SWANSEA, WALES - Tuesday, March 26, 2013: Croatia's Mateo Kovacic in action against Wales during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Qualifying Group A match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool Transfer Rumour Roundup: Recruitment drive to continue after Firmino signing

It’s already been a busy summer for Liverpool in the transfer market, but that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from linking the Reds with more targets.

SWANSEA, WALES - Tuesday, March 26, 2013: Croatia's Mateo Kovacic in action against Wales during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Qualifying Group A match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Not content with the signings of Danny Ings, James Milner, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez and big-bucks Brazilian Roberto Firmino, Liverpool are set to continue their recruitment drive this summer.

Or so the rumour mill will have you believe.

Here’s the latest and best from the Liverpool transfer rumour mill, including more on Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic.


Konoplyanka, Cheryshev to Replace Raheem Sterling?

Despite continued claims that Firmino’s arrival is not contingent on the departure of and subsequent windfall received for Raheem Sterling, rumours surrounding the 20-year-old’s impending exit persist.

After Manchester City saw two bids rejected by the Reds, they are believed to be readying another offer.

This feeling of inevitability can only be made worse by reports that Liverpool are lining up a replacement for the European Golden Boy, with both Yevhen Konoplyanka and Denis Cheryshev linked.

Spanish publication Marca claims that Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk winger and soon-to-be free agent Konoplyanka—who almost made the move to Merseyside in January 2014—is subject to a contract offer from the Reds.

They suggest that Liverpool have offered the 25-year-old a £100,000-a-week contract, to stave off interest from Sevilla, who maintain their reservations about Konoplyanka’s ability to adapt.

Stoke City and Newcastle United have also been linked with the Ukraine international.

If that deal doesn’t come off, Liverpool may also consider a move for Russian winger Denis Cheryshev, who is unlikely to get a game for parent club Real Madrid any time soon.

Buried in reports on Firmino’s Anfield-bound future, Ian Herbert of the London Evening Standard claims: “Madrid expect Liverpool’s interest in Denis Cheryshev, a winger who spent last season on loan from the club at Villarreal, to firm up if they do lose Sterling.”

Both players are available, but whether Liverpool need them or not is another matter.


Demarai Gray the Latest Youngster on Liverpool’s Radar?

After 18-year-old Charlton Athletic defender Gomez’s arrival, Brendan Rodgers may be looking to supplement his squad with another young Championship talent in Birmingham City’s Demarai Gray.

On the periphery of Liverpool’s radar for much of 2014/15, Gray is the subject of interest from AFC Bournemouth this summer.

But if Liverpool wish to sign Gray, they will have an advantage, according to the Mirror.

“[Liverpool] have a contractual right to match any fee for either Gray or fellow Blues youngster Reece Brown under the terms of Jordon Ibe’s loan to City last season,” writes James Nursey.

With one year left on his contract and refusing to extend his terms with the Midlands club, Gray could be on the move soon enough.

City manager Gary Rowett insists Gray’s ceiling is at the very top of English football, but must move to the right club if he leaves Birmingham: “He’s a top talent, there’s not many who can drift past defenders and, even in a local derby against Wolves, be perfectly poised even at the end of a long run.

“He shows no fear or panic. He’s got all the attributes to be a top player. Only time will tell whether he can piece it all together and reach the top.”

With six goals in 41 Championship appearances last season, Gray has a long way to go, but he is a very confident left winger with promising raw talent—he could be nutured as a long-term prospect under Rodgers.


Rodgers to Strengthen Defence With Aymen Abdennour Signing?

The arrival of Firmino, possibly followed by either Carlos Bacca or Salomon Rondon, helps strengthen Rodgers’ poor attacking line, but what about the leaky defence?

Potentially filling that role is AS Monaco’s Tunisian behemoth, Aymen Abdennour.

According to the Telegraph: “Liverpool have begun talks to sign Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour.

Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle are all also interested in the 25-year-old but have yet to make contact with the Tunisian international.”

How legitimate these claims are, however, remains in doubt; these reports seem to stem from hopeful words from Abdennour’s agent.

“There are lots of big clubs that are interested in Abdennour,” Abdelkader Jilani claimed. “There are clubs who have approached us and who will enter into contact with Monaco. There is AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Liverpool.

“I don’t think that Monaco will prevent Aymen from leaving.”

A bald, aggressive centre-back with a penchant for short, safe passes—could Jilani be touting Martin Skrtel Mk. 2 to an enamoured Rodgers?


Liverpool Undeterred in Move for Mateo Kovacic?

With one major European move already achieved by the Reds this summer, rumours continue to swirl surrounding the future of Inter Milan midfielder and reported Liverpool target Mateo Kovacic.

A long-running, largely social-media-driven link between Kovacic and Liverpool has been fuelled by Sky Sports’ Fabrizio Romano:


Romano suggests that Inter will be looking for around £21 million for the Croatian this summer, a claim endorsed by the London Evening Standard.

Tom Collomosse writes: “Inter are willing to allow Kovacic, 21, to leave in order to finance coach Roberto Mancini’s transfer plans.”

Having just signed defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, Inter’s midfield does seem rather packed—perhaps Kovacic could be the one to make way as Mancini looks to build towards the Serie A’s top four this season.

He would be a welcome addition on Merseyside.

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