Baggies flyer a better option for Liverpool than former Real Madrid man

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Whether Brendan Rodgers decides to ditch Mario Balotelli at the first opportunity, add another striker to his squad this January or do neither and stick it out with the 24-year-old remains to be seen. What is certain is that the Northern Irishman must consider all three options.

With the winter sales fast approaching, rumours linking men in and out of Anfield to solve the Premier League silver medallists’ striking woes have no intention of vanishing.

Two different alternatives have emerged within close proximity of each other of late, with one suggesting the Reds can swap Balotelli for Napoli’s Argentine hot-shot Gonzalo Higuain and the other placing West Brom’s Saido Berahino at the top of Rodgers’ transfer wishlist.

But which of the two deals better suits the 14/5 top-four hopefuls?

In order to land the former Real Madrid front man, Liverpool will have to stump up cash in addition to handing over their Italian flop so as to bridge the gap in Napoli’s £30m valuation of their star.

They would certainly be getting a striker in better form, with Higuain scoring nine times in 14 starts  so far this season. However, convincing Serie A’s fourth-place side to take on a player with just two strikes to his name may prove a huge stumbling block in any potential deal.

Like Higuain, and most of the world, Baggies line-leader Berahino is enjoying a better season than Liverpool’s £16m recruit, scoring eight goals in 18 games for the midlands club.

West Brom want £25m for their prodigy and, despite the heavy outlay, it is that move which Rodgers should be favouring.

Signing the Burundi-born livewire would be the closest step Rodgers has taken to replacing the pace of Luis Suarez up front.

His arrival would also be a nod to the future, with a potential partnership between the England U21 international and Divock Origi capable of developing into a Suarez/Daniel Sturridge axis MKII.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.