Thursday 8 December 2016

Forget Falcao and Cavani - here are five strikers Liverpool can realistically target this summer

Dave Lyons

Published 02/04/2015 | 10:05

Danny Ings is a realistic target for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers
Danny Ings is a realistic target for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers will, no doubt, be in the market for a new number 9 this summer - that much is true. But gossip linking Liverpool with moves for Radamel Falcao, Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani in recent weeks couldn’t be further from the truth.

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The club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, have strict transfer policies in place and splashing out big money for 28 or 29-year-olds isn’t part of the plan. Falcao, Benzema and Cavani may be dream signings for the bulk of Liverpool fans, but these players are earning at least €250,000 per week from their clubs at the moment (Falcoa’s reportedly earning €300,000 at Manchester United this season) and that is way out of Liverpool’s range. None of these reported transfer targets fit in with FSG’s transfer policy and won’t be joining the Anfield club this summer.

But there is no doubt that Rodgers will splash cash for a striker. Here, Independent Sport takes a look at five possible attackers Rodgers could sign this summer.

1 DANNY INGS

Likely Transfer fee: €5m in compensation (Ings is a free agent in May, but Burnley would be entitled to compensation)

Likely Wages: €60,000

Danny Ings is currently being courted by a lot of clubs, both in England and abroad. Real Socieded and Schalke 04 are keen admirers and their scouts have been spotted checking out the Burnley hitman.

Rodgers reportedly has Ings on his shopping list and he could be the man Liverpool opt for, should his head not be turned elsewhere. The only big hurdle here is whether or not Liverpool are the biggest domestic club chasing him, plus he could be tempted by a big move abroad. He could turn down Liverpool if there is Champions League football on offer elsewhere and the Reds fail to qualify for that competition..

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2. SAIDO BERAHINO

Likely Transfer fee: €17m

Likely Wages: €70,000

Saido Berahino fits in perfectly with FSG’s transfer policy. They are happy to spend decent money on young players. The Baggie will turn 22 at the very start of next season and his darting runs off the ball will suit Rodgers’ quick attacking philosophy.

But Berahino was spotted at Old Trafford recently and rumours ran rife that Louis van Gaal could be ready to offer him more money than Liverpool would be able to. Like Ings, don’t expect Berahino to be at his current club come August. Again, Liverpool’s chances of landing the player will come down to whether or not clubs of a slightly higher calibre can offer him a bigger basic wage, or more lucrative European football.

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3. ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

Likely Transfer fee: €22m

Likely Wages: €90,000

Alexandre Lacazette is red hot at the moment. The 23-year-old French striker has bagged 23 goals in 25 games this season and is being monitored by a host of clubs. It is no secret that Liverpool are one of those clubs.

He won’t come cheap though and that could put FSG off. They’d have to part with at least €20m to prise the Lyon striker away from Ligue Un, but the player is reportedly keen to leave, though he did mention that he wants to play Champions League football. However, if Liverpool are the biggest club in for him this summer, and Rodgers can tempt FSG to splash the cash, the Reds manager could gamble on Lacazette ahead of Berahino or Ings.

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4. LUCIANO VIETTO

Likely Transfer Fee: €15m

Likely Wages: €50,000

21-year-old Luciano Vietto is another who fits Rodgers’ style of play. However, the Liverpool boss would be taking a huge gamble opting to sign the Argentine who is currently in great form for Villarreal.

Like Berahino, he has only had one full season of brilliance behind him and could be a flash in the pan. But he fits in with FSG’s policy and could be captured on a long-term contract for half of the weekly wage some others on the list would cost. Despite his lack of experience, don’t rule out Vietto being the player Rodgers ends up signing. He ticks a lot of the boxes.

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5. JAVIER HERNANDEZ

Likely Transfer Fee: €9m

Likely Wages: €150,000

This may come as a surprise inclusion in this list but Rodgers must have thought about nicking Javier Hernandez from rivals Manchester United. He isn’t Louis van Gaal’s cup of tea and is currently worried about where he will end up next year with Real Madrid unlikely to take him on a permanent deal.

Hernandez makes the sort of runs off the ball that Rodgers looks for in a number nine and the Mexican could be a massive success at Anfield. A stumbling block could be wages, as Hernandez isn’t likely to want a wage cut, but with the transfer fee likely to be small, that is a hurdle that could be overcome.

However, would Unite be willing to strengthen Liverpool’s hand? I wouldn’t rule this move out. Hernandez would score a lot of goals playing in Liverpool’s current set-up.

Read more: Raheem Sterling: 'It has never been about money. I would have signed for less last year'

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