Despite a massive £100-million spending spree, funded largely by the sale of Luis Suarez, Liverpool sit in 11th place on the Premier League table. It’s been a disappointing start to the term for the Reds, who have totaled a mere 14 goals and succumbed to five losses already. Now a drastic change could be on the horizon.
For the last 16 years, and even nine years before that, Steve Gerrard has called Anfield home. But a new report links the 34-year-old with a January switch to Italy.
According to Daily Mail, new Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini will try to lure the Reds long-time captain to San Siro. Gerrard’s contract expires at the conclusion of term, and he can make the switch now and still play for a top-flight club in Serie A. The Mail also indicated that signing with an American team like the New York Cosmos is also an option, but the opportunity to play in Italy might be too good to pass up.
Gerrard’s agent and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers have already held talks about a contract extension, but The Guardian reported earlier this week that a one-year deal is the likely outcome of negotiations. If Gerrard wants to continue his career and desires a longer commitment, Inter may be his best bet.
“As manager of this club you can’t afford to be sentimental but, both on an off the field, as a leader and as a captain,” Rodgers said to Guardian. “I want to ensure that Steven is very much part of this second curve we’re on in terms of group development.”
Gerrard’s valued at roughly £6 million, a pittance compared to how valuable he’s been to Liverpool and their supporters for nearly two decades, but it would help fund some of the other moves Rodgers is reportedly contemplating.
With Daniel Sturridge still out and Mario Balotelli yet to score a single goal, the Reds are in need of more scoring options and Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle could be the answer. According to Express, the Reds and Tottenham could place a £25 million bid for the 24-year-old German, who’s currently out of favor with Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
Yet such an exorbitant fee will bring heavy expectations on Schurrle, who’s only scored 11 goals in 54 appearances since joining Chelsea in 2013. Though Liverpool might think a change of venue, or time away from Mourinho, could be positive factors for Schurrle.
Another option from Germany’s World Cup-wining squad is Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph Kramer. The 23-year-old, currently on loan to Monchengladbach, recently said he is open to playing in Premier League, but Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham are also vying for his talents, Daily Star reports.
Should Gerrard leave, Kramer won’t exactly be his replacement, but he could certainly help attacking midfielders Adam Lallana and Coutinho revamp the offense.
Rodgers is also looking for some youth at the striking position, specifically West Brom’s Saido Berahino and Lazio’s Keita Balde Diao.
The Sun reports that Inter and Juventus have joined Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Tottenham in the chase for Berahino, a blossoming 21-year-old Burundi international who’s racked up seven goals for the Baggies in nine appearances this term.
The competition for Diao’s signature isn’t nearly as contentious, but Express reported that Arsenal could stand in Liverpool’s way. The 19-year-old has been scouted by both Rodgers and Arsene Wenger.
Diao spent the first seven years of his youth career with Barcelona, but eventually landed with the Italian side in 2011. Since moving up to the senior squad last year, he’s totaled five goals in 23 appearances.