in the Premier League this season.

    He struggled against the physical presence of Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony last Sunday and was replaced just after the hour mark by Kolo Toure.

    Agger is a popular figure among Reds fans due to his loyalty to the club: It was only last summer that he revealed, via the Guardian, that he had turned down the advances of Barcelona to stay at Anfield. An exit this summer would surely be a low point in his career.

Club Record Bid for Real Madrid's Isco?

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    According to Dave Filmer of the Metro, Liverpool have been linked with a club record £37 million bid for Real Madrid's midfield hotshot Isco, who has been out of Carlo Ancelotti's first team recently due to a switch in formation.

    While he would represent a coup for the Reds, would the sizeable bid be worth it, given that Liverpool already have Philippe Coutinho on their books?

    Here we look at the prospect of an Isco transfer in more detail.

Barcelona's Bojan Krkic at a Bargain £5 Million

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Now this one is intriguing: former Barcelona wonderkid Bojan Krkic is reported to be the subject of a £5 million bid from Liverpool, according to the Mirror.

    Bojan was once Barcelona's future: He broke Lionel Messi's record to become the youngest ever player to play for Barcelona, was the youngest ever Barcelona player to feature in the Champions League, and was their youngest ever goal-scorer in a league match. His first season in Barcelona colors yielded 10 league goals, breaking the legendary Raul's record of the most goals scored in a debut season.

    Now on loan at Ajax from Barcelona (having spent last year at AC Milan on loan from AS Roma), Bojan hasn't been in his best form in a while: He's scored only two goals in 13 Eredivisie appearances and looks short in confidence.

    But he fits exactly the profile of an ideal Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool target: Underpriced, possibly undervalued, but with a prestigious pedigree, big-game experience and brimming with natural talent.

    Could he be another Coutinho-type bargain?

No Anfield Future for Pepe Reina

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Ever since his loan move to Napoli last summer, former Liverpool No. 1 Pepe Reina hasn't been shy about speaking his mind over his time at Anfield.

    But any hopes he might have harbored at continuing his Reds career have been dashed by Brendan Rodgers, who has launched a stinging attack on the Spanish international over his handling of the loan departure.

    According to Sky Sports, Rodgers has ruled out an Anfield return for Reina as his goodbye letter suggested that he had made up his mind to move on from Liverpool.

    Cue speculation about his next destination...

Steven Caulker to Strengthen Leaky Reds Defence?

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Few players have shone as brightly as captain Steven Caulker in Cardiff City's maiden Premier League campaign, and his form in the centre of defence has been rewarded with a call-up to Roy Hodgson's latest England squad, for their friendly against Denmark next week.

    That Liverpool's defence has been shaky this term is a well-known fact, but that Brendan Rodgers would turn to Caulker as a potential solution, as suggested by the Mirror, might come as a bit of a surprise.

    Yet considering that Caulker was a star in Rodgers' first ever Premier League season with Swansea City, a move for the young England international defender actually makes some sense. At anything above the £8.5 million that Cardiff paid Tottenham Hotspur to secure his services last summer though, and he'd be a hefty gamble.

Roberto Firmino: Another Bargain Brazilian?

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    Michael Probst/Associated Press

    With 11 goals and eight assists in just 21 Bundesliga appearances this season, Roberto Firmino has emerged as a real star for Hoffenheim.

    The Brazilian midfielder has taken his game to a new level this term and become one of the hottest prospects in European football. The Mirror have suggested that he is a £12 million target for Liverpool, and at that price tag, it would be hard to ignore for Brendan Rodgers.

    He already has a Brazilian bargain as an example in Philippe Coutinho; Firmino may yet be the next midfield star from South America at Anfield.

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