Liverpool’s busy summer in the transfer market shows no signs of tailing off. Boosted by a return to the Champions League and the £75 million pocketed from the sale of Luis Suárez, manager Brendan Rodgers is flush with money to spend. His squad has already been strengthened by the signings of former Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana as well as midfielder Emre Can and young Serbian attacking midfielder Lazar Markovic.
They could soon be joined by several further new arrivals. Loïc Rémy is reported to have had a medical in Boston, where Liverpool are currently based during their tour of the United States, while defender Dejan Lovren is said to now be on the verge of finally being prized away from Southampton after a summer-long transfer saga. According to Sky Sports, Liverpool are now poised to beat off competition from Arsenal to secure Spain Under-20 right-back Javier Manquillo on loan from Atletico Madrid. Arsenal were believed to be front-runners for his signature, but he could now provide competition with Glen Johnson for the right-back slot. It would then be intriguing to see where it would leave Jon Flanagan, who impressed at left-back last season but is naturally right-sided. Liverpool are chasing an established left-back.
But, according to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool’s summer spending could be taken to the £150 million mark by the biggest transfer of the window. The tabloid reports that Rodgers is chasing a “marquee” midfielder, with Juventus pair Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal, along with Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus cited as the leading targets.
Not only are the first two dynamic all-round midfielders while Reus is an attacking midfielder, but there is further reason to doubt the speculation. All three have been strongly linked to some of Europe’s biggest clubs this summer, yet look unlikely to move. Chile international Vidal has been on the radar of Manchester United for some time and, while he has been non-committal on his future, it would take more than the £30 million Liverpool are reportedly willing to spend to prize him away. The same is true of Pogba, who is thought to be on the radar of United, as well as Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. In Reus’s case, having already lost star striker Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund have no intention of letting another key player leave this summer.
To secure any of the three it would be not only a challenge for Liverpool to convince their current clubs to sell, but a test of the Reds’ pulling power and financial might to fight off heavyweight competition.
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Elsewhere, the Daily Mail thinks that Liverpool are considering a more direct replacement for Suárez’s world-class ability by targeting Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. The report suggests the France international, scorer of three goals in the 2014 World Cup, could be available for £40 million. Yet, having just sold Álvaro Morata to Juventus, Benzema is the only natural striker in Madrid’s squad and is unlikely to be sold. Indeed, the 26-year-old is reported to be close to agreeing to a new contract extension at the Bernabeu.