Liverpool's reported move for Southampton's Rickie Lambert is advancing at pace after it was reported on Friday that the two clubs had agreed a fee for the striker.
The Press Association, via Eurosport, provided the latest update:
BREAKING: Press Association reports Rickie Lambert will have a medical at Liverpool tomorrow after a fee was agreed. #LFC— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) May 30, 2014
The Liverpool Echo's James Pearce claims Lambert will sign a two-year contract:
Lambert deal will go through over the weekend. He's set to sign a two-year contract. #LFC— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) May 30, 2014
Lambert, a lifetime Liverpool supporter, is the subject of a £4 million bid, according to Dominic King and Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail. This fee "will rise according to the appearances he makes" and is expected to be completed swiftly.
Rodgers was quick to sell the hulking presence of Andy Carroll when he arrived at Anfield, so the move for Lambert comes as a shock. He doesn't typically play with a powerful centre-forward type, but he may be looking to add the option to his bench. The Reds currently lack an aerial presence up front, but Rodgers no doubt also values the intelligence of Lambert on the ball.
Neil Henderson of the BBC highlighted the Mirror's coverage of the proposed deal:
Wayne Veysey of Goal.com described what Lambert can offer to the side:
Lambert will complete a medical on Saturday, substantiated by Ben Smith of BBC Sport.
Given Liverpool's extra commitments in the Champions League next term, the addition of Lambert looks extremely shrewd. Currently the Reds only have Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge as genuine striking options, so to add an England international for £4 million makes smart business sense.
His move may also prove to be vital in the hunt for Adam Lallana. Talks appear to have cooled between the two clubs and reports now suggest Mauricio Pochettino is looking to bring his former colleague to Tottenham, per Dominic Fifield of the Guardian.
Xherdan Shaqiri is said to be an alternative by Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, after the player told 20 Minuten he "cannot continue" with warming the Bayern Munich bench.
Smith indicated this move may have hit a snag:
Adam Lallana's move to #LFC still far from certain. Spurs are interested, as are a couple of other clubs.— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) May 29, 2014
Is Rickie Lambert worth signing for £4 million?
Liverpool are also hunting the £16.2 million signing of Alberto Moreno from Sevilla, as reported by David Anderson of the Mirror. The Spanish left-back enjoyed a terrific season in La Liga and helped his side to the Europa League final, gaining many admirers in the process.
The 21-year-old is blessed with terrific technical skills, likes to dribble forward with attacking intent and romps up and down the flank with great energy. His arrival would provide an alternative to Jon Flanagan, who may receive an opportunity at right-back in the new campaign. With Aly Cissokho returning to Valencia and Jose Enrique's fitness unknown, Moreno may be a vital signing heading into a busy season.
Fede Quintero of Marca claimed he expects the deal to go through but suggested Liverpool may be overpaying for his services:
This substantial offer means that it's more than likely that the youngster from Cerro del Águila will ply his trade at Anfield next season, since Sevilla are very interested in the deal. Almost everyone in Seville thought the youngster would move on in the summer, but the offer that has come in has surpassed even the most optimistic of expectations.
Rodgers is obviously looking to add a mixture of proven and developing stars to his squad, a smart move when Liverpool must deal with the added Champions League schedule next year.
Many may scoff at Lambert's signing, but for £4 million he adds proven Premier League pedigree. The Kirkby-born player will give his all for the Reds, and if he replicates this season's haul of 13 strikes in the domestic division, he may prove to be a bargain.
Although Lallana's move remains difficult to judge, Rodgers would be wise to tie up both Shaqiri and Moreno. Two of the most promising youngsters in the game will be more than welcome at Anfield, which is gearing up for one of the most exciting seasons in Liverpool's recent era.