As he prepares for the UEFA Champions League next season, Brendan Rodgers insists he wants only top quality players at Liverpool.
Having finished seventh last season it appeared something of a long shot to target a top-four place this term, but the Reds entered the final day of the campaign with a shout of the title. Although Manchester City pipped them to the post to the tune of two points, there can be no doubt that the second-place finish is a huge achievement.
And, of course, such a placing will see the Anfield giants return to the biggest stage of all next season. Whilst it is widely accepted Rodgers will need to bolster his squad for the demands of Champions League football, the Northern Irishman insists he will enter the transfer market with the focus on quality rather than quantity.
“I don’t want to put a figure on how many but I would rather have one or two absolute top players than seven that might not help us,” he told Liverpool’s website. “It’s about the quality. We can’t be going into the Champions League with doubts about players. We have to be going in knowing what the players’ capacity to play is and their capabilities.”
It has been reported that an offer has already been lodged for Adam Lallana, who has enjoyed a fine season for Southampton. The 26-year-old, who has been included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup Finals, has another four years left on his Saints contract, and could cost a fee in the region of £25million to sign.
Meanwhile, one player who will be crucial once more for Liverpool next season is Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan scooped both the PFA Player of the Year and the Football Writers Player of the Year Awards, having scored 31 goals and assisting in 21 more from 33 Premier League matches to complete a remarkable personal campaign.
The 27-year-old was widely linked with Real Madrid and Arsenal last summer, and whilst the latter are no longer an option, the Spaniards have been linked with the forward once more. And although Suarez only signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal with the Reds in December, he has failed to dampen speculation of a move to the Bernabeu.
When asked about interest from Spain, where Barcelona are also believed to be monitoring his situation, the former Nacional, Groningen and Ajax star revealed: “I don’t want to answer that question. I try to avoid press speculation. I know what I want and what my agent says is good for me, but I don’t want to comment on any speculation.”