Liverpool head Arsenal in the chase of Barcelona youngster

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Liverpool have moved to the head of the queue to bring Cristian Tello to Anfield, but doubts remain whether it would be on a permanent basis or on a season-long loan.

It is 19/10 that Liverpool finish in the top four this season and a player of of Tello’s trickery and ability to dribble beyond defenders would be a big asset to this quest.

The wide areas are where Liverpool look short of options, especially as Maxi Rodriguez, Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt have been among the departures this summer.

Joe Cole has returned from a semi-successful loan spell at Lille in France to offer some competition to Stewart Downing, but the odds are that one of strikers Fabio Borini and Luis Suarez will be used in a deeper role.

Tello joining Liverpool would ease this shortage of options and the rumours are that Liverpool could buy the Spaniard permanently if the price was right.

Chelsea signed another Barca youngster Oriol Romeu last summer for £5m, but with a reported clause that they were able to buy back the youngster in the future.

Something similar could be achieved with Tello, although doubts remain as to whether the 21-year-old is truly happy leaving his homeland, given a seeming shy and reserved nature.

This is partly why a one-year loan deal perhaps makes the most sense, while Liverpool could add in that they want first dibs on a permanent deal should the 12 months be a success.

The one sticking point may come from Arsenal, who have earmarked Tello as a makeweight in an offer that would see Alex Song move to Spain.

If Barcelona are serious about signing Song, then it may take Tello moving in the other direction to persuade Arsenal to do business, scuppering Liverpool’s hopes in the process.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.