Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Fernando Torres and Shay Given Could Spark Reds Raid

Ben Blackmore@@Blackmore_BRFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2013

Liverpool began the transfer window with a flurry of signings, and now they plan to end it in the same fashion as Brendan Rodgers lines up goalkeeper Shay Given amid talk of a shock move for Fernando Torres.

A deal for Given could be tied up before the end of the weekend, according to Dominic King of the Daily Mail, as Rodgers looks to provide reliable backup to their No. 1 keeper, Simon Mignolet. King writes: 

Brendan Rodgers is aiming to bring in experienced backup for Simon Mignolet, whom he brought in to replace Pepe Reina in June, and has identified Given as being an ideal. Should talks go smoothly, a deal could be completed before the weekend.

Andy Hunter of the Guardian highlights Aston Villa’s need to strike an accord with Liverpool over the 37-year-old, who has been deemed surplus to requirements at Villa Park:

Given has been told he can leave Villa having lost his place to Brad Guzan at the start of last season. He remains one of the highest earners at Villa Park and still has three years remaining on the contract he penned when joining from Manchester City in 2011.

The former Republic of Ireland international has been linked with several loan moves this summer, including to Doncaster Rovers in the Championship, but could secure a transfer to Liverpool should he accept the role of Mignolet's understudy.

The addition of Given would benefit Liverpool’s squad in two significant ways—first, by providing a talented alternative to Mignolet, and second, by adding much needed experience to the Anfield outfit.

Currently Brad Jones is the Liverpool No. 2, but he was exposed at times last season, not least in the FA Cup fourth-round defeat to Oldham, when a glaring error gifted the minnows their second goal.

Given provides the experience of 125 international caps, which would boost a Liverpool squad recently shorn of the influential figure that was Jamie Carragher. Defender Kolo Toure has filled the gap to an extent, but Rodgers remains keen to add more leadership to his young group of players.

In addition to Given, Liverpool still hope to make up to three more signings, with the priority a centre-back and an attacker who fits into Rodgers’ front three.

Former favourite Torres, who left Liverpool for Chelsea in a £50 million deal back in 2011, could make a shock return, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, per the Metro.

Torres finds himself out of favour under Jose Mourinho, who has just signed Samuel Eto’o—in addition to Willian—to boost his striking options.

According to the Metro article, both Liverpool and Arsenal are considering the Spain international, although Chelsea would have to take a huge loss on the fee paid for the 29-year-old two-and-a-half years ago.

Liverpool also remain in the hunt for Torres’ Chelsea colleague Victor Moses, perceived to be available on loan for £2 million.

But the pressing concern, following injuries to Toure and Sebastian Coates, is a new centre-back.

The Guardian reports that Liverpool have “reopened talks” with Sporting for Tiago Ilori, who Hunter claims can be signed for around £7 million, which is substantially less than they would have to pay for PSG defender Mamadou Sakho.

Both defenders are young and have their best years ahead of them, but with only four days of the transfer window remaining, it could come down to which club is most willing to negotiate with the Merseyside outfit.