Liverpool looking to double up on young Leverkusen recruits

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There may not be a discernible link between Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen now that Sami Hyypia is no longer the Bundesliga club’s manager, but that hasn’t stopped the Reds from trying to lure two of their number to Merseyside.

Hyypia was sacked as manager of the BayArena club in April and, until that point, had been nurturing the talents of 20-year-old midfielder Emre Can and winger Julian Brandt, 18.

Although the two have experienced different levels of exposure to the first team, both impressed travelling Liverpool scouts, with Can thought to have done enough to coax a bid out of the Anfield club.

£10m is the figure being touted around the rumour mill, but Brendan Rodgers must hope that Bayern Munich, who sold the centre-circle dweller to Leverkusen, don’t exercise their buy-back clause to scupper any deal.

Able to play in a variety of roles – Can has played at left-back, centre-back, in the middle of the park and on the left wing this term – the Frankfurt native’s versatility naturally appeals to the Northern Irishman as he looks to beef up his squad numbers ahead of the club’s Champions League campaign next term.

With the 2014/15 Premier League title a 5/1 shot with Ladbrokes, Rodgers must be aware that his wafer thin squad needs a few extra layers if it’s to cope with the added demands of European football.

Whether Brandt, who made just six league starts this term while appearing from the bench on another six occasions, is the man to make an impact on what will be a season of high expectation for the Reds remains to be seen.

However, his two goals and two assists in the Bundesliga from such little game time indicates he could be a star for the future worth investing in.

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.