Any major tournament is always likely to herald a frenzy of activity in the transfer market and this summer will be no exception. Some great individual talent has emerged from the World Cup in Brazil but with Liverpool back in the Champions League, which of these big names can be lured to Anfield?
- Alexis Sanchez
Developments in Group D, and in particular the Uruguay – Italy game mean that Brendan Rodgers may well have to make a striker signing a priority. News of Luis Suarez’s four month playing ban means that cover up front is vital, even if the player stays on Merseyside.
Chile’s Alexis Sanchez enjoyed an impressive season at Barcelona, scoring 19 goals in 34 games but the presence of Lionel Messi and Neymar means he is constantly having to battle for a place. Arsenal and Manchester United are also thought to be strong contenders for the forward but according to Phil Thompson, who is never short of a word on the Suarez issue, a deal may already be done.
“Just yesterday I heard things from people, newspaper guys who are very close to the ground at Liverpool, saying that the Sanchez deal was actually done,” Thompson told reporters.
Alexis Sanchez scored his country’s opening goal of the tournament and while he has failed to add to that tally so far, he is clearly one of the best available strikers in Europe right now.
- Divock Origi
The lure of Champions League football should see Liverpool move ahead of Spurs in the battle to sign Belgian striker Origi. At 19, he was dubbed a ‘World Cup Sensation’ by the Standard after climbing off the bench to score his side’s winner against Russia but he’s clearly a work in progress.
Origi was pushed up front by Marc Wilmots in a desperate search for that winning goal but at club side Lille, he switches between the flanks and the main striking position. Even so, a record of two goals in 44 games at club level is nothing to get excited about and a fee of £8m may represent something of a gamble.
- Mathieu Valbuena
29 year old Valbuena was one of the stand out performers as France began their impressive campaign with back to back victories. The Marseilles man is a diminutive attacking midfielder but what he lacks in height is more than made up for by agility and some slide-rule passing.
After six years with his current employers, it’s claimed that the player is looking for a move away from Marseilles. Valbuena would add much needed depth to the squad but is this an area where we particularly need strengthening?
- Dejan Lovren
The press feel that Liverpool will look to replace Dan Agger this summer after a mixed campaign and Southampton’s Lovren would offer a slightly more experienced alternative to Cardiff’s Steven Caulker. It’s been a disappointing summer however as the 24 year old returned home from the World Cup after just three games after his side conceded six in two matches against Brazil and Croatia.
For the Saints, the 24 year old has been a consistent performer but Rodgers may have to persuade the player not to follow his old boss Mauricio Pochettino to Spurs.
- James Rodriguez
Along with Lionel Messi, Colombia’s Rodriguez finished the group phase of the World Cup as the only man to score in all three group games. The 22 year old attacking midfielder has been one of the players of the tournament so far but could he really be prised away from cash rich Monaco?
According to reports, Rodriguez is disappointed with the lack of competition in Ligue 1. If that is the case, a switch to the English Premiership would provide plenty of competitive action over the course of the season.
Having narrowly missed out on the 2013-14 title, Liverpool are priced at 9.60 with Betfair to win the Premier league next season but who will the club bring in to strengthen their case?