Liverpool have been again been linked with an audacious move to sign Barcelona forward David Villa. Spanish publication Punto Pelota claims that the Reds have offered Villa a blank check with a view to making him the focal point of the new-look side under manager Brendan Rodgers.
Villa, Spain’s record goal scorer, was linked with a move to the Reds late last year before he suffered a broken leg in December. The 30-year-old has only just returned to action at the start of this campaign. The story would appear to come on the back of reports of his discontentment at the Camp Nou after Villa expressed his disappointment at not being given a starting role in his comeback until the match against Granada at the weekend. It was in that contest that Lionel Messi reacted angrily after failing to receive a pass from Villa.
With the emergence of Cristian Tello and Isaac Cuenca coupled with reports that Brazilian star Neymar will be arriving next season, Villa’s future is far from certain in Barcelona.
Even if Villa does depart Barcelona, it is difficult to imagine the former Valencia star heading to Anfield. Liverpool appear unlikely to be able to offer Champions League soccer for next season and Villa would also command huge wages. Despite his age, Villa is likely to cost a significant transfer fee, something that Liverpool’s owners—with their stated plan of building around young talent—may well not be willing to offer.
A more realistic target would appear to be Russia captain Igor Denisov. Liverpool are again claimed to be monitoring the 28-year-old, this time in the Daily Mirror. Along with teammate Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Denisov has been forced to train with the youth team of his club Zenit St Petersburg after publicly criticizing the wages being paid to recent signings Hulk and Axel Witsel. Along with the Reds, Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City are all said to be interested, according to the Mirror.
Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti has said that Denisov’s future is now in his own hands.
“We don't want to take players who think only about themselves, and don't want to go forward with us,” he said, according to TalkSport. “Their return to the starting lineup depends only on them themselves.”
There has also been much conjecture of late over the future of Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. The Reds’ first-choice stopper has been blighted by an increasing propensity to commit errors in recent times, leading to reports that Rodgers could be looking for a new man between the sticks.
High on the list of reported targets has been Rodgers’ former keeper at Swansea, Michel Vorm. The Netherlands international has been highly praised for his performances since arriving from Fc Utrecht last summer. Any potential move has now been complicated, however, with the 28-year-old signing a new four-year contract at the Liberty Stadium.
“I'm delighted. I'm enjoying my time here very much and it is one of the reasons why I've signed an extension," said Vorm, according to Swansea’s official website.
"I can also only see things at Swansea getting better and better. I can see a lot of positive things happening here and I believe the club has a bright future ahead of it.
"The club has signed a lot of its quality players for longer periods, which is a good thing."