Reds look to Italian international to replace want-away Suarez.
Liverpool have reportedly targeted Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo as a potential replacement for Luis Suarez if the Uruguayan decides to leave the club this summer.
Suarez has spoken recently of his desire to escape the English press, after a difficult time following some high-profile controversial incidents in the Premier League, first for racially abusing Patrice Evra, and then for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during a game this season.
Real Madrid have shown an interest in signing the 26-year-old, who would cost around £50million, and the player himself has admitted it would be tempting to play for a club of their size.
With Liverpool finishing in seventh place and missing out on a Champions League place, they are likely to struggle to keep their star player, and have already been linked with several strikers as replacements for the former Ajax star.
A deal is reportedly close to bring Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas to Anfield, but Brendan Rodgers feels it will take more than one player to replace the 30 goals that Suarez scored last season. The Reds were somewhat over-reliant on the talented attacker, and Rodgers would probably have entered the market for more forwards even if he felt Suarez would be staying.
The likes of Christian Benteke and David Villa have been linked, but neither are likely to be available with Aston Villa firm on keeping Benteke, and Villa looking like heading to Tottenham, so the Reds boss will now look to Roma’s Osvaldo as an option to solve his striking crisis.
The Argentine-born Italian has been at Roma for two seasons after something of a nomadic career with the likes of Fiorentina, Bologna and Espanyol, and has been in fine form for the Serie A side this season, scoring 17 goals in 29 games.
His form has attracted interest from several other clubs, and with Roma also failing to secure European football for next season, he may be tempted by Liverpool’s interest.
The 27-year-old is a clinical finisher, and was the third-highest scorer in Serie A this season, also weighing in with two assists. His aerial presence would offer Rodgers’ side something a little different upfront, but his all-round technical ability will make him a more appealing option than Andy Carroll, who is likely to be sold when he returns from a loan spell at West Ham.
Liverpool may be cautious however, as Fabio Borini, also signed from Roma last summer, has failed to adapt to the Premier League since his move, and the overall lowering standard of the Italian game may mean Osvaldo’s stats could also be misleading.
Liverpool could still take the option of Real Madrid forward Jose Callejon, who has been offered by the club in return for Suarez.