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Liverpool Transfer News: Big-Money Stars Reportedly on Brendan Rodgers' Radar

BERGAMO, ITALY - MAY 11:  Mario Balotelli of AC Milan shows his dejection during the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on May 11, 2014 in Bergamo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2014

With the World Cup now just over a fortnight away, Liverpool's transfer window is in danger of grinding to a temporary halt, an issue that many elite clubs will face in the next month or so.

That being said, the delay isn't likely to temper Brendan Rodgers' desire for squad improvements this summer as the 2014-15 campaign beckons with bigger and brighter prospects than have been seen at Anfield for some years.

Back among the Champions League elite, the Reds have a certain responsibility to their fans in improving the quality of their playing staff over the next few months, and here we take a look at some of the latest comment on rumours emerging on Merseyside.

 

Mario Balotelli, Milan

FLORENCE, ITALY - MAY 20:  Mario Balotelli of Italy during a training session at Coverciano on May 20, 2014 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Potentially swapping one controversial striking figure for another, there's a chance that Liverpool will seek to bring in Mario Balotelli this summer, should Luis Suarez decide to head for the Anfield exit.

That's according to the Mirror's Paul Gorst, who says the Italian forward is being eyed up as a replacement for Suarez if he opts for a transfer to Real Madrid.

The Associated Press write that Balotelli has been racially abused in Italy's World Cup preparations, and it's that kind of reception which could lead to the forward hunting a move back to England:

As quoted in the report, Balotelli reacted in saying: "Only in Rome and Florence are they that stupid."

 

Emre Can, Bayer Leverkusen

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is challenged by Emre Can of Bayer Leverkusen during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford on September 17, 2013 in Man
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Emre Can's proposed switch to Merseyside is a deal that's gone through its paces quickly, elevating from murmured speculation to full-fledged possibility in little more than a week.

Bayer Leverkusen purchased the midfielder from Bayern Munich for a fee of £4.5 million last summer, but the Telegraph's Chris Bascombe says that the Bundesliga outfit could now turn a quick profit by selling him to Liverpool for £12 million.

The German Under-21 international has received some considerable plaudits in his native Germany, but Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft isn't particularly convinced:

Speaking on the subject of the Leverkusen youngster, club sporting director and German legend Rudi Voller is quoted by the Mirror's David Maddock as saying:

It is clear that Emre now has a clause in his contract, and it would be lucrative business for us, but that is not the sticking point - we feel he could do well for another year with us. Of course I spoke with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge [of Bayern Munich] on the subject. They think that for Emre's development another season at Leverkusen would be just right.

On that topic, Liverpool wouldn't appear to agree and are intent on landing their man now, possibly as an alternative to Lucas Leiva.

 

Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne, Southampton

SWANSEA, WALES - MAY 03:  Southampton fans wear 'Nathaniel Clyne' and 'Adam Lallana' masks during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Southampton at Liberty Stadium on May 3, 2014 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Im
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

And the Reds could strengthen their English reserves with a move for the Southampton pairing of Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana, according to the Daily Star's Paul Hetherington.

Lallana has seen his Liverpool links intensify since making Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad a fortnight ago, and Hetherington quotes the Three Lions manager in asserting that he doesn't want transfer business to disrupt England's preparation:

England is England and their clubs and club futures are exactly that – and we’re not going to combine the two things. I’m not having agents come in to our training camp and I’m not having players leaving the camp to speak to clubs or agents.

Clyne would be brought in as a presumed replacement for countryman Glen Johnson, and the Mirror's Ed Malyon touted the notion earlier in May that the full-back could have been in contention for a World Cup place himself:

Hetherington reports that a substantial £40 million fee would be required to lure both players to Anfield as Rodgers seeks to beef up his homegrown options.

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