We were not especially enamoured with the links to Sardar Azmoun in January, but now, we’re convinced we should avoid the Iranian forward!
He’s been snapped wearing our most bitter rival’s strip, along with the name and number of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – the 35-year-old goal-getter who’s very, very good (but not quite as good as he thinks he is!).
LFC target Sardar Azmoun rules out move to Anfield… pic.twitter.com/OQgw8IY0dd
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) April 7, 2017
Obviously this is harmless, but the truth is Azmoun isn’t in our league, despite the fact he scored a Champions League goal against Atletico Madrid this season.
He’s not prolific for Rostov and after watching him against United in the Europa League, it’s clear he wouldn’t be an improvement on any of our four frontline strikers: Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings.
The likes of Alexandre Lacazette or Torino’s Andrea Belotti would go down nicely, but Azmoun sounds to us like a Brendan Rodgers signing – and not someone who’s going to immediately improve us!
However, come this summer, Liverpool are certain to bolster our options.
Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen is likely to sign, and the young German can play well on either the right or left wing – perfect for our interchanging front three…
In midfield, the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are being targeted. Liverpool do not want to go above £20m for Arsenal’s inconsistent Englishman, and with his contract up in 2018, it’s probable we’ll be able to get a deal done. Keita will be more difficult, as he’s a target for Bayern Munich, who pretty much are able to sign any Bundesliga talent they want.
It’s the defence that arguably needs the most attention however, with Liverpool conceding more goals than any of our top six rivals this campaign. In fact, we’ve let in more than Everton and West Brom, too.
Virgil van Dijk is a primary target, but the Southampton man will cost us £50m – which would break our transfer record. The Dutchman’s form this term though suggests it could be money well spent. If he proves unattainable, reports suggest we could turn our attention to Serie A defenders like Kalidou Koulibaly or the superb Leonardo Bonucci (although we think the latter is pretty unrealistic)…
In terms of fullback, Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon has been mooted as a replacement for Alberto Moreno. The Spaniard wants out and is being targeted by both Inter Milan and AC Milan – so Fulham’s 16-year-old could arrive as James Milner’s understudy for 2017/18.
He’s scored seven goals this term in the Championship, which ironically, is less than Azmoun has managed in Russia!
We’ll pay for these changes by offloading some players Klopp now considers deadwood. Mamadou Sakho will fetch £30m, Moreno £15m, Lazar Markovic £15m, while Sturridge could depart himself.
The Englishman is injury prone but with his minutes:goals record, you can be sure somebody will take a punt.
Remember, he’s still only 27-years-old.