Captain Steven Gerrard might make an earlier return than expected, and Liverpool FC want Sevilla playmaker Ivan Rakitic who was watched by the Reds’ scouts in his club’s victory over Villarreal.
Liverpool have received both pleasing and disappointing news at the same time.
The pleasing news is that captain Steven Gerrard is believed to be 10 days away from a return to full training. Gerrard was ruled out for six weeks after he pulled a hamstring injury in the match against West Ham, which the Reds won 4-1 on December 7. Three weeks from the injury, the England captain is believed to have resumed light training.
Manager Brendan Rodgers commented:
Steven is working very well with the staff. He’s already back running and kicking a ball. Hopefully in the next week to 10 days we’ll have him back training with us fully.
While this is surely going to please the Reds fans, the news comes along with an unwanted one. In-form youngster Jon Flanagan is believed to be ruled out for Liverpool’s festive clashes with a hamstring problem. Rodgers added:
Jon had a tight hamstring going into the game against Cardiff last weekend and as it got worse we had to take him off. It looks like he will be out for a number of weeks with a strain. It’s a blow because Jon has been brilliant for us since he came into the side. It leaves me with 17 players going into the busiest schedule of the season. That’s not ideal but it gives a chance for players who have been on the outside to come in and contribute.
Flanagan has recently found himself to be an integral part of the Liverpool team and his ousting, especially in such a busy period is a huge blow for the Liverpool team. While Aly Cissokho had a decent outing againt Manchester City, Liverpool will hope Flanagan quickly makes recovery.
Reds want Croatian playmaker
Liverpool have been linked to Sevilla player Ivan Rakitic for a long while now and it has been rumored that the Reds boss sent scouts to watch Rakitic play against Villarreal.
Liverpool don’t have it easy as Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are also in pursuit of the 25 year old
Rakitic has scored seven times this season and is a La Liga ‘hot property’.
Despite there being an approximately £33 million release clause in Rakitic’s contract, it is believed that the Croatian international will be allowed to leave for a bid near £7 million.
However, new Sevilla president Jose Castro recently told Estadio Deportivo that Sevilla would not be rushed into a panic sale:
Rakitic has a year and a half left at Sevilla, but we are going to extend his contract. If anyone is in a hurry to sign him they already know that his release clause is 40 million euros.
Rakitic recently told Spanish reporters:
A football player can never say with certainty that he will remain in his club. Such is the nature of our business. I’m in Seville for three years now and in this time many things have changed. It is clear that in such a big club people can not be satisfied with average results. If there is no success, if there are no trophies, frustration grows. Everything has changed. Before the start of the season we got 13 or 14 new players, so everything has just began to operate. Now we have a good series of results and we are all optimistic.
Liverpool are playing good and promising football at the moment and Rodgers maybe able to lure the 25 year old away from the Spanish club in the winter. Rakitic is an attractive option for the Reds as he has the quality of scoring goals as well, something the Liverpool side could only benefit from. The Merseyside outfit wants the burden of goals to not only rest on Suarez’s shoulders and Rakitic could certainly solve that and help Liverpool retain the momentum in the latter half of the season.
THT Verdict: Likely
Liverpool have strongly been linked with the Croatian playmaker for six months now and if reports are to be believed, Brendan Rodgers looks determined to get the player to Liverpool. While Sevilla has slapped a €40 million release clause in his contract, other clubs may be able to lure the player away for lesser as this release clause is believed to be something which will be more in name than actuality. Rakitic, it seems from his comments, will probably be easy to prize away from Seville and the Reds look like the perfect destination for him.