Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has forked out £100m, but another arrival is imminent

Big spender: Brendan Rodgers has shelled out £100m already this summer window
Big spender: Brendan Rodgers has shelled out £100m already this summer window

Spend every penny they give you... you'll get sacked anyway. A tad cynical you might say, but this is what a rookie manager will hear if he rings Ronnie McFall for advice.

It's tempting to think that Brendan Rodgers has been listening to his compatriot Big Ronnie, the evergreen Portadown boss.

Rodgers has been spending money this summer like it has been going out of fashion.

So far, the Ulsterman has lightened Liverpool's coffers by a whopping £100m – and it hasn't ended there.

You can add another £30m-£50m to that total should Rodgers pull off what would be the most ironic transfer of the summer – landing PSG striker Edinson Cavani to replace his Uruguay striking partner Luis Suarez.

A further irony: should Cavani go to Anfield, it would almost certainly be on the advice of the controversial superstar with a fondness for biting opponents who has just left.

Should the Cavani move stall, Rodgers will renew his interest in Colombian forward Radamel Falcao – who would cost even more than the Uruguay star should he decide to forsake Monaco for Liverpool.

And don't rule out a move for Swansea's Wilfried Bony in the meantime!

But why has Brendan suddenly become "Spendin' Rodgers" – his new nickname on Merseyside – after two seasons in which he has been relatively parsimonious?

The first reason is: he can.

That lucrative new contract the Carnlough native signed towards the end of the last pulsating Premier League season included the guarantee that he would not be thwarted by Liverpool's American owners FSG when it came to parting with big money in transfer windows.

The second is that Rodgers needs a much bigger, stronger squad with a Champions League campaign looming and, after last season's near-miss with a paper-thin squad, he fancies another crack at that elusive 19th top-flight title with Liverpool.

The Anfield men have of course banked £75m from the sale of Suarez to Barcelona, but they are likely to spend double that before Rodgers is through.

So far, he has brought in Southampton trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren as well as Lazar Markovic, Emre Can and Alberto Moreno.

Javier Manquillo has joined the Reds on loan and Rodgers has also signed Divock Origi, with the young forward rejoining Lille on loan for the 2014/15 campaign.

"The signings we have made so far are a huge indication of the progress of the club – a really good symbol of where the club is at," he said.

"We have made huge strides."

He added: "That ability to attract top players is great. Lovren is a top player and a guy sought after by a number of clubs, so for him to say he only wanted to come to Liverpool was great to hear.

"Young Markovic had two or three other clubs there waiting to take him – clubs where he had mates from his international team – but he wanted to come to Liverpool."

Rodgers is also confident that Liverpool will not be a carbon-copy of last year's Spurs, who spent the £86m Gareth Bale money – and more – yet went backwards.

He insists that Liverpool have targeted the 'right profile' of players rather than fantasy football names – although the likes of Cavani and Falcao certainly qualify for the latter category.

Rodgers forked out just under £40m this time last year and those drafted in endured mixed fortunes.

Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto were signed for £7.5m and £6.8m respectively but failed to hold down a regular place in the team and are currently out on loan.

Tiago Ilori joined for £7m but spent the second half of the season on loan at Granada without making a single appearance for the Reds and Aly Cissokho failed to impress during his loan spell.

Simon Mignolet, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure and Victor Moses all made contributions but too many leaked goals cost Liverpool the title and Moses returned to parent club Chelsea before being farmed out to Stoke.

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