Liverpool have plenty of preparation to do for next season. Brendan Rodgers' side will be confident of mounting another title challenge, but with Champions League football on the horizon, he needs to make vital signings ahead of a hectic schedule.
Javier Mascherano, Emre Can and Yannick Bolasie head the latest batch of transfer rumours. Here, we detail the latest news on all three.
Latest on Liverpool's Potential Signings
Javier Mascherano, Barcelona
Luis Enrique, Barcelona's new boss, has been quick to highlight Mascherano's importance since taking over from Gerardo Martino. The former Blaugrana captain indicated the Argentinian midfielder will take on a leadership role, noted by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC:
Sergi Font of Marca also believes Enrique told Mascherano "he is counting on him for next season," despite the player feeling "his time at Barcelona might have ended." Linked to Liverpool by Ben Jefferson of the Express, it seems there's plenty to be resolved before Mascherano's future becomes clear.
Walter Tamer, the player's agent, "is planning to come to Barcelona over the next few days," according to Font's report. Napoli president Aurelie De Laurentiis recently suggested the Italian side are "working on" a deal for the player, per Gazzetta dello Sport and via James Willoughby of Goal.com, indicating it could be a long summer for those looking to land Mascherano's experienced talents.
Emre Can, Bayer Leverkusen
Rodgers is an avid developer of young talent, but his quest to sign Emre Can has always threatened to crumble at the will of Bayern Munich. Despite selling the 20-year-old midfielder to Leverkusen last summer, a pesky buy-back clause could see Liverpool's hopes of capturing the talent diminished, reported by Gary Jones of the Daily Star:
Liverpool are hoping their £10m bid will secure the deal, but are aware they could miss out to the German champs. Sources in Germany claim Bayern included a buy-back agreement in Emre's contract when he was sold to Leverkusen for £4.4m back in 2013.
The will of the player could decide this one. It's likely Can will want to make an impression in Bavaria if offered the opportunity to do so, having represented the club's youth ranks between 2009-2013. A German Under-21 international, the youngster may be inclined to continue learning at Leverkusen before returning to the Allianz Arena.
If Can wants to move to Liverpool, he must declare it now.
Yannick Bolasie, Crystal Palace
Few Liverpool fans will have taken notice of Yannick Bolasie before their recent trip to Selhurst Park. The explosive winger ran riot as the Reds' 3-0 lead crumbled, but Rodgers may have seen it coming.
According to Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star, the Liverpool boss is weighing up a cheap move for a player he has monitored throughout his career. "Rodgers is a long-term admirer of the £2.5m-rated midfielder going back to the days when he was in charge of Swansea and Bolasie was at Plymouth," noted Kajumba, who says Palace are "desperate" to keep their star in London.
Bolasie would certainly improve Liverpool's squad depth, offering an exciting option from the bench during what will be a busy 2014-15 season. Rodgers needs to up the output of his subs, as players including Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Fabio Borini have plenty to prove on Merseyside. Bolasie's fearlessness, and indeed versatility, fits into the manager's plans rather well.
At such a cheap price, the Congo international is worth a shot. Liverpool's transfer activity is likely to be defined by a number of cheaper signings mixed with one or two more expensive investments, as Rodgers looks to build a squad that can compete across four fronts next season.