Should a deal for Christian Benteke finally be consummated, Liverpool and manager Brendan Rodgers may close shop a little over two weeks into the summer transfer session. Merseyside and Rodgers have haggled with Aston Villa over the rights to the Belgian striker, trying to reduce his £32.5 million release clause.
Yet the Reds have evidently resigned to pay the full amount to bring the 24-year-old scorer to Anfield, according to Daily Mail, which could push Liverpool’s latest summer spending spree to £80 million, not so far from the £100 million they divvied out last year but with little results to show.
Neither side has formally announced the deal, which does allow Liverpool to explore two other options to improve their uneven attack.
Earlier this week, the Sunday People revealed Liverpool placed a £22 million bid on Real Madrid winger Denis Cheryshev. Madrid’s reasons for offloading the 24-year-old Russian certainly make sense, with Los Blancos possessing maybe the deepest midfield in Europe.
However, the Reds interest does seem a bit curious. The main goal during the transfer session has been to sell off Raheem Sterling and then use the considerable bounty to land another scorer to place beside Daniel Sturridge, a role Benteke suits.
While on loan with Sevilla and Villarreal the last two years, Cheryshev’s netted four goals in 30 appearances. He’s not the lethal and consistent scorer Liverpool needs, which likely makes his possible addition a ploy towards Aston Villa to bring their asking price for Benteke down.
Another option, that seems far more realistic, is Fulham forward Patrick Roberts. The Sun reported Liverpool are in contention with Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea for the 18-year-old.
Appearing in only 19 matches last term, Roberts has made his name more on the international stage, totaling 14 goals between England’s Under-16 and Under-19 squads over the last three years.
The report indicates Rodgers placed a £5 million bid on Roberts, but City’s £8 million bid was rejected by the Cottagers and they’re asking for no less than £10 million.
Fulham are either trying to make the move too expensive for anyone to steal their star, or they are well aware of Roberts' considerable skills and demand a correlating fee. Should Benteke’s deal be reduced, perhaps Rodgers uses the leftover funds to add Roberts for Liverpool’s long-term future.