Transfer Round-Up: 29th May 2015

In a week when Mario Balotelli’s agent claimed that the Italian will still be at Liverpool next season, Kolo Toure and Andre Wisdom signed new contracts and LA Galaxy confirmed Steven Gerrard’s debut will be on July 11th, we’ve taken a look at the rumours surrounding LFC’s transfer strategy.

Christian Benteke

Rumours have surrounded Liverpool’s desire to sign Benteke since Aston Villa beat Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi-Final. It’s a strange one really, as Benteke doesn’t seem to fit the style of play that Brendan Rodgers prefers from Liverpool.

Yet Tim Sherwood has confirmed that the Belgian striker has a £32.5m release clause in his contract, according to John Percy at The Telegraph. Sherwood also said that Benteke should think carefully before moving to a club like Liverpool that doesn’t cross the ball much. The Mirror are reporting that the Londoner has told his 24-year-old striker that if he stays at Villa for another season then he could end up at Real Madrid. Expect this one to rumble on.

Nathaniel Clyne

The BBC’s Phil McNulty has said that Liverpool have made an offer for Southampton’s right back Nathaniel Clyne. The Reds are losing Glen Johnson this summer and need to replace him, with Jon Flanagan having undergone surgery and far from guaranteed to regain his starting spot next season.

Liverpool apparently offered Southampton £10m for the youngster, which has been rejected, but the Reds are expected to return with a lager bid. Given the former Palace player only has a year left on his contract it seems likely that he will depart the South Coast club soon.

Danny Ings

It has seemed nailed on that the Burnley striker would make a move to the Reds for the last few months, but The Daily Mail say that Tottenham have had a £12m bid accepted for him.

The man himself has told friends he wants to move to Liverpool, so Spurs’s bid won’t make much difference in the long run. But the Merseysider’s hopes of getting him for £4-£5m through a tribunal will have taken a hit as Tottenham’s bid will have driven his price up a touch.

Nicolas Gaitan 

The Daily Mirror have reported that Liverpool are ready to go head-to-head with Manchester United over the signing of Benfica star Nicolas Gaitan.

Brendan Rodgers has been tracking the winger – who replaced Angel Di Maria when he joined Real Madrid – for some time, and is ready to put in a firm bid in the coming weeks. Apparently he has a buy-out clause of £25m, so if both United and Liverpool trigger it then it is likely to come down to which club the player would prefer to move to.

Raheem Sterling

It seems that, despite what the official word at the club may be, Raheem Sterling has burnt his bridges at Liverpool. So expect plenty of rumours to be going around until an official decision is made.

The latest is that the likely appointment of Rafa Benitez as Real Madrid’s next manager means that the Spaniard will launch a raid on Liverpool’s talented young winger.

Benitez was responsible for bringing Sterling to Liverpool from QPR when he was just 15, so there may be some weight to the idea that he wants to take him to Spain, too.

Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are all keen on the Jamaican born 20-year-old, but Liverpool would almost certainly rather see him going abroad than making a move to one of their Premier League rivals. So news from The Mirror that both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are keeping tabs on Sterling’s situation is likely to please both Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool hierarchy.

Andrea Pirlo

There is no way that Liverpool will be able to replace Steven Gerrard in one fell swoop, but rumours have emerged from Tuttosport that the Reds are planning an audacious swoop for Andrea Pirlo.

It somehow seems unlikely that Liverpool would allow Gerrard to leave because of his ageing legs and then replace him with a 36-year-old. Yet Pirlo is also likely to be in demand, with MLS clubs certain to want to chase him.

Mateo Kovacic 

Meanwhile Gazzetta dello Sport are suggesting that Liverpool have already made an offer for the Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic. The Croat is an exciting and dynamic player. He isn’t yet the finished article, which makes him the sort of player that Liverpool could target.

The Reds have made a habit of trying to re-invent the wheel in the transfer market under FSG, and they’ve done that by looking to get talented players that haven’t yet hit the heights – the type of player that Kovacic is.

Jackson Martinez

The Daily Express thinks that Liverpool and Arsenal will be going up against each other for the singing of the Columbian striker Jackson Martinez. Arsenal have apparently already entered negotiations with Porto over the player who scored 21 goals in Portugal last season, but Liverpool are also keen on the 28-year-old.

Liverpool need goals pretty desperately after a season in which they finished with a goal difference of just +5. So a player who scored 67 goals in 89 games would be more than welcome at Anfield, though his likely fee of around £24.7 million will almost certainly make FSG balk, given his age.

Yaya Toure

Last but not least is the slightly off-the-wall rumour that Liverpool will look to take advantage of Yaya Toure’s disillusion at Manchester City and move to sign the midfielder.

Tim Pearson, a Welsh sports journalist, has today tweeted that wheels are in motion for Liverpool to sign the Ivorian player, with the man himself keen to move on from Manchester City and play alongside his brother for one last season.

Whether Pearson is a reliable source or just a young lad trying to gain followers on Twitter by tweeting unsubstantiated rumours remains to be seen, but sufficed to say there’s a reason this is called the silly season!

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