Brendan Rodgers has added eight signings to his Liverpool squad this summer but has admitted he is still hunting "one or two" more pieces of business to round off a successful transfer window for the Reds.
The Northern Irishman sat down with the press prior to Liverpool's opening game of the Premier League season against Southampton, where he confirmed the cheque book may still need to be flashed at Anfield. Phil Kirkbride of the Liverpool Echo reports Rodgers' comments:
Rodgers says on transfers: "We are nearly done. One or two more things to be done."— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) August 15, 2014
Liverpool continue to be linked with a host of players.
Rodgers' need to bring in a prolific striker is well-documented—it would be a risk to play until January with Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini across all competitions—but many of the side's potential targets appear distant.
Will Liverpool win a trophy during the 2014-15 season?
Swansea boss Garry Monk has confirmed "no offers" have been made for Wilfried Bony, despite Liverpool's reported interest, per Anthony Chapman of the Express.
Rodgers is also said to be monitoring Fiorentina's Giuseppe Rossi.
Andrea Pastorello, Rossi's agent, has denied any contact from the Merseyside club, saying, "there is nothing between Giuseppe Rossi and Liverpool," per Tuttomercato.web (via Simone Bargellini of Sky Sports).
While the manager continues to scope potential targets, he understands Liverpool have a difficult task to complete when replicating last season's second-place finish.
Silverware is on the manager's mind, as is sustaining Liverpool's European charge, per Kirkbride:
Rodgers: "It counts for nothing what happened last year. But we will carry the belief."— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) August 15, 2014
Rodgers: "We want to win a trophy. In the league it is about sustaining Champions League football."— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) August 15, 2014
Rodgers acknowledged the popular view that Liverpool won't be able to launch a significant title bid after losing Luis Suarez's service to Barcelona. The Uruguayan scored 31 goals last year and formed a deadly partnership with Sturridge, who can now be considered the team's main hope.
Despite Suarez's departure, Rodgers is confident of tackling the favourites, reported by Kirkbride:
Rodgers: "I've seen some odds and we're not even in the top four. People will rightly look to City and Chelsea but we are here to challenge— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) August 15, 2014
Rodgers: "We arrived a year early but this year we will be challenging and up there again."— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) August 15, 2014
The Liverpool boss also confirmed a number of players will be missing from the Southampton tie. Lazar Markovic is among the new signings who will have to wait for their competitive debut, reported by James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:
Flanagan, Lallana, Markovic, Agger missing for LFC this weekend.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) August 15, 2014
Alberto Moreno is also unavailable after his transfer failed to go through before the match deadline, per Pearce:
Alberto Moreno won't be available for #LFC's PL opener v Southampton at Anfield on Sunday. Paperwork not registered in time.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) August 15, 2014
Kirkbride provides quotes direct from Rodgers regarding Moreno's absence:
Rodgers on Moreno: "Hopefully that will be completed very soon. He will be a fantastic signing if that happens."— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) August 15, 2014
Rodgers appears calm ahead of a challenging season for the Reds. Liverpool's sudden jump to success ensures greater pressure for all, making it important the new players bed in quickly.
The boss will know last year represented an excellent opportunity to land the club's first Premier League title, but a late squandering of points saw Manchester City cruise toward the plaudits.
The Champions League will throw up even greater tests for Rodgers, who will be looking to establish his credentials across Europe's elite tournament.
He proved a shrewd tactician last season, somebody who meticulously designs strategies to take down each opponent, and will be confident of leaving a mark across all four competitions.
While it may be disappointing to see a a handful of the new stars struggle for fitness at the onset of a new season, this is exactly why Rodgers has built a well-rounded squad. He will need quantity and quality if Liverpool are to impress as thoroughly as they did last year.