Despite a late season stumble, Liverpool exceeded all expectations this campaign. But having taken the club back into the Champions League and back to challenging at the sharp end of the Premier League table, manager Brendan Rodgers is now working toward ensuring that they build on that success next season. And his transfer plans for the summer look to be well underway.
A bid for Adam Lallana has already been launched and various reports have claimed that the England international’s Southampton teammate Dejan Lovren is also on Rodgers’ wanted list. The Croatia center-back had a fine first season in the Premier League and played with the reliability that was largely missing from Liverpool’s central defensive options. However, already facing losing Lallana and Luke Shaw as well as potentially their manager Mauricio Pochettino, Southampton will doubtless take a huge amount of convincing to part with a player they signed for £8 million just a year ago. And thus far Lovren has given no indication that he will push for a move.
“I follow the media and I saw that Liverpool is allegedly interested in me,” he told Croatian publication Sportske Novosti. “But that is all that I know so far.
“I feel great at Southampton and have a contract for the next three years. So the only thing I can say right now is that the club is the one who decides.”
Liverpool have also been linked with strengthening their defense with a move for Ashley Cole. Recently retired from the international game, the 33-year-old strongly suggested on Twitter earlier this week that his future lies away from Chelsea having failed to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge. The Daily Telegraph claims that there are, perhaps unsurprisingly for a player of his pedigree, as many as 11 clubs chasing his signature.
Monaco and Real Madrid are both thought to be considering offering a significant financial package to try and attract Cole, while Liverpool, along with Manchester City, have made inquiries to keep him in the Premier League.
Much speculation in recent days has centered on Liverpool’s interest in Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can. Indeed, the Daily Mail has reported that the Reds are hoping to secure a £10 million transfer for the Germany Under-21 international. Rodgers has spoken of his desire for players who can adapt to multiple positions, and the 20-year-old has proven that by playing in center midfield, left-back and even at center-back this past season.
However, Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller told German publication Bild over the weekend that they had still not received an official approach for the player.
Reports continue that Liverpool are also looking toward the Bundesliga with their interest in Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri. Although the Switzerland international has insisted that he is happy to stay at the German champions, despite failing to hold down a regular starting berth, The Guardian are among the sources claiming that Liverpool hope to lure him to Anfield. According to the Liverpool Echo, Bayern could be inclined to sell the 22-year-old for £15 million.
Highly rated at Basel, Shaqiri was signed by Bayern for £10 million two years ago. Despite starting just 10 times in the Bundesliga this season, he still scored six goals, while displaying the versatility that will interest Rodgers having played all along the line of three behind a striker.