Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli prepare for big changes at Anfield.
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Kenny Dalglish will ask Liverpool’s principal owner, John W Henry, to provide the funds for as many as four January signings in an attempt to rectify the club’s desperately disappointing campaign when the pair meet in the next 48 hours.
Dalglish – together with Damien Comolli, the club’s director of football strategy – is thought to harbour hopes that as many as four senior reinforcements could be drafted in, with a left-back, a wide player and a striker top of his agenda.
Luis Suarez, the Ajax striker, has emerged as the most likely target for the last of these positions, with the player’s club minded to sell him – providing they receive an offer in excess of £18 million. Sources in Holland have confirmed that a bid from Liverpool, who have watched the player intensely over the last few months, is anticipated.
As well as Suarez, the Ajax left-back Urby Emanuelson is believed to be a target, while Lille duo Gervinho and Eden Hazard – both of whom can play either as an orthodox striker or in a wide position – have attracted Liverpool’s attention. Moves for Yann M’Vila and Sylvain Marveaux, both of Rennes, are expected to wait until the summer.
Ashley Young, of Aston Villa, and Charles N’Zogbia, the Wigan winger, have also been discussed, though it is feared the former’s asking price may prove prohibitive, while the DW Stadium club have received no offers for the latter. Hamburg’s Eljero Elia and Anderlecht’s Romelu Lukaku are also under consideration.
Dalglish’s determination to sign a left-back to replace Paul Konchesky may also lead to a return to Anfield for Stephen Warnock, with the club believed to be considering a loan offer with a view to a permanent move in the summer. (Daily Telegraph)
If Dalglish can sign Luis Suarez, Gervinho, Eden Hazard and Urby Emanuelson, they would be worth serious consideration for UEFA Champions League qualification.
In fact, such a radical overhaul would be worth the season and a half of underachievement on Merseyside – because with those players in the squad one could quite easily conceive Liverpool as title contenders.
Liverpool may have lost their opening two matches under Dalglish, but the manner of their defeats to Manchester United and Blackpool respectively still offered some encouragement.
The Reds pressed higher up the pitch than they did under Hodgson, and could well have secured the winning goal themselves before Blackpool beat them to it.
The work that evidently needs to be put in on the training ground will be done with Steve Clarke as coach, and Liverpool will hope to bring back the miserly back defence that they enjoyed under Benitez, but was is most clearly missing from the side is pace and creativity from wide forward areas – as well as a left back.
The players shortlisted by the club’s scouts could answer those problems, and haul Liverpool back to their usual end of the table.
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