This weekend, Liverpool have been linked with many targets as Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his side, here are the best from the Sunday papers.
The German Bundesliga is an ever-growing footballing power, and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is clearly aware of this, as many of this weekend’s links have been from the league of Bayern and Borussia.
Firstly, Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez is a rumoured target for the Northern Irishman as he looks to solve his defensive issues for next season.
The Mirror link the Spaniard with a move to Anfield following speculation of unrest under Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.
They claim “Brendan Rodgers wants to boost his back-line by signing a top- class central defender, and he will urge the club to spend big to attract the right player to help Liverpool’s Premier League title bid and Champions League campaign next season.”
Making his name within Athletic Bilbao’s Basque-centric squad after his 2006 La Liga debut, Martinez moved to the Bundesliga in a €40 million deal in 2012, and has impressed ever since in a competitive squad.
Comfortable in both defensive midfield and at centre-back, Martinez would provide Rodgers with a versatile defensive option with genuine pedigree.
Signing the 25-year-old would represent a real coup for the Reds, but remains hugely unlikely due to his first-team status at Bayern; the Mirror themselves concede that a move would only materialise “if he becomes available.”
The Liverpool Echo have linked the Reds with a move for another Bayern star—Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri.
Following his €11.6 million from FC Basel in 2012, Shaqiri has failed to nail down a first team place at the Allianz, and Rodgers is reported to be monitoring the speed merchant as discussions with Southampton over a deal for Adam Lallana continue.
The 22-year-old is built very much like departing Reds loanee Victor Moses, but represents very much an upgrade on the Nigerian; Shaqiri’s main attributes are searing pace and his direct wing play.
A hugely versatile option, Shaqiri should appeal to Rodgers as he looks to mould a malleable front line; making 20 appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season, the Swiss international has been deployed in seven different positions, as per WhoScored.com.
A move to Anfield may benefit all parties and the Echo claim “Bayern would be tempted with a bid of around £15m for the player.”
The Echo continue their reports by linking Liverpool with a summer move for Southampton‘s Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren.
“Rodgers is also keen to bolster a defence that leaked 50 goals in the Premier League, with 24-year-old Croatia international Lovren – who scored the winner for Southampton against Liverpool at Anfield last September – at the top of his shopping list.”
A target for the Reds last summer, Lovren has impressively slotted into the pace and physicality of the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino, and could be one of a large number of high-profile departures from St. Mary’s this transfer window.
Southampton signed the centre-back for a reported £8.5 million, and any move for the 24-year-old would likely require a fee much higher than that.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, the Mirror suggest that Rodgers may be looking to his former club Swansea City with interest in striker Wilfried Bony.
Alan Nixon of the publication claims “Rodgers wants a new face to compete with the SAS partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.”
Another 2013 arrival, Swansea would likely demand a high fee for the Ivorian, but reports suggest the Welsh side will let the striker go “if they get the right price.”
Bony has been one of the league’s most underrated strikers this season, as a muted start to the 2013/14 campaign ended with a 16-goal haul in the Premier League, leaving the 25-year-old one behind league luminaries Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero; an impressive claim in a maiden season.
Whether Bony would accept a squad role under Rodgers remains to be seen, but the lure of Champions League football may appeal to the striker, who is set to go to the World Cup this summer with the Ivory Coast.
In less encouraging news, Spanish publication Marca have played down reports of a future deal for Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno at Liverpool.
The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with the Reds of late, but Marca suggest that he is more likely to move to Real Madrid; however, Marca has been labelled a vehicle for Madrid’s transfer development in the past, suggesting a bias with any link.
What do you think of the latest players to be linked with a move to Anfield this summer? Let us know in the comments below.