Liverpool and Arsenal to fight it out for Barcelona’s Pedro…

Liverpool are set to rival Arsenal to land Barcelona attacker Pedro, claim reports in Metro.

The 27-year-old is set to leave the Spanish giants in the coming transfer windows as he is finding opportunties hard to come by in this new campaign. With the arrival of Luis Suarez for a huge sum, Enrique is likely to prefer the trio of Neymar, Messi and Suarez from here on.

Liverpool are Arsenal are both struggling at the moment. Wenger has been said to be making a bid for the player as he wants to reinforce the attack, which has been down to both form and injuries. However, reports now suggest that Brendan Rodgers is ready to outbid the London rivals.

Barcelona are said to be looking for about £25million for the player and would be glad to let the player go for that sum. Arsenal and Liverpool have already fought in the summer for a Barcelona star- Alexis Sanchez.

The Spain star plays as a winger but is versatile enough to play anywhere in the attack. Pedro scored 15 goals and grabbed 10 assists in 37 appearances for Barcelona in the league last season. This season, he has featured for the Catalans 9 times and registered one goal. He has only started five out of the nine games.

THT Verdict- Both sides could certainly be boosted by Pedro’s arrival. However, Arsenal’s main weekness has been a weak and depleted midfield, and spending near  £25m for another attacker might not be what the Gunners need at the moment. It is unlikely that the Frenchman would go for another attacker in the winter. Liverpool, on the other hand desperately need goals and creativity in the final third. However, spending another  £25m or above on a 27 year old seems unlikely from FSG owned club.

…and Real Madrid’s Illarramendi

Arsenal and Liverpool are both also interested in taking Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi on loan in January, according to the Sunday Express.

The  defensive midfielder has failed to impress at Real Madrid since his £25million summer 2013 move from Real Socieded. If reports are correct then Carlo Ancelotti would be happy to let the midfielder go away to get some game time.

Illarramendi could be available on a six-month deal in January. With Arsenal and Liverpool both struggling, with the paucity of class in the midfield as well, both English sides are interested to add the former Sociedad player within their ranks.

He has made seven appearances for Real Madrid in the league this season, with six of them coming as a substitute. With Modric and Kroos in the squad, it is unlikely that this would improve in the near future.

THT Verdict- llarramendi was  touted as a potential heir to Xabi Alonso. But he’s yet to nail down a spot in the Los Blancos first team, and currently finds himself behind Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira in the squad. A player with so much potential, his development has been stinted by a lack of action. A loan move to either Arsenal or Liverpool would be perfect for the player as he would get much needed game time. Arsenal get handicapped in the midfield without Mikel Arteta, who is also not as good as he was when he joined the Gunners. Liverpool have problems all over the pitch with the midfield being the biggest. Gerrard used as the defensive midfielder is not capable enough to provide cover to the defence and llarramendi could be exactly what the club needs. However, it is uncertain how much game time he would get at Liverpool as Rodgers seems pretty persistent with Gerrard as the CDM at the moment.

Manchester City can make audacious bid for Steven Gerrard

Manchester City could attempt to sign Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard at the end of the season on a free transfer according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Gerrard admitted earlier this week that he could leave the club is he wasn’t offered a new contract which runs out next summer as he is in no mood to retire. Manuel Pellegrini has gone on record to say that he believes that the Liverpool captain could continue at the highest level for at least another two years.

The Chilean said of Gerrard: “I don’t ever rate players on their age.”

THT Verdict- This seems extremely unlikely especially since Brendan Rodgers has said that he is attempting to tie Gerrard down to a new deal before his contract expires.The Reds boss said:  “It’s quite straightforward. I had a meeting over a week or so ago with Steven’s representative explaining the situation that a very much want him to be a part of what we’re doing here. He’s been a brilliant captain for me. Both his performances and his captaincy at the time I’ve been at the club have been fantastic.”