Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol believes that Christian Benteke will be Liverpool’s last signing this summer.
Benteke, who is set to complete his move to Anfield (via Daily Express), will be the seventh addition to our squad this summer. He will join James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne in Brendan Rodgers’ squad, and Solhekol doesn’t expect there to be any further additions.
The Sky man is currently out in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur with the Liverpool squad, who recently embarked on the final leg of our pre-season tour in the Far East. He believes that the Belgian was Rodgers’ number one target (via Sky Sports) this summer and that his arrival should bring to an end our summer business.
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“Benteke was his No 1 target. He has already signed six players this summer and there is a general feeling at the club that he will be the last,” he said. “There are still stories linking Liverpool with a move for Marco Reus and Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi. But I’ve been told those reports are nonsense.
“As far as Liverpool are concerned, I’ve been told they are just working on tying up that Christian Benteke deal and then as far as Brendan Rodgers is concerned he has the players that he needs for next season.”
However, not everyone agrees. Gazzetta reporter Tancredi Palmeri has suggested that a move for Reus could still happen this summer, despite the player preferring a switch to Real Madrid. He’s claimed on his Twitter account that the Reds are working hard to make something happen.
Liverpool’s contacts with Reus are true. Still no bid. Reus apparently more keen of Real Madrid,but Liverpool been working intensely on that
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 22, 2015
While Rodgers has told reporters that he’s happy with his current squad (via Liverpool Echo), there’s a belief among some supporters that another midfielder would not go amiss.
James Milner has already come in to join Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Lucas Leiva and Emre Can, but the Reds are arguably short of a prominent deep-lying playmaker – a category that Illarramendi would fall in to. Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has also been linked with a return to Anfield (via The Metro).
We’re likely to play three central midfielders this term, and with Henderson and Milner seemingly guaranteed starting positions, Allen, Can and Lucas are currently battling for the defensive spot. Illara or Alonso would walk into the spot ahead of the current three, but it’d be tough on Can to deny him the chance to develop in his natural position.
The only other position that we could potentially strengthen this summer is at left-back. Alberto Moreno is the only senior option likely to feature on a regular basis next season, with Jose Enrique out of favour and Jon Flanagan injured. So while Joe Gomez has been impressive in pre-season, perhaps someone like Lucas Digne from Paris Saint Germain would be a smart addition (via Daily Mirror).
The Mirror report reckons he’s very much on our radar, and a loan or permanent offer could be made.
Despite the expense of signing seven new players this summer, the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City and the potential departures of several fringe players (via The Independent) suggest that there are still funds available for us.
We’d love to see a couple more big names come in, but common sense tells you that Rodgers is unlikely to overwhelm his squad with more fresh faces, especially as any further new arrivals won’t have a pre-season under their belt – something which is key for building up working relationships with new teammates and coaches.
Solhekol is certainly the more likely to be right. However, if someone does become available, then don’t be surprised if our newly decisive transfer committee do decide to pounce. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.