Liverpool continue to be linked with strikers ahead of the January transfer window. The Reds’ shortage up front was evident against West Ham on Sunday as they were forced to cope without a recognized striker, with Luis Suarez suspended and Fabio Borini out injured until the new year.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has moved to play down suggestions that his striker Georgios Samaras could join Liverpool next month. The Greece international was listed as a £5 million target for Brendan Rodgers by the Sun, which also claimed that Samaras would be interested in a move south of the border.
Both Lennon claimed that he would be surprised if the 27-year-old was looking for a transfer away from Glasgow.
“‘I’m not sure if anyone will want to leave just now, the way things are going,” he said, according to Metro.
“Samaras has been a huge player for the club. He’s been through a lot and has come out the other side and you can see what the fans think of him.
“I don’t think he’d be wanting to leave in too much of a hurry. The fact we’re through [to the Champions League's last 16] is the difference.”
Pouring more cold water on the speculation, ESPN reported that sources have informed them that Liverpool are not interested in the player. Certainly Samaras would be a surprising target for Rodgers given that his physical approach, like Andy Carroll’s, might be a difficult fit in the Liverpool manager’s short-passing, high-pressing style.
Samaras does perhaps have more versatility to his game than Carroll, though, and has been deployed in a wide position, particularly for Greece.
ESPN also states that Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge is very much still on Rodgers’ wanted list. The England international was believed to have been close to a move to Anfield in the summer and looks likely to be available in January.
However, it is reported that the 23-year-old’s wage demands coupled with Chelsea’s valuation of the player could prove a hurdle to any deal.
If an agreement cannot be reached for Sturridge, then, according to the Sunday People, Liverpool will instead turn their attentions to Swansea’s Michu. The Spaniard had been one of the signings of the season as he tops the Premier League scoring charts with 12 goals after arriving for just £2 million from Rayo Vallecano in the summer.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup recently claimed that the 26-year-old, who has mainly been utilized as an attacking midfielder, would be worth near the £30 million mark, although the People suggests that an offer of £10 million could be tempting to the Welsh outfit.
After already having lost Rodgers and one of their star players in Joe Allen to Liverpool in recent months, though, it is hard to imagine Swansea being eager to relinquish another of their prized assets.
Another name linked to Liverpool in recent times is that of Newcastle’s Demba Ba. Having found the back of the net 10 times already in the Premier League this season, the 27-year-old’s £7.5 million buyout clause has come back into sharp focus.
According to Metro, big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala could trump fellow suitors Liverpool and Arsenal because of their willingness to match Ba’s reported £80,000-a-week wage demands.
To contact the editor, e-mail: