Liverpool Transfer Rumour: Rodgers Targets Celtic Striker

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By Vishnuprasad S | October 13, 2012 9:09 PM EST

Liverpool are reportedly keeping tabs on Celtic striker Gary Hooper, following a breakdown in the 24-year-old forward's contract talks with the Scottish champions.

The Reds, who were already facing lack of options up front, received a major blow when the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) revealed new signing Fabio Borini fractured a bone in his right foot while on duty with Azzurri's U21 side.

With Andy Carroll out on loan at West Ham United, Brendan Rodgers has only Luis Suarez left as a recognised senior striker. The Northern Irishman is keen on bolstering options up front in January, and according to TalkSport, is now considering making an approach for Hooper. The report also claims the Englishman's contract negotiations with Celtic have hit a snag and the player is upset the club have broken several promises regarding the terms of the new deal.

Hooper notched 24 goals and eight assists in 37 league appearances for the Hoops last season, to help them clinch the SPL title and is understood to be close to earning an England call-up. The striker's current deal with Celtic runs till 2014 but if the situation - regarding the new contract negotiations - does not improve, the club could be open to selling the player in the next transfer window.

Ba Back on Reds' Radar

Liverpool are also monitoring long-time target and Newcastle United forward Demba Ba, reports the Daily Mail.

The Senegal international has been in sublime form for the Magpies this season, netting six times in seven league outings. The Reds were heavily linked with a move for Ba in the summer - including a reported swap deal involving Carroll - but Rodgers chose to sign Borini instead.

Meanwhile, the Mail also claims Liverpool could be set for a compensation battle with the FIGC, after it was revealed Borini reported for international duty already carrying an injury.

The Italians found out he already had a crack in his ankle, from a knock he suffered against Manchester United last month, after X-rays were taken, but still chose to send him for training, where he is understood to have aggravated the injury.

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