With the end of the English Premier League season drawing ever closer, teams are starting to look ahead to the summer transfer window in search of reinforcements for next season.
As reported by the Mirror's Alex Richards, Liverpool are looking into Sporting Lisbon's Marcos Rojo as a potential candidate to join the squad. The versatile Argentina international is a natural left-back but can also play in the centre and further up on the wing.
The Reds watched Rojo as his team defeated FC Porto 1-0, and according to freelance journalist Jan Hagen, club scouts were very impressed:
Liverpool was watching Sporting defender Marcos Rojo, when SCP beat Porto 1-0 on Sunday. The scout was impressed with what he saw. [A Bola]— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) March 18, 2014
One potential obstacle to a deal being made could be the ownership of the player's contract. As seems to be the case with a growing number of South American players making the move to Eastern Europe, 75 percent of the Argentine's rights belong to an investment company.
Liverpool's success during the 2013-14 season has given the club some extra revenue to work with, and despite coach Brendan Rodgers' insistence that the club will not go overboard with its spending, as reported by the Daily Star's Chris McKenna, any move for Rojo would be a wise one.
Liverpool have experienced a sort of renaissance under Rodgers, and the club seems primed to return to the heights fans have grown accustomed to. Per McKenna's report, Rodgers emphasised player development, coaching and hard work as the keys to success:
The money is great and we will be in the market to compete but what is important is still having a vision of how you want the club to progress.
It is about coaching and man management and dealing with people, having a great staff, finding a cause for the players to fight for.
All of that comes into it and that is something we have done in the period I have been here.
The players believe in it and the work has got them the rewards.
In the age of oil-money clubs and Financial Fair Play, hearing a coach talk about responsible management is refreshing. But good coaching and a vision will only get you so far. While the Reds have lots of talent to work with, any fan will tell you the defense is in need of some serious upgrades.
Marcos Rojo would be such an upgrade. He has impressed since arriving from Russia in 2012 and has become the country's first-choice left-back ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
Traditionally a two-horse race, Sporting Club Portugal currently lead the Portuguese Primeira League on the back of a great defensive unit, and the 24-year-old is the engine that makes the entire unit run.
Transfermarkt currently values the player at £4.8 million, and with the player's complex contract structure, it is very possible Rojo would end up costing the Reds close to double that figure.
But spending less than £10 million on a promising young talent is a bargain in today's financial climate of the EPL, and Rojo is ready to make the step up from the Portuguese league.
The Reds have returned toward the top of the EPL table, but one of the things the club will need to do to maintain its position among England's finest is spend. Rodgers knows this, or he wouldn't be scouting the talented wing-back.
Former Liverpool great John Aldridge agrees Rodgers needs to spend, as he wrote in a column for the Daily Post:
With the club back in the Champions League, he needs proper backing from the owners in the transfer market this summer.
We need three or four £20m players this summer to take it to the next level. There will be money available from being back in the Champions League and selling our dead wood should generate £20m.
In total we need to be spending around the £70m mark.
There's a difference between throwing money at big-name signings and spending wisely, and Liverpool need to realise that without bringing in a handful of smart signings, keeping up with Chelsea and Manchester City simply isn't possible.
If Rojo is the player Rodgers wants, Rojo is the player he should get. Rodgers shouldn't let a complicated contract situation stop him.