Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Spendin' Rodgers: Luis Suarez's pal Edinson Cavani tops Liverpool manager's wanted list

Wanted man: Edinson Cavani

They have renamed him "Spendin' Rodgers" on Merseyside – and no wonder. When Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers signed his new contract earlier this year, it was on the understanding that he would have greater freedom in the transfer market.

And how the Ulsterman has exercised that clause; Rodgers has already crashed through the £100m mark for this summer's spending alone!

But it doesn't end there either; Rodgers is prepared to splash out another £30m-plus on PSG's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani – ironically the man who partners ex-Kop idol Luis Suarez in attack at international level.

 “I don’t think there’s any question that we’d like to buy another striker before this transfer window ends,” said Rodgers, who has also been linked with Monaco’s Colombian superstar Radamel Falcao.

It’s expected, however, that Falcao, who missed the World Cup through injury, would favour a move to Real Madrid.

In any case, Rodgers says his Liverpool outfit will prove they are not a one-man team after they started their Premier League campaign with victory over Southampton yesterday.

Much has been made about Suarez’s big money departure to Barcelona and the fear Liverpool do not have an adequate replacement.

But Rodgers insists the club have moved on, however he would like to purchase a new striker before the transfer window closes on September 1.

“Our ambitions here at Liverpool have to be bigger than just one player,” said the Reds boss in relation to the departure of Suarez.

“He sent us a lovely text wishing us all the best, which was a great gesture. He is a friend now of Liverpool.

“I texted him back. It's a real love in! He's a great boy but he is gone now. We do still want another striker but that will depend on the availability. Today was about winning and we got there.”

Daniel Sturridge's winning goal was his 36th in 50 appearances and only George Allan, with 41 in the late 19th century, has scored more goals in his first half century of games for Liverpool.

The England forward was the Premier League's second-highest scorer with 21 after Suarez's 31 last season and he will be expected to contribute even more this campaign.

“For Daniel, it was just a continuation, showing he can get goals,” added Rodgers.

“I think that is 36 goals in 50 appearances which is (almost) the best of any striker in Liverpool's history. That shows the level he is at. He always looks like he will score. It was a poacher's goal, one of those where you anticipate a knockdown.

“And Raheem's was a great goal, a great pass, great speed, touch and finish.”

Towards the end of last season Liverpool were blowing away opponents at Anfield and finished the campaign with 16 wins and 53 goals in 19 games at home.

This performance did not come close to that but it was never really expected after a summer disjointed by the World Cup and the arrival of new signings.

“Most club's pre-season would have been broken with players coming back late in terms of fitness and organisation,” said Rodgers.

“We had to grind out a result. It was a tough game and I am really happy with that determination and character.

“You know you want to make a good start and that first win can set the tone for you — it certainly did last season.

“As the season rolls on, we will get better and more fluent with all aspects of our play.”

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