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Summer Transfer Targets Mega Rundown

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So much squad unity, do we actually need new players?  Er, yes, we do.
So much squad unity, do we actually need new players? Er, yes, we do.

I've been meaning to put up a post like this for a while now, but have just been a bit busy.  Since we've been linked with so many players from so many different sources, I'll try to filter out the crap and only post the names that (to me, at least) have at least a little credibility to them.  I'm doing this all from memory, so I'm not really going to be posting any sources, but if you're curious where I've gotten a particular name from, ask and I'll dig it up.  I'll also try to do a few more transfer gossip posts as we head into the summer.  I'll go position by position and run down names, my thoughts on them, and who we're likely to make a move for.  A massive "Thanks!" to all those out there who have been gathering and sharing information, as nothing here is mine.  And lastly, don't take anything said here as the truth, since who knows who we'll actually buy (Carroll was revealed to be our number one summer target in an interview a few months ago, but no one knew that back in January before we bought him!).

RB: May as well start with the easiest position.  We're not going for an RB.  The current pecking order seems to be Johnson - Kelly - Flanagan - Carragher.  We're set at this position for 5+ years, the way it should be.

CB: Martin Skrtel may not be a liability, but he is not good enough to be a first choice CB at this level.  Jamie Carragher is getting up there in years, and we will need a direct replacement for him soon.  Daniel Agger, meanwhile, is injured way too much.  Rumors going around are that we will sell one of Skrtel or Agger (depending on if anyone offers enough for Agger), or maybe even both.  Gary Cahill from Bolton (no relation to Tim Cahill of Everton, for those wondering), Mamadou Sakho from PSG, and recently Phil Jones of Blackburn appear to be our primary targets for CB.   Gary Cahill has really established himself at Bolton as a great defender this year, while Sakho recently debuted for the French National Team.  Phil Jones is regarded as one of the top young defenders in Europe, and would come relatively cheaply if Blackburn are relegated.  Kyriakos Papadopoulos of Schalke is also rumored to have been scouted, and is another young CB who may be targeted.  Depending on if Agger leaves, I think we'll go for one or two of our three supposed primary targets.

LB: Perhaps the most troublesome position on our team currently, with our first choice (Fabio Aurelio) seemingly permanently injured, and last years second choice, Emiliano Insua, strangely sent on loan to Galatasaray.  This left Paul Konchesky (a name that fills me with fear and hatred) as the primary LB this year until Kenny Dalglish took over and immediately switched Glen Johnson to the left and used Martin Kelly on the right.  However, it would still be nice to have a "true" left footed LB.  Early rumors indicated that Fabio Coentrao of Benfica was being targeted, but these rumors seemed to have died due to his excessive price tag.  Emilio Izaguirre of Celtic has also been rumored to be a target, but there have been doubts over this general ability.  Most recent rumors have suggested that Newcastle's Jose Enrique is our primary LB target.  It's too early to tell for certain, but the Enrique rumors seem to be pretty credible, and I would be almost surprised to not see him here next year.  Aly Cissokho of Lyon has also been linked to us, but apparently would cost too much (at least compared to Enrique, who will only have one year left on his contract).  Baines from Everton is also a possibility, but transfers between Liverpool and Everton are never easy, which really hurts the possibility of this one.

CM/DM: With the emergence of Jay Spearing this season, CM has become less of a target than earlier, but is still a position with plenty of players linked to LFC.  As most of us know, we were heavily linked to Charlie Adam in the January window, and came very close to signing him then.  That signing may still happen, but now Liverpool are rumored to be looking at James McCarthy from Wigan as a cheaper creative option.  A back-up to Lucas has also become a priority.  Comolli seems to be targeting three French players for this position, including Blaise Matuidi from Saint-Etienne, Yann M'Vila from Rennes, and Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse.  Any of these would be great options, with M'Vila in particular seen as having the potential to become one of the world's best DM's.  Some reports have said that Comolli recently met with Matuidi and his agents only after M'Vila refused to move from Rennes this summer, however.  Javier Pastore has also been linked with Liverpool, perhaps as the rumored "marquee signing" that, according to twitter rumors, Liverpool will make this summer to show they are serious in the transfer market.  While it would be great to see someone of his ability at Anfield, you shouldn't get your hopes up for him.

Wingers: Outside of LB, the wings may be Liverpools most necessary positions.  Kuyt, Maxi, and Meireles have been utilized on the wings (among other players), but Maxi and Meireles seem to function best from more of a central CAM role, and Kuyt is a natural striker (though he has been great lately from the right wing).  I personally see Kuyt moving to more of a back-up striker role next season, which effectively leaves Liverpool with no wingers.  Ashley Young has been extremely heavily linked to Liverpool, and is, like Enrique, one of the signings I expect we'll see this summer.  Stuart Downing has also been linked, but I can't see that happening, especially if Young comes.  Recently Liverpool have been rumored to have met with Iker Munain from Athletic Bilbao.  It'll be interesting to see where this goes.  Aaron Lennon from Tottenham has apparently been looked at, and is a player I'd love to see at Liverpool as he's got everything we're lacking (which is pace, pace pace!).  Eden Hazard from Lille in France is arguably the "crown jewel" of this transfer window for most clubs, and is a player Liverpool have also shown interest in.  However, he would apparently prefer a move to Arsenal so this probably won't happen for us.  Sylvain Marveaux from Rennes has also been heavily linked, but may not be signed on a free transfer because of his extensive injury history.  Alexis Sanchez seems certain to go to Manchester (City or United), and Arda Turan from Galatasaray, another target, seems close to a move to Atletico Madrid.  Gervinho from Lille has also been mentioned before, but recently said he preferred a move to a club in the Champions League, which would hurt our chances with him.  Still, I would expect us to make a move for him from what I've read.  Juan Mata from Valencia has been linked with a move to us recently by Guillem Balague, the man perhaps most famous (or notorious) for being the first to know that Torres wanted to leave Liverpool.  He's a reliable source when it comes to Spanish football matters, so a move for Mata is certainly a possibility.

Forwards: With Carroll, Kuyt, N'Gog (who seems almost certain to leave), and arguably Suarez (depending on if you qualify him as a winger or forward), Liverpool appear set at forward, especially with several intriguing prospects like Michael N'Goo and Adam Morgan currently in the U18's.  Many internet/twitter rumors have been going on about a possibility of signing Sergio 'Kun' Aguero from Atletico Madrid.  While it would easily be the highest profile transfer of the summer for any club, and he recently reduced his buyout clause from 60 million Euros to "only" 45 million (about 39 million pounds, or 64 million dollars), this would be an excessive transfer unless we could get a deep discount on this.  If it happens, I'll be ecstatic, but I doubt it.  Connor Wickham, an 18 year old currently playing for Ipswich Town in the Championship, has also apparently been looked at.  Young, English, and with a ton of potential, Wickham would likely be a replacement for N'Gog.  Karim Benzema of Madrid is rumored to be leaving, possibly to Liverpool, but I also can't see this happening as he'd probably be on the bench here as well.

Whew!  Congratulations if you actually made it through that post!  But now you'll all know some of the names we've been linked with.  Who knows what'll actually happen this summer, though.