Liverpool remain confident they will win the race to sign Danny Ings, who looks certain to leave Burnley at the end of the current season.
Having narrowly lost out on the Premier League title to Manchester City last season, the Reds target this time round was to finish in the top-four. However, it seems as though they will miss out on this ambition, as they are now relying on either the champions or Manchester United to slip up twice in the closing stages of the campaign to stand a chance of catching them.
The FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday was another new low for Brendan Rodgers, who knows he must sign a new striker when the transfer window reopens. Much of their success last season was down to the 55-goal partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, but the latter has endured an injury-ridden season whilst the Uruguayan now wears the colours of Barcelona.
The £15million gamble on Mario Balotelli has been nothing short of disastrous, as the Italian has scored just once in the Premier League, a number which is matched by fellow-frontman Fabio Borini. Whilst it could be argued that neither player has been given ample opportunity to enhance this number, few Anfield observers would suggest they deserve the chance to lead the attack.
Rickie Lambert, meanwhile, was only ever bought back to his Merseyside roots as an alternative option for Rodgers, but this too has been a disappointment as he has managed just two goals in 20 outings. Raheem Sterling is Liverpool’s leading marksman with seven goals, but the England international is not a recognised striker and it is clear this is a problem which needs addressing.
It has long been mooted that Ings is a player Rodgers wants at Anfield, and he tried to secure his services in January. Although the 22-year-old is out of contract at Burnley in the summer, Sean Dyche refused to consider selling a player he feels represents their best chances of avoiding relegation; the Clarets are bottom, but may well be all but doomed without his nine goals.
The former Bournemouth youngster is out of contract at Turf Moor in the summer, but the Lancashire club can expect to receive around £5million in compensation if he joins another club in England. They will therefore hope he snubs the interest of Spanish side Real Sociedad, and the Telegraph claim Rodgers is confident of pipping Manchester United to his signature.
Meanwhile, it has been widely reported that Jordan Henderson has agreed a new £100,000-per-week contract to extend his stay on Merseyside until the end of the 2019/20 season. The former Sunderland youngster has emerged as a key player for the Reds and is expected to take the captaincy when Steven Gerrard next term, having deputised for the Kop legend this term.
Is Danny Ings the answer to Liverpool’s striker problem, or should they also be looking at a more experienced option when the transfer window reopens?