Liverpool: January Striker Targets Update
A number of new names have emerged as potential transfer targets according to reports with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers reiterating his intention to reinforce next month...
It seems currently that no interview or press conference involving Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers passes without the conversation being dominated by the topic of transfers.
Hardly surprising really...
The need to strengthen has been clear since the club failed to adequately replace a number of high-profile departures during the summer. With subsequent results inconsistent at best, that need has quickly become a necessity.
Not only are new players clearly required, the area most in urgent need of an overhaul is also plainly apparent to all; attack.
The Reds have managed only 23 goals in their 17 league games under Rodgers and over half of those have either come from Luis Suarez (10) or via own-goals (4).
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Rodgers again confirmed his intention to invest in new attacking talent but cautioned that some business may need to wait until the end of the season due to the volatile nature of the January market.
"There is no doubt we will get reinforcements in January and there is no doubt that we will get the backing, but it will come down to two things - the availability and affordability of players," explained the 39-year-old.
"I see lots of names bandied about and, with all due respect, names that are pie in the sky because there won't be too many top players moving about in January because clubs want top money.
"But there is no doubt that we want to bring in goals and we want to bring in players who can assist in scoring goals.
"If we can do that then that will set us up and then we can really reinforce again when the market opens up in the summer."
The latest names in the frame, as far as the press are concerned at least, include Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis, Atletico Madrid attacker Arda Turan and Valencia winger Sofiane Feghouli.
Gomis is a French international striker with a fine record of 14 goals in all competitions so far this season.
The former Saint-Étienne man, who is noted for his speed, strength and aerial ability, has also been connected to Chelsea in a number of reports doing the rounds.
Speculation over the player's future has intensified partly because Gomis himself admitted he is under pressure to decide whether or not to sign a new contract or move on.
"I have heard it, the president said I will get transferred or will renew my contract before the end of the January transfer window," said the 27-year-old in quotes republished by Sky Sports.
On paper therefore there could be some substance to this particular rumour. Especially given the price is within Liverpool's reach and he is not a mega-name who would dismiss the move based on a lack of Champions League football etc.
Likelihood (out of 5):
Club: Atletico Madrid
A regular in the LFC related gossip columns for a number of years, mainly due to his admission to being a Reds fan, Turan is again being mentioned in dispatches with Anfield.
His technical ability and creativity would appeal to Rodgers but the price could prove to be prohibitive with the ex-Galatasaray captain having a £19.5m release clause, according to the Daily Star.
Turan, who can play wide or behind a main striker, has impressed in Spain since arriving at the Vicente Calderon in August 2011 and has 5 goals and 6 assists in only 13 league games to date during the current campaign.
The 25-year-old's agent, Ahmet Bulut, helped to stoke the fires of conjecture by implying his client wants to move (although he also indicated it is unlikely to happen until the end of the season).
"He wants a different experience. We are working now to try and do exactly that," said Bulut to the Turkish media.
"Atletico know of our intentions. If successful, Arda will leave Atleti at the end of the season."
Whether that destination is Liverpool is of course open for debate but he is certainly a player Rodgers would consider, probably not at the prices quoted though.
Likelihood (out of 5):
Value: £7m (according to Transfermarkt.co.uk)
Spanish press, as reported in the UK by the Daily Mirror under the brilliant headline 'Ging Gang Ghouli', indicate highly regarded French-born Algerian Sofiane Feghouli may be on the look-out for a new club.
Originally Valencia had been keen to thrash out a new deal for the 22-year-old, whose current deal ends in 2014, but a January transfer could supposedly now materialise with the Mestalla based club in financial difficulty and lining up cheaper alternatives.
Feghouli has made 19 appearances for this season, scoring six goals in all competitions and the Mirror's Spanish football correspondent David Cartlidge described him as 'hard working, direct, skilful' and as having 'a lot of potential.'
Although predominantly a winger and not the out-and-out striker many crave, Feghouli clearly has some pedigree, plus plenty of potential, and will surely provide a better attacking option down the flanks than the likes of Joe Cole and Stewart Downing are doing at present. Doubtful we would be the only club interested however.
Likelihood (out of 5):
In addition to the above there is continued speculation over Daniel Sturridge and Thomas Ince, both of whom we have covered previously.
Click here for a roundup of other strikers linked in recent times
Share you thoughts on these and any others players that you feel Liverpool should be targeting in the comments section below.
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