Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is eyeing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a potential “marquee” signing after missing out on PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay, according to reports.
Dutch international Depay has agreed a switch to Manchester United for £21.6million, and although Rodgers denied any interest in bringing the player to Anfield, Depay’s agent claimed the Reds were in the hunt for his signature.
After a season that has been disappointing compared to the previous term’s title challenge, Rodgers has called for Liverpool to sign “marquee players”, and Aubameyang would certainly fit the bill.
The 25-year-old Gabon international has impressed during Dortmund’s torrid Bundesliga campaign, and is expected to attract offers in the region of £15million from a queue of European clubs.
Aubameyang joined Dortmund in the summer of 2013, when the club was fresh from a Champions League final, and he now has two season of football in Europe’s premier competition under his belt.
But with manager Jurgen Klopp headed for the exit door at Signal Iduna Park, and the club set to finish well outside the European qualification spots in the Bundesliga, Aubameyang seems certain to be bound for pastures new.
Signing a striker is high on Rodgers’ priorities following the failure of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli to compensate for Liverpool’s loss of Luis Suarez last summer.
With the summer transfer madness about to get under way, punters will be keen to get best free bets on the big Premier League moves, and Liverpool are very much in the spotlight as they look to rebuild during the break.
But Rodgers finds himself at a disadvantage in the race for Aubameyang, as he cannot offer the ambitious striker any Champions League football in the 2015/16 season.
Should he miss out on the Dortmund man, Rodgers may return his attention to Lyon’s prolific marksman Alexandre Lacazette, who has been frequently linked with a move to Merseyside during a dazzling season in Ligue 1.
Having scored 27 times in the league for Lyon this term, the 23-year-old is one of the hottest properties in European football.
Along with Liverpool, Manchester United are again being mentioned amongst the clubs courting the French forward, and Rodgers would be furious if he was to lose out to Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal on yet another of his transfer targets.
Lacazette will not be easily tempted away from Lyon, where he has developed into a formidable footballer, thought to be worth in the region of £28 million.
But again, the lack of Champions League football available at Anfield next season might force Rodgers to look elsewhere – perhaps to the lower reaches of the Premier League – for new attacking options.
Burnley’s confirmed relegation from the Premier League has prompted speculation over the future of their star striker, Danny Ings, and he may well see Liverpool as a dream move after spending much of his career outside English football’s upper echelons.
But a campaign that started well for Ings and Burnley petered out in 2015, and he ended the season with just 10 goals from 35 appearances.
That’s not the sort of form that will get Liverpool fans excited, and Rodgers will be wary of serving up another flop in front of the Kop.