Despite the distraction of the upcoming World Cup, Liverpool are on the verge of completing their second signing of the summer transfer window. While it is often the case that transfer business is put on hold until after the international showpiece, Liverpool have already unveiled former Southampton striker Rickie Lambert, and look set to soon do likewise for Germany Under-21 midfielder Emre Can.
“Liverpool FC have today agreed a deal in principle with Bayer Leverkusen to sign 20-year-old Emre Can, subject to documentation being completed,” read a statement on Liverpool’s website on Thursday.
Can, who has also played at left-back over the past season, joined Leverkusen from Bayern Munich last summer and is thought to have had a £9.75 million release clause in his contract. His arrival will not be the last at Anfield this summer.
One of Liverpool’s priorities is to secure a left-back, and they appear to still be on course to land their leading target. Having been regularly linked with Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno, the Reds’ interest was confirmed by the Spanish side earlier this week.
“It's true that there's interest from Liverpool and we're waiting to see if that turns into a reality, which right now, it isn't,” Sevilla president Jose Castro told the club's television channel, reports Sky Sports.
“What I'm clear about is that we'll not force anyone to stay at Sevilla. “Whoever wants to leave can do so, but we'll be the ones setting the prices. This club is experiencing a time of economic stability and we don't need to sell.”
Although it appears Liverpool still have some way to go to agree a transfer fee, their quest may not now be made more difficult by the presence of a competitor driving up the price. Reports had suggested that Tottenham were set to rival Liverpool for the 21-year-old, but Sky Sports sources believe that is not the case.
A deal for another of Liverpool’s leading targets may be more problematic. The Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool are reluctant to meet Southampton’s asking price for Adam Lallana having already had a £20 million bid rejected for the England creative midfielder. With that in mind, it is claimed that Brendan Rodgers is keen that the club not miss out on his preferred alternative, Benfica’s Lazar Markovic. Although they may cost a similar amount, the 20-year-old Serbian winger is six years younger than Lallana. Markovic, who can play on either flank, only joined Benfica last summer from Serbian club Partizan Belgrade.
The desire of Rodgers to add a winger to his squad has been known since a failed attempt to land Ukraine international Yevhen Konoplyanka in January. Speculation remains that the player to arrive could yet be Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri. The gifted 22-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place in Bayern’s side and reports in his home country Switzerland claim talks are ongoing between Liverpool and the German champions.
More speculatively, Liverpool are one of a number of Premier League clubs credited with an interest in Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas. According to widespread reports, the former Arsenal midfielder will leave Barcelona this summer, with England his destination. A move to Liverpool has always appeared unlikely and that looks set to be confirmed in the coming days. Although Arsenal appear to have ruled themselves out of the running, Talksport is now among the sources to have claimed that he is heading to Chelsea.