Tuesday 23 May 2017

Liverpool line up targets for summer spending spree

Duncan White

Liverpool are planning a radical overhaul of their squad this summer with a source at the club revealing that they are planning "up to 22 deals" in and out of the club.

Director of Football Damien Comolli has been working since his appointment to identify priority targets and will receive support from the club's owners, the Fenway Sports Group, this summer as the club seek to build a squad capable of getting back into the Champions League.

Kenny Dalglish, who is hoping to remain as manager, has spoken of the need to complement the club's emerging talent with investment and it is understood that Comolli and his scouting team located two or three targets for each position they want to strengthen.

Most of these are aged between 19 and 24 as the club seeks to invest in players whose talent can be developed and whose value is more likely to increase.

Rennes winger Sylvain Marveaux is expected to be the first signing when the window opens on June 1, with the club being described as "a long way down the road" to securing the Bosman free transfer of the former France under 21 international.

Liverpool, who trounced Birmingham City 5-0 at Anfield yesterday afternoon, are looking at further reinforcements in the wide areas, another striker, a left-back and cover at centre-back. If enough players can be sold, there could be as many as 11 signings.

As they showed in January, FSG are prepared to reinvest money received in fees into the squad -- most of the cash received for Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel was put into signing Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez for £58m. Having a high turnover will also allow the club to address the issue of the excessive contracts that were handed out under the previous regime.

With the club's commercial department landing some impressive deals -- a record £25m-a-year kit deal with Warrior follows a lucrative contract with Standard Chartered as shirt sponsor -- and the club freed of servicing the debts that impeded them under Hicks and Gillett, Liverpool will finally be able to compete in the market.

The recent emergence of academy players such as Jay Spearing, Jack Robinson and Josh Flanagan means Liverpool can sell their fringe players with confidence that they will not be left short next season, especially as Raheem Sterling and Conor Coady are also expected to be ready next term.

There will be great emphasis on trying to shift as many of the superfluous players as possible.

The club are working on trying to set up deals for the players out on loan -- Paul Konchesky, Alberto Aquilani, Philipp Degen, Nabir El Zhar and Emiliano Insua -- while there has also been interest in David Ngog, Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Milan Jovanovic, all of whom are for sale.

Telegraph

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