There was brief elation for Liverpool supporters after Emre Can’s goal in the first nine minutes of play against first-place Chelsea Saturday. The midfielder put the Reds up 1-0, and however brief the lead was, it felt like last year’s runner-up squad was playing at the Anfield.
Then the Reds and manager Brendan Rodgers were brought back into this term’s orbit, and eventually fell to the Blues 2-1 after Diego Costa’s 10th goal of the season. Liverpool couldn’t muster another goal, and were once again reminded that Luis Suarez is no longer around and Daniel Sturridge is still hurting.
And once again, Rodgers may have to dip into his coffers to find a proper replacement for the Uruguayan and a running mate for the injured star. According to a report from Express earlier this week, Liverpool is preparing a £30 million bid for Porto striker Jackson Martinez.
The Colombian national is reportedly seeking a “new challenge” after netting 72 goals in 106 appearances for the Portuguese club.
Rodgers does have some stiff competition for Martinez. Arsenal, as well as Valencia and AC Milan would like to bring him on as well, but he evidently desires a switch to Premier League.
If securing Martinez finally ends the search for Suarez’s replacement, Rodgers may also bolster a defense that certainly played well against Chelsea’s typically dominant attack.
In fact Rodgers can plan for the short and long-term by swiping away Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho. As Daily Star reports, the Portuguese side is keen to sell the 22-year-old high and he also wants to take his game to the Premier League.
Rodgers evidently believes Carvalho can be the eventual replacement for Steven Gerrard, but his buyout clause calls for a £37 million payment. Even if the Reds decide to pull the trigger on such a huge deal, the equally-intrigued Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea could all drive the price up.
In other transfer speculation, Daily Mirror reports the Reds may get back in the chase for Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. During the summer transfer session of 2013, Liverpool were in hot pursuit of the 27-year-old but his then-£15 million asking price was far too much and they instead spent 9 million on Simon Mignolet.
The conservative spending paid off as Mignolet has performed very well, but now Begovic could be had for £10 million. It would be a curious move considering Mignolet, Brad Jones and Danny Ward are already on the roster, and funds could be better spent at the attacking positions.