As the Premier League campaign winds down, Liverpool supporters should prepare themselves for what figures be a summer transfer sessions just as busy and highly speculated as last year’s. Manager Brendan Rodgers, already on a tight leash and hearing calls for his axing from the stands, likely won’t have as sizeable a war chest so he and the Reds will have to carefully plot their spending.
Most of the more than £100 million Liverpool on transfers last year came from the sale of Luis Suarez, and despite Raheem Sterling’s ongoing contract issues, Rodgers has stated publicly he has no intention of selling off the 22-year-old English scorer.
However, Liverpool are exploring more options for the attack as Daniel Sturridge recovers from hip surgery. The Reds sorely missed the talented scorer and playmaker this season, but even if he returns to Anfield at full strength this fall Liverpool need to pair him and Sterling with another attacking threat.
For starters, and due directly to Sturridge’s injury, Liverpool are reportedly considering Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke, according to The Times. Sturridge faces a four-month long rehabilitation, which will bleed into the start of next term and Rodgers can ill afford a poor start with his job security waning.
Benteke, a Belgium international who just picked up the Premier League Player of the month award after netting five goals in April, has scored 12 goals in 26 matches this term and since joining Villa in 2012 he’s totaled 41 goals.
The 24-year-old Benteke also deserves credit for coming through in the clutch. His scoring has kept Villa way from relegation, most recently the brace he notched against Everton in a 3-2 victory.
Rated as high as £10 million, Benteke could be a bit of a consolation prize after Liverpool missed out on PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay. Despite heavy speculation, Rodgers stated the club was never interested in the Dutchman responsible for 38 goals over the last four years.
“The kid is obviously a very talented player,” Rodgers said of Depay and his squad’s needs. “It is clear we need a goal threat for next season. There will be a raft of players that will be looked at. Then it will be up to the club to see if they are affordable and available.
“There are targets that have been identified as a priority. We will have to see if they are available.”
The comments came after rival Manchester United struck a £25 million deal with Depay. United’s deal for Depay actually proved to be a turning point for several clubs, and increased the number of suitors for Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson.
According to Talksport, Bayern Munich joined Liverpool and Manchester City in the pursuit for the Brazilian. Anderson’s also garnered intrigue from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, but the new contract he signed with the Italian side dialed up his rating to £30 million. The contract runs until 2020, meaning Liverpool and any other side will have to blow Lazio away with an offer or attempt a simple loan.
Anderson’s scored 10 goals in 28 Serie A games this season, and he could certainly slot in behind Sterling and Sturridge as a replacement for Steven Gerrard.