Coral’s Rumour Reel: Liverpool taking Long look at potent pair
Holly Thackeray | January 16, 2016
Liverpool linked to striking captures
The Premier League’s Northwest contingent are the stars of today’s transfer gossip, with rivals Liverpool and Manchester United both tipped to make big bids for attacking talent, with the rumours arriving in timely fashion before the duo duel on Sunday afternoon.
Reds coach Jurgen Klopp’s next task could be to land Liverpool a lethal frontman, with Southampton’s Shane Long the latest name in the Anfield frame for a mooted fee of £8m. The Saints sharpshooter has notched five league goals this campaign and caught the eye with his inspired international performances for the Republic of Ireland.
The Merseysiders are still searching for a reliable marksman, with Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings missing much of the season due to injury and big summer signing Christian Benteke so far inconsistent.
While Long looks more of a short-term fix, forward-thinking could be shown in a move to snap-up Spanish starlet Inaki Williams of Athletic Bilbao.
The 21-year-old forward, who can play out wide or up top, has caused a flurry of excitement with his explosive performances in La Liga, hitting 10 goals and three assists in all competitions to attract the attention of the Reds plus transfer rivals Arsenal, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
With a rumoured release clause of around £15m, Klopp may have to act quickly, though the Basque club are notoriously difficult to negotiate with.
United also eyeing two targets
Meanwhile, Man Utd are believed to be preparing a huge British-record bid to prise Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez from the clutches of Real, with Los Blancos’ transfer ban and rumoured dash for January reinforcements opening the door for a potential winter move.
A deal for Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic could also be in the works, with the Old Trafford outfit long believed to have admired the Austria international.
Best of the rest
Relegation-threatened Norwich City have apparently agreed to fork out a fee in the region of £8.5m for Switzerland international and Wolfsburg defender Timm Klose, with trap door competitors Aston Villa set to lose a centre half in Joleon Lescott, who is being tracked by LA Galaxy.
Speaking of survival rivals, Sunderland were said to have asked fellow struggling side Swansea City about the availability of star player Andre Ayew, but have supposedly received short shrift.
Everton’s move for Leeds United full back Sam Byram may have hit a bump, despite reports of a £3m bid being accepted by the Yorkshire club. Newcastle United and West Ham United are the duo preparing to crash the deal, which could hike up the Englishman’s price.
While, Championship side QPR may offer Chelsea poaching prodigy Patrick Bamford a move to Loftus Road, with the striker stuck for game time after returning to Stamford Bridge following a poor loan move across the capital to Crystal Palace.
Speaking of the Eagles, Palace are being strongly linked with free agent Emmanuel Adebayor, after gaffer Alan Pardew told press: “I have had difficult players before, none more difficult than Hatem Ben Arfa. If I can deal with him, I can deal with Adebayor for sure.
“We’ve had discussions about him and he is in that kind of nine or 10 strikers that possibly we could get.”
And finally, in Hertfordshire, Premier League surprise package Watford are close to sealing a deal for Malaga wingman Nordin Amrabat, with the ambitious Hornets having apparently activated the Morocco attacker’s £6m release clause.