Their pursuits of several international attacking players well-documented, it seemed all but certain that Liverpool would also find some help on the domestic front in the shape of soon-to-be out of contract Burnley striker Danny Ings.
However, recent reports indicate that the Reds face some significant competition for the 22-year-old with Manchester City and Manchester United joining La Liga’s Real Sociedad as interested parties, according to Express. City are in need of more English-born players in order to comply with FIFA regulations, while United’s need for more attacking could be seen as just as dire as Liverpool’s predicament.
The only club that figures to win out no matter where Ings lands is Burnley, who will receive £300,000 if he goes abroad or £6 million should he remain in Premier League.
Netting nine goals and four assists for the relegation-threatened Burnley, Ings could make the likes of Mario Balotelli expendable and provide Daniel Sturridge a suitable partner when he returns to top fitness next season.
With a current market valuation of £8 million, Ings would also be a much cheaper option than Juventus’ Alvaro Morata or Villarreal’s Luciano Vietto. Morata’s fee is reportedly in the £60-million range, while Vietto is much lower at £12 million.
As for the midfield, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has reportedly shown significant interest in Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez, Express reports. The 23-year-old is currently on loan to Espanyol, but Madrid are willing to let him make a permanent switch to Anfield for £7 million.
Express also indicated that Vazquez does have the versatility to possibly replace defender Glen Johnson, 30, next term.
Johnson, whose contract is up this summer, told the Liverpool Echo that he’s considering several options away from Merseyside.
“I do like the idea of going abroad.” Johnson said. “There have been talks. I’m still young and it would be great for the kids. But I’m not thinking about that at the moment, We will have to wait and see.”
Injuries have limited Johnson to 13 appearances this term, but he’s still one of Liverpool’s highest-paid players and likely expects the same compensation on his next contract.
Express reported that 33-year-old defender Kolo Toure’s time could also be up at Anfield, but that Liverpool have already opened up discussions with midfielder Joe Allen.
Allen still has two years left on his current contract, but with Steven Gerrard’s departure imminent, Rodgers is apparently keen on locking up the 24-year-old Allen for the long haul.