Liverpool’s epic meeting with Chelsea on Sunday could very well decide the Premier League champion this term, but it’s all but certain the Reds will make Champions League and to ensure success in Europe’s top tournament they are scouring the transfer market for several players this summer.
Manager Brendan Rodgers will likely have a hefty war chest at his disposal, with some reports indicating a budget between £50 to £60 million and Merseyside appears keen on strengthening nearly every position.
Earlier this week Liverpool evidently renewed its two-year long interest in Barcelona forward Cristian Tello, according to Daily Mirror. The Reds were reportedly eyeing Tello since before Rodgers took over, and the Catalans could part with the talented scorer at a price of £12 million.
The Anfield side could be in position to negotiate that fee down some, considering many believe Barcelona will be very active in the transfer market due to a campaign that could only be viewed as disappointing to Camp Nou. The Catalans are all but out of La Liga running, and are hoping to spruce up its aging backline, but will need more funds to do so.
The Spaniard Tello has never played outside of his homeland before, spending his youth career with Barcelona and Espanyol, and totaling 11 goals in 56 appearances since elevating from the Catalans B-squad in 2011.
Midfield isn’t exactly a major concern for Liverpool, especially with Steven Gerrard under contract for at least one more term, but the Reds could use some more depth and that starts with Hamburg attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.
Reports out of Germany indicate Hamburg is heavily in debt and could raise some capital by selling off several players, including its top playmaker and 20-year-old Turkish international in Calhanoglu.
However, according to Bild, Liverpool face some stiff competition for Calhanoglu, most notably Manchester City, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, and Bayer Leverkusen all angling for his services.
In two years in Bundesliga, Calhanoglu has notched 24 goals in 59 appearances split between Hamburg and on-loan to Karlsruher. He’s reportedly under contract until 2018 and there is no exit clause, meaning his fee could skyrocket.
The back line is where Liverpool remains the most vulnerable and it’s the one area likely to welcome some new characters.
According to Express, the Reds could act on moves for Schalke’s Kyriako Papadopoulos and Sporting Lisbon’s Marcos Rojo.
The hulking 6-foot Papadopoulos was originally a target of Liverpool’s last summer, but the club waited to see how he would recover from a serious knee injury. Thus far this season, the 22-year-old has fared quite well for the German side and his market value of £10.5 million could be a bargain for Liverpool.
The Argentine Rojo recently made the jump to his national team, and it might be best for the Reds to reach an agreement sooner rather than later especially ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
The addition of either Papadopoulos or Rojo, or both, could displace defender Daniel Agger, but Express also indicated Serie A’s Napoli and manager Rafael Benitez would welcome Agger to Italy.