Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Brendan Rodgers' Summer Raid

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool competes with Wilfried Bony of Swansea City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on February 23, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is targeting a number of players to compensate for the loss of star striker Luis Suarez.

Attacking talent in the shape of Wilfried Bony and Antoine Griezmann plus defender Ben Davies are all reportedly being lined up as potential new arrivals.

It only makes sense for Rodgers to seek quantity to replace the awesome quality Suarez brought to Liverpool. The Merseyside club has agreed to sell the maverick Uruguayan forward to FC Barcelona for close to £75 million, per Sky Sports.

BBC Sport reporter Ben Smith has lauded the sale as a smart move for Liverpool:

It was clever business by the club. They have secured a record fee for a player who will turn 28 this season - and has the remainder of a four-month ban to serve - and secured a vast sum of money for a striker who has always longed to play in Spain. It is a deal that suits all parties.

Here's how Rodgers is going about spending his increased transfer reserves:

Wilfried Bony, Striker, Swansea City

Rodgers has obvious interest in powerful striker Bony, although it's unclear exactly how strong his interest is. The conflicting rumours begin with TalkSport reporter Warren Haughton claiming talks are already progressing between the Anfield club and the Ivory Coast attacker:

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However, Haughton's claims have been flatly rejected by Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins. He has stated Liverpool have made no contact with anyone at Swansea over a deal, telling the South Wales Evening Post:

I have had no talks with Liverpool until now, and I would be very surprised if a club like Liverpool are doing any kind of negotiations with a player or player's agent behind our back.

I would have thought somebody from Liverpool would have been in touch if they are really interested in Wilfried.

There's a way of doing things. I know things are different in this day and age, but the usual rule of thumb is that when you are trying to complete a transfer, you deal with a club first and then the player comes after that.

Meanwhile, to add further intrigue to the mix, Daily Mail reporter Simon Jones has stated that Tottenham Hotspur are readying an £18 million bid to ward of any Liverpool attempts to sign Bony.

While the rumours surrounding Bony are confusing, Liverpool's mooted interest in him is not. The robust 25-year-old offers strength, pace and underrated technical guile to a forward line.

Wilfried Bony is an intriguing option for Liverpool.
Wilfried Bony is an intriguing option for Liverpool.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Bony would give Rodgers' team a player who can fend off defenders and hold the ball up before linking well with pacy attackers such as Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.

Bony thrived during his first season in England, netting 16 Premier League goals, per WhoScored.com. Having played for Swansea, he is used to working in a quick, possession-based style of play, very similar to the one Rodgers employs at Liverpool.

The only reason to be wary about this move is how eager Bony is to depart Swansea after just one season. Rodgers has just had experience of dealing with a wantaway striker, he may not want another attacker suffering from itchy feet.

Antoine Griezmann, Winger, Real Sociedad

Proposed interest in Antoine Griezmann should have Liverpool fans excited. The Real Sociedad winger is one of the European game's best young talents.

Interest on Merseyside has been piqued by news that the French international is ready to leave Spain, according to Daily Mirror reporter John Cross.

He believes Liverpool may have already discussed a deal, suggesting: "Real Sociedad will want at least £25m and Liverpool have been sounded out about his availability after he impressed for France during the World Cup this summer."

A report in Spanish publication AS (h/t Metro), claims Liverpool will begin bidding at the reduced figure of £20 million. But the Reds shouldn't waste time haggling over the price.

With his increased reserves from the imminent sale of Suarez, Rodgers should do all he can to bring Griezmann to Anfield. The 23-year-old is a lethal attacker who combines pace and finishing quality with clever movement.

Griezmann is a winger in name only. He acts more like a late-breaking striker, consistently darting into the box to finish off moves.

Every run he makes puts Griezmann in a position that poses maximum danger to a defence. He is adept with either foot, as well as being surprisingly effective in the air.

Considering how much Rodgers likes his team to break quickly between the lines, a pacy runner like Griezmann would be the ideal edition to his attack.

Shrewd passers such as Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho would relish releasing this budding mega-star.

Ben Davies, Full-back, Swansea City

If Tottenham beat Liverpool to Bony, Rodgers is ready to return the favour. The Anfield chief wants to pip the north London club to the signing of Swansea full-back Ben Davies.

Ben Davies is a young and well-rounded defender, comfortable on the ball.
Ben Davies is a young and well-rounded defender, comfortable on the ball.Clive Rose/Getty Images

Rodgers has reportedly already begun taking steps to facilitate a move, per Wales Online writer Chris Wathan:

But after initial signs that a deal was close, Spurs' hesitation in matching Swansea's £10m valuation of the 21-year-old Wales international defender could now see Liverpool swoop.

With Liverpool known to be in for a left-back this window, there had already been suggestions on Merseyside former Swans boss Rodgers could be tempted into an offer if moves for Sevilla's £16m rated Alberto Moreno fail and that tentative inquiries had been made.

Liverpool certainly need fresh talent in defence. Fragility at the back was perhaps the main reason the club's surprising title challenge faltered in the final games of last season.

There are problems in every area, including full-back. Davies could help solve part of those woes.

He is quick, sure in the tackle and competent in the air. He made only one defensive error all season, per Squawka.com.

He is also comfortable in possession, having been accurate with 84 percent of his passes last season. That's something that will appeal to Rodgers. The manager likes his team to build attacks from the back.

As a rising young player with ample Premier League experience, Davies makes a lot of sense for Liverpool.

Rodgers knows he needs to add a strong contingent of new faces to a thin squad this summer.
Rodgers knows he needs to add a strong contingent of new faces to a thin squad this summer.Clive Rose/Getty Images

Rodgers entered this summer knowing he needed to beef up his squad ahead of a return to UEFA Champions League action. Suarez leaving has only compounded the need to significantly retool.

The latest rumours show how the manager can begin the process of moving on from Suarez. Liverpool are unlikely to find a player offering similar qualities to the mercurial Uruguayan.

But in Griezmann and Bony, the club is targeting attackers who would offer new and different options.

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