Liverpool's drop down the Premier League ranks over recent years may have dented their prospects in the transfer market, but this summer may see the Reds broaden their horizons once again.
Brendan Rodgers will want to build on the foundations built on the back of this season's second-place finish, and the club are close to securing their first deal of the summer.
Clearly holding no intentions to sit by and let the World Cup affect their recruitment pledge, Liverpool's latest rumoured targets have a sense of ambition once again running strong at Anfield.
Liverpool will announce Rickie Lambert as their first signing of the summer on Monday morning, according to the Liverpool Echo's Tom Evans.
The Southampton striker completed his medical ahead on Saturday ahead of the £4 million move, and Lambert spoke to Sky Sports (h/t talkSPORT) shortly after to provide some more details of the switch:
"The medical went well but as you know I can't say anything. I'll speak properly about it, hopefully, very shortly. It's been a crazy football year to be honest, the way it's carrying on."
The 32-year-old isn't exaggerating after enjoying a season that saw him help in guiding the Saints to an eighth-placed finish in the league, not to mention earning his first England caps under Roy Hodgson.
Lambert's acquisition is a cheap pickup for the Merseysiders in what could turn out to be a very valuable purchase, and the only question remains is how Rodgers intends to utilise his impending arrival.
Yevhen Konoplyanka, Dnipro
Manchester United could deal Liverpool a blow in their pursuit of Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka after it was reported that the Red Devils are keen to hijack a deal for his signature.
Rodgers' side were linked with the Ukraine international in January, but the Mirror's Darren Lewis says that new United manager Louis van Gaal need only give the nod before Liverpool's bitter rivals push through with a move.
Russian football journalist Artur Petrosyan has pointed out that Liverpool's advantage in being able to offer Champions League football could be a major advantage, however:
Dnipro sporting director Andrey Stetsenko is quoted by The Guardian (h/t Sky Sports) as saying that no offers have been received for the club's star:
Our scouts are working to find his replacement. Sooner or later Konoplyanka will leave Dnipro. We know that English, Spanish and German clubs are monitoring the situation and are interested in the player. But we have had no offers.
His contract has a buyout clause worth €15m for foreign clubs. For Ukrainian clubs the buyout is more. Konoplyanka spoke to me and said that if he did not have offers from foreign clubs in the future it would not be a problem. He would stay with us with pleasure and continue to play for Dnipro.
Konoplyanka would perhaps be considered as a cheaper alternative to Southampton's Adam Lallana, whom The Guardian's Andy Hunter claimed has been the subject of a renewed £25 million Liverpool bid.
Mehdi Benatia, Roma
Premier League suitors have been warded away from any potential interest in Roma defender Mehdi Benatia after the club slapped a gargantuan £50 million price-tag on their defender.
The Daily Star's Bruce Archer quoted Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini, where he confirmed that Benatia is available for transfer but only to those willing to pay the prescribed amount:
Benatia is a guy with sound principles - he didn't want to take a step away from Roma fans or his team-mates. He has been completely coherent, he's never played for himself, always with and for the team.
Personally I think £25m is the value of Benatia's weak foot. If Benatia's weak foot is worth £25m then the total price would be £50m. Benatia is not for sale, unless someone comes to us with an offer of £50m.
WhoScored.com broke down the Moroccan international's strengths and what he'd bring to the Anfield cause:
Liverpool's transfer expectations may have broadened in recent months, but one would think that a move this expensive will go down as being out of their reach.
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