With talks over a move for Christian Benteke stalling, Liverpool have reportedly turned to South American strikers Carlos Bacca and Salomon Rondon.
The horror-show that is Liverpool’s pursuit of Aston Villa‘s brutishly limited, £32 million-rated Christian Benteke may be over, as reports suggest they are moving on to other targets.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo claims that the club are now weighing up alternatives to the Belgian.
Sevilla’s Carlos Bacca and Zenit St. Petersburg man Salomon Rondon are top of the list.
“Benteke was identified as the Reds’ No 1 attacking target this summer as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to add greater firepower to his squad,” Pearce writes.
“However, Villa are adamant that Benteke will only be sold if a club triggers his £32million release clause and Liverpool have no intention of tabling that kind of offer.
“The Reds value the 24-year-old frontman closer to £20million and are ready to walk away and pursue other options.
“Colombia international Bacca and Venezuela attacker Rondon are among the names under consideration with both strikers currently in action at the Copa America in Chile.
“Anfield staff are in attendance at the tournament and have been watching their contribution closely.”
Colombian striker Bacca, 28, would reportedly cost the club £20 million, with Venezuelan target man Rondon, 25, a slightly cheaper option at £15 million.
While neither are quite the specification of striker that Liverpool need—young, pacy, dynamic and intelligent in terms of movement—a move towards the South American market is encouraging.
Bacca scored 20 goals in 37 La Liga games last season, at a rate of a goal every 128 minutes, while Rondon also scored 20 as he helped Zenit to the Russian Premier League title.
Unfortunately, Bacca is banned for the next two Copa America games following his red card against Brazil.
Another player Pearce confirms to be interesting Liverpool at the tournament is Hoffenheim forward Roberto Firmino, with the 23-year-old performing in a centre-forward’s role for a struggling Selecao.
On Bacca and Rondon, he concludes: “The Anfield hierarchy believe both Rondon and Bacca would provide better value for money than paying £32million for Benteke.”
Perhaps the club are finally seeing some sense.