Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Sunday July 6 2014
With a deal for Alexis Sanchez now seeming remote, speculation has switched to Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar...
The likelihood of Liverpool replacing departing forward Luis Suarez with Alexis Sanchez looks increasingly slim.
The Chilean international had been identified as the club's preferred option as they attempt to cover the inevitable departure of last season's top scorer.
Suarez's £75m move to Barcelona is expected to be completed in the coming days but Sanchez is apparently not keen on moving in the opposite direction.
According to widespread reports in the past 24 hours, the 25-year-old still prefers to either remain at the Camp Nou or switch to Arsenal, while Juventus are also said to be in the hunt.
Consequently, Liverpool have been forced to consider alternatives and, according to the The Independent, Daily Express and Metro to name but three, Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is amongst them.
The 30-year-old could even be available for a knock-down price with only 12 months left on his existing contract at the Bundesliga side.
Huntelaar, who is currently in Brazil with Holland, has admitted to being aware of the Reds' interest, telling German tabloid De Telegraaf: "Regarding the rumours about Liverpool it would only be fair to speak to Schalke first.
"I've talked with Schalke about an extension for a while. After the World Cup I am having a holiday. Then I will speak to them again.
"With my agent, I now do not talk about the interest from clubs. I focus on the tournament."
The much travelled striker had spells with AC Milan, Real Madrid and Ajax before joining Schalke in 2010.
Huntelaar, who once commanded a transfer fee in excess of €20m, has scored an impressive 91 goals in 139 appearances for the German side.
His record at international level is also noteworthy with 64 caps yielding 35 goals, including two during Holland's progression to the semi-finals of the current World Cup.
The natural finisher began his professional career at PSV Eindhoven before rising to wider prominence with 40 goals in 62 games for SC Heerenveen, which facilitated a move to Ajax.
An interesting target but not one that immediately stands out as being best suited to Liverpool's playing style. There is no denying Huntelaar's goal scoring prowess but his lack of pace and mobility could prove an issue tactically. Brendan Rodgers plays a quick passing game where the attacking players interchange and drop deep and/or wide to get involved in the build-up play. Huntelaar is a much more static frontman who prefers to remain in the box and wait for the ball to come to him. Depending on the price, Huntelaar could still be worth a punt, especially because of his Champions League experience, but underwhelming spells at Madrid and Milan would also provide a worry over his ability to be a success at Europe's biggest clubs.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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Date:Sunday July 6 2014
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