Liverpool Transfer News: Latest on Antoine Griezmann, Thorgan Hazard and More

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2014

Antoine Griezmann of France pose before the international friendly match between France and Netherlands at the Stade de France stadium, outside Paris, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

The 2013-14 Premier League season was a rousing success for Liverpool, who finished second in the standings and will enter next year's Champions League tournament with a young, exciting squad.

Brendan Rodgers has done an excellent job with the pieces available to him, and with European football on the horizon, added funds will ensure the Reds will be able to attract another batch of talented players to strengthen the squad.

Read on for a round-up of the latest transfer news surrounding the club.

Antoine Griezmann

Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

The French winger is enjoying his time at Real Sociedad, but he would be open to moving to a bigger club, as reported by the Daily Star's Nick Lustig.

Griezmann told Spanish newspaper AS as much, saying:

I do not know, but first we have to play against Villarreal, then the World Cup and then we'll see. I hope to have holidays and then we'll see what happens.

If one day I leave, it will be to move to a big club. But there is still a long time for that.

That's something that the club and my agent will deal with.

I'm here enjoying myself and we'll see what can happen. I'm focused on playing.

Rated at £25 million, the Frenchman has risen to fame playing in Spain's Basque country in the last two seasons, combining impressive athletic ability with a keen eye for goal and incredible technique.

Griezmann has been with the club since he was 16 years old and is fluent in Basque, but unlike Iker Muniain, the player wasn't born in the Basque country, a region notorious for producing players unwilling to move abroad.

The winger will most likely star for France in the upcoming World Cup, and strong performances there could boost his transfer value considerably. Real Sociedad will finish the La Liga season in the Europa League spots and seem to have plateaued as a club, which could influence the player's decision on whether or not he should move.

Despite Liverpool's obvious strengths out on the wing, Griezmann would make for an excellent addition. His ability to contribute in front of goal would fit Rodgers' system like a glove, and at £25 million, the player could be considered a relative bargain at this point.

Thorgan Hazard

Yves Logghe/Associated Press

Chelsea's "other" Hazard has been in sensational form on loan at Belgian side Zulte Waregem, winning the league's Golden Boot and Player of the Year awards, but his future at Chelsea appears grim at best, with the midfield spots cluttered by the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah.

Belgian newspaper HLN claims Liverpool are looking to sign the 21-year-old from Chelsea in a timely fashion, as Everton and Schalke 04 are also reportedly looking at the Belgian youth international. Metro's Jamie Sanderson writes:

The 21-year-old was signed by the Blues shortly after they bagged his brother Eden Hazard in 2012, but he is yet to make a senior appearance for the club.

And despite two hugely successful loan spells in his native Belgium with Zulte Waregem, where he was recently named Player of the Year, his prospects of a break through at Chelsea appear slim.

This has alerted Liverpool, and now reports claim that Brendan Rodgers has approached Jose Mourinho to begin formal negotiations for the player.

HLN claims that the Reds hope to wrap up a deal quickly, with Schalke and Everton also interested, and Thorgan’s father Thierry has confirmed his son has received plenty of interest.

Speculation was further fuelled when the player's father, who acts as his manager, told Belgian media they will "quietly look at the all offers and see which one Thorgan is most comfortable with," indicating he was already resigned to the fact Hazard's future would not lie with Chelsea.

While Hazard is a highly talented player who greatly impacted Zulte Waregem, he doesn't appear ready to make a meaningful impact at the Premier League level. He could make for a very interesting prospect for the Reds, but Mourinho will not let the younger Hazard join a direct rival cheaply.

With Schalke also involved, one has to assume Chelsea would rather sell to the German side. Don't expect Rodgers to grossly overpay for a player ho has no use for in the immediate future.

Luis Suarez

Clint Hughes/Associated Press

You can be sure to hear about this particular transfer story on a weekly basis for the next three months. Real Madrid want the Uruguayan striker, and Liverpool are doing whatever they can to let the world know it's not going to happen.

As reported by the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce, Rodgers told the newspaper he believes Suarez will be part of the team's future:

The last conversation I had with Luis we spoke a lot and I know he is very happy here.

He has had a marvellous season,. He has picked up all the awards - ones that were very important to him from his peers. He’s contributed massively to our success this season and he is happy in the Premier League. He has turned a corner in terms of how he’s perceived in England.

Of course in football you can’t promise anything but I am confident Luis will be a big part of the future here.

Real Madrid are considering making a bid in the region of £70million, per Pearce, and it's not hard to see why. Suarez is arguably the top out-and-out striker in the world right now, combining a tremendous work ethic with lethal production in front of goal.

Los Blancos like to make one splash signing every season, and it seems this year they have their eyes set on Luis Suarez.

While the player has been quick to shoot down any rumours linking him with a move and the club are very reliant on his constant production, history indicates it's foolish to bet against Real getting whoever they want.

Liverpool have no reason to sell, and unlike the Gareth Bale saga, the player isn't gunning for a move.

Real will have to overspend tremendously to pry Suarez loose from the Reds, and in light of Manchester City's recent Financial Fair Play sanctions, as reported by the BBC, the timing for such a large offer seems to be all wrong.

We'll be hearing plenty more about this possible transfer in the next few months, but don't expect Suarez to be plying his trade in Spain next season.


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