Liverpool Transfer News: Wilfried Bony Door Opened, Latest on Zakaria Bakkali

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2014

Swansea City's Wilfried Bony celebrates his goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland  at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Liverpool have been given a fillip in their pursuit of Swansea striker Wilfried Bony after the Welsh club's chairman, Huw Jenkins, said a deal could be done for the right money.

The Ivorian 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield and looks a good alternative signing to Loic Remy, whose move to Liverpool fell through last week, as per Dominic King of the Daily Mail.

While Swansea are keen to keep their star man—he scored 16 Premier League goals last season—Jenkins is acutely aware of the lure of Champions League football, as per talkSPORT (via Samuel Stevens of The Independent):

Wilfried Bony is a fantastic professional. 

If a top Champions League club comes in, and puts the right offer on the table, then of course we will speak to him. 

There are no issues with Bony. He’s a great guy to have around the club. As much as we want players to stay with us for a number of years, we have to be open.

Liverpool were set to pay £8.5 million for Remy but will likely have to shell out significantly more if they genuinely want to sign Bony, as he only arrived at the Liberty Stadium last summer for £12 million.

He would go some way to filling the gap left by the departed Luis Suarez, although the Uruguayan is all but irreplaceable given his 31-goal contribution to Liverpool's Premier League campaign last season.

Though Bony is a proven goalscorer, a move to Liverpool would be a big jump in terms of quality. There will be some fans worrying whether Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is replacing a truly great player with several merely quite good ones in the shape of Bony, Rickie Lambert and Divock Origi.

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 25:  Zakaria Bakkali of PSV in action during the Dutch Cup match between PSV Eindhoven and SC Stormvogels Telstar at the Philips Stadion on September 25, 2013 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Get
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
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Perhaps those worries could be somewhat eased if the Reds could snap up highly rated Belgian youngster Zakaria Bakkali, although they will reportedly have to move fast.

The PSV Eindhoven attacking midfielder is supposedly close to a move to Atletico Madrid, but Liverpool are also interested, and PSV technical director Marcel Brands says no deal has yet been made, as per Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express:

It is certainly not done but Atletico are very interested and know what we want. 

We might be able to come to an agreement. 

To be honest I do not see Zakaria going abroad at this time. 

I don't rule out that he just stays with us. 

There are also some other clubs interested in him, but Atletico is the only one who have made a concrete offer.

The youngster scored three goals and created 13 chances from seven starts in last season's Eredivisie, and although the striker has issues to work on, Squawka's Jack Watson believes he could thrive at Liverpool:   

Bakkali may well have an attitude problem, but that could be down to wanting to move onto bigger and better things. If Liverpool can curb his mentality and develop his talent on the pitch, he could be a superb signing. There is certainly a lot of talent and potential at hand for the Reds should they pursue this deal.

It certainly seems as though he could fit well into Liverpool's blistering attacking unit and would be a true sign that Rodgers is looking to build a team for the long term.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool looks on prior to the the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on May 5, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

While Rodgers has been busy in the transfer market this summer, the reports concerning Bakkali and Bony seem to follow the established pattern of not signing players with proper Champions League experience.

With Liverpool returning to Europe's elite club competition next season this is a concern, and Rodgers should be looking to bring in greater experience along with talented youngsters.