Brendan Rodgers hasn't waited for the World Cup to finish before adding to his Liverpool squad—having already signed Rickie Lambert and Emre Can ahead of a challenging 2014-15 campaign—but the Northern Irish boss isn't finished there.
In fact, the ambitious manager believes Liverpool have plenty more spending to do ahead of the Premier League's return, reported by David Anderson of the Mirror:
We want to do really well, and that’s going to take a few more signings to bring in. If you look at us as a club, recruitment-wise, we haven't been resting over the course of the off-season. A lot of great work has gone on. We've targeted players, we've signed some and we’ll have more signings to come over the course of the pre-season.
Which potential signing should Liverpool prioritise?
Rodgers plans to have his improved squad in place "by the end of August," as Liverpool look to compete across four fronts next season. Replicating last year's second-place finish is going to be extremely difficult, especially as the Reds' title rivals continue to strengthen, but the added pressure of Champions League football means Rodgers needs to bring in top-quality stars.
Adam Lallana is widely reported to be the next addition at £25 million, noted by John Percy of the Telegraph. The Southampton midfielder is set to reunite with Lambert and join Luke Shaw on the St. Mary's exit list after the left-back joined Manchester United last week. Lallana has long been linked with Liverpool and would add further versatility to the club's midfield.
He could be joined by Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, but the Chilean's performances at the World Cup are said to have forced many European sides into upping their interest. Vaishali Bhardwaj of the Metro reports Sanchez would "prefer" a move to Arsenal if he is forced to leave Catalonia, a notion based on an article in Spanish newspaper Sport.
Rodgers' quest to shop in La Liga has also stuttered during his hunt for Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno. Ramon Rodriguez, the club's sporting director, indicated the two parties "couldn't reach an agreement and I don't think it can be revived," per El Correo de Andalucia and via Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports.
Divock Origi, another star of the World Cup, is also said to be on Rodgers' hit list. Kristian Walsh of the Liverpool Echo believes the 19-year-old is "versatile" despite his "Trojan physique and strength on the ball." His substitute performances in Brazil have easily outshone the hapless Romelu Lukaku, but Origi is likely to return to Lille on loan if he is signed, making him one for the long-term future.
Benfica's Lazar Markovic may be brought in for immediate impact. The electric attacking midfielder—who can play on either wing or centrally like Raheem Sterling—continues to be linked with a move to Anfield, per Jonny Singer of the Daily Mail.
The 20-year-old Serbian fits in with Rodgers' philosophy of signing versatile youngsters with an eye to improving them, providing his squad with a diverse range of tactical options ahead of next season. Aside from Lambert, none of the aforementioned players are typecast into one role, a factor Rodgers loves to take advantage of.
Anderson believes the Reds boss could spend up to £100 million improving his team this summer. Lallana's arrival is likely to leave around £60 million in the kitty, meaning Liverpool could soon welcome a selection of top names to the club.
Rodgers' signings last season failed to influence the club's ascension to second in the domestic league. The likes of Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Victor Moses and Aly Cissokho offered little, but with a greater budget and increased ambitions, the next few weeks promise to deliver signings who will see Liverpool into an exciting future.