Liverpool are hoping to complete the signing of Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic, 24, his team-mate and fellow midfielder Radja Nainggolan, 26, and Lazio forward Keita Balde Diao, 19, for a combined fee of more than A?75m, according to reports
Liverpool are lining up a Serie A triple swoop this summer. The Merseyside club has been linked with Miralem Pjanic ever since Steven Gerrard announced he will be departing the club. The Bosnian has been touted as the player the Reds want to replace Gerrard with. Liverpool have adopted the approach of buying young quality players with potential to become world-class stars in the future. However, boss Brendan Rodgers very publicly said that the club should spend to replace their legendary captain.
a The model at this football club is clear, we want to take young players and develop them into world-class ones, but that can be a long and a difficult process,a the Liverpool manager said.
a The owners know that, and they also know that not every player can be a developer if you are going to keep progressing. A large part of our squad will always be young players, but if you want to take those steps forward at times you have to look to bring in some ready-made players.a
Reports in Gazzetta dello Sport, an Italian media outlet, suggested in early January that the Reds had prepared an offer of a 30m for the player. They did add that Romaa s current title campaign meant that Italian side was unwilling to discuss a move until the end of the season. Pjanic currently earns a 3.6m a year, and Liverpool, according to the report, were said to be offering a 4m to the player.
Brendan Rodgers travelled to Rome immediately after the win against Spurs last week and that trip to Rome has seen Liverpool linked with three players, most notably Miralem Pjanic.
But reports claim that the Liverpool boss also wants Pjanic’s Roma teammate Radja Nainggolan and Lazio forward Keita Balde Diao.
Both Pjanic and Diao are expected to cost in excess of A?25m while Nainggolan has a A?25.9m release clause.
Pjanic would not be a direct replacement for Gerrard in his original and old role, but he would be a fantastic one in his current deep lying playmaker role. The Bosnian international has tremendous technical qualities and is an old fashioned deep lying playmaker who dictates proceedings from the middle. He has made a name for himself for his abilities in the heart of the pitch.
Liverpool were also linked with Nainggolan in December as well. The Roma midfielder has been one of the best players in the Serie A this season and is a midfield engine with his energy. His defensive instincts make him an ideal player to have in the midfield as he can contribute both in the attack and shield the defense considerably as well. He links up play with attackers well and helps in the transition between defence and attack- a crucial part of todaya s modern game. The player is currently co-owned by Roma and Cagliari and Rudi Garciaa s led club purchased 50 per cent of Nainggolana s rights in January 2014 for a lowly A?7m, but since then, they havena t been able to work out a deal with their fellow Serie A club for the remainder of the sum. Cagliari are currently in the dominant position and being so, are reportedly asking for almost double the A?7m fee for their 50 per cent stake. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport back in December, Liverpool wanted to exploit the situation and were willing to offer Cagliari a 15m for their half of the midfielder a more than double the amount (a 6m) that Roma are reportedly offering.
Finally, Liverpool have had long standing interest in Keita Balde Diao. The Merseysiders bid for Diao last summer and are keen to finally bring him in. The 19 year old highly rated former Barcelona attacker plays for Lazio currently and Brendan Rodgers is supposed to be a huge admirer of the player and had scouts watching him last season as well. The Italian side will only be sold for a sum around or more than a 30m