Chile have so far been one of the sensations of the World Cup, with their swashbuckling attacking style having recently toppled the reigning champions. With World Cups come transfer rumours, and Juventus’ Mauricio Isla is the latest full-back to become a target for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, according to the Daily Star.
The Liverpool defence suffered during last season, and England international Glen Johnson has come in for some heavy criticism in recent weeks after a string of unconvincing performances for club and country.
With just one year left on his Liverpool contract, and no renewal having been agreed, Rodgers is on the lookout for a player to fill his boots, and Isla appears to be the man in his sights.
Rodgers has already been busy this summer, and with Isla looking set to join, here are SIX more World Cup stars who are known to be on Liverpool’s transfer radar.
Liverpool have been chasing Lallana since the conclusion of the Premier League season, and there have been recent suggestions in the media that Rodgers is preparing one final bid for the Southampton midfielder. Having seen his close friend, Rickie Lambert, already jump ships to Anfield, it would be no surprise to see Lallana attempt to push through a move.
After a stellar season for the Saints, Lallana was inducted into the PFA Team of the Season and also was one of the nominees for the PFA Players of the Season award. His elusiveness and ability to create chances within the tightest of spaces would make Lallana a fitting addition to the Liverpool attack, having managed to notch nine goals and six assists in the Premier League last season.
Alexis Sanchez looks likely to fall victim to the Barcelona summer clear-out, and Liverpool are in hot pursuit. The Chilean has wowed in his country’s first two games of the World Cup, scoring against Australia and causing no end of problems to Spain’s shaky defence.
Sanchez is a ruthless finisher and a tricky dribbler. His sheer speed and quick feet make him an incredibly difficult player to dispossess. He typically occupies a wide-right role at Barcelona, but he is comfortable playing down the centre. Sanchez often looks to interchange with players around him, which would work well with the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, who also look to pull into the flanks. Sanchez is a world-beater, and is a priority for Rodgers this summer.
The smash-and-grab of Southampton’s star names continues with their Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren. Lovren adapted immediately to the demands of the Premier League following his move from Lyon last summer. He has reportedly handed in a transfer request, and Rodgers is looking to capitalise on his desire to leave.
Liverpool are in need of new defenders following inconsistent displays from the likes of Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, and Kolo Toure last season. Lovren was a dominant presence at the back for Southampton, displaying his physicality as well as his confidence in possession. This ability on the ball is a must-have for Rodgers, and Lovren looks set to follow ex-teammate Lambert to Anfield.
He is the main attacking hope of Swiss football, but since arriving at Bayern Munich, Xherdan Shaqiri has had to accept a bit-part role. Liverpool have been linked with him for a year now, and Rodgers is looking to step up his interest in the winger this summer, after his World Cup has come to a conclusion.
The pint-size attacker failed to perform for Switzerland in their World Cup opener against Ecuador, and he will be hoping to contribute more to his national side’s performance in the coming fixtures. The Bayern Munich man has lightning fast acceleration, and a rasping shot. He boasts a solid goalscoring record playing from the wing, and is comfortable drifting inside and affecting play in the centre of the field. Liverpool would present a fresh start for the 22-year-old.
Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa produced an outstanding performance as he helped secure a 0-0 draw against the hosts, Brazil. The stopper has spent the past three seasons at Ajaccio in France, and he is currently a free agent following Ajaccio’s relegation to Ligue 2 last season.
The Mexican is a controversial figure, and got his big break in France following a failed drugs test whilst playing for the national side. The drugs ban was appealed and upheld, but in the time it took for Ochoa to clear his name, all potential transfers apart from Ajaccio had broken down. The Mexican has produced the type of displays so far that have gotten him noticed amongst bigger clubs once more, and as a free transfer, Ochoa would be a good competitor for Simon Mignolet’s place in the Liverpool line-up.
The unfortunate knee injury that Sami Khedira suffered earlier on in the season at Real Madrid has seen him lose his regular spot in the centre of midfield to Luka Modric and Angel Di Maria. However, his stock remains high and Brendan Rodgers is on the case, keen to bolster the centre of his midfield ahead of the new season.
Khedira performed well in Germany’s World Cup opener, playing a box-to-box role alongside the calming presence of Toni Kroos and Phillipp Lahm in the centre of midfield. Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United have all been credited with interest in Khedira, but Liverpool are thought to be leading the way for the German’s signature. Lucas Leiva looked out of place with Liverpool’s high-intensity style last season, and Khedira would likely fit the system far easier.