Brendan Rodgers has announced that he wants to bring "another three or four quality players" to Liverpool in the summer as he attempts to build a squad capable of challenging the Premier League elite.
This one sentence caused the rumour mill to go into overdrive as a host of names where immediately linked with the Merseyside club. But just who will they be trying to sign in the summer?
Having hailed the impact of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Countinho, Rodgers said he wanted players of the same quality. Therefore it is likely he will be looking for highly talented young players with experience at the highest level.
With Jamie Carragher retiring at the end of the season it is also sensible to suggest that at least one centre-back will be on his shortlist.
There have already been dozens of names mentioned but we decided to give Rodgers a helping hand by picking out four players that would help improve the current Liverpool squad and give them a real chance of a top four finish next season.
Ashley Williams - defender - Swansea
The influence of Jamie Carragher has been witnessed ever since he forced his way back into the Liverpool side at the start of the year. He has started 10 of the last 12 games and has helped Liverpool secure draws with Arsenal and Manchester City, plus emphatic wins against Norwich, Swansea and Wigan. His ability to read the game, organise the defence and make last ditch challenges will be severely missed.
A replacement is essential and Swansea's Ashley Williams seems the perfect candidate. The 28-year-old has emerged as one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League and has taken to playing in the top flight with consummate ease. His powerful presence makes him a genuine leader on the pitch and he is the current Swansea and Wales captain.
Rodgers know his qualities, having worked with him at the Liberty Stadium, and made it clear that he was not afraid to upset his former club when he convinced Joe Allen to join him at Liverpool. Virtually an ever present in the first team for the last four seasons, Williams offers stability and a calming presence to a backline. If Liverpool make a significant offer then the chance to part of Rodgers rebuilding plans at Anfield will be hard to turn down.
Kevin Gameiro - forward - PSG
Despite the sensational form of Luis Suarez and the impressive displays of Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool remain short of options in attack. Fabio Borini has been unfortunate with injuries but has done little to show that he is a capable stand-in for either striker. With Rodgers also showing a preference for a system which employs three attacking players, there has been an over reliance on young players like Raheem Sterling and Suso.
This is why a bid for Paris Saint-Germain forward Kevin Gameiro may make sense. The France international was once considered one of the brightest young talents in Ligue 1 after scoring 22 goals for Lorient in the 2010-11, but has struggled to become a regular in the PSG side this season. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic very much the star striker, his game time has been limited and there is a suggestion he will look to leave in the summer.
Gameiro has the ability to play in a variety of attacking positions and like Coutinho and Sturridge, is an international player struggling to make an impression at his current club. His predatory instinct in front of goal makes him a genuine threat and it is unlikely that PSG would stand in his way if he decided to further his career elsewhere.
Stefan de Vrij - defender - Feyenoord
This season Liverpool have scored 56 goals in just 29 league games, there best return since the 1995/96 season, yet they are still well outside the top four. It has been defensive lapses that have cost the Reds and this is the reason it seems plausible that Rodgers will make a move for Feyenoord defender Stefan de Vrij.
The Liverpool boss has already been to watch the Holland international in action and there seems to be genuine interest in the 21-year-old. With Sebastian Coates seemingly out of favour, there appears a need for a young centre-back who can learn his trade at the club and eventually threaten Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel for a regular place in the first team. De Vrij could well be that defender.
The Reds may well be an exciting prospect for a young player who has recently forced his way into the plans of Holland manager Louis van Gaal and will be looking for make a name for himself on the European stage. He has already played more than 100 games in all competitions for Feyenoord and was handed the captain's armband at the start of the season. Considered one of the best defensive talents in Dutch football, De Vrij may well look for a bigger challenge in the Premier League and would certainly not require the Liverpool owners to break the bank.
Marc-Andre ter Stergen - goalkeeper - Borussia Monchengladbach
Pepe Reina has shown glimpses of vulnerability this season but he is certain to remain the number one for many years to come. However, Liverpool are lacking a young goalkeeper who can push the Spaniard. Peter Gulacsi has been unable to make a significant impression and Brad Jones is the same age as Reina.
That is why Marc-Andre ter Stergen may well be on Liverpool's radar. The 20-year-old has already played understudy to Manuel Neuer for Germany and is considered the number one at Borussia Monchengladbach. A commanding and imposing goalkeeper, who has previously been watched by Manchester United and Tottenham, he is frequently compared with German legend Oliver Kahn.
Ter Stergen has an ability to organise his backline and is certainly not shy of making his feelings known when defenders do not listen. With Monchengladback down in ninth place he may be prepared to move to Liverpool, especially if they continue to improve over the course of the season and sneak a place in Europe next year.
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