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Liverpool line up in-form Ivorian to solve striker woes

| 10.11.2014

Although most classified Liverpool’s £16m summer move for Mario Balotelli as a tad risky, few expected it would go this badly.

The Italian striker stretched his goalless run in the Premier League with the Reds to nine matches as his side went down 2-1 to Chelsea at the weekend.

Brendan Rodgers has previously suggested he would be happy to call time on the Balotelli experiment as soon as January if there wasn’t an improvement, and Liverpool are reportedly already eyeing up new strikers.

The latest name to move to the top of their list is apparently CSKA Moscow forward Seydou Doumbia, who recently scored twice as his side beat Man City 2-1 in the Champions League.

The Ivorian forward is valued at around £15m, although that price could rise to nearer his £30m buyout clause if the 26-year-old continues his fine recent form.

Doumbia has registered nine goals and four assists in 15 matches in all competitions for the Russian champions, including three strikes in the Champions League so far.

In total the Ivorian has amassed 83 goals in 124 appearances for CSKA since joining them in 2010, finishing as the top scorer in the Russian Premier League in both 2011/12 and 2013/14.

The 26-year-old was also incredibly prolific at his previous club – Swiss side Young Boys – bagging 57 goals in 72 games and finishing as top scorer in both of his full campaigns in the Super League.

Perhaps his biggest selling point after his fine goal record is his impressive pace, something Liverpool fans would delight in seeing after Balotelli’s static displays.

The Reds have won just four of their first 11 games of the Premier League season and sit 11th in the table. As a result Rodgers’ side are now 19/10 to finish in the top four.

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Alex Fortune