Liverpool must be letting the £50m Manchester City will reportedly pay them for Raheem Sterling go to their head if they think they can lure either Carlos Bacca, of Sevilla, or Fernando Llorente, of Juventus, to Anfield this summer.
Both Bacca and Llorente are currently at teams, in top European leagues, with Champions League football on the menu next season, and the former has a number of reported suitors dining at the continent’s top table next term, including Manchester United and Roma.
Llorente has made more than 40 appearances for the Old Lady each season since signing from Athletic Bilbao 24 months ago, despite a change in managers last summer, and would also expect to command Champions League football in the event of a move.
It’s a hellish situation for Liverpool to be in, especially with much-needed money set to come in from the sale of Sterling.
Boss Brendan Rodgers is clearly on his last warning at Anfield, having lost coaching colleagues Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh in an end-of-season purge by owners Fenway Sports Group, and has to sell to buy after missing out on the top four, but without Champions League football to offer, the Northern Irishman is stuck in ‘Catch 22.’
A stroke of genius is required from what’s surely an extensive Reds scouting team, who could do with unearthing a world-class Scouser or two.
In other news, Man Utd are thought to be closing in on Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, with rumours of discontent emanating from the Allianz Arena.
A few days ago, Bayern legend Lothar Matthaus made a series of extremely deliberate comments about the midfielder’s future:
“Bastian announced that he wants to play football at the highest level until 2018. But in the way he was used at Bayern recently, I think this is impossible.
“If the rumours are true that Louis van Gaal wants to bring him to Manchester United, Schweinsteiger should think about that carefully. If Van Gaal wants him, he will let him play where his strengths are.”
Former Allianz chief Ottmar Hitzfeld disagrees, suggesting ‘adapting to a different European league is difficult at his age’, but in the same role Esteban Cambiasso had a brilliant Premier League campaign with Leicester, despite moving to the King Power aged three years older than Schweinsteiger is now.
The Sunday Mirror believes United are nearing a £7.5million deal for the player, who has one year to run on his Bayern contract.