Liverpool Transfer News: Jose Callejon Blow as Brendan Rodgers Eyes Top Striker

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2014

GENOA, ITALY - MAY 11:  Jose Maria Callejon of SSC Napoli in action during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and SSC Napoli at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on May 11, 2014 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Despite Liverpool's successful summer transfer window thus far, they are still in need of a new top-class striker after the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

The Reds have reportedly been pursuing Napoli's Jose Callejon as a possible replacement for the Uruguayan but the Serie A side are unwilling to sell, per Joe Musker on

Liverpool are still in the hunt for at least one more attacker, and have had an enquiry for Napoli forward, Jose Callejon rebuffed. Napoli are unwilling to let the Spanish forward leave.

The Spaniard bagged 15 goals and provided six assists in the Italian top flight last season, and Napoli boss Rafael Benitez insisted last week that the 27-year-old is not for sale, per Sky Sports:

"We don't want to sell him and there is no chance we will."

PRESTON, LANCASHIRE - JULY 19:  Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks on during the pre season friendly match between Preston North End and Liverpool at Deepdale on July 19, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Thus, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers must look elsewhere to bolster his attacking unit. He is keen on making more additions to his squad before Liverpool's opening Premier League encounter with Southampton on Aug. 17,  stating "one or two" are still to come, per the below video:

While added strength in the Liverpool defence is also essential, Rodgers recently described the need for a new striker at Anfield as "crucial," per ESPN.

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 27:  Mario Balotelli #45 of AC Milan signals to teammates against Manchester City during International Champions Cup 2014 at Heinz Field on July 27, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

However, also in the ESPN report, Rodgers categorically denied any reports that Liverpool would sign AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, despite recently heaping praise on the Italian:

I can categorically tell you Balotelli will not be at Liverpool. In my last press conference I was asked a question about Balotelli and I talked about what a talent he was and what an excellent player he was. And the next day it was wrote as if we were signing him, which doesn't surprise me.

Wilfried Bony has been a long-rumoured potential strike target for the Merseyside outfit, the Swansea star having bagged 16 Premier League goals last season.

EXETER, ENGLAND - JULY 29:  Wilfried Bony of Swansea City in action during the pre season friendly match between Exeter City and Swansea City at St. James Park on July 29, 2014 in Exeter, England.  (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
Harry Engels/Getty Images

The Daily Mirror reports (h/t BBC Radio 4's Nick Sutton) that the Welsh club are ready to offload their Ivorian forward, with Darren Lewis suggesting they may accept an offer below his £19 million release clause:

This would be a good piece of business for the Reds as he is a proven goalscorer in the Premier League and would represent decent value if the Swans do indeed drop his release clause, per Eurosport's Reda Maher:

While there will be those concerned about Bony's lack of Champions League experience and the fact he is not as creative as Suarez—few are—his physicality would add a new dimension to Liverpool's play.

But Liverpool need to act fast, not least because Tottenham are also interested in the 25-year-old. There is also very little time left until the start of the Premier League and any new signing will inevitably take time to bed in.

Having lost the talismanic Suarez, Rodgers has bought sensibly as he tries to build a new side to compete for the Premier League and Champions League next season. 

However, there are still a few pieces of the puzzle to fill in and a new striker is certainly one of those.