Sunday LFC Rumour Round-Up: Lallana, Cole, Can and… Balotelli?!

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We bring you the best of the Sunday papers’ Liverpool transfer rumours, with a snag in a potential deal for Adam Lallana developing.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 21, 2013: Southampton's Adam Lallana in action against Liverpool during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Southampton‘s Adam Lallana in action against Liverpool during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brendan Rodgers’ long-standing interest in Southampton playmaker Adam Lallana has apparently hit a snag, according to the Liverpool Echo this weekend.

The paper claims that Liverpool have bid around £20 million for the England international, but the Saints are holding out for an increased fee due to a previous arrangement with Lallana’s former club, Bournemouth AFC.

“Lallana’s first club Bournemouth are entitled to 25% of any fee and the Saints would be expecting to pocket around £20million themselves before having to hand over the Cherries’ chunk.”

This would increase any potential deal for the midfielder to around the £25 million mark, which may lead Rodgers and the Liverpool transfer committee to question the value of this deal.

Negotiations may continue for a fair while, as Lallana is apparently “reluctant to hand in a formal transfer request to force through a move given his long association with the Saints.”

The Echo remain confident that the transfer will go through, however, suggesting that Lallana feels that “he has gone as far as he can with the south coast club.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 26, 2014: Chelsea's Ashley Cole in action against Stoke City during the FA Cup 4th Round match at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Ashley Cole in action against Stoke City during the FA Cup 4th Round match at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s interest in Chelsea‘s out-of-contract left-back Ashley Cole is heightening, as per the Daily Mirror.

Included on the club’s list of released players, Cole has no shortage of potential suitors, with options are afield as the MLS and amongst Europe’s elite, reportedly including Champions League winners Real Madrid.

The Mirror report that the 33-year-old wants to continue to challenge in the Champions League, and has his sights set on a two-year deal at any future club.

Liverpool have a clear need for a left-back this summer, with Aly Cissokho’s loan finishing and question surrounding the future of Spaniard Jose Enrique, and the Mirror believe Cole would be the choice of Brendan Rodgers.

“The Anfield chief knows Cole from their time together at Chelsea and although he does not fit the age profile of players Liverpool are looking to recruit this summer, he believes the former England left-back is an intriguing option.”

Cole’s contract at Chelsea was reportedly near £130,000-a-week, and it is believe that Liverpool would offer slightly reduced terms, aided by the low cost of the potential transfer.

Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can in recent days, as reported by The Telegraph.

As the Germany Under-21 international has a buy-back clause inserted in his contract benefiting former club Bayern Munich, Liverpool have accelerated the deal as said clause cannot be activated until next summer.

The Reds are apparently “closing in on a £12 million deal”, and signing Can would give Rodgers’ side a big boost at the beginning of the transfer window, with the German-Turkish midfielder proving a hugely versatile option, and one of the Bundesliga’s most prodigious talents.

“Can is seen as dynamic, box-to-box midfielder in the mould of [Bastian] Schweinsteiger.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, September 23, 2013: Liverpool's Cameron Brannagan in action against Manchester City during the Under 21 FA Premier League match at Ewen Fields. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Reported on Friday by the Independent, 18-year-old Liverpool midfield starlet Cameron Brannagan has been linked with a shock move to Spanish giants Barcelona.

The paper claims that “Barcelona – who have watched him for the last year – have received rave scouting reports and are seeking him for their B side.”

Liverpool’s coaching believe Brannagan is “a midfielder with the potential to be a top player, owing to his balance, vision and his ability with both feet.”

The academy prospect would join an exclusive list of British players to have played for Barcelona, including Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes.

Young Englishmen moving to clubs abroad is a fairly rare occurrence, and former Liverpool trainee Dale Jennings is proof of the dangers of a move too early in a footballing career, as per BBC Sport.

With Rodgers rating Brannagan highly enough to include the midfielder in his match-day squad for Liverpool’s 2-0 FA Cup third round win over Oldham in January, it is likely that the Reds’ manager will hold on with all his might for this prodigious talent.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 6, 2012: Manchester City's Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and Matija Nastasic complain at referee Peter Rasmussen after the UEFA Champions League Group D match against AFC Ajax at City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Vegard Grott/Propaganda)
Manchester City‘s Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and Matija Nastasic complain at referee Peter Rasmussen after the UEFA Champions League Group D match against AFC Ajax at City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Vegard Grott/Propaganda)

He can’t believe it either.

Providing this weekend’s comic relief, the Daily Mail have linked Liverpool with a move for Italian international, and former Manchester City forward, Mario Balotelli.

Following a dream move to Italian giants AC Milan in 2013, Balotelli is reportedly “sick of the racism he suffers in Italy and it is understood the former Manchester City star realises life in England was not so bad.”

Arsenal are apparently also interested in the 23-year-old, and Liverpool would only move for the striker if “Luis Suarez is lured away to Real Madrid or Barcelona after the World Cup.”

With the Uruguayan recently stressing his commitment to the Reds once more, it would perhaps be wise to hold back on any bets on the mercurial Balotelli gracing Anfield in all red any time soon.

How do you feel about these latest rumours? Let us know in the comments below.

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