Liverpool will have to pay at least £10 million if they are to sign Swansea City central defender Ashley Williams this summer, according to Sky Sports.
The Wales captain has been strongly linked with both Arsenal and Liverpool, with an £8 million deal being mooted. But Sky Sports now reports that Swansea will require a higher fee if they are to sanction the departure of the 28-year-old, who led the club to their first major trophy this season when they lifted the Capital One Cup.
Although Arsenal look set to be offer Williams the chance to play in the Champions League, Liverpool’s cause is helped by the relationship the player has with Brendan Rodgers when the current Reds boss was manager at Swansea.
It remains to be seen, however, whether Rodgers will be able to persuade Liverpool’s owners to sanction a big-money move for Williams with the club eager to focus on younger signings.
One of the youngsters Liverpool are believed to be trailing is Barcelona’s Cristian Tello. Spanish publication Marca reports that Liverpool attempted to sign the forward last summer and have retained their interest in the 21-year-old.
Tello signed a new contract this season, but the deal contains a €10 million (£8.5m) release clause and Marca claims that Liverpool would be all too willing to meet that fee. However, it is believed that Tello’s future could be decided by whether fellow young forward Isaac Cuenca returns to Barcelona or continues his loan spell with Ajax next season.
Liverpool’s focus on bringing prime young talent could also lead them to pursuing Celtic’s powerful midfielder Victor Wanyama.
The 21-year-old is thought to have been watched by Manchester United and Arsenal after building on his fine debut season in Scotland this campaign. Wanyama has been exceptional in the Champions League, gaining particular praise for his goal-scoring performance in Celtic’s victory over Barcelona in the group phase.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has even claimed that he values the Kenya international at £25 million. The Daily Mirror, however, reports that Southampton are joining Liverpool in pursuit of Wanyama and are prepared to start the bidding at £10 million.
Liverpool’s rebuilding plans would suffer a major blow were the club to lose leading scorer Luis Suarez this summer. Since the Uruguayan forward received a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, speculation has increased that he will be on his way out of Anfield.
Bayern Munich are reportedly keen to sign the 26-year-old and now Atletico Madrid have also been linked with a move.
Atletico have secured Champions League qualification for next season and could well have money to spend if they cash in on in-demand striker Radamel Falcao. The Liga side’s manager Diego Simeone has increased speculation about a possible move by stating his admiration for Suarez.
"I cannot speak badly about Luis Suarez, he is extraordinary," Simeone said, according to Sky Sports.
"But we have a game coming up that means we have to leave other matters aside."