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Liverpool Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of March 3, 2014

Vince SiuFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2014

Liverpool Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of March 3, 2014

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Liverpool’s unlikely Premier League title challenge continued with an impressive 3-0 victory away at Southampton last Saturday, as Brendan Rodgers keeps bringing the best out of his current squad.

    With the title now in their sights and a top-four finish increasingly on the cards, Liverpool fans could be forgiven for looking ahead to the summer with Champions League football in mind.

    As Rodgers prepares for the remaining 10 matches of the season, his management team will be identifying potential signings to strengthen the Reds squad this summer.

    Here are the latest Liverpool transfer news and rumours. Stay tuned throughout the week as we provide you with the most recent updates.

     

    Last updated: March 7, 2014.

Luis Suarez Did Have £40 Million Release Clause

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    When Liverpool owner John W. Henry tweeted his famous “What are they smoking at the Emirates?” reaction in light of Arsenal’s £40 million plus £1 bid for Luis Suarez, it appeared as if he were making a mockery of a derisory bid.

    But he recently suggested at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference that Liverpool simply refused to sell Suarez, because Arsenal had actually bid above a £40 million release clause.

    According to The Guardian, Henry said:

    “What we’ve found…is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England—actually, in world football…Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position that we’re just not selling.”

    And by referencing the Fernando Torres transfer case, he might also have implied that Suarez didn’t push hard for a transfer to the Emirates Stadium either.

Liverpool Chase Young Right-Back Ibrahima Mbaye

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    While Jon Flanagan has impressed in the past couple of months with his performances at right-back, Liverpool are still in need of a first-team right-back, with Glen Johnson’s contract situation not getting any healthier.

    No surprise, then, that the Reds have been linked, via talkSPORT, with an interest in Livorno’s Ibrahima Mbaye, currently on loan from Internazionale.

    The Senegalese youngster has impressed this season, and he reportedly attracted the interest of Lazio and Juventus in the January transfer window as well.

Feyenoord 'Wonderkid' Rodney Kongolo in Sights?

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    The Dutch Eredivisie has long been noted for its youth academies and its conveyor belt of young talents.

    The latest from Feyenoord’s production line is 16-year-old Rodney Kongolo, who, according to Jim Hughes of Mirror Football, has attracted the interest of both Manchester City and Liverpool.

    His tag as the “new Patrick Vieira” certainly seems appealing to the Reds; but it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be able to fulfill his potential and whether he’ll do it at Anfield.

Jan Vertonghen a Shock Target?

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Liverpool's defensive problems this season have been well-known; despite their league-leading exploits in attack, they are only 10th in the table when it comes to goals conceded.

    So defensive additions are already a widely recognized need this summer. Their latest rumored target, however, comes as a bit of a shock.

    Since signing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2012, Jan Vertonghen has been a star in their back line, but he recently suggested that he might move on at the end of the season if Spurs don't qualify for the Champions League next term.

    According to Liam Prenderville of Mirror Football, Rodgers has now set his sights on the Belgian defender, who can play both in the centre and on the left. He'd be a valuable signing and a coup for the Reds if this goes through.

Reds in for Manchester United Target Nicolas Gaitan

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Long-term Manchester United target, Argentina winger Nicolas Gaitan might finally be on his way to the Premier League this summer—but not to Old Trafford.

    According to talkSPORT, Liverpool are now interested in bringing the £16 million-rated Benfica player to Anfield and strengthen their left flank after they missed out on Yevhen Konoplyanka and Mohamed Salah this January.

    Surely they already have enough attacking players?

Competition for Levante Goalkeeper Keylor Navas

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    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Keylor Navas has impressed this season keeping goal for Levante, proving to be one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga, and his performances have seemingly attracted the attentions of many a club around Europe.

    According to talkSPORT, Liverpool are just one team in a race to capture Navas’ signature that involves Everton, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and now AC Milan.

    Navas will star for Costa Rica in the World Cup this summer.

Marseille’s Maxime Lopez to Be Anfield’s Latest Prodigy?

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Arsenal have long been known for their youth policy, and Arsene Wenger is in particular famous for the respect he commands in France among young talents.

    But if the Daily Mail is to be believed, Liverpool are looking to challenge them in this front, at least with Marseille’s 16-year-old forward Maxime Lopez.

    The Reds reportedly invited Lopez and his family as guests for the Merseyside derby at Anfield in January—a wise choice, as Lopez will no doubt have been impressed by the attacking football on show in Liverpool’s 4-0 rout of Everton.

Arda Turan Wants to Work with Arsene Wenger

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Long-time Reds target Arda Turan has enjoyed a good season in title-chasing Atletico Madrid—he has scored three goals and notched three assists in 22 La Liga games—and any interest from England will come as no surprise.

    But Turan’s agent, according to the Daily Star, has claimed that the Turkish international is interested in working with Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger.

    Brendan Rodgers has turned his Liverpool team into the Premier League’s top scorers this season, but he will be loath to lose another target to a rival, if Turan does end up at the Emirates Stadium.

On-Loan Aly Cissokho Not a Permanent Option

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Since Glen Johnson has returned to full fitness, he has slotted straight back into the team in the left-back position, relegating Aly Cissokho back to the bench, despite the latter’s encouraging run in the starting XI recently.

    It’s been a disappointing campaign for Cissokho on the whole, who signed on loan from Valencia last summer, but more disappointment could yet be on its way.

    According to InsideFutbol.com, Liverpool have decided not to activate their option to buy in Cissokho’s contract, and Valencia will be looking to move him on this summer as well.

Suso to Leave Anfield for Sevilla

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    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    While on loan at Almeria this season, Liverpool’s midfield prospect Suso has generally impressed, scoring two goals and notching seven assists in 19 La Liga starts.

    But just as Liverpool fans were looking forward to having him back at Anfield this summer to add to Brendan Rodgers’ youth revolution, the Daily Mail reports that Sevilla are looking to sign the young Spaniard on a permanent basis this summer.

    Could Suso’s future really lie away from Anfield after all?

     

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