Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, recent reports indicate Liverpool are hoping to add some youth in net and along the wings during the summer transfer session, with several of their targets participating in Brazil this month,
Following Simon Mignolet’s stellar debut season at Anfield, the Reds appear keen on stacking more youth behind the 26-year-old in the form of Nottingham’s goalkeeper Karl Darlow, according to Daily Mail.
Brad Jones, 32, currently plays behind Mignolet, but he was primarily used during FA Cup and hasn’t made more than seven starts in the Premier League in four years.
Instead, Darlow could provide the Reds with more depth during several tournaments, especially Champions League. Tottenham are reportedly intrigued by Darlow and believe he has enough talent to create a competition with star keeper Hugo Lloris.
Last term, Darlow made 119 saves in 45 appearances for Nottingham in the Championship, and he is expected to be ready to make the next step.
Attempts to spruce up the wings have Liverpool chasing a previous target in Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri, a 22-year-old Swiss rated as high as £15 million, according to Daily Star. Evidently, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers made a bid for Shaqiri last week and the player appears intent on leaving Allianz for more first-team time.
Shaqiri had found it difficult to break through the wall of talent the German giants have in midfield, and gain favor with manager Pep Guardiola. Liverpool represents Shaqiri’s best chance to return to the form that made him a hot commodity following his three-year run with Basel from 2009 to 2012 when he totaled 18 goals in 92 appearances. The Reds likely hope to come to terms now, before Shaqiri has a chance to increase his value with Switzerland’s national team during the World Cup.
Then there’s Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann, who posted the best year of his young career with 20 goals in all competitions last term and is valued at £25 million.
According to The Star, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have been monitoring Griezmann’s progress but Sociedad has denied reports that any offer has been made.
Griezmann, currently training for France’s World Cup run, could instead return home if Paris Saint-Germain manage to land him after their failed attempts to lure Eden Hazard out of Chelsea.