Make no mistake, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers became one of the biggest players on the transfer market this summer for a run at the Premier League title. But the spending spree that reportedly exceeded £120 million was also supposed to pay dividends during the Reds' first Champions League berth in five years, and account for the loss of striker Luis Suarez.
Thus far, Liverpool have handed in several uneven performances in both leagues. During Premier League play, they are presently eighth on the table, six points back of first after the 1-0 disappointment against Aston Villa and already have two losses. Furthermore, in their narrow 2-1 victory over Ludogorets, salvaged after Steven Gerrard converted a penalty following keeper Milan Borjan’s errant tackle of Javier Manquillo, the Reds looked anything but sharp in the early stages of Europe’s most elite competition.
As a result, Rodgers figures to be a player once again in the winter.
Though they don’t own the leakiest backline in the Premiership, Liverpool are in need of some help and are expected to be among a number of high-profile squads chasing Barcelona right-back Dani Alves. According to The Guardian, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain will likely challenge the Reds in their pursuit of the 31-year-old Brazilian.
Alves’s contract is up at the end of the current term and new boss Luis Enrique reportedly favors youngsters Martin Montoya and Douglas. Alves could instead move on at the end of the term, but the Catalans wish to gain something in return.
It’s unclear what Barcelona’s asking price is, but considering how long they’ve left Alves open for a transfer, Liverpool could negotiate a deal much cheaper than his £10.5 million valuation. After Gerrard, Alves would be one of the more experienced Champions League players on the team, helping the Catalans win two European cups since 2008.
Apparently Rodgers and Liverpool seem intent on raiding a Barcelona roster frustrated by or fearing a lack of playing time. Metro reports that Spanish winger Pedro is concerned with Enrique’s plans for him after his suspension, and is open to a switch to either Merseyside or to Arsenal.
Rodgers views the 27-year-old as a better replacement for Suarez and has the Champions League “pedigree” the manager seeks. A staple at Barcelona since his youth camp days, Pedro has tallied 52 goals in 172 total appearances since moving up to the first-squad in 2008. He’s valued at roughly £22 million and is under contract until 2016.