Liverpool agree terms with their second signing of the summer

Give Brendan Rodgers his due, he is moving quickly to act on the sizeable challenge of replacing Steven Gerrard in his Liverpool midfield next season as he closes in on sealing his second recruitment in that part of the pitch before July.

Having already successfully lured James Milner away from the fringes of the Manchester City squad, Rodgers looks to be getting closer to landing a second midfield signing of the summer as the Daily Star report that the Reds have agreed terms with Inter Milan star Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatian youngster has, according to the newspaper, successfully settled on personal terms with the Anfield outfit and just requires both the Merseysiders and Inter to settle on an amenable fee before the deal can be made permanent.

At just 21, the midfielder cannot be expected to act as Gerrard’s direct replacement, more a project to develop for the future.

There is little doubt that Kovacic is an emerging talent and the 19-cap international has enjoyed the best campaign of his career for the Serie A side this term.

Eight goals in 44 all-competition games for his San Siro side represents a career high for the Austrian born Croat, while his four assists in that time would need substantial improvement in order to live up to Gerrard’s standards.

It was never going to be a case of Rodgers getting one man in to replace his outgoing captain, however, with the need for multiple arrivals to share the considerable load Gerrard carried the more likely scenario.

With Milner, a man of considerable top flight experience, dovetailing with Kovacic in terms of Premier League nous and overall talent, it seems Rodgers plans to cast his net far and wide in building for a Gerrard-less future.

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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.