Liverpool Transfer News: Mega-Money Talents Eyed by Brendan Rodgers

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2014

Benfica's Nico Gaitan, from Argentina, celebrates after scoring their second goal against Rio Ave during their Portuguese league soccer match Monday, April 7 2014, at Benfica's Luz stadium in Lisbon. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Armando Franca/Associated Press

Liverpool’s Melwood training ground has been a hive of transfer activity this summer as Brendan Rodgers looks to replace the contribution of mercurial forward Luis Suarez.

Reds supporters will have been delighted to hear that the Anfield outfit have yet to spend any of the reported £75 million that they recouped from the sale of the Uruguayan, per Dominic King of the Daily Mail.

Rodgers looks set to spend big money to replace Suarez.
Rodgers looks set to spend big money to replace Suarez.Jon Super/Associated Press

Rodgers has bought smartly this summer, and despite the fact he’s already shelled out in excess of £50 million, Liverpool supporters will be desperate for a marquee signing who can go some way to replacing Suarez’s influence.

Naturally, with a substantial amount lining their pockets from their dealing with Barcelona, the Reds have been linked with a plethora of potential big-money signings.

Here’s the very latest on who could be donning Liverpool red next season, as Rodgers looks to plot another gripping campaign for the Anfield faithful to savour.

 

Dejan Lovren on the Brink of Anfield Move

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Dejan Lovren of Southampton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Southampton at Stadium of Light on January 18, 2014 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The Reds are on the verge of wrapping up the signing of the Croatian defender for a reported fee of £20 million, as noted by James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:

Lovren looks set to get his own way after he pushed for a move to Anfield, and Southampton will be pleased to recoup a substantial transfer fee for a player who’s been at the club for just over 12 months.

For Liverpool, Lovren is an essential signing.

Their defensive profligacy cost them dearly last season, as they let their grip on the Premier League title slip on the home straight. And while Rodgers has strengthened both his forwards and midfielders during this offseason, the defensive positions are where this Liverpool squad must improve.

The 25-year-old defender can certainly assist in that sense.

He seamlessly adapted to the harsh demands of the Premier League during his maiden season in English football with Southampton and is extremely capable of fitting into the stylistic requirements that Rodgers demands of his players.

Lovren celebrates scoring at Anfield.
Lovren celebrates scoring at Anfield.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Lovren is still young, still learning about the Premier League and has the potential to go on and be a mainstay of this Liverpool defence for years and years to come. He could easily be the most vital signing that the club makes this summer.

 

Reds Mull Over Deal for Nicolas Gaitan

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 14: Nicolas Gaitan (L) of Benfica vies with Vitolo of Sevilla  during the UEFA Europa League Final match between Sevilla FC and SL Benfica at Juventus Stadium on May 14, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Despite having already signed Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic, the Reds look as though they may be set to strengthen their attacking options even further by pursuing Benfica’s star offensive midfielder.

According to French station AMC (h/t Aaron Flanagan of The Mirror), Gaitan is a target for both Liverpool and Atletico Madrid after his move to AS Monaco collapsed.

The player has a release clause in his contract of €45 million, and here’s a taster of what Liverpool would be getting for their money:

Gaitan is a player who looked capable of reaching the very pinnacle of the game when he first burst onto the scene with Benfica, but he’s never quite made good on the stunning potential he showcased a few seasons ago.

A new challenge away from Liga Sagres might be ideal for the player at this stage of his career, but Liverpool shouldn’t be dragged into a bidding war for the player. €45 million would represent an enormous outlay for a midfielder stylistically similar to players they currently have on the books.

Plus, if Rodgers is intent on splashing that kind of cash on another creative talent, there’s better value for money out there.

 

Liverpool Favourites to Land Xherdan Shaqiri

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 20: Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Switzerland and France at Arena Fonte Nova on June 20, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The Bayern Munich man is another player who’s been linked with a move to Anfield, and his dynamic, aggressive style of play would certainly add a refreshing edge to Liverpool’s attacking forays.

According to Swiss newspaper Blick (h/t Ben Burrows of The Mirror), Anfield is the player’s most likely destination this summer, and Liverpool have demonstrated their interest in the player with a £14.2 million offer.

But Shaqiri has insisted on his official Facebook page that, for the time being, he intends on staying in Bavaria, per the London Evening Standard:

As you all know I am currently on holiday so I am not in talks with other clubs nor have I spoken with any journalists. It is the time of year when much is written, but as we all know, there is very little truth behind it. I have a contract with FC Bayern until 2016.

My advisors are in regular contact with the responsible people at FC Bayern so there is no reason for speculation.

Here are the kind of qualities he would potentially bring to Merseyside:

Jan Aage Fjortoft thinks that Shaqiri would be excellent for the Reds, but he believes that a deal might be difficult to strike with the German champions:

While Shaqiri would indisputably provide better value than Gaitan, you again have to question whether Liverpool really require a player of his style.

Of course the Swiss international’s bustling presence on the wing would give the Reds even more attacking firepower. But with Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Lallana and Markovic all competing for those attacking midfield slots, would Shaqiri stand to play much more than he would at Bayern?

It's certainly a debatable topic.

The 22-year-old undoubtedly needs a move to reinvigorate his career, but at this juncture, Liverpool wouldn’t be the right transfer for him.