Liverpool are in the middle of the race for the Premier League title, but with just two weeks remaining in the 2013-14 season, scouts and management are already looking ahead at the upcoming summer transfer window, as the Reds prepare for the added strain of Champions League football next year.
Plenty of wheeling and dealing is expected at Anfield this summer, with several players seemingly no longer central to the plans of Brendan Rodgers. Let's have a look at the latest transfer news surrounding the club and some of its players.
The Uruguayan striker has been hugely important for the club this season, scoring 30 goals in 31 appearances, per WhoScored.com, and amidst reported interest from Real Madrid, the forward has publicly stated his intentions of staying with Liverpool.
As reported by the Mirror's David Maddock, Suarez told Uruguayan TV station Canal 10 he wants his family to remain happy in Liverpool:
Don’t worry, nothing is going to happen to me.
I’m very happy here and my family is happy here. If we could win the Premier League and bring the trophy home it would be incredible, a dream come true.
This news is arguably the best Rodgers and company have received in a while, and while Real's offer would most likely have been substantial (and still could be), the Reds simply wouldn't be the same team without the Uruguayan's scoring ability.
Suarez won this year's PFA Player of the Year award, and as Liverpool try to regain their status as an elite club by winning the title for the first time in 24 years, they simply can't afford to sell arguably their biggest name.
Selling Suarez would be conceding the fact Liverpool aren't amongst those elite clubs, and with the player now confirming he has no intention of leaving, a potential transfer to Madrid now is all but dead.
Borussia Dortmund's wing-back has fallen down the pecking order with his current club and is a reported target of Rodgers, and Goal.com's Enis Koylu is reporting the German defender has admitted the link with the Reds is a flattering one.
Schmelzer told WAZ:
"Of course I look forward to hearing things like that and it's nice when top clubs are interested in you.
But I still have a contract with Borussia Dortmund until 2016 and I feel very, very good at BVB."
Schmelzer may have told reporters he's happy with Borussia, but a lack of playing time could hurt him during next month's World Cup.
The wing-back has the potential to be the first player off the bench for the Mannschaft but looks unlikely to be used in that capacity following his demotion at the club level, and with the Reds looking for a potential upgrade over veteran back Glen Johnson, Schmelzer could be tempted to use the opportunity to boost his stock.
Players from the Bundesliga's top clubs have remained in Germany in the past few years, and at 26 years old, Schmelzer has time on his side to fight his way back into Jurgen Klopp's favoured starting XI.
But the World Cup could change the wing-back's mind, and if it does, Liverpool shouldn't hesitate to contact Die Borussen regarding his availability. The player clearly doesn't mind the links to the club and would be a younger, more defensively stable alternative to Johnson, making this move a logical one that could benefit everyone involved.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Newcastle's Ben Arfa and Alan Pardew have had a rocky relationship in the last few months, and according to Metro, reports indicate Liverpool are planning on giving the player a way out of his current club by making an offer during the summer.
The winger wasn't included in the squad in the last two matches and voiced his displeasure at that fact, per the Daily Mail's Martin Hardy he didn't like having to sit and watch while his team lost to Arsenal:
Yeah, it was very difficult (watching the Arsenal defeat). I was at home watching on TV. It was hard because we have lost too many times, 3-0, 4-0, 3-0. It is hard when you love the supporters, it is hard to lose every time like that.
... I don’t know why I’m not playing. You have to ask the manager. After the (4-0) defeat against Manchester United, we had a strong exchange of words, but that is it. He doesn’t want me to play. I respect it. If he wants, I will play.
I’m here for the club. I enjoy training. I just want to play. I’m fit.
If the manager says to me he doesn’t believe in me for next season, I want to stay, but if the chairman wants to sell me I have to go. I want to stay here even if the manager doesn’t believe in me because I will show him I can play here.
The player's issues with Pardew are very clear for all to see, but to his credit, he appears sincere when he says he's determined to stay with Newcastle and prove to his manager he can play there.
Ben Arfa isn't a bad player by any means, but even if attitude problems or something similar was the cause of the spat between player and coach (which I'm not saying is the case), any top player will play for a side such as Newcastle, regardless of the circumstances.
The fact Pardew doesn't feel the need to use the French midfielder on a regular basis is a clear indication he lacks the quality to be a difference-maker or even a solid contributor for a top club such as Liverpool.
Should Newcastle sell Ben Arfa, they'd much rather sell him to a foreign club than gift one of their competitors near the top of the Premier League standings a player who could function as a squad rotation option. As a result, Liverpool would most likely be forced to overpay for a player it has little use for.
KRFM & Sunrise Radio's Indykaila News doesn't see it happening either:
This move simply wouldn't make any sense. Ben Arfa would most likely not be interested in joining a club already boasting tons of talent out on the wing, while Rodgers can't do much with a 27-year-old who doesn't even make the bench at Newcastle.