Ranking Liverpool's 10 Most Realistic Summer Transfer Targets

Matt Ladson@mattladsonFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2014

Ranking Liverpool's 10 Most Realistic Summer Transfer Targets

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    Who will Brendan Rodgers signing for Liverpool this summer?
    Who will Brendan Rodgers signing for Liverpool this summer?Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    The final week of the Premier League season is upon us and that can mean only one thing—the good old transfer rumour mill is about to crank up a gear.

    No matter how the season ends for Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers will be looking to add depth and quality to his squad this summer. 

    "We know we have to strengthen our squad, we'll be in the Champions League next year" he said in his press conference on Friday, as per This Is Anfield. "We have to strengthen the depth of our squad no doubt."

    The Reds will be boosted this summer by the expected returns of loan players Suso, Fabio Borini, Andre Wisdom and Tiago Ilori, but they will be looking to sign more quality in other areas.

    A left-back certainly seems high on the wanted list, as does more depth up front and out wide. A centre-back, central midfielder and a right-back shouldn't be ruled out, either.

    We rank the top 10 most realistic summer transfer targets, based upon recent reports. 

10. Xherdan Shaqiri

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Position: Winger | Age: 22  Club: Bayern Munich

    Most Recently Linked: The Mirror

    Likelihood: 5 (out of 10)

    Why: Shaqiri would clearly be an excellent signing for any side looking for a classy, versatile winger with European pedigree. Liverpool are clearly in that market.

    The Swiss international has six goals in 21 appearances for Bayern Munich this season and his peripheral squad status means he is being strongly linked with a departure from the German giants.

    B/R's Robbie Dunne wrote of Shaqiri's potential move to Liverpool recently, saying that "Adding a player with the speed and ability that Shaqiri possesses would automatically turn them into European contenders, even more so than they are now."

    Shaqiri would certainly be an exciting signing.

9. Martin Montoya

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Position: Right-Back | Age: 23  Club: Barcelona

    Most Recently Linked: talkSPORT

    Likelihood: 5

    Why: Interest in the Spanish right-back appears to have cooled since he signed a new contract with the Catalans in March, as per BBC Sport. And a recent report from talkSPORT claims Bayern Munich have an interest in signing the 23-year-old.

    Liverpool clearly had interest in signing Montoya back in January, possibly this summer on a Bosman signing if he hadn't signed a new deal with Barca.

    With doubts over the future over 29-year-old Glen Johnson, Liverpool are likely to target a right-back in the not too distant future. Montoya would be an excellent signing but perhaps an unlikely one now.

8. Ashley Cole

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Position: Left-Back | Age: 33  Club: Chelsea

    Most Recently Linked: Metro

    Likelihood: 5

    Why: A strange one. On the one hand you can fully understand the rationale if Brendan Rodgers was indeed interested in signing Cole—he's experienced, Liverpool lack quality and depth at left-back and he's available on a free transfer.

    What's not to like about it? Well, it's Ashley Cole. That says enough, right?

    The only way this is likely to happen is if Cole would be prepared to move on reduced wages and as back-up to a new, younger left-back, offering his experience to the likes of Jon Flanagan in the process.

7. Emre Can

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Position: Centre-Midfield | Age: 20  Club: Bayer Leverkusen

    Most Recently Linked: Daily Star

    Likelihood: 6

    Why: The German under-21 international, dubbed "the new Michael Ballack", is a possible long-term replacement for when Steven Gerrard eventually retires.

    The Daily Star claim that manager Brendan Rodgers has personally scouted Can. If Liverpool could make the signing at a good price, he would certainly fit the profile of player the club wishes to sign.

    Could Can be another Philippe Coutinho and take the Premier League by storm?

6. Alexandre Lacazette

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    Harry Engels/Getty Images

    Position: Forward | Age: 22  Club: Lyon

    Most Recently Linked: Daily Mail

    Likelihood: 6

    Why: Liverpool need more depth up front, back-up to Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. A youngster such as Lacazette would fit the bill.

    B/R's Jason Pettigrove wrote of the Lyon striker:

    Seventeen goals from the 22-year-old is a reasonable return, and although Lacazette has a contract with the French club until 2016, financial problems mean that there is every chance Liverpool could get their man.

    However, Pettigrove concludes that perhaps the Frenchman isn't ready for the move yet and "Rodgers would be well-advised to say "non" and look for a more established name to improve Liverpool's chances of European and domestic glory next season."

5. Steven Caulker

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Position: Centre-Back | Age: 22  Club: Cardiff

    Most Recently Linked: The Mirror

    Likelihood: 7

    Why: Rodgers likes him—he had him on loan at Swansea in 2011/12—and Cardiff's relegation will mean Caulker will be seeking a move to stay in the top flight.

    Caulker is experienced for his age—just 22—and a leader. He could make a solid long-term partner for Mamadou Sakho at Liverpool.

    This Is Anfield's Jack Lusby wrote recently of Caulker, concluding:

    "With Cardiff City relegation-bound, a cut-price move for the England international would be an astute piece of business for Rodgers and Liverpool this summer."

4. Will Hughes

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Position: Centre-Midfield | Age: 19  Club: Derby County

    Most Recently Linked: The Mirror

    Likelihood: 7

    Why: Hughes has been linked with Liverpool for a while now and reports last year suggested that the Reds had agreed a "first option" deal on the England under-21 international, as per The Mirror.

    Having sent Andre Wisdom on loan to the Championship side since then, Liverpool have a good relationship with the Midlands side, who have qualified for the play-offs and could return to the Premier League next season.

    Hughes is highly-rated, a boyhood Liverpool fan and clearly one for the future.

3. Marcos Rojo

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Position: Left-back | Age: 24  Club: Sporting Lisbon

    Most Recently Linked: The Mirror

    Likelihood: 7

    Why: Quite simply, because Liverpool need a left-back.

    Aly Cissokho's loan move won't be made permanent, Jon Flanagan is primarily a right-back—despite being excellent this season on the left—and Jose Enrique is approaching 30, has serious knee problems and even when fit is not everybody's cup of tea.

    Rojo looks set to be Argentina's left-back at the World Cup but can also play at centre-back. Such versatility is always a bonus.

2. Adam Lallana

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Position: Attacking Midfielder | Age: 25  Club: Southampton

    Most Recently Linked: The Mirror (and others)

    Likelihood: 8

    Why: According to The Mirror, the Englishman "has his heart set on a move to Anfield" and Liverpool will make a move this summer.

    Different reports have quoted different prices but regardless of the cost, Lallana, who was in the PFA Team of the Season, would fit in well at Liverpool. He'd add much-needed depth to the squad for next season.

    He's a technical player, good on the ball with both feet, has an eye for a pass and can unlock defences.

    He may be similar to Coutinho and Raheem Sterling, but those two are 21 and 19 respectively, they can't play every game.

    Lallana as a replacement for Luis Alberto in the squad next season? Go on then, please.

1. Yevhen Konoplyanka

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Position: Winger | Age: 24  Club: FC Dnipro

    Most Recently Linked: The Mirror

    Likelihood: 9

    Why: Seemingly more likely than any other player currently linked with a move to Anfield due to the manner which Liverpool pursued the Ukrainian in the January transfer window. Whispers on Merseyside claim a deal has already been done for the summer.

    Konoplyanka would add some variation to Liverpool's attack.

    Liverpool haven't been using wingers of late, but the Ukrainian would replace the departing Victor Moses in the squad next season.