Liverpool mulling over moves for two top strikers as Benteke alternatives?
Liverpool (5/2 with Coral for a top four finish) are reportedly torn between two strikers, as Brendan Rodgers rushes to recruit further forwards to his Reds roster, with a move for Aston Villa attacker Christian Benteke now believed to be on the back-burner.
The Anfield outfit are thought to have balked at the big Belgian’s £32.5m release clause, with the Villans as of yet unwilling to budge, and have apparently turned their attentions to two other top targetmen.
Now rumoured to be on Rodgers’ radar is Juventus frontman Fernando Llorente, who could be lured to Liverpool for as little as £14.3m, though the Reds may even be able to acquire the talented Basque for less, as Juve are reportedly close to drafting in Atletico Madrid hitman Mario Mandzukic.
With the Old Lady having already snapped-up Argentine starlet Paulo Dybala, Llorente is tipped to be the first forward out of the door in Turin, having only netted 27 times over the past two terms for the Italian giants, with a tally of just nine across all competitions in the most recent campaign.
A World Cup winner with Spain in 2010, and a prolific sharpshooter for previous club Athletic Bilbao, lethal Llorente has plenty of experience and pedigree, while his height and physique could prove troublesome for teams in the Premier League.
Watch Llorente in action:
However, at age 30, the Spanish striker represents somewhat of a risk, and the Reds’ recent record with attacking talent does not bode well, with Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert all striker signings who have failed to fit the system.
Rodgers must get it right this summer, so should not be actively tracking players in poor form. As for Llorente, the attacking veteran needs regular game time, and may do well to seek that away from Anfield, where he would likely be behind new recruit Danny Ings and star man Daniel Sturridge in the pecking order.
The Merseyside men do need to reshape their squad, though, and adding a dash of experience up top to complement the dangerous duo of Ings and Sturridge could work wonders.
Another target said to be on Rodgers’ wishlist is Sevilla and Colombia marksman Carlos Bacca, after the 28-year-old helped the Bathtubs claim a second successive Europa League crown.
Bacca is rumoured to have a £21.4 million release clause in his current contract, which would still represent somewhat of a bargain, as the prolific predator racked up 28 strikes last season, and has a nose for crucial goals.
Having already shown to be savvy by snapping up free agents Ings and James Milner, Liverpool (10/1 to win the FA Cup) must also invest in quality if they are to regain a Champions League place. Capturing potent predator Bacca then, would be a much more threatening display of spending power and squad depth than snaring out-of-favour Llorente.
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