• Premier League

Rodgers primed for summer clearout

ESPN staff
May 15, 2014
Suarez ready for world stage

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks set for a summer clearout to raise extra funds for four top signings as he gears up for another assault on the Premier League title.

His side finished second - two points behind champions Manchester City - and he admitted the club's owners had recognised the need to bolster the squad in order to cope with their return to the Champions League and maintain another title push.

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  • Liverpool are interested in a deal for Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to strengthen his defence, club sources have told ESPN.
  • The 21-year-old was part of the Sevilla team who won the Europa League in Turin on Wednesday night by beating Benfica 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw and could command a fee of around £15 million.
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"We've only got two goalkeepers. We need another goalkeeper," Rodgers told BT Sport. "We'll look to bring in two or three more at the top end of the field as well.

"We're after players that are hungry, that have ambition to become better players. We need technical players that can play in a fast game and we need technical intelligence."

Asked if he was referring to younger players, Rodgers said: "No, that means good players and you can be a good player at whatever age - 32, 33 - but, of course, I like the hunger of a young player, I like the fearlessness of a young player. It's about balance. You need the senior players around them to help them flourish and grow."

At least 12 and maybe as many as 15 players, mostly those on the fringe of the Liverpool squad, are facing a summer of uncertainty, with central defender Daniel Agger and midfielder Lucas the most high-profile players on Rodgers' available list.

While a high number of players would be allowed to leave the club, it is unlikely Rodgers will oversee a mass exodus in one transfer window, not least because of a need for greater squad depth to cope with European football.

Rodgers, who appears to have scaled back his transfer ambitions to concentrate on quality rather than quantity, had said he wanted to bring in "five or six" players to strengthen his side.

Adam Lallana is expected to move to Anfield for a fee in excess £20m, while Rodgers has also been linked with a move for Cardiff central defender Steven Caulker.

Pepe Reina, the goalkeeper on loan at Napoli, is one of the players Rodgers expects to sell, with a permanent move to Italy that could raise around £5 million for the transfer kitty.

Gerrard facing club v country decision

  • Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will have to consider his international future after this summer's World Cup.
  • With the club's return to the Champions League, Liverpool will have significantly more than the 43 games they played this season.
  • "I just think he'll need to assess things after Brazil, as he'll be 34 then," Rodgers said.
  • "He's been a brilliant captain for me, a great leader, a brilliant man. He'll arrive at the Champions League next season as one of the playmakers of the tournament."

Players who have excelled on loan elsewhere may also make way. Oussama Assaidi is wanted by Stoke after his loan spell at the Britannia but, while he is keen to bring in a leading striker to complement Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, Rodgers has issued support to Fabio Borini following his impressive spell at Sunderland.

"I felt for Fabio's development that he should go on loan. It was nothing to do with me not thinking that he is a quality player. I know him better than anyone," Rodgers said.

"He needed to go out and get games to prove his worth and get experience. He's done that. He has come back a year later and you can see his pace, power and ability to get goals. He is going to add to the quality that we already have."

Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto have had a disappointing 12 months in Merseyside and are vulnerable, while Sebastian Coates is another central defender expected to leave as Rodgers looks to solve the defensive woes which ultimately cost his side the title.

Liverpool are also thought to be open to offers for Martin Kelly and Kolo Toure to make way for new arrivals, while on-loan duo Victor Moses and Aly Cissokho return to Chelsea and Valencia respectively.

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