Belfast Telegraph

Big spender Brendan Rodgers out to revive Liverpool

By Carl Markham

Liverpool expect to add Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne to their list of new signings next week, after agreeing a £12.5million deal for the Southampton right-back.

The 24-year-old is on holiday in the United States and not expected immediately in Liverpool, but he is set to become the club's sixth signing of the summer, with a medical to undergo at Anfield and personal terms to finalise.

It is thought that £2million of the fee agreed with Brendan Rodgers' club - which is less than the anticipated £15million - will be contingent on appearances.

The Liverpool chief executive, Ian Ayre, was on his way back from Chile yesterday, after a successful three-day trip in which he signed Brazil forward Roberto Firmino.

With a third, potentially decisive, bid from Manchester City for Raheem Sterling expected next week, the pursuit of further goalscoring reinforcements will continue.

Despite the presence of £20million Colombian Carlos Bacca and Zenit Saint Petersburg's Venezuelan Salomon Rondon at the Copa America in Chile, there are not thought to have been any developments on that front.

Liverpool are also waiting to see if Aston Villa capitulate on the hard line they are taking on Christian Benteke's £32.5m release clause.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has praised his old club for getting ahead of the game in the transfer market.

There appears to have been a determined effort to get signings done early this year with the arrival of Hoffenheim forward Roberto Firmino, Manchester City midfielder James Milner, Burnley striker Danny Ings, Charlton defender Joe Gomez and Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan already done. The capture of Clyne would virtually complete the business the club set themselves after finishing sixth last season, losing their Champions League status after just one year.

Carragher believes completing so much business even before the players are due back in for pre-season should benefit the Reds.

"I saw Nathaniel Clyne at St Mary's after a game last season and told him to sign for LFC - he took my advice!" said the former centre-back. "I think it's another good signing for the club to go along with the other business already done.

"The early deals were a couple of squad players (Ings and Bogdan) and also James Milner, who are all an improvement on what's currently in the squad.

"The last week has seen the signings of Clyne and Firmino, which will improve the team more than the squad and that's what costs the big money. Another striker still needed though!"

With a sixth signing on the verge of completion it means Rodgers has spent about £50million on strengthening his squad - coincidentally the same amount Liverpool value Sterling at having recently turned down an offer £10million shy of that from Manchester City.

The club maintain this summer's outlay - particularly that of £29million Firmino, who will become their second most expensive signing in their history - is not dependent on the sale of their wantaway England winger.

However, with no likelihood of the 20-year-old extending his contract beyond the current two years remaining and relations with his agent Aidy Ward having deteriorated in the last couple of months it appears increasingly possible.

The Clyne transfer is the fourth between Southampton and the Merseyside club in the last 13 months after last summer's signing of Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.

Of that trio only the latter looked close to fitting in at Anfield, with Lambert expected to be moved on in the next few weeks and Lovren fighting for his first-team place.

Belfast Telegraph


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