Liverpool Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of March 31
Brendan Rodgers' side can boast two of the division's deadliest strikers in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and, with six games of the 2013/14 season remaining, very real ambitions of winning their first league title in 24 years.
The club's current lofty position, when combined with the exhilarating football on show at Anfield this season, will make for a very interesting summer transfer window.
Who could sign for the Reds this summer? Conversely, who could be on their way out of the Merseyside club?
We are tracking all the latest Liverpool transfer gossip right here. We'll be updating throughout the week, so keep checking back for more!
—LAST UPDATE: Wednesday, April 2—
Napoli Keen on Making Pepe Reina's Loan Deal Permanent
The Spanish goalkeeper has been on a season-long loan at the Stadio San Paolo since last summer and has been the subject of interest from a number of clubs, including Barcelona, as reported by Simon Jones in the Daily Mail.
However, it seems that Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is set on signing the 31-year-old stopper. Following his side's 2-0 win against Juventus on Sunday, he said:
After yesterday's victory I went down to the locker room and I promised the players a bonus if they can finish second.
Then I talked to Reina and told him that he must remain with us. I want him confirmed for next season.
He was happy, for him it was a double reward.
Liverpool Targeting Lovren
The Croatian international was linked with a move to Anfield in 2013, as reported by James Dickenson in the Express, before moving to St Mary's last summer.
The 24-year-old has made 25 appearances in the Premier League this term and has scored two goals—one coming against Brendan Rodgers' side in the Saints' 1-0 win at Anfield in September.
Liverpool have conceded 39 goals in the top flight this season—more than any other team currently occupying a spot in the top five—and will need to shore up their defence when the transfer window reopens for business.
Reds Eyeing Double Napoli Swap Deal for Pepe Reina?
The Spanish goalkeeper spent eight years on Merseyside, before going on loan to the Serie A club last summer, where he linked up with former Reds boss Rafa Benitez.
It seems that Liverpool are keen on signing the midfield pair and, according to unspecified reports coming out of Italy, Reina will be a key makeweight in the deal.
As Hopkinson writes: "The Anfield giants value Reina at around £6.5million, with Inler and Behrami jointly rated at £15m. Talks between the two clubs are predicted for the end of the season to see if a deal can be struck."
Mateo Kovacic to Anfield?
It seems that Dejan Lovren is not the only Croatian international currently being linked with a move to Liverpool, as Mateo Kovacic is also being tipped to join Brendan Rodgers' side.
The 19-year-old has spent four of his side's last eight games on the bench, which has prompted speculation of a fallout with Inter boss Walter Mazzarri.
In Metro, Kovacic's agent is quoted as saying, "‘Everybody is confused as to why Mateo is not playing. Is there a row with Mazzarri? I can't say a lot, but he is not happy."
By Sanderson's reckoning, "The news has alerted Liverpool, who are long-term admirers of the talented pass-master, with Brendan Rodgers keen to push ahead with a £8million bid."
Sturridge and Co: 5 Star Players to Be Handed Improved Deals
Rumours suggest that Daniel Sturridge and four of his Liverpool teammates will be handed improved contracts over the summer.
Sturridge has only been at the Merseyside club since January 2013 but, as Veysey writes:
Liverpool fear the 24-year-old will be targeted by Europe's elite clubs, particularly if he shines at the World Cup, and are expected to offer him a substantial rise on his current £60,000-a-week deal and extend it beyond 2018.
The article claims that Coutinho, who also joined the side in January 2013, is in line for an improved salary higher than his current reported £40,000-a-week.
Both Johnson and Flanagan are on contracts that are set to expire in June 2015, whereas Henderson's current agreement will expire in June 2016.