Liverpool welcome Champions League football back to Anfield for the first time since 2010 this season.
But their European adventure will be no easy ride – they find themselves in Group B with reigning champions Real Madrid, Swiss banana-skins FC Basel and unknown quantity PFC Ludogrets.
There isn’t too much time for Brendan Rodgers to react either, with only four days of the summer window remaining. But the Reds gaffer will be keen to maintain his club’s prestigious reputation in the tournament and there are some deals to be had before September 1st.
Just in case Rodgers is short on a few ideas, we’ve listed FIVE last-minute buys Liverpool could conceivably make to improve their chances of escaping Group B.
A speculative theory perhaps, but could we see Liverpool make a late bid for Barcelona right-back Dani Alves?
The Anfield side have already been linked to the Brazil international this summer, with the La Liga giants announcing a deal for Sao Paolo wing-back Douglas yesterday evening:
Barcelona agree deal for Brazilian defender: http://t.co/41FcP0TEgz
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) August 27, 2014
That seriously puts the 31 year-old’s future in doubt. Coincidentally, Glen Johnson is a potential late Merseyside departee, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season and QPR emerging as potential suitors.
Alves may be no spring chicken but his quality is undoubted. His ability to contribute heavily in attack has been a major feature of the Barcelona side that’s won four La Ligas and two Champions League titles since his Catalonia arrival in 2008.
Here’s a look at the right-back in action:
The South American would fit Liverpool’s fluid style perfectly and Barcelona are unlikely to command a huge transfer fee, with Alves now viewed as essentially surplus to requirements.
But his age could prove an issue for the Reds- as could the Nou Camp outfit’s two-window transfer ban.
Another Barcelona star known to be in Liverpool’s transfer crosshairs is defensive midfielder Alex Song:
— LFC Transfer Rumours (@JornGjersoe72) August 28, 2014
The Reds are crying out for another holding option in the middle of the park, especially amid rumours that Lucas Leiva could be on his way to Napoli.
The Cameroon international fits the bill perfectly- he’s no world-beater but is well proven at Premier League and Champions League level, having amassed 217 appearances during a seven-year stay with Arsenal. In his last top flight campaign, Song claimed an impressive eleven assists, and his experience in Europe could prove vital for the Anfield outfit next season.
Here’s a look at Song in action for the Gunners:
Most appealingly, Barcelona are preparing to cut loose the 6 foot 2 midfielder this summer, having failed to forge a place for himself in the first team after leaving the Emirates in 2012.
Allegedly, the 26 year-old will be allowed to leave on a loan deal, including an £8million future fee to make his move permanent.
That’s the kind of deal Liverpool can’t let slip by – but they face competition for Song’s signature from a number of Premier League sides:
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) August 18, 2014
There’s only four days left of the summer transfer window but it remains to be seen what the future holds for Real Madrid man Sami Khedira.
Carlo Ancelotti declares the Germany World Cup winner will be staying put at the Bernabeu, but it’s known that he rejected a new contract this summer with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
Khedira was linked with an Anfield switch earlier this month, and recent developments could convince Brendan Rodgers to make a formal bid.
Not least because the 27 year-old is considered to be one of the top midfielders in Europe, having played a key role in his country’s romping of Brazil 2014, as detailed below:
Here’s a look at the Manschaft engine in action:
It’s believed Los Blancos could be tempted to sell for around £15million, but the situation may have changed now that Xabi Alonso is on the verge of signing for Bayern Munich:
— The Independent (@Independent) August 28, 2014
According to the tabloids, Liverpool are set to revive their interest in Bayern Munich prodigy Xherdan Shaqiri:
— LFC Transfer Rumours (@JornGjersoe72) August 27, 2014
The attacking midfielder has proved a useful cameo performer for the German Champions following his move from FC Basel in 2011, finding six goals and two assists in 17 Bundesliga outings last season.
The Switzerland international was in strong form at the World Cup too, as detailed below:
But having a world-class roster to contend with for a regular place in the Bavarians first team, the 22 year-old is concerned that his progress is being stifled at the Allianz Arena.
A departure before September 1st is now widely expected, and Shaqiri’s mixture of power and technique, as shown in the video below, would certainly go down well on Merseyside:
It’s believed the midfielder is rated at around £15million, but the Reds face stiff competition for his signature from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
I find it miraculous that there appears to be incredibly limited interest in Andre Ayew this summer, despite the winger entering the final year of his contract at Marseille.
But plenty of clubs, including Liverpool, are in need of a wide-man who can score goals so perhaps we’ll see a few more suitors emerge from the wood-work before deadline day.
The Ghana international has emerged as Ligue 1’s most potent wideman over the last few seasons, amassing an impressive 49 goals and 16 assists in 164 appearances for L’OM. He was in good form at the World Cup too, as detailed below:
Ayew isn’t the most conventional winger but he’s strong defensively, versatile and a real threat in the final third. As viewable in the below video, he’s also outrageously good at heading:
The Liverpool squad currently lacks established options on the flanks but the 24 year-old could be the perfect remedy.
It’s believed he’s valued at around £10million, but QPR may have already beaten the Mersey outfit to the Black Stars assassin:
QPR close in on Ghana’s Andre Ayew: The Hoops have made a bid for the Ghanaian and the deal could be completed… http://t.co/leLtOYAKrb
— Football 24/7 Africa (@foet247Africa) August 26, 2014