Long-time Arsenal link becomes Liverpool’s top target

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The MLS season starts this coming weekend, which, along with ushering in a new era of twilight footballers strutting their stuff across the pond, only hammers home how little time Liverpool have left with Steven Gerrard.

Once the current campaign in England comes to a close, the Liverpool captain will leave Merseyside for New York to great fanfare and endless tributes.

The clock is therefore ticking on Brendan Rodgers finding a replacement for the iconic midfielder, beyond moulding Jordan Henderson in the number eight’s image.

After being outpriced in their attempts to lure Roma’s Miralem Pjanic to Anfield, the 6/5 top-four shots have switched their attention from Italy to Portugal.

22-year-old midfielder William Carvalho will be no stranger to regular readers of transfer gossip. The Sporting Lisbon marauder was linked with eye-watering regularity with a summer move to Arsenal last season.

As is predictable with the north London attack lovers, the defensively-minded midfielder they so desperately craved never arrived at the Emirates, leaving the coast seemingly clear for Liverpool to pounce this year.

The 11-cap Portugal international has a release clause of £32.6m in his contract, which is around £5m less than what Roma wanted for Pjanic.

With Sporting reportedly willing to do business at around £25m though, it could be that the Reds end up saving themselves far more in plumping for Carvalho over the Bosnian.

Performances in recent weeks seem to indicate that Henderson is ready to assume the role of dependable, all-action midfielder for the top-four chasers after Gerrard departs, but Rodgers still needs to fill the hole.

Still young enough to be moulded into Rodgers’ desired shape, but with enough talent to make an impact now, Carvalho looks a good fit to do that.

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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.