Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be looking to add substantial depth to his squad in the summer transfer window as the Reds prepare for Champions League football next season.
The Anfield outfit finished the 2013-14 season second in the Premier League to Manchester City, qualifying for Europe's elite club competition for the first time since 2009.
As a result they need greater depth to a squad that would otherwise be stretched very thinly if competing in Europe as well as domestically.
Liverpool have been linked with a number of stars from the Spanish La Liga that Rodgers is hoping to bring in, including Barcelona duo Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas.
Sanchez Advances Rejected
The arrival of new manager Luis Enrique at the helm of the Catalan giants had sparked rumours that the 25-year-old might be on his way out of the Camp Nou and Liverpool reportedly launched a £20 million bid for the forward, per Nick Lustig in the Daily Star.
However, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted last week that Sanchez is indeed in the club's plans for next season and is thus not for sale, per Ben Jefferson in the Sunday Express:
"He has a contract with us and is an important part of the squad," he said. "Sanchez has had a great season and, of course, will be a part of Barcelona next season as well."
Sanchez scored 19 league goals and provided 10 assists in 34 appearances for Barca in the 2013-14 campaign, which saw them finish second after drawing with winners Atletico Madrid on the final day, per WhoScored.com.
He would certainly be a superb addition to Liverpool's squad, as he would bring goals as well as an attacking flair that would fit well in Rodgers' philosophy of devastating counter-attacking.
However, it seems they will need to up their transfer fee if they want to bring Sanchez to Anfield and no doubt his price will rise if he performs well for Chile in the World Cup in Brazil.
Fabregas Up For Sale
The Reds may have more success in pursuing another Barcelona target, Fabregas, who is reportedly to be sold for £30 million over the summer, per David Ornstein on BBC Sport.
The news that Barcelona are prepared to let the 27-year-old go comes after Enrique refused to be drawn on the Spaniard's future when he was introduced to the media in May, per Spanish paper AS:
Luis Enrique: “Is Cesc in my plans? We're not going to talk about names”— AS English (@English_AS) May 21, 2014
However, it now seems that the former Arsenal man is to be sold on if his price tag is met, and Liverpool are reportedly leading the race for his signature as Fabregas looks to return to the Premier League, per Rob Draper in the Daily Mail.
Fabregas bagged eight league goals in 36 appearances last season, per Squawka, and he would provide Liverpool with great Champions League experience as well as a built-in knowledge of the English game from his days in north London.
However, £30 million is a lot of money and Rodgers will need to be convinced of Fabregas' potential worth to the club if he is to take the plunge.
Moreno Deal on the Horizon
Liverpool's failure to win the Premier League last season was mainly due to the number of goals they conceded, 50 in the 38-game campaign, setting an ignominious record per Opta.
50 - Liverpool have conceded 50+ goals in a 38-game top-flight season for the first time since 1914-15. Leaky.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 11, 2014
Thus it is unsurprising that Rodgers is on the look out for new defenders, and a deal for long-term left-back target Alberto Moreno is reportedly imminent.
The reported value of the deal is an accumulated £20 million, comprising a £15 million fee and young midfielder Suso.
Moreno was part of the Sevilla side that won the Europa League last season and recorded a fifth place finish in La Liga. As well as added defensive strength, the 21-year-old would provide further pace going forward.
Rodgers is seemingly targeting a high calibre of player in his transfer plans, and rightly so. If Liverpool are to continue to contend domestically as well as in Europe, they must bring in lots more quality across all areas.
They performed admirably during the past season, only just missing out on a first league title since 1990. But to maintain that level of performance, Rodgers needs to be smart and active in the summer transfer window.