Liverpool: Bony Emerging As A Major Target
Speculation is growing that Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony has been identified as the club's preferred new striking option...
With Luis Suarez and Iago Aspas edging towards moves to La Liga, Liverpool are unsurprisingly on the look out for a new frontman.
The Merseysiders have already added Rickie Lambert to their attacking arsenal this summer but, with Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini the only other notable options currently at Anfield, further reinforcements are clearly required.
One name which has continuingly cropped up in the rumour columns over the past few days is Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony.
The 25-year-old scored 25 goals during an impressive first season with Swansea City last term and is believed to have a release clause in his contract of around £20m.
A £12m signing from Dutch side Vitesse, Bony also scored two goals at the recent World Cup in Brazil to further enhance his burgeoning reputation.
The powerful forward began his professional career with Côte d'Ivoire Premier Division club Issia Wazi before initially moving to Europe with Sparta Prague in 2007.
Prior to his move to the Czech Republic, Bony actually had a trial with Liverpool but the Reds, then managed by Rafa Benitez, decided against pursuing a permanent move.
Completing a deal some seven years later won't be a foregone conclusion though with a number of publications, including The Independent and Daily Mail, believing Tottenham Hotspur are amongst a number of other parties interested in securing the striker.
Swansea are also very unlikely to be willing sellers, especially considering 2012-13 top scorer Michu is on the brink of a move to Napoli.
Gary Monk's side have at least already secured French international forward Bafetimbi Gomis to help fill a possible void.
Liverpool meanwhile are expected to unveil Serbian winger Lazar Markovic as their fourth major signing of the summer within the next 24 hours.
The 20-year-old, who underwent a medical at Melwood yesterday, will take the club's summer spending to around £60m.
Despite the lavish outlay, with Suarez set to bring in £75m and Champions League football back on the agenda, the club's transfer activity is likely to be far from over.
Bony is a real handful for defenders and proved last season that he has the quality needed to succeed in the Premier League and beyond. Although, whether or not he is best suited to Liverpool's playing style is an entirely different matter to consider. There isn't much subtlety to Bony's approach; he doesn't tend to get involved in the buildup too much or produce incisive passes or layoffs to team mates. Last season, in addition to some thumping drives from distance, he thrived on crosses into the box from wide areas which isn't a ploy Brendan Rodgers' side try to exploit too often. That said, as a physical, direct 'Plan B' he would be an excellent signing, although spending £20m for such a purpose is questionable. Replacing Suarez directly is impossible but personally, particularly with Lambert already acquired, I would like to see someone with his kind of skill and movement over the robustness of Bony. I'm not totally against signing the Swansea man however.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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