With a limping defence of their top-flight title and another harrowing experience in Europe maligning Manchester City this season, the end is nigh for many of their peak-approaching squad, not to mention their Chilean leader.
Should, by some sort of out-of-season Christmas miracle, Manuel Pellegrini survive the chop this summer, then his words on Raheem Sterling earlier in the campaign could come back to haunt him.
The Citizens are certain to inject their squad with youth, preferably from England, as the likes of Edin Dzeko, Martin Demichelis, Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov, to name just a few, all creep towards the brow of the hill.
In fact, the Daily Star reckons Liverpool are the first stop on City’s tour to replenish those disappointing stocks, with a triad of Reds lodged firmly in the transfer crosshairs of the Etihad club.
That those men are three of the leading stars on Merseyside, namely Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson and the aforementioned Sterling, makes the chances of landing all of them remote, unless serious cash is stumped up.
Pellegrini has already indicated that he feels it would take at least £100m to prise the latter of that trio away from Anfield, regardless of his contract situation. However, the Reds would be silly to turn down anything between £60m and £70m.
Consider that Henderson is perhaps an even greater commodity to the Liverpool cause given Steven Gerrard’s impending departure and it’s easy to see him attracting close to £40m in the market, especially to a Premier League rival.
Diminutive Brazilian Coutinho has played better than both his fellow rumoured targets this season and would also demand a high price in order for the 7/5 FA Cup hopefuls to part ways with him.
Having failed to spend the bounty that Luis Suarez’s sale handed them to an adequate standard, Brendan Rodgers would certainly want a larger security blanket from any future sales of his star assets too.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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