After a fine start to the season, Liverpool were brought back down to Earth with a humbling defeat to Arsenal last weekend. While the difference in the score line was narrow, the gulf in quality between the two teams was at time striking, something which should not be surprising given where Liverpool are coming from since Brendan Rodgers took the reins. There remains much cause for optimism at Anfield going forward this season, but Rodgers is sure to want to bolster his squad when the January transfer window rolls around.
Against Arsenal, Liverpool’s midfield struggled to cope with their opposite numbers and it is that area of the pitch on which Rodgers’s recruitment may well focus. The Northern Echo believes that Liverpool are keeping a keen eye on Yohan Cabaye’s situation at Newcastle United.
The creative midfielder was the subject of a bid from Arsenal on the eve of the Premier League season that turned the head of Cabaye to the extent that he missed two matches but was not deemed acceptable by Newcastle. The Echo claims that Arsenal will renew their interest when the transfer window reopens but that Roma, managed by Cabaye’s former Lille coach Rudi Garcia, and Liverpool could also test Newcastle’s resolve to hang onto the France international.
Arsenal’s rejected bid was reported to be for around £12 million, with Newcastle said to be looking to recoup closer to £20 million. With Steven Gerrard increasingly being restricted by his aging legs to more of a holding role, Cabaye could provide creativity further up the field.
According to reports, another option under consideration for Liverpool is Barcelona youngster Sergi Roberto. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder showed promise in the occasional outing last season and has moved up from the B team on a permanent basis for this campaign. However, it is believed that he has been frustrated by his lack of opportunities under Gerardo Martino -- he has so far made just three substitute appearances.
Barcelona-based publication El Mundo Deportivo reports that both Liverpool and Tottenham are considering making a move for the Spain Under-21 international. Barcelona are unlikely to be eager to part with the player, especially after losing another youth product, Thiago Alcantara, against their wishes this summer. As in the case of Thiago, though, Sergi Roberto has a release clause, of in this instance €20 million (£16.7m), that if met would make Barcelona powerless to prevent him leaving.
There are also reports that Liverpool are looking to bolster their options out wide. The Sunday Mirror claims that Marseille’s Andre Ayew is the subject of interest from both Liverpool and Newcastle. The Ghana international, known commonly as Dede, has primarily operated from the left of an attacking-midfield three but has also been deployed in the center and from the right. The 23-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract and Marseille are said to be ready to sell for around £10 million.
The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, believe that Liverpool are keen on Sporting Lisbon winger Diego Capel. The 25-year-old could reportedly be available for a knockdown price of £5 million due to his Portuguese club’s financial problems. Capel only moved to Sporting two years ago from Sevilla, where he won his only two caps for Spain.