Liverpool rounded off a disappointing season in dispiriting fashion with a 1-0 defeat at Swansea yesterday. Although uncertainty still persists over the future of manager Kenny Dalglish, it is imperative that the club act early to improve a squad that finished 17 points behind the owners' ambitions of a top-four finish.
At the forefront of the club's summer transfer business is sure to be adding quality attackers to a side that only managed a paltry 47 goals in the Premier League.
High on the Reds' agenda is rumored to be FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong. The Dutch international has been in superb form over the past season, netting 25 goals in 24 appearances in the Eredivisie. And the 21-year-old, who is also said to be interesting Arsenal, has said that he could be tempted by a big move.
"I'm certainly not necessarily gone, but if something interesting comes up, I will think about it," he said, according to Tribal Football.
Another striker said to be in the mix, as far as Liverpool is concerned, is Oscar Cardozo. The Paraguayan has been consistently impressive during his five years at Benfica and hit 20 goals in the league followed by four more to help the Lisbon giants reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
At 28, Cardozo may decide that now is the time for a shot at one of Europe's major leagues.
Tribal Football reports that Benfica will be open to letting their striker leave for a fee in the region of £12.5 million.
There has also been talk over the weekend of a most unlikely source from which Liverpool maybe targeting a new forward. Caught Offside claims that Liverpool are weighing up a move for Dimitar Berbatov from fierce rivals Manchester United.
The Bulgarian is almost certain to leave Old Trafford this summer, after finding his opportunities increasingly restricted under Sir Alex Ferguson. Despite having no love lost for Liverpool, Ferguson may be willing to do business with the Reds if he believes the 31-year-old is past his best.
As well as a lack of goals from their forwards, Liverpool was also hampered by a limited contribution in the scoring charts from midfield. A fact summed up by Stewart Downing's inability to find the net in the league all season long.
No midfielder was more prolific in the Premier League over the past season than Clint Dempsey. And it is no surprise that Liverpool is reported to be taking a long, hard look at the Fulham star, who has also deputized as a forward on occasions.
But, despite having just a year remaining on his contract at Craven Cottage, Fulham boss Martin Jol is unsurprisingly determined to keep the U.S. international.
"Clint will not go because if he does, then I will need 20 goals and that is not easy to find," Jol said, according to the Daily Mirror.
"That is what I told Clint and all the other people around him, so, hopefully, we can keep him. It is in our own hands, there have been no bids and even if there were, I don't think we would sell.
"It is hypothetical; there have been no bids for Clint over the last couple of years-not one bid."
Liverpool could also be thwarted in their attempts to sing another attacking midfielder, with Partizan Belgrade stating that Lazar Markovic will not be leaving the club this summer. Both Liverpool and Chelsea were said to be eager to take the 18-year-old Serbia international to the Premier League, but their plans may have to be put on hold.
"Stories that Lazar Markovic will be sold are incorrect," said Nenad Danilovic, a spokesman for the Serbian Superliga champions said, according to the Metro.
"Partizan have refused all offers for him made since the winter and he will stay for at least another year."
Finally, Caught Offside recently reported that Liverpool have been monitoring Queens Park Rangers creative midfielder Adel Taarabt. The 22-year-old Moroccan's technical ability has long been admired, but his inconsistency and at times disruptive influence have thus far prevented him from fulfilling his talent.
But Taarabt has had more of a positive impact in the second-half of the season under new boss Mark Hughes and it could be that Liverpool are willing to take a chance on the former-Tottenham man.
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