Liverpool manager’s Rome trip sparks speculation over Pjanic
There are plenty of good reasons for a trip to Rome, not least to marvel at the Coliseum, but it’s a little hard to believe Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers took an impromptu midweek excursion to the Eternal City purely as a tourist.
The Daily Mail reports that Rodgers’ Rome jaunt was in fact a mission to open discussions with Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who the Northern Irishman sees as the man to replace Steven Gerrard.
This is certainly a more plausible explanation than Rodgers whizzing over to the Italian capital to take in the sights between Liverpool’s Premier League win over Tottenham and their vital FA Cup clash at Crystal Palace.
The Reds are 1/1 to book a quarter-final place despite being soundly beaten in the top flight at Selhurst Park earlier in the season, but Rodgers is clearly looking further into the future.
Neither Roma or Lazio had midweek fixtures while Rodgers was in Italy so in theory 24-year-old Pjanic would have been freed up for a chat.
The Bosnian international is an integral part of the Giallorossi team, currently second in Serie A, where he’s deployed as one of three central midfielders.
Like Gerrard, Pjanic is recognised as a playmaker with an extensive range of passing and excellent dead-ball deliveries.
Clearly this is an area where Liverpool will be left lacking next season after Gerrard departs for his lucrative LA Galaxy swansong.
Although Rodgers has a host of midfielders with various valuable attributes there aren’t many suited to a deep-lying playmaker role which Gerrard has made his own, aside from vice-captain Jordan Henderson possibly.
Having signed a new contract as recently as last May however, Roma will want a big fee for their man who is officially tied down until 2018.
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