Liverpool Transfer News: Most Likely Summer Deals for Brendan Rodgers

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2014

Southampton's Adam Lallana during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Southampton at The Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, April  5, 2014.  (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Liverpool are in the midst of a serious battle for the 2013-14 Premier League title, but scouts and fans are already keeping an eye on the upcoming summer transfer window, as the added funds of Champions League football all but guarantees the Reds will be very busy over the coming months.

Several big names are already being linked to Anfield and with this being a World Cup year, expect a frenzy of reports and rumours to rain down on fans in the next few months.

Amidst all of the confusion, smoke screens and sleight of hand, let's take a look at three targets who are most likely to be joining the Reds this summer.

Adam Lallana

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

The player himself may be keeping quiet on the subject so far, but the reports saying Lallana wants the move to Anfield have become so plentiful it has become impossible to ignore, with The Mirror's Martin Lipton being the latest to weigh in:

The England midfielder – a boyhood Everton fan – has his heart set on a move to Anfield.

Chelsea and Manchester United have both targeted Lallana but the player is intent on a move to Merseyside, as Brendan Rodgers looks to add to his title challenging squad.

Liverpool believe they can land the 25-year-old for around £20million and that Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is prepared to green light a sale.

And the Anfield outfit are ready to offer Lallana a four-year deal worth double his current £35,000-a-week wages.

This is the type of deal that looks like it would be a win for everyone involved. Lallana has enjoyed a phenomenal season and seems ready to make the move to a bigger club, while Southampton look set to receive more than adequate compensation.

The Reds meanwhile receive a versatile midfielder who will add even more scoring and creativity to an already exciting attacking compartment.

Lallana perhaps won't make the biggest impact on the scoresheet, but his high work rate and passing ability will make any team better, and his presence will help take some of the pressure off Steven Gerrard as the veteran approaches the end of his fantastic career.

Guillermo Ochoa

Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

A backup goalkeeper perhaps isn't the most exciting bit of transfer news but just ask Barcelona fans how important depth at the position can be.

Simon Mignolet's first season with the club has been a mixed bag and several fans have called for someone new to come in and compete with the Belgian international. The Express' David Wright knows Mexico's Ochoa is open to a move to the Premier League, amidst reported interest from the Reds.

Ochoa was quoted as saying:

I am evaluating several offers from different countries.

I have been in France for three years and I like the way in which this league has evolved, but I would also want to try elsewhere.

At the moment I have no agreements with any team and I am willing to listen to all the proposals to make the best decision possible.

My agent is dealing with everything and I do not exclude a future in Italy and England.

Ochoa's contract is set to expire in a couple of weeks, making him free to sign with any club of his choosing. Playing for bottom-feeders Ajaccio, his desire to move on from the Ligue 1 is somewhat understandable.

The Mexican will probably never be named amongst the world's best stoppers, but he is far more talented than his current place of employment would suggest. Ochoa could realistically push Mignolet for playing time, and while the Belgian's ceiling is no doubt higher, Ochoa would arguably be the safer option in goal.

With his contract set to expire, this move is a no-brainer. Ochoa gets his move to a bigger club and a chance to prove he is far better than people think he is, while Liverpool get their veteran backup stopper at an enormous discount.

Zakaria Bakkali

Sergei Chuzavkov/Associated Press

Remember him?

The young Belgian was the talk of the town at the start of the season, playing lights out in Champions League qualifiers and dominating the first few weeks of the Eredivisie season.

Injury brought Bakkali back down to earth, and with one of the youngest squads in all of Europe, PSV soon started to struggle on their way to an altogether unremarkable season.

Bakkali was given less and less playing time as coaches tried to right the ship, and according to The Express' Ben Jefferson, Liverpool are now ready to take advantage of the fact he has so far refused to sign a new deal with PSV by swooping in and claiming the player:

Reports in Holland suggest that Liverpool are serious suitors for the 18-year-old and may now lead the race to sign Bakkali.

Bakkali is stalling over signing a new contract at PSV and the Dutch club are growing increasingly concerned that they may lose another prospect at the end of the season.

PSV are furiously trying to convince Bakkali's aunt and uncle - who act as his agents - that his development will be better served by staying put but a host of big clubs, including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Arsenal, beg to differ.

PSV's case has not been strengthen by Bakkali's lack of regular playing time this season and the wonderkid has made just seven starts in the Eredivisie this term.

The situation is further complicated by the Eredivisie's regulations regarding the youth sides, as the 18-year-old is no longer eligible to play for Jong PSV.

Bakkali could be the perfect "sign-and-stash" player for the Reds, as the youngster is far from ready to make an impact on the highest level and would benefit from at least two years on loan with a smaller Premier League side or even a club in the Championship.

But his talent is undeniable, and his aggressiveness out on the wing would make him a perfect fit for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool. Bakkali is supremely confident, almost arrogant, but he used that arrogance to make magic happen on the pitch at the start of the season.

Marc Wilmots and the Belgian Red Devils bent over backwards to get the youngster to commit to the team, and they're not exactly short on talent out on the wing (*cough* Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Kevin Mirallas, Dries Mertens *cough*).

PSV are afraid of losing him in the same way they lost Zakaria Labyad, who left the team on a free transfer, so they will sell if the right offer comes along. Liverpool shouldn't hesitate to make such an offer, as Bakkali could be a staple of the Reds' attack for years to come.


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