Liverpool are eager to improve on their defensive frailties…
Liverpool have turned their attentions to AC Milan right-back Mattia De Sciglio, who could replace the struggling Glen Johnson when his contract comes to an end next summer.
The Reds were previously among five Premier League sides chasing Barcelona’s Brazilian right-back Dani Alves – who had spoken openly about his desire to move to England when his current deal expires in 2015.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City have all been linked with the 31-year-old, who declared that this would be his last season at the Camp Nou, having made in excess of 300 appearances during a seven year spell.
But reports in the Daily Mail have claimed that the defender is now preparing to make a dramatic u-turn, and sign a new contract with the Catalans – who are reportedly keep to convince him to extend his stay in Spain.
Earlier this week, Alves confidently told reporters: “This will be my last season at Barcelona. Next year I will move to England,” but that situation now looks to have changed – causing Liverpool to reevaluate their targets.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has been impressed with the progress of young loanee Javier Manquillo so far this season, while he also has versatile full-back Jon Flanagan to come back from injury, but he is keen on a more experienced player capable of challenge for a first-team place.
De Sciglio is still a relative youngster at the age of 21, but the AC Milan ace has been playing first-team football since 2011, and made his international debut last year. He was also part of the national team for the 2014 World Cup, and played in the group game against Uruguay.
Liverpool have already struck up a good relationship with Milan, having signed Mario Balotelli last summer, and will try to tempt them into another sale with a £15m offer next summer.
In the meantime, Johnson will be expected to see out the remaining months of his Liverpool contract, and provide an experienced option for Rodgers’ team, who are still struggling to maintain any sort of defensive stability – with just one clean sheet all season.
The Reds conceded 50 league goals last season, but despite recruiting Manquillo, Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno during the summer, they are still letting in far too many goals for a team with aspirations of regular top four finishes and a title challenge.
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