Liverpool are reportedly looking at in-form Deportivo de La Coruna forward Lucas Perez as a possible summer transfer window target, while the race to sign AS Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes is heating up, according to the latest rumours.
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (h/t the Liverpool Echo's Kristian Walsh) believe Perez's sensational 2015-16 season form in La Liga has not gone unnoticed, and Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is keeping a close eye on the 27-year-old.
Perez has already scored 14 goals and added four assists in La Liga this season, playing a big part in Deportivo's fast start to the campaign, per WhoScored.com.
Here's a look at some of his highlights:
Perez spent the bulk of his career playing as a winger or attacking midfielder and left Spain for Ukraine and Greece in 2011 in search of more playing time. It wasn't until he moved back to La Liga and was given the chance to play as an all-out attacker that he found his true calling.
Perez is a player willing to sacrifice a lot for the sake of the team, and he works interminably in games to close down defenders and make runs across the pitch to provide continuous outlets for counter-attacks. His style could probably be compared to Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy in some ways because they both have blistering pace that causes defenders nightmares, they both operate as the furthest player forward in 4-4-2 systems and they are both clinical finishers who customarily take their chances when in front of goal.
Like Vardy, Perez is a late bloomer whose career is finally starting to take off, and there's every reason to believe he could leave Deportivo in search of his big transfer next summer. He hasn't played for a top club since his Atletico Madrid days, and this could be his one chance to make it big.
Liverpool would make for an intriguing destination. The Reds have struggled putting the ball in the net in 2015-16, as Daniel Sturridge can't seem to stay healthy and Christian Benteke is proving a poor fit for Klopp's philosophy.
Klopp likes to see his forwards move and become involved in the counter-attack, two areas where Perez shines.
The Spaniard could be a tremendous value signing next summer, although he may prefer to move to a club where the chances of him starting immediately would be greater―at Anfield, he would have to battle Roberto Firmino for the starting position.
Meanwhile, GianlucaDiMarzio.com's David Amoyal (h/t the Daily Star's Jamie Anderson) reported that Manchester City will rival the Reds for the services of Paredes, Roma's central midfielder who has impressed on loan with Empoli.
The 21-year-old has reportedly been on Liverpool's watch list for some time, but City have now become involved as well, and they're hoping to get a deal done before his price “inflates.”
Scouts have tipped the Argentinian for stardom for years now, and it's easy to see why:
While Paredes is a natural fit as an attacking midfielder, he has the quickness and ability to play out wide and has also seen plenty of time in central midfield with Empoli.
He's still a little raw, but he's already an incredible long-range shooter and gritty defender who loves to press high up the pitch. Coupling those traits with his dribbling skills and athleticism, he's another player who would fit Klopp's fast-paced playing style like a glove.
Roma don't have a slot open in midfield, with the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan impressing, so the right offer could very well persuade the Giallorossi to sell.
It won't be easy to beat City to his signature, however, given the Citizens' enormous financial means and incoming manager Pep Guardiola's reputation for valuing and nurturing young talent.