Liverpool may be facing a battle with Premier League rivals Arsenal over the signatures of Barcelona's Pedro and Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado after it emerged the Gunners are interested in the Anfield-linked duo.
The two wingers, along with Real Madrid's Angel di Maria, who is seen as something of a long shot, are both on Arsene Wenger's summer wish list, per the Daily Star's Adrian Kajumba:
Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, Barcelona's Pedro and Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado are in the Gunners sights.
And boss Arsene Wenger has made new checks on the trio's availability as he weighs up his transfer options this summer. [...]
Arsenal's interest in Cuadrado and Pedro will put them in direct competition with Liverpool who are keen on the pair.
The Reds have been rather over-reliant on Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in the goalscoring department recently, and with Champions League football on the horizon next season, it makes sense that Brendan Rodgers would be looking to add to his attack.
Meanwhile, Arsenal were short in attack in the 2013-14 season, finishing fourth in the Premier League with only Olivier Giroud scoring more than 10 goals, per BBC Sport.
Colombian Cuadrado, valued at £20 million per Kajumba's piece, bagged 11 goals and five assists in Fiorentina's fourth-place Serie A campaign, per WhoScored.com, and would be a terrific asset to either Arsenal or Liverpool.
Spanish international Pedro is reportedly available for the right price and has been widely linked with a move to Anfield, per the Daily Mirror:
EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool chasing Barcelona striker Pedro - and the Spaniards are willing to sell http://t.co/mgxiaBCQl0— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) May 21, 2014
The 26-year-old netted 15 goals in 37 La Liga appearances as Barcelona finished second to Atletico Madrid, per Squawka, and his absence from a promotional photo for Barca's new kit led many to speculate he may be on his way out, per Goal.com's Max Bentley:
Rodgers has expressed his confidence that Liverpool's second-place Premier League finish will allow the Reds to bring in the types of player previously out of reach, per James Pearce in the Liverpool Echo:
In these first couple of years I’ve been here we have had to do that [bring in loan players] as we’ve had a thin squad.
The players we wanted we couldn’t get but we’re hopeful that this summer will be different. We turn the page and it’s another chapter in terms of where we are going.
The likes of Pedro and Cuadrado are certainly the calibre of player Liverpool should be looking to bring in, as they prepare to contend domestically and in Europe next season.
While their Champions League presence should attract better players, it seems they will be up against the Gunners in the case of this pair.
This is potentially a real concern for the Anfield outfit. Even if the club does manage to claim its potential targets, it may be at a higher price now that it faces competition.