Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Saturday May 25 2013
Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu could replace bit-part player Oussama Assaidi in Liverpool's squad next season...
Reports this morning, primarily in the Daily Mirror, indicate that Kop boss Brendan Rodgers is considering altering his options out wide.
Moroccan winger Oussama Assaidi, who made only 12 appearances during his debut season at Anfield and just four in the league, is set to be offloaded while the club are also said to be open to offers for Stewart Downing.
Incoming to fill any void could be Porto youngster Christian Atsu who has recently found himself out of favour with the newly crowned Portuguese Primeira Liga champions.
The 21-year-old's absence has been linked to an ongoing contractual stalemate whereby player and club have failed to reach an agreement on extending his existing deal which ends next year.
The situation means Porto run the risk of losing Atsu for nothing in the future and are therefore likely to let him leave the Estadio do Dragao this summer for much less than his rumoured £10million release clause.
Despite probable interest from elsewhere, Sky Sports recently claimed that the African is keen to play in England.
That particular story identified Tottenham Hotspur, whose manager Andre Villas Boas worked with Atsu at Porto, and Everton as potential suitors.
Subsequent comments by the player this week suggest his desire for a move to the Premier League is genuine.
"There are times when we have to think about following our dreams and this is the time to follow my dream," claimed Atsu in Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
"Since I started playing football I have dreamt to play in the Premier League. I will be sad to leave Porto but if I leave I would want my future to be in England."
Now it seems Rodgers is ready to enter proceedings with talk of a £3million offer being placed on the table.
Atsu is a diminutive yet powerful attacker who favours the left wing but can play right across the frontline.
As with the recent Iago Aspas story, the primary source of this particular rumour can hardly be regarded as reliable. That said, all the evidence does seem to point to a summer move to the Premier League for Atsu and, given his age and the cost involved, Liverpool could be interested. It certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see Assaidi depart but given the ability of youngsters Raheem Sterling and Jordan Ibe I'm not convinced we need to bring in anyone new.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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Date:Saturday May 25 2013
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