Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Javier Hernandez and Mario Balotelli Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2016

Leverkusen’s Javier Hernandez celebrates his third goal with teammate Karim Bellarabi, right, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Moenchengladbach in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Leverkusen defeated Moenchengladbach with 5-0, Hernandez scored three goals. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Liverpool have reportedly entered the transfer race for Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Javier Hernandez, while the Anfield club is rumoured to also be preparing to finally say goodbye to Mario Balotelli. Fellow Premier League side West Ham United are apparently keen on the Italian striker.

A steady queue of Premier League suitors is forming for Mexico international Hernandez. Arsenal are still the mooted front-runners, but now they've been joined by both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, according to Spanish source Don Balon (h/t Metro's Mark Brus).

Brus states how Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been left unimpressed by his current contingent of strikers: "The Reds could certainly do with additions up front given the recent injury record of Daniel Sturridge, while Christian Benteke and Divock Origi are yet to impress Jurgen Klopp."

It's strange the Hernandez rumours haven't slowed down. After all, the prolific 27-year-old "cannot play for another side this season given that he’s already played for two teams," as noted by Metro's Sean Kearns.

There's also the not-so-small matter of whether Leverkusen would want to sell. Parting ways with Hernandez so soon would certainly be a strange move considering he's scored 19 goals since moving to the Bundesliga, as noted by

Klopp needs a quick, mobile and intelligent frontman to lead the line for his Anfield revolution. The German strategist loves to rely on high pressing and intricate, combination passing in forward areas. It's an approach that relies on a focal point up front who will finish moves and link well with attacking midfielders.

Hernandez has proved he has those qualities, but any move will have to wait until the end of this season. Even then, given the competition Liverpool would face for the ex-Manchester United man's signature, bringing Hernandez to Anfield will still be a tall order.


West Ham Ready to Bid for Balotelli

Klopp may need strikers, but he apparently doesn't want Balotelli. It's a situation West Ham could take advantage of with a £10 million bid, according to the Brentwood Gazette (h/t Joe Short of the Daily Express).

Balotelli is on loan at AC Milan, but he has failed to impress since moving back to Serie A. There had been suggestions Klopp could be willing to give Balotelli a fresh chance, and Italian source Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Aaron Flanagan of the Daily Mirror) stated Klopp had even discussed a return with the striker.

Balotelli has cut a frustrated figure since returning to Milan.
Balotelli has cut a frustrated figure since returning to Milan.Luca Bruno/Associated Press

Whether Balotelli would welcome a return to the Premier League without Liverpool's help is debatable. He hardly settled well during ill-fated spells with both the Reds and Manchester City.

But if Klopp really is set to officially give up on Balotelli, it will only highlight how short of options Liverpool remain up front. Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi can't stay fit, while Danny Ings is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

That's a situation almost desperate enough to merit giving Balotelli another go.

Certainly, signing Hernandez isn't an idea designed to help now. He can't play for a new team until the summer, so Klopp will have to get a little more creative to improve things in attack for the remainder of this season.