Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has made it known the forward position is one of the top priorities for the Reds as the Premier League season winds down and the summer transfer sessions begins. The Merseysiders won’t be short of options when the transfer window opens in June, but they are contending with some of the deepest pockets in the world.
Liverpool’s ties to Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke are no secret these days, but they’ll have to fend off bids from Manchester United, Chelsea and Serie A club Roma for the Belgian international, according to Daily Mirror.
The Villans are reportedly willing to let Benteke go if they receive £32 million in compensation, a vast sum but Rodgers’ attack is sorely in need of reinforcements with striker Raheem Sterling’s future still in flux and the date of Daniel Sturridge’s return next season from hip surgery unknown.
The Mirror reports Benteke is putting all transfer talk aside until after Belgium wraps up this season’s international fixtures. Belgium will travel to take on France on June 7.
The 24-year-old reportedly doesn’t wish to sign an extension with Aston Villa, but team officials are looking to cash in on a player whose netted 11 goals in only 12 matches and singlehandedly kept the club out of relegation danger in the second half of the term.
Liverpool could also be entering the final stages of the long awaited signing of Burnley striker Danny Ings, The Times reports. Out of contract at the end of the term, Ings arrival is expected to couple with the Reds loaning 18-year-old Jerome Sinclair out for next season.
The English Under-21 rising star’s accounted for 10 goals and four assists in 33 fixtures for Burnley this season, and his departure to Anfield seems so evident that United manager Louis van Gaal has decided to pull out of the running, according to Express.
Ings current market value sits at roughly £7 million, which means Rodgers could land him and Benteke and immediately bolster next season’s attack without breaking the bank in consecutive summers.
A more expensive option might be AC Milan forward Jeremy Menez, a 28-year-old Frenchman with 16 goals and four assists in 31 appearances for the Rossoneri this season.
Italian outlet Tuttosport reports Liverpool and Ligue 1’s Monaco have “made tentative surveys to see if there is room for negotiation” for Menez, who does come with some baggage. He was banned four games after two bookings against Genoa and for then making “insulting gestures” towards referees on May 1. The ban came at an unfortunate time, with 10th place Milan then still in play for European places, and Rodgers can ill afford the addition of a player who can’t keep his head at critical moments.
The former Paris Saint-Germain star is valued at £10 million, but he could be had for less if Milan wished to rid themselves quickly.