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Liverpool Set To Launch Ambitious January Swoop For Manchester City Attacking Midfielder

by Ron Carne

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Samir Nasri

Frenchman has endured an up-and-down career in the north west since arriving from Arsenal two years ago.

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Liverpool are understood to be planning an audacious move for unsettled Manchester City midfield player Samir Nasri when the transfer window finally reopens once again for business at the turn of the year.

Reds head coach Brendan Rodgers has just completed a highly successful summer recruitment drive, with the Northern Irishman bringing a number of new faces to Anfield for the this campaign.

However, the Northern Irishman was mainly concentrating his focus on strengthening the Merseyside giants’ back four, which is why Rodgers decided to spend a large proportion of his transfer budget in signing the likes of Kolo Toure, Simon Mignolet, Aly Cissokho, Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori.

In fact, the latter pair were purchased for a combined fee of £25 million on transfer deadline day, with Rodgers having since claimed that he has now fixed the club’s defence for “the next ten years”.

And that means the Liverpool manager can start to concentrate on improving the attacking areas of the team over the coming months, with Rodgers reportedly having already drawn up a short list of possible recruits for January, when the transfer window swings into life once again.

Liverpool made no secret of their desire to land a marquee signing during the close season, with the club’s American owners the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) happy to support their young manager by providing him with the financial backing in order to go out and bring a big-name attacking star to Anfield this summer.

In fact, Rodgers firstly tried to persuade Armenia international Henrik Mkrtchyan to join the Reds from Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, only for the goalscoring midfield player to instead opt to move to Borussia Dortmund.

However, after missing out on Mkrtchyan, the Irishman then set his sights on prolific Atletico Madrid front man Diego Costa, but the Brazil international rejected Liverpool’s advances and signed a contract extension at the Vincente Calderon.

And finally, the Merseysiders made an approach for in-demand Anzhi Makhachkala playmaker Willian, only for the Brazil star to join Chelsea this season.

But Rodgers has not given up hope of securing a top-level attacker for the second half of this season, with those plans having now been accelerated following the untimely shoulder injury picked up by playmaker Philippe Coutinho against Swansea City in the Premier League on Monday night.

The Reds are as yet still in the dark about just how long the occasional Brazil international will be on the sidelines for, although there are initial concerns amongst the club’s medical staff that the 21-year-old could be set for a lengthy layoff.

And with Rodgers and FSG already understood to be planning for life without mercurial striker Luis Suarez, with the Uruguayan having recently told the club that he has absolutely no intention whatsoever of signing a new contract, Rodgers is now keen to accelerate plans to bring City’s midfield player to Anfield.

The inconsistent France international has been at Eastlands for the past two seasons after previous City boss Roberto Mancini splashed out a whopping £25m to sign Nasri from Arsenal on a four-year deal in August 2011.

However, after an outstanding debut campaign in the north west when the 26-year-old’s five goals in his 31 Premier League matches helped the club win the title, the playmaker’s form has since fallen away badly, so much so that had Mancini still been in charge at the club, then he would sold the Frenchman this summer.

New City manager Manuel Pellegrini, though, decided that he wanted to personally run the rule over his entire first-team squad before making any definitive decisions about his playing staff, with the Chilean using the first half of this campaign to ascertain just who he will allow to leave the Blues come the new year.

But despite the fact that Nasri has so far been more involved under the new City coach than he was under his predecessor, the word coming out of City is that Pellegrini is not a fan of the former Marseille star, just like Mancini was not either, and is more likely to favour the attacking players that he signed himself during the close season.

All of which means that unless Pellegrini undergoes a dramatic change of heart between now and January, then City will be prepared to let Nasri go if a club meets their £17m valuation of the player, who by that point will have just 18 months left to run on his deal in the north west.

And with Rodgers armed with the cash that he did not spend during the summer, the Reds believe that they stand a good chance of luring Nasri to Anfield at some point in 2014, with the Merseysiders said to be prepared to even wait until the end of this season to get their man should City be unwilling to allow the attacking midfield player to join a rival midway through the campaign.


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