SIX signings to follow Ricardo Rodriguez to Liverpool

According to the Daily Mail, with their move for Sevilla star Alberto Moreno reportedly hitting a stumbling block over the issue of valuations, Liverpool have switched their interest to Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez.

The news comes off the back of an impressive performance from the 21 year-old in Switzerlands’ opening World Cup match against Ecuador, where he picked up assists for both goals in La Nati’s 2-1 win.

It also follows a season in which the Swiss prodigy claimed five goals and nine assists in 34 Bundesliga outings for Die Wolfe, suggesting the £20million-rated full-back would be a good fit for Liverpool’s attacking style.

But as the Reds welcome Champions League football back to Anfield for the first time since 2010 next term, it’s unlikely Rodriguez will be Brendan Rodgers’ final acquisition of the summer.

With that in mind, here’s a list of SIX signings who could follow the Switzerland defender to Merseyside, some inspired by his arrival, others more coincidental.

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CLICK ON RICARDO RODRIGUEZ TO REVEAL

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XHERDAN SHAQIRI

Xherdan Shaqiri (2)

Ricardo Rodriguez could soon find himself joined at Anfield by Switzerland team-mate and fellow Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri.

The attacking midfielder, capable of playing on either flank or as a no.10,  is considered to be one of the most exciting prospects in Europe, having claimed consecutive Swiss Player of the Year awards at former club FC Basel.

The 22 year-old has proved a useful cameo performer for the German champions since joining the Allianz Arena  ranks in summer 2012, producing a return of six goals and two assists in 17 Bundesliga outings this season.

But having to contend with a world-class roster for a regular place in the Bavarians first team,  the Switzerland star is concerned his progress is being stifled in the German capital.

It’s believed negotiations between the Reds and Bayern are already underway, with the British tabloids valuing Shaqiri at around £15million.

GRANIT XHAKA

Granit Xhaka

Another Switzerland international known to have caught the Reds’ transfer attention in the past is Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka.

Once dubbed ‘the young Schweinsteiger’ by La Nati coach Ottmar Hitzfeld for his mixture of technical quality and robust upper-body strength, the 21 year-old has often been mooted as a potential Steven Gerrard incarnate.

He’s been in good form this season to help Die Fohlen record a respectable 6th place finish in the German top flight, averaging two tackles per match and boasting a pass completion rate of 87% from 28 Bundesliga appearances.

Now a vital factor in Switzerland’s World Cup plans, having scored twice in qualifying and played the full 90 minutes in his country’s opener against Ecuador on Sunday, performances at the tournament in Brazil could convince Brendan Rodgers to make a formal offer.

Originally purchased from FC Basel for €8.5million just two summers ago however, it would take a significant fee to convince Monchengladbach to sell.

DEJAN LOVREN

Dejan Lovren (2)

Liverpool may have been priced out or their pursuit for Southampton’s £30million-valued Adam Lallana, but the chase is still on to sign centre-back Dejan Lovren.

The Croatia international moved to St. Mary’s from Lyon in an £8.5million deal last summer and has since proved to be a major coup.

A near-eternal presence in the Saints backline, the south coast outfit have finished the campaign with the fifth-best goals conceded record in the Premier League and the fourth-most clean sheets.

The 24 year-old’s individual performances have been equally impressive, with his average of 2.7 interceptions per match only bettered by three top flight centre-halves.

Having reportedly handed in a transfer request at St. Mary’s, Lovren appears destined to leave the Saints this summer.

Liverpool are by no means his only suitors however; Mauricio Pochettino wants to bring the £15million-rated defender to Tottenham and Barcelona have been surprisingly linked.

MICAH RICHARDS

Micah Richards (2)

Following news that Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna has joined Manchester City in a bosman switch, the Reds have resultantly upped their interest in Etihad misfit Micah Richards.

The occasional England international once contributed a vital six assists to the Citizens’ first Premier League title in 2012 – the most set-ups of any top flight defender that season.

But due to a mixture of persistent injuries and the rise in stature of Pablo Zabaleta, the 25 year-old has gone on to make just seven league appearances since.

Subsequently, and with just a year left on Richards’ Eastlands’ contract, he’s widely expected to leave Manuel Pellegrini’s side this summer, with the tabloids mooting a £5million fee.

Strong, exceptionally quick, formidable in the air and capable of playing at right-back or centre-back, the versatile defender certainly meets Brendan Rodgers’ needs for ‘multipurpose signings’ this summer.

But Arsenal, Spurs, West Ham and Newcastle are all believed to be baying for Richards’ signature.

ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Alexis Sanchez (2)

Amid Liverpool’s desperate need for some added quality out wide, their transfer attentions have reportedly turned to Barcelona winger-forward Alexis Sanchez.

The Chile international has been in good form this season, finding 21 goals and 15 assists across all competitions, including 19 strikes in La Liga.

But the feeling at the Nou Camp is that the 25 year-old hasn’t progressed as expected since joining the Catalans from Udinese in 2011, where he was previously regarded as one of the hottest young talents in world football.

Resultantly, and with Barca planning a summer of wholesale changes, it’s believed Sanchez will be allowed to leave this summer for an incredibly reasonable £25million fee.

Offering a combination of netting prowess, natural penetration, positional flexibility and tica-taca technique, the South American has a lot to offer the Reds in the final third.

But due to his surprising availability, virtually every major club in Europe will be hot on Sanchez’s heels this summer.

ROBERTO FIRMINO

Roberto Firmino

Another winger-forward option known to have ticked Brendan Rodgers’ transfer fancy is Hoffenheim prodigy Roberto Firmino.

The 22 year-old has been in stunning form this season, claiming 16 goals and eleven assists in 33 Bundesliga appearances, earning him the division’s Breakthrough Player of the Year award,

Capable of playing on either flank, as an out-and-out striker, a No.10 or even in central midfield, whilst averaging 2.8 shots, 2.1 key passes and 4.5 dribbles per match this season, the Brazilian is an incredibly versatile attacker that would give Brendan Rodgers a plethora of options going forward.

According to the Metro, Liverpool value Firmino at around £15million, but having only signed a new contract in March this year, Hoffenheim will feel they can squeeze significantly more out of the Merseysiders.