As reported by The Express yesterday afternoon, rumoured Liverpool target Gonzalo Higuain has ended speculation regarding a move to Anfield, telling reporters following a 1-0 win over Lazio; “I’m happy here. I have a contract here.”
The former Real Madrid forward was believed to be on Brendan Rodgers’ shortlist of front-men attainable this month, with the Reds’ current batch of strikers – Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli – netting just four Premier League goals between them this term – a far cry from Luis Suarez’ 31 goals single-handed last season.
There’s still a few weeks of the January window remaining however and plenty of alternatives out there for Liverpool. Being the lovely bunch we are at Football Fancast, we’ve listed FIVE. So without further ado…
Positions: Striker, Winger
Height: 5 foot 11
Teams: West Bromwich Albion, England U21s
Interested clubs: Liverpool and Spurs, according to The Independent
Likely transfer fee: £23.5million, according to The Express
The immediate alternative that comes to mind, having already been strongly linked with an Anfield move this month, is West Bromwich Albion prodigy Saido Berahino.
The Burundi-born striker burst onto the Premier League scene last term with a winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford, and now boasts a healthy return of 14 goals in 53 top flight appearances – including nine in 17 starts this season.
In addition to his ever-enhancing firepower, it’s Berahino’s fluid mobility, boasting an abundance of pace and trickery on the ball, that’s believed to have caught Liverpool’s attention, echoing the vicious speed of attack that came to define them last season.
The Baggies front-man is still some way off being the finished article however, making his alleged £23.5million valuation rather unjustifiable at this moment in time.
Positions: Forward – Striker, Winger, Attacking Midfielder
Height: 6 foot
Teams: Partizan, Fiorentina, Manchester City, Montenegro
Interested clubs: Juventus, according to Manchester Evening News
Likely transfer fee: The Serie A champs are bidding £18.5million, per MEN once again.
Since the official confirmation of Wilfried Bony’s £26million Etihad arrival last week, there’s been plenty of speculation regarding the immediate future of bit-part forward Stevan Jovetic.
The 25 year-old is yet to have a huge impact on the Premier League despite plying his trade with the reigning champions, netting just eight times in 21 top flight appearances and 11 in 32 across all competitions since joining the Citizens in summer 2013.
But the versatile forward is preceded by a strong reputation from his time in Serie A, leaving Fiorentina with 27 goals and five assists throughout his final two league campaigns, and has often shown glimpses of his true potential over the last 18 months – particularly, his blend of technical quality, work rate and intelligence.
A more consistent run of game-time at another club could bring out the best in Jovetic and his positional flexibility will particularly strike a chord with Brendan Rodgers. City boss Manuel Pellegrini, however, claims the marginalised striker will be going nowhere this month.
Positions: Striker, Winger
Height: 5 foot 9
Teams: Lyon, France
Interested clubs: Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle and Everton, according to The Express
Likely transfer fee: £28million, according to The Daily Star
Throughout Europe’s five leading top flights, only Cristiano Ronaldo has bagged more goals than Alexandre Lacazette’s 21 this season – telling all about the Lyon star’s incredible progress since the summer.
Indeed, the France international netted 22 times in all competitions last term, but he’s already surpassed that total in just 27 appearances this year, suggesting a player on the verge of exploding onto the world stage.
Alongside a consistent supply of goals, Lacazette offers ruthless pace and positional flexibility, having transitioned himself from a wide-man into a centre-forward over the last two campaigns, in a similar vein to Daniel Sturridge.
His impeccable form this term has drawn attention from the Premier League and beyond however, with Juventus known to be long-term admirers, and it will take a rather sizable fee to convince Lyon to sell whilst they’re top of the Ligue 1 table, four points ahead of reigning champions PSG.
Height: 5 foot 11
Teams: Kashiwa Reysol, Young Boys, CSKA Moscow, Ivory Coast
Interested clubs: Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, according to The Express
Likely transfer fee: £20million, per The Express once again
Eternally linked with a move to the Premier League, Seydou Doumbia’s long-anticipated arrival in the English top flight could take place this month, with his widely reported contract extension yet to materialise at CSKA Moscow.
The African assassin may lack the technical quality of the other centre-forwards on this list, but he’s a supremely direct and natural goalscorer, demonstrated through his potent hauls of 57 goals in 78 appearances for Young Boys and 84 in 128 since moving to the Russian capital in 2010.
Including 17 goals in 21 European appearances for CSKA and having twice claimed the Russian Premier League’s Golden Boot, the 27 year-old’s capacity to play at a more competitive level remains undoubted.
With just 18 months left on his current deal, the Russian outfit could be convinced to sell this month – providing their £20million valuation is met.
Height: 5 foot 10
Teams: Instituto, Palermo
Interested clubs: Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, according to The Express
Likely transfer fee: £31million, according to The Daily Star
A young Argentine striker causing quite the storm in Serie A, Palermo’s Paulo Dybala has claimed an incredible ten goals and six assists in just 18 league outings this term – generating interest from the Premier League and yonder.
Indeed, the South American is already drawing comparisons with Sergio Aguero, sharing the Manchester City striker’s stocky build, energetic mobility and lethality in front of goal. He’s a creative presence too, conjuring up 1.5 unconverted chances per match this term, in addition to his six assists.
A future world-beater in the making, Dybala would be a wise long-term investment for any potential suitor. With his contract set to expire in summer 2016, Palermo will be tempted to sell this month – but that £31million valuation comes straight from the mouth of club president Maurizio Zamparini.