Liverpool targeting Gago summer swoop from Real Madrid
Liverpool seem set to make an effort to strengthen their defensive options in midfield in the summer as there is a strong possibility that they will approach Real Madrid for the services of Fernando Gago.
Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso have never been really replaced since leaving Anfield, with Alberto Aquilani and Christian Poulsen among the replacements to have flopped.
The signing of Raul Meireles has proved far more successful, although he is certainly more effective when given a greater freedom to attack.
This means that Lucas is short of competition in the holding midfield position and should the Brazilian suffer an injury, there could be a gaping hole in the centre of the park.
This is something that Liverpool are keen to correct at the end of the season, with Real Madrid star Gago reportedly towards the top of their summer shopping list.
Gago arrived at Real Madrid with a strong reputation and was one of two Argentine youngsters tipped for big things when signing early in 2007 along with Gonzalo Higuain.
However, whereas Higuain has become a first-team regular at the Bernabeu, Gago has not had the same impact and has seemingly fallen out of favour with boss Jose Mourinho, who has regularly opted for Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira as his central midfield pairing.
Meanwhile, Gago may also be behind Lassana Diarra, Granero and Pedro Leon in the battle for a spot in the Real Madrid midfield.
With Gago so far down the pecking order, Real Madrid may not hold out for a high price for him and there is even the possibility that Liverpool could seal a deal for as little as £6m.
Liverpool still have an outside chance of finishing in the top four this season and their chances will be helped with a win at Sunderland next.
It is 8/5 in the Premier League betting that Liverpool leave the Stadium of Light with three points.
A £25 stake on Liverpool beating Sunderland 1-0 would return £175. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.