Meet the World Cup Colombian Liverpool are closing in on
A frenzied summer of spending at Anfield may not yet be complete, with Liverpool linked with a €5.5m move for Colombia international centre-half Eder Balanta from Argentine outfit River Plate.
The 8/11 shots for successive Premier League top-four finishes have already brought in nine players – or 10, if you count former Tottenham youngster Kevin Stewart – but with Vice-captain Daniel Agger not featuring in boss Brendan Rodgers’ plans, further defensive reinforcements may be in the offing.
New signings Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo will bolster a backline that conceded more goals than six other top-flight teams last term, despite Liverpool finishing just two points behind champions Manchester City in second.
However, there’s not a whole lot of depth at centre back, especially if Rodgers reverts to a 3-5-2 formation, which the Northern Irishman has experimented with during his time on Merseyside.
Beyond Lovren, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho, there’s Agger, Kolo Toure and Sebastian Coates within the ranks, but all three could be gone my Monday’s deadline, either on loan or via permanent deals.
Rodgers has sent last summer’s capture Tiago Ilori to Bordeaux for the season in the hope that the young Portuguese will be ready for Premier League action next term, but the former Swansea chief looks set to go back to the well and take a chance on another 21-year-old in Balanta.
The left-footer had only featured for his country three times before this summer’s samba jamboree, but that didn’t put Los Cafeteros boss Jose Pekerman off picking him in his 23-man World Cup squad, with Balanta playing every minute of Colombia’s 4-1 win over Japan in Group C.
At €5.5m this deal seems too good to be true, especially with Barcelona and Juventus rumoured to be long-term admirers, but Liverpool have already broken through the £100m barrier for transfer spend this summer, so Reds fans will be confident that Rodgers can land more new faces.
Rodgers’ men are 17/10 to beat Spurs at White Hart Lane this weekend, which they did by five goals to nil last December.
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