Liverpool's FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea at the weekend ended hopes of a flourishing climax to what has been a largely disappointing season. The reality must now set in on the red half of Merseyside after a campaign that, despite some success in the cups, has seen the club fall a long way short of what was surely their goal of Champions League qualification.
With that in mind, Liverpool are sure to be looking at ways to improve their squad for next season.
One of Liverpool's main weaknesses over the campaign has been their inability to convert chances, meaning that the addition of a new striker is likely to be high on the agenda of those in charge with the recruitment at Anfield.
Caught Offside has reported that Liverpool will look to pursue a move for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent this summer. The 28-year-old was linked to the club in January and has shown over the past few seasons that there are few better at turning chances into goals in the Premier League.
While Bent would surely be tempted by a move to Anfield, Aston Villa will be reluctant to suffer a loss on a player whom they spent a club-record £24 million on under 18 months ago.
Another striker linked to carry the goal-scoring burden at Liverpool next season is Luuk de Jong. Premier League clubs have been circling around the FC Twente front man for some time, with Liverpool among the suitors, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 21-year-old has hit 25 goals in the Eredivisie this season and has been talked of as a perfect fit for the Premier League by his manager Steve McClaren.
Luuk is an 'English style' striker, made for English football, said the former England boss, according to the Daily Mirror. I am just desperate to keep him one more year in Holland. But I realize that will be difficult.
Twente president Joop Munsterman is equally reluctant to lose the club's prized asset, but accepts that a large offer would be hard to turn down.
We have said that we won't go lower than £12.5m as a transfer fee, he said. We need a top price for a top player.''
While goals from a main striker would be most welcome, Liverpool will also be looking to boost the scoring coming from their support players. And who better to bring in to add goals from midfield than Clint Dempsey. The versatile U.S. international has hit 17 goals in the Premier League this campaign, largely from an attacking midfield position at Fulham.
Caught Offside reports that Liverpool are willing to offer Dirk Kuyt in part-exchange for Dempsey this summer. The Dutchman has found himself out of favor for much of the season and is likely to be moving on at the end of the campaign as he seeks regular first-team soccer.
While Dempsey may be available for a cut-price fee, given he has just over a year remaining on his contract, another reported Liverpool target looks set to prove more costly.
According to the Daily Mirror, Wigan have put a £10 million valuation on the head of their current star Victor Moses. The move is an effort to deter bids from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham, who are said to be interested in the lively winger.