Rafa Benitez could be set to make Anfield move for under performing Man City man.
Stephen Ireland is a target for Liverpool – but the Manchester City midfielder’s chances of a move to Anfield could hinge on Rafa Benitez’s future on Merseyside.
Ireland, the City fans’ player of the year last season, has suffered a wretched dip in form under Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini.
Manchester United were also monitoring Ireland’s situation at Eastlands, but have been deterred by the Irishman’s failure to maintain his progress at City.
They were also aware that City were unlikely to contemplate agreeing a transfer deal with their bitter rivals.
That paved the way for Liverpool to move in with a bid at the end of the season.
One of Ireland’s best performances this season was when he scored at Anfield in a 2-2 draw. And Liverpool have been made aware that Mancini would not block Ireland’s departure.
Benitez was hoping to get the go-ahead to make an opening offer of £8million. (Daily Mirror)
Roberto Mancini won’t have been too pleased with recent average showings from Manchester City man Stephen Ireland and talk of a move to Anfield may be more than just mindless speculation but could Liverpool really net the talented Irish playmaker for just £8m?
Rafa Benitez would dearly love some more creativity from his central midfield area and 23 year old on his day can be a match winner who has the fans on the edge of their collective seats. With new additions reportedly on their way to Eastlands this summer it could be that Mancini sees Ireland as a dispensable asset but may think twice about selling such a gifted player to a team that will be battling for the same Champions League spots as themselves.
There is also the small amount of lack of cash at Anfield. If Rafa wanted to make a concerted move for the Man City man, and he is reportedly a big admirer, then he will have to sell one or two players to finance the move. The likes of Ryan Babel and Albert Rieira seem eminently salable and if the Merseyside boss can make cash from such sales he would be well advised to test the water with a bid for Stephen Ireland.