• Premier League

Liverpool lining up Willian move

ESPN staff
August 14, 2013
Willian arrived in Russia in January after six successful years at Shakhtar Donetsk © Getty Images

Liverpool are considering a move for Willian, the Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder, as Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his squad ahead of the new Premier League season.

Willian is understood to be available, with Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group ready to give Rodgers the backing for a bid, sources said.

Anzhi only signed Willian, 25, from Shakhtar Donetsk in January for £32 million. But Anzhi are understood to be looking to cut costs, having been bankrolled by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov for the last two years.

That means Willian is likely to be available for a reduced fee, sparking the interest of a number of European clubs.

Rodgers has made four summer signings so far - bringing in goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland, centre-back Kolo Toure from Manchester City, midfielder Luis Alberto from Sevilla and forward Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo.

He hopes to add to that shortly with the £6m capture of left-back Guilherme Siqueira.

But Rodgers' biggest transfer targets have so far eluded him, with a £22m bid for Henrikh Mkhitaryan falling through when he decided to leave Shakhtar for Borussia Dortmund instead.

And hopes of signing Kyriakos Papadopoulos, the Schalke central defender, have faded because of a disagreement over his value. Schalke wanted around £18m, while Liverpool felt he was worth no more than £12m.

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