The Reds have categorically told Aston Villa that we will NOT be meeting their £32.5m asking price for striker Christian Benteke and that they will have to significantly lower their valuation if they are to make a sale.
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Brendan Rodgers is seemingly playing hardball over the transfer, despite remaining keen on the 24-year-old, and according to the Daily Mail he is already turning his attention to a series of alternative targets.
As the Mail reports, Villa have given no indication that they would be willing to drop their asking price, despite Benteke repeatedly indicating that he favours a move to Anfield (via the Metro). This has led Rodgers to grow frustrated with the Midlands club and, potentially, give up on the deal all together.
According to our source, Rodgers deeply considered signing Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca, before deciding that the whole package for the Colombian – now at AC Milan – with transfer fee, wages and agents fee was too costly.
A decision will be made soon regarding Juventus’ Fernando Llorente. The 30-year-old is available for around £10m but would represent a significant step away from the owners’ preferred transfer strategy, which is based around signing younger players.
Rodgers is also an admirer of Javier Hernandez but could be put off by the long standing rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United, which has seen no player move directly between the two clubs for several decades.