Liverpool have reportedly set their sights on a summer move for Miralem Pjanic, but will have to pay as much as £37million to land the midfielder.
With Steven Gerrard calling time on his lengthy spell on Merseyside at the end of the current season, Brendan Rodgers has a huge void to fill when the transfer window reopens. And according to Adrian Kajumba in The Mirror, the Reds boss has made Bosnian international star Pjanic his top target, and has already contacted Roma about the possibility of a deal in the summer.
However, whereas the Anfield club had hoped to take the 24-year-old for a fee of around £20million, the Giallorossi have slapped a £37million price tag on a player they signed from Lyon for less than £10million back in 2011. If Rodgers relents and pays their asking price for the midfielder, it would surpass the club record £35million paid to Newcastle United for Andy Carroll.
And as well as making this massive outlay, the tabloid claims Liverpool would also need to make Pjanic their top earner to prise him to the club. The player, who is under contract in the Italian capital until the end of the 2017-18 season, currently earns a salary of £160,000-per-week, and he would likely demand a similar package, or possibly more, to make the move to the Premier League.
It is thought Rodgers has already opened discussions about a possible deal with Roma director of football Walter Sabatini, as he considers his options ahead of the summer window. The former Swansea City coach is also believed to have asked about two of their other midfield players – Adem Ljajic and Radja Nainggolan – but it is Pjanic who he feels would be ideal to replace Gerrard.