Liverpool are ready to pursue left-back targets including Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo after the potential deal for Sevilla's Alberto Moreno "hit a brick wall," according to David Maddock of the Mirror.
Maddock believes Brendan Rodgers is ready to hunt Rojo, "another long-term target," as the Reds boss aims to secure his new signings with minimal fuss. Both Blind and Rojo's stock have risen after one performance at the World Cup, where the full-backs played significant roles in leading the Netherlands and Argentina to their respective opening victories.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf links Blind with a move to Anfield after the left-back provided two fantastic assists during his nation's 5-1 whooping of Spain. Borussia Dortmund are also tracking Blind, ensuring the Eredivisie club "are likely to receive a far higher fee than 12 million euros for the versatile player," translated by 101 Great Goals.
Which left-back should Liverpool try to sign?
Liverpool will also "consider reviving interest" in Wolfsburg full-back Ricardo Rodriguez if the Moreno deal fails to take place, reported by Simon Jones of the Daily Mail. The Reds are currently only willing to offer £6 million less than Sevilla's asking price for the Spanish international, per Maddock, indicating Blind, Rojo and Rodriguez may be real possibilities.
Anfield supporters may be a tad wary of the club's unwillingness to pay out for top talents like Moreno. Rodgers was unable to land Yevhen Konoplyanka and Mohamed Salah in January due to the club standing firm when more cash was needed, a tactic that can only be counted as commendable for so long.
While Rodgers must land value for money, he also has to be willing to pay for potential in an expensive market. Liverpool face the real possibility of being outpriced by bigger clubs who will offer top dollar to acquire emerging stars. Now the club is in the Champions League, they better re-associate themselves with being forced to dish out significant sums for the type of quality they need.
Jay Riley of the Liverpool Echo plays down any move for Rodriguez, but admits Moreno is no longer the focus for the club who have already signed Rickie Lambert and Emre Can (in principle), this summer:
I've not heard anything about any #LFC interest in Ricardo Rodriguez. But Argentine, Marcos Rojo is one being eyed as a Moreno alternative.— Jay Riley (@Jay_78_) June 17, 2014
The rumours will continue to come for Liverpool, who are destined to significantly alter their squad leading into the season they return to Europe's elite. Adding a left-back will not only provide cover for Jose Enrique, it will allow Jon Flanagan the opportunity to challenge Glen Johnson's right-back spot.
Competition is needed in a squad that lacked a real fight for places last season. Rodgers' players will know they aren't guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup if quality continues to be stacked, a healthy situation for the Merseyside team to find themselves in.
Decent money still needs to be spent if Liverpool are to consolidate and improve upon last season's heroics, something the board must keep in mind when Rodgers' targets are missed due to an inability to agree transfer fees.