The sight of Monaco’s Champions League-chasing France international Geoffrey Kondogbia being linked with a move to Liverpool in today’s gossip columns, along with mid-table Championship side Leeds’ Sam Byram, gives an indication of the two ways this summer could pan out for last season’s Premier League runners-up.
Manchester City’s 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace means there’s still a chance Brendan Rodgers’ side could make up the seven points between them and Manuel Pellegrini’s men by the end of May.
They’ll need to land 13/2 odds and claim a top-four berth if they are to sign any of the first four targets listed below. The last four may be amenable either way.
Considering this 22-year-old will be turning out in the Champions League quarter finals next week for Monaco against Juventus, there’s little chance Liverpool will snare him unless they can somehow bridge the gap to fourth.
Kondogbia was also linked with Arsenal after helping put the Gunners out of Europe’s top tournament in the last round, and will no doubt be flushed with suitors once summer hits.
There’s been plenty of talk regarding a Reds move for this Bosnia-Herzegovina regular, but with Barcelona thought to be keen it seems Liverpool could miss the boat.
However, Roma midfielder Pjanic would struggle to dislodge the likes of Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic from Luis Enrique’s lineup, so there’s still hope.
The Metro reported last month that “Liverpool have opened talks with the right-back and are expected to make a firm offer”, but with Champions League-bound trio Manchester United, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain all thought keen, you’d imagine Alves wants to keep eating at Europe’s top table.
Incidentally, the Brazilian’s Barca understudy Martin Montoya has also been linked with the Reds, who clearly aren’t learning any lessons about Spanish full-backs (see Jose Enrique, Javi Manquillo and Alberto Moreno).
The 29-year-old will be available on a free at the end of the campaign, if he doesn’t sign a new contract at Manchester City, but having feasted on Champions League fare for the past four seasons, it will be tough to get him down the M62.
Milner’s wage demands will likely be stratospheric too.
Europa League alternatives
Leeds’ 21-year-old right-back is reportedly on the way to Anfield in an £8m deal, according to the Metro at least.
Byram has been likened to Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale in the past, which suggests he would be a decent fit as a wing-back in Rodgers’ various tactical systems.
Could be Champions League class, after scoring nine goals in his past 23 Premier League games for lowly Burnley, but with Liverpool, Spurs and Real Sociedad thought his principal suitors, the 23-year-old may have to wait a while to adorn the main stage.
Due to his contract situation at Turf Moor Ings will be cheap, with no club likely to pay more than £5m after a tribunal.
This Croatian international midfielder is rumoured to be desperate for a summer move to Anfield, and with his club Inter languishing in ninth in Serie A, with no hope of making the Champions League places, the move may well be on.
There were recent reports claiming Everton had failed with a near-£15m bid for Kovacic’s services, so the Nerazzurri won’t let him go on the cheap.
It’s clear Song would have moved to Liverpool last summer if Rodgers had sanctioned paying his rather large weekly wage (reportedly £140,000, believe it or not). He ended up at West Ham, after all.
With the Reds in dire need of a midfield all-rounder, they may be forced to bite the bullet this time round.