Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Reds' Next Targets in Summer Raid

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2014

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 15:  Thomas Vermaelen of Belgium in action during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group A match between Belgium and Wales at King Baudouin Stadium on October 15, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Liverpool's flurry of summer transfer activity shows no signs of relenting. Fresh reports have linked the Reds with Premier League duo Thomas Vermaelen and Jay Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, there is also news about a proposed move for Juventus midfield ace Arturo Vidal. However, a disappointing turn of events has ended a move for Loic Remy.

Liverpool were expected to wrap a deal for the Frenchman imminently. But the club withdrew from the running late in the deal, according to Sky Sports News:

Here's a closer look at Liverpool's next transfer targets:


Reds Join the Queue for Arsenal Stopper Thomas Vermaelen

Manager Brendan Rodgers' plans to retool his defence apparently won't end with the impending signing of Southampton stalwart Dejan Lovren. The Croatia international is close to arriving at Anfield in a £20 million deal, per Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce:

Rodgers will reportedly look to follow that deal by snaring Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. Sunday Express reporter Jamie Anderson puts Liverpool in a queue with bitter rivals Manchester United, as well as La Liga powerhouse FC Barcelona:

The Arsenal captain has frequently been linked with a move away from the Emirates, and has piqued the interest of a number of Europe's elite.

Reports claim Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is looking to quickly follow up his impending £20m capture of Dejan Lovren with Vermaelen - a move that could spell the end for Danish international Daniel Agger.

Vermaelen is an intriguing target. In one sense, he offers excellent versatility when considering his ability to play both centre-back and full-back.

However, the left-sided stopper is also worryingly erratic. Composed is not on the list of adjectives that describe Vermaelen's defensive style.

Liverpool should say no to the fragile Vermaelen.
Liverpool should say no to the fragile Vermaelen.Clive Mason/Getty Images

Liverpool already have enough reckless defenders in the form of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure. If push comes to shove in a bidding war for Vermaelen, Rodgers ought to stand aside and let United and Barca duke it out.

Rodgers knows he must improve his defence and recently said as much to Sky Sports News:

(Defence) is a place where we want to be better, there’s no doubt about that.

It wasn’t good enough to concede that many goals, considering the amount of possession we had and amount of goals we scored.

Generally of course the whole team will be looking to improve, and there are areas that we will specifically be looking at between now and August.

However, Vermaelen doesn't appear to be the answer.


Jay Rodriguez Could be Third Arrival from Southampton, Following Loic Remy Breakdown

Rodgers has already welcomed former Southampton stars Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana this summer. However, he may not be finished raiding the Saints' ranks just yet.

Jay Rodriguez could be yet another new striker through the doors at Anfield this summer.
Jay Rodriguez could be yet another new striker through the doors at Anfield this summer.Paul Thomas/Getty Images

The Anfield chief is reportedly keen on crocked England striker Jay Rodriguez. The Mail on Sunday (h/t Mirror reporter Ben Burrows) states Rodgers is intent on signing the 24-year-old:

The striker, who saw his World Cup dreams shattered by injury, is also interesting Spurs.

But the Mail on Sunday report that Rodgers remains firmly in the hunt for the former-Burnley man.

Rodriguez has been out of action after rupturing his ACL late last season. But when healthy, he offers intriguing skills Rodgers can use.

He has excellent pace and the varied movement to suit Liverpool's passing style. Rodriguez is very adept at making runs between defensive lines, from both central and wide areas.

However, Rodgers will face strong competition from Tottenham Hotspur and former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino, according to London Evening Standard reporter Simon Johnson.

Rodgers has already done a lot of work reinforcing his options at striker, in a bid to replace departed talisman Luis Suarez. Aside from the arrival of Lambert, the Reds are also close to signing 19-year-old Divock Origi, per Daily Star reporter Alex Harris.

However, despite the Origi deal, the breakdown in the deal for Remy could actually reinforce the case for signing Rodriguez.

Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce has offered a few details on how the mooted signing stalled, as well as what it means for the rest of Liverpool's window:

Anfield sources put the delay in announcing his signing down to a minor paperwork issue but it appears that Liverpool were in fact seeking a second opinion over a medical issue.

On the back of that advice they took the decision not to proceed with the transfer.

The ECHO understands there is no chance of the Remy deal being resurrected and Rodgers will now look at other striking targets.

This late development opens the door for a move for a player like Rodriguez, who had previously seemed like a luxury.


Arturo Vidal Deadline Set

Rodgers has been presented with a deadline to follow up his interest in Arturo Vidal with an actual bid, per Calciomercato (h/t TuttoSport and Liverpool Echo):

Liverpool have been handed a deadline by Juventus if they are to move for Arturo Vidal, according to reports in Italy.

The Old Lady have told prospective suitors they will only entertain offers up until August 2.

Vidal has been linked with a move to Manchester Utd all summer, with the Reds also reportedly showing interest.

This is a typical "take it-or-leave it" scenario. If there is really a chance to get Vidal, then Rodgers absolutely must seize it.

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 02:  Arturo Vidal of Juventus celebrates scoring the third goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and FC Internazionale Milano at Juventus Arena on February 2, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The Chile star is the classic midfield dynamo, capable of positively impacting a game on every area of the pitch. Liverpool need that kind of player ahead of a return to the UEFA Champions League.

Vidal has the energy of Jordan Henderson, but he can also match the technical superiority and tough tackling of Steven Gerrard. Finally, he has an eye for goal and a creative flair that exceeds Philippe Coutinho.

Sign Vidal and Liverpool will earn the kind of complete talisman who inspires title victories rather than near misses.

Liverpool's summer raid still has a ways to go if the latest rumours are any indication. So far, Rodgers has mostly secured solid talents and useful squad players.

But he can make a major statement if he lands an impact signing such as Vidal.