Liverpool are targeting Bundesliga stopper Carlos Zambrano as Brendan Rodgers bids to eradicate his defensive issues ahead of next season.
The Northern Irishman will be under increased pressure to deliver in 2013/14, with Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group owners expecting a big improvement in on-pitch fortunes after allowing the former Swansea boss a season’s grace to stamp his authority on the Merseyside club.
Central defence is one area in which he has highlighted a need for an upgrade and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Peruvian central defender Zambrano, whose versatility allows him to operate at full back or in a defensive midfield berth, is believed to be one of his top targets.
With Jamie Carragher set to hang up his boots when this campaign draws to a close, the Reds will need to reinforce their defensive ranks anyway. However, the fact that the veteran defender has ousted the once solid Martin Skrtel from a guaranteed starting spot at the heart of the Reds’ defence, it’s clear there are some serious issues to address.
Zambrano, 23, is believed to be worth a reported £4.5m, but if Frankfurt qualify for the Champions League Liverpool can expect that price to inflate.
Armin Veh’s men surprisingly occupy the fourth spot in the German top tier, though with a host of clubs hot on their heels they will need to roll their sleeves up in order to hang on to it.
With the Reds posting a loss in their latest financial reports, the cheaper the better as far as Rodgers is concerned in the transfer market, though it’s possible Skrtel will need to be sold in order to raise the funds to prise Zambrano away from Frankfurt.
It’s also questionable whether a player of no Champions League and limited international experience could help the Anfield club re-establish them as a force in the Premier League.
Whoever he brings in, Rodgers needs results and an improved league position next term with the Reds currently standing as 14/1 long-shots to return to finish amongst this season’s top four.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date