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Ayre: Early signings a major boost

Published 24/06/2013 | 19:52

Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool have recruited three players already in the close season
Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool have recruited three players already in the close season

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre believes the early identification and capture of transfer targets gives the club a boost ahead of the squad's return to pre-season training.

Press Association Sport understands Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will attend the Reds' Melwood training ground on Tuesday for a medical before finalising personal terms on an £11million-plus transfer agreed on Friday.

The Belgium international will be manager Brendan Rodgers' fourth signing before the end of June after previous deals for Manchester City defender Kolo Toure, Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto and Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas.

More are set to follow, with Liverpool well down the line in negotiations for Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori, while they are trying to hammer out a complicated deal for £20million-rated Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan.

But the fact a bulk of the business has already been done - not taking into account striker Luis Suarez who is publicly courting a move to Real Madrid - will be advantageous to Rodgers, according to Ayre.

"It's always important. It's not always possible but it's always important," said the managing director. "Particularly from the playing perspective, the manager and the coaches and all of the staff want to know that they've got the squad together, particularly ahead of pre-season.

"We've worked tirelessly, a lot of people behind the scenes worked ahead of the transfer window to identify those players that interest us. Then the hard work starts, negotiating and bringing these deals together."

Liverpool were able to confirm the Aspas deal on Sunday after personal issues with his agents were sorted over the weekend.

The 25-year-old scored 12 goals in 34 league matches as Celta Vigo avoided relegation on the last day of the season. By then a deal had already been lined up for a fee in the region of £7.7million.

"It wasn't a tough decision at all. I'm really happy to have come to a big club like this one," said the Spaniard. "Having weighed up all my options for this window, a massive club like Liverpool was always my first choice."

Press Association

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