Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has called for the club to sign a new striker, with interest in Carlos Bacca growing this summer.
Carragher took to social media to discuss Liverpool’s transfer business, the likely signing of Nathaniel Clyne and where they should look next.
He wrote on Kicca: “Credit to the club for getting these deals done early as every club wants to do that but few do. Another striker still needed though!”
The club are continuing their pursuit on that front with interest in Sevilla’s Columbia centre-forward Carlos Bacca and Venezuela’s Salomon Rondon, who have both been in action at the Copa America.
Reds chief executive Ian Ayre has now returned home from Chile having secured the Firmino deal but the pair remain an option, although Sevilla have warned Bacca will not come cheap with a buy-out clause reported to be £25 million.
“I’m no fortune-teller but top strikers in the market there aren’t that many.
“Bacca has averaged 24.5 goals, 21 goals in his first season at the club and 28 in his second,” Sevilla sporting director Monchi told the club’s website.
“I hope no one pays his buy-out clause. (£25million). It’s a risk we take but we can’t do anything about that.
“We gave him a new contract 10 months ago and I believe he and his family are very happy here but I cannot predict the future.”
With a sixth signing on the verge of completion it means manager Brendan Rodgers has spent about £50 million on strengthening his squad – coincidentally the same amount Liverpool value Raheem Sterling at having recently turned down an offer B£10million shy of that from Manchester City.
The club maintain this summer’s outlay – particularly that of B£29million Firmino, who will become their second most expensive signing in their history – is not dependent on the sale of their wantaway England winger.
However, with no likelihood of the 20-year-old extending his contract beyond the current two years remaining and relations with his agent Aidy Ward having deteriorated in the last couple of months it appears increasingly possible.
The Clyne transfer is the fourth between Southampton and the Merseyside club in the last 13 months – taking the total cost of Saints signings to £60million – after last summer’s signing of Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.
Of that trio only the latter looked close to fitting in at Anfield with Lambert expected to be moved on in the next few weeks and Lovren fighting for his first-team place.
Clyne is not likely to have the competition his former Saints team-mate faced with Javier Manquillo, due to start the second year of his loan from Atletico Madrid, having struggled to impress and academy graduate Jon Flanagan not going to be fit from a second knee injury until late in the year.