Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Friday July 25 2014
The pursuit of a new left-back appears to have come full circle as Liverpool again try to sign Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand...
Keeping up with potential Liverpool transfers at present has become a bit of a nightmare with so many deals supposedly in the offing.
One position that has garnered plenty of column inches so far this summer is at left-back.
After predictably deciding not to retain last season's underwhelming loanee, Aly Cissokho, the Reds have been connected with a host of new left-sided defenders.
Highly-rated Spaniard Alberto Moreno appeared the most likely addition but that particular on-off saga has seemingly reached a permanent impasse with Kop boss Brendan Rodgers unwilling to increase a £16m offer.
Proven Premier League performer Ben Davies briefly seemed destined to be the beneficiary but, with an £8m offer rejected by Swansea City, the Welshman instead moved to Tottenham Hotspur for £10m.
Attempts to strengthen the area are nothing new with Rodgers previously looking for reinforcements back in January after injury had robbed him of established first-choice Jose Enrique.
One of the players he identified at that point was Ryan Bertrand, but Chelsea, perhaps understandably, were not keen on doing business with their title rivals and instead the player joined Aston Villa on loan.
Fast forward six months and Jose Mourinho is again reportedly attempting to rebuff advances from Anfield for Bertrand even though the player is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge following the £20m arrival of Felipe Luiz.
The 24-year-old, who is widely believed to be available for around £8m, is said to be keen on departing for Merseyside but, according to the likes of the Liverpool ECHO, Metro and Daily Express at least, the Blues are again stalling on sanctioning the move.
Their reluctance to facilitate Liverpool's squad strengthening is presumably reinforced by the success of Daniel Sturridge, who made the same move 18 months ago for £12m, although Victor Moses faired less well during a temporary switch last season.
Bertrand originally came through the youth ranks at Gillingham before joining Chelsea at the age of 15 in 2005.
A full debut arrived in April 2011 and a subsequent 55 appearances for the club have included the 2012 Champions League final.
Despite some impressive showings, Bertrand has failed to nail down a regular spot, hardly surprising given the presence of Ashley Cole as direct competition, and in total he has had no fewer than six different loan spells away from the club.
In addition to England appearances at every age group from U17 to senior, Bertrand appeared four times for Great Britain during the 2012 Olympics.
Bertrand is a steady operator with plenty of top-level experience and, at £8m, would represent a sound investment. Enrique may be back in full training but I'm not sure Rodgers has ever been truly convinced by the Spaniard - after all he did prefer Stewart Downing at left-back for a spell during his first season in charge! Bertrand would represent another intelligent, if unspectacular, addition as the club continues to enhance the squad for the upcoming season and beyond. The fact he's English, already familiar with a number of his prospective team mates and well known to Rodgers from the Northern Irishman's time coaching at Chelsea, makes the deal look a relatively safe bet.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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Date:Friday July 25 2014
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