Liverpool Transfer Focus – Rodgers looking to strengthen following disappointing season on Merseyside

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he is looking to draft in three or four new players to freshen up the Reds’ current side following a disappointing Premier League season under Kenny Dalglish in 2011-12. However, the Anfield outfit have failed to make a single addition to date. Dutch winger Dirk Kuyt swapped Merseyside for Turkey earlier in the summer, while Joe Cole has returned and could be involved next term. Yet the biggest talking point so far has undoubtedly been Rodgers’ failure to persuade attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson to join his revolution.

The Icelandic star enjoyed a successful loan spell with Rodgers’ former club Swansea in the second part of last season, scoring seven goals in 19 appearances. Sigurdsson had been strongly tipped to make his move to the Liberty Stadium permanent and the Welsh outfit did agree a £6.8m deal with Hoffenheim to acquire his services. But that deal broke down as Rodgers was appointed as Liverpool’s new manager and Sigurdsson was instead strongly linked with the Reds. However, given his eye-catching performances last season, it came as no surprise when Tottenham Hotspur’s interest was revealed and the north London side – now managed by Portuguese tactician Andre Villas-Boas – snatched Sigurdsson from under the noses of Liverpool. It has been suggested in the Guardian that the Reds were unwilling to meet his wage demands.

With Sigurdsson now out of the frame, the Merseysiders are thought to be interested by Bologna’s exciting playmaker Gaston Ramirez. The South American star scored eight goals in Serie A last term, leading to several teams tracking his availability. Liverpool are reportedly facing competition from Premier League champions Manchester City for Ramirez, though the fact that his Uruguayan teammates Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates are already at Anfield could sway his decision.

Meanwhile, Rodgers has admitted that he would like to keep fiery Welshman Craig Bellamy at the club. The 32-year-old forward, who joined Liverpool for a second time last summer, scored some crucial goals for the Reds during the previous campaign, but has been linked with a move back to Cardiff City, along with other clubs. However, Rodgers is not looking to offload Bellamy just yet. The Liverpool Echo reported the Scot as saying: “He’s a good guy. He has a real passion for Liverpool Football Club and that’s the type of people I want here. I like his intensity, his work-rate and his passion so I would love him to be here. He’s a player. It would take a really special and unique opportunity for Craig to walk out of Liverpool and for us to go our separate ways.”

A number of Liverpool fans and neutrals believe that Dalglish’s Liverpool of last season suffered disappointment in the league mainly because they lacked a prolific striker. Therefore it seems reasonable to suggest that the Anfield club will be linked with a number of goalscorers before the start of next season. Italian youngster Fabio Borini, who was managed by Rodgers at Swansea during their promotion season, is thought to be a possible target.

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