New Michael Ballack tempting Liverpool into a summer swoop

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The irony is surely lost on no one that the day after Steven Gerrard’s error led to Chelsea throwing a spanner in Liverpool’s Premier League title works, the Anfield club are linked with a new central midfielder.

Gerrard’s slip, which led to Demba Ba’s opener, helped Chelsea on their way to a 2-0 win that saw Liverpool slip to 6/5 in the title betting.

Now, rumours are circling the mill furiously that the new Michael Ballack, Bayer Leverkusen’s Emre Can, is catching Brendan Rodgers’ eye.

Can, a 20-year-old German enjoying a breakthrough season with Leverkusen, is a versatile player that will surely appeal to the Northern Irish manager with an impending Champions League campaign on his horizon.

In his 27 starts in all competitions this campaign, the Frankfurt-native has made 12 in central midfield, 10 at left-back, three as a anchor man and one each at centre-back and left-wing.

Champions League experience, albeit minimal, will also be an attraction for Rodgers as Can made five starts and two subs appearances in Leverkusen’s current campaign in the competition, which saw the German side reach the round of 16.

It’s Can’s talent in the air that’s drawn comparisons to the former Chelsea player though and with Liverpool a team of little aerial threat bar their centre-backs, his addition would bring a welcome change to the Anfield ranks.

Not content with picking up one Leverkusen man this summer though, the Reds are also keeping a close eye on 21-year-old forward Heung-Min Son.

Neither are going to be allowed to leave the BayArena without a hefty transfer fee going in the opposite direction and with both men valued at around £12m each, Rodgers would have to shell out a large part of his budget to land the pair.

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.