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Monday, 9 July 2012

Liverpool: Signings Hopefully This Week - Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has today revealed he hopes to make new acquisitions this week with Esteban Granero thought to be one of the players on his radar.

The Reds manager was asked if he expected to complete any signings before the Reds travel to America next week for a pre-season tour which features games against Toronto FC, Roma and Tottenham Hotspur.

Rodgers responded to the question on Sky Sports News by saying: "We hope so. There certainly won't be as many as has been labelled out.

"I think the reality is that for players to be associated with Liverpool is great, but the reality is that we have only made three or four enquiries about players.

"Hopefully we can close out one deal this week, maybe two."

The disclosure by Rodgers lends itself to earlier reports that allege Real Madrid have rejected an opening offer by the Reds for Esteban Granero.

Spanish midfielder Granero is a popular if underused member of the Madrid squad who was also linked to Liverpool previously during the January transfer window.

The Daily Mail was one of the outlets reporting the story but they provide no precise details about the terms of the approach. Other online sources suggest the offer was around £6m and that the club is now deciding whether or not to up the offer to around the £7.5m mark.

The 25-year-old managed 28 appearances in total last season but the majority were as a substitute and the player's chances of game time will be under even more threat next term if the Galactico's can secure the transfer of their top target Luca Modric.

Granero, nicknamed El Pirata (the pirate), can play through the centre of midfield or out on the wings and is noted for his passing and creativity.

Given that Rodgers was keen to bring Gylfi Sigurdsson to Anfield, before the Icelandic international chose Tottenham Hotspur, it appears he has identified this area of the team as one that needs strengthening.

Granero came through Madrid's youth system before being sold to Getafe in 2008 following a successful loan spell. After impressing at their local neighbours, Los Blancos exercised a buyback option a year later and Granero quickly returned to the Bernabéu.

Capped by Spain at all levels except the full team, Granero seemingly has a great career ahead of him if he can find the right club to utilise him correctly and on a more regular basis.

Another player of the creative midfield ilk that has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield recently is Bologna's Gaston Ramirez.

However, despite widespread weekend reports that a £16m deal was in the offing, the well sourced Liverpool ECHO believe these particular rumours are wide of the mark.

The local newspaper commented: "The ECHO understands Liverpool have been left bemused by such reports, and that the club have not made any formal move for Ramirez, nor are they preparing to."

The publication does acknowledge the player had been identified in the past by Damien Comolli, the club's former director of football, as a potential target but, with both he and manager at the time Kenny Dalglish now departed, the interest is said to have since cooled.

Similarly, stories suggesting the Reds were close to signing Fulham's Clint Dempsey have also been dismissed as untrue by the ECHO.

The versatile 29-year-old American impressed with 23 goals for the Cottagers last season but again no approach has yet been made by the club. Although the ECHO does believe he is a player admired by Rodgers.

Vital Verdict
Considering Liverpool's rich maritime history El Pirata could prove a good fit especially with the Reds struggling to unlock lesser teams last season. That said, we're not exactly short of numbers in the middle of the park with Alberto Aquilani and Joe Cole returning from loan spells to add to the likes of Steven Gerrard, Charlie Adam, Jonjo Shelvey, Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson and Jay Spearing. Granted some of these are defensive minded but the overall number of central midfielders on the club's books would suggest we need to move some on before bringing in new faces. The wide and attacking positions look desperately short of strength in depth currently and need attention more urgently for us.

Other recent transfer speculation:
Stevan Jovetić
José María Callejón
Demba Ba
Mark Davies
Steven Davis
Andrea Schurrle
Lacina Traore
Hugo Lloris
Gaston Ramirez
Juan Manuel Vargas
James Rodriguez
Victor Moses
Salomon Rondon
Luc Castaignos
Fabio Borini
Alvaro Morata
Milos Krasic
Victor Wanyama
Salomon Kalou
Daniel Sturridge
Gylfi Sigurdsson

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