Club Focus – Liverpool – Dalglish goes for best of British in transfer market

With the summer transfer window now open, it comes as no surprise to see that Liverpool are being linked with several players, as the Reds aim to fight for a top-four Premier League finish next season. Kenny Dalglish’s shopping list is likely to include two defenders, a winger and a midfielder. What is most intriguing about the players that are being linked with Liverpool this summer is that many of them are British.

It appears the Reds boss wants to form a relatively young squad with a British base. Recent rumours suggest that Liverpool are interested in several such players, including Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, James McCarthy, Joey Barton, Gary Cahill and most recently, Jordan Henderson. However, as the £35m purchase of Andy Carroll showed, many of these players will only be available at premium prices.

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On Thursday, Sky Sports announced that Sunderland had rebuffed an approach from Liverpool for promising midfielder Henderson. The Anfield outfit were reportedly willing to offer around £13m to secure the services of the England international, who can play in the middle of the park or out wide. However, the North East side are thought to be looking for an offer in the region of £20m. Whether Dalglish continues to pursue Henderson, or now drops his interest, remains to be seen.

Liverpool already have the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Jay Spearing on their books, therefore the approach for another promising Englishman is somewhat surprising. The Reds also have Steven Gerrard, Lucas, Christian Poulsen, Raul Meireles and Joe Cole who can play in the centre. If Cole is to be given the chance to move on, then the search for a midfielder is understandable. Could Alberto Aquilani fill that hole?

The expensive Italian is no closer to moving to Juventus on a permanent basis, despite spending a season there on loan. The Old Lady are thought to be willing to pay just £6m for the former Roma star, while Liverpool are asking for £14m.With both parties some way apart in their valuations, and also with Liverpool set to pay Roma a final instalment of £4.4m for Aquilani, it seems more likely than ever that he will be back playing at Anfield next season.

Despite the fitness problems that dogged Aquilani’s first season in English football, the classy midfielder did show glimpses of quality at times when he was asked to play. Given that he is already on Liverpool’s books, many fans would like to see him given a second chance. This could save the Reds some money as they would no longer need to buy Henderson or Adam, and could instead splash the cash on a much-needed winger.

The Merseysiders are bound to be linked with more and more players of many different nationalities as the summer progresses, but based on recent rumours, Liverpool fans should expect more British faces at Anfield next season as Dalglish looks to build his own team, one which is capable of securing Champions League football.

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