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World Cup Watch: The Nasri alternative Liverpool must target

| 26.05.2014

Our series on the World Cup hopefuls Premier League clubs should be scouting lands on Liverpool, who are expected to spend big in their attempts to juggle Champions League commitments alongside another crack at the title next term at 11/2 odds.

Southampton and England midfielder Adam Lallana looks likely to lead a charge to Anfield’s door, but here are three more names Brendan Rodgers ought to be keeping an eye on in Brazil.

Mathieu Valbuena

The man who looks set to gain most from Manchester City’s Samir Nasri’s shock exclusion from a second World Cup in a row – having directly replaced the 27-year-old ahead of France’s victorious qualifying play-off second leg against Ukraine – could use a higher-profile platform than Marseille next term.

Valbuena turns 30 in September and after spending eight seasons keeping L’OM’s midfield ticking over, ‘le petit velo’ or ‘the small bike’ as he is known in France could be amenable to a change of pace.


The Barcelona winger rates a decent outside bet for World Cup Golden Boot at 50/1, after top-scoring for Spain in qualifying with four and taking into account coach Vicente del Bosque’s predisposition towards playing without a striker.

Liverpool have long been linked with Pedro, who may be available this summer owing to the new regime at Barcelona, but would not come cheap as Luis Enrique needs to raise transfer funds.

Sebastian Coates

Remember this guy? ‘Seb Coats’ played his first game since succumbing to injury in August just a few weeks ago, whilst on loan at old side Nacional, and despite managing just three more appearances in 2013/14, he’s made the cut for Uruguay.

Centre-half is a well-documented area of need for Rodgers and if the 6ft 5in 23-year-old, who reportedly cost Liverpool the best part of £10m three years ago, can help his country land 1/2 Group D qualification odds – potentially at England’s expense – he may also be ready for another crack at the Premier League.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune