Liverpool Transfer News: Reds Plan Approach for Bayern and Atletico Midfielders
By Vishnuprasad Pillai | January 27, 2014 9:55 PM EST
Liverpool are reportedly weighing up moves for Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri and Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez in the next few days.
Brendan Rodgers has been looking to build on the Merseyside outfit's good start to the season by strengthening the squad during the January transfer window but has failed to make any signings so far. And, to add insult to injury, the Reds' long-time target Mohamed Salah was snapped up by rivals Chelsea at the weekend.
However, Rodgers, who landed Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho last January, has still not given up hope of making one or two valuable additions to the squad inside the next five days and is actively monitoring the market.
According to the Daily Express, the Northern Irish tactician has now shifted his attention to Bayern's Shaqiri. The Swiss star has failed to cement a place in Pep Guardiola's squad, managing just seven appearances (three starts) in the first half of this Bundesliga season.
Shaqiri can operate as a winger or attacking midfielder but with Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara above him in the pecking order, it's highly unlikely that the 22-year-old will have better luck in breaking into the club's starting line-up for the rest of the season.
Shaqiri, who joined Bayern from Basel for around €11.6m in 2012, is currently rated at around £17m. The Bavarians, who are overwhelming favourites to clinch the treble this season as well, are unlikely to agree to a permanent sale in January but a loan move for the rest of the season could be very much on the cards.
Liverpool have also been linked to Atletico's Saul, who is currently on a season-long loan at Rayo Vallecano.
Rodgers has been tracking the 19-year-old, who usually plays the role of a midfield enforcer, for sometime now. Though an approach was expected only in the summer, the recent injury to Lucas that has ruled out the Brazilian for the next two months could accelerate the process.
The Daily Mail claims Liverpool scouts watched Saul in action for Rayo against parent club Atletico in the La Liga game on Sunday. However, the youngster failed to impress on the night, operating in an unfamiliar centre-back role and scoring an own goal in a 4-2 defeat.
The report also states Liverpool had held a meeting with Saul's father Jose Antonio while he was in England last week. The player has a high buy-out clause but the Reds hope an offer around £8m will persuade the Spaniards to consider a sale. However, a January move is far from certain as it's still unclear whether Atletico has a 'recall option' in his Rayo loan deal.
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