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Liverpool haven’t given up on their chase of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, as they’re reportedly ready to increase their offer for the prolific striker.
The Reds are believed to have had a £17 million bid for the Frenchman knocked back earlier this summer, but they’re now set to launch a £21.2 million offer to get the star to Anfield, per Fichajes.net (via Jamie Sanderson of Metro).
The 24-year-old scored 27 goals and created six more in 33 Ligue 1 games last term, per WhoScored.com, thus attracting the attention of big clubs across the continent.
Arsenal were believed to be among them, but it seems it’s a case of Liverpool or Lyon for the striker.
Misfiring frontmen cost the Reds a place in the Champions League for 2015/16, and while Benteke will plug part of that hole, they need further top-class recruits to be in with a chance of a top-four finish this season.
Lacazette undoubtedly fits that bill, as he’s forged himself into something of a complete striker: He can hold the ball up and play in others, be a force in the air and also get himself on the end of flowing moves.
Paying £21.2 million for a player of that calibre seems a bargain in this market too, which is why manager Brendan Rodgers is reportedly desperate to get the deal over the line.
However, he’ll need to persuade the Lyon powers that be, as manager Hubert Fournier recently said the club’s star man is staying put, as Hamish Mackay of the Daily Mirror reported:
I haven’t got much to say. He has said he wants to stay with us. Of course some clubs are going to be attracted to the sort of player he is but he is under contract at Lyon and with all of the different competitions we have this season with the Champions League and the domestic French cups, we obviously want to keep him at the club.
Plus, club president Jean Michel Aulas completely ruled out the move in June via Twitter, responding to a link with Liverpool by saying: “Your information is trash. Liverpool have never called, and as they are not playing in the Champions League, they don’t have the money, nor would they be able to interest him” (translation via ESPN FC).
Still, we’ve heard all of this many times before—remember when Luis Suarez was staying at Anfield? A big bid will undoubtedly give Lyon something to think about, and should Balotelli depart, the Reds will have some cash to play with.
Liverpool are looking to bolster their attacking options elsewhere, with Real Madrid’s Denis Cheryshev reportedly on the club’s radar.
According to reports in Spain (via the Daily Telegraph), the Reds are ready to match the Spanish giants’ valuation of Cheryshev to bring him to Anfield.
The fee is believed to be around £14.9 million, with a potential buy-back clause being inserted in his contract to lure Real into making the transfer happen.
And with chances likely to be few and far between for the 24-year-old at the Bernabeu next season, the temptation to head to the Premier League is likely to be there.
Cheryshev impressed during a loan stint with Villarreal last season, and although he spoke to manager Marcelino about returning to the club, he’s no closer to knowing where he’ll be playing his football in 2014/15, via the Telegraph:
“I have no idea as to what is going to happen. I’ve spoken to Marcelino and he confirmed that Villarreal hope to have my services next season but that’s all. I don’t know where I’ll be next season.”
That much could be due to his impressive pre-season with Real, who could now be tempted to keep him in white. Sports journalist Simon Harrison believes he could be an ideal squad player for Rafa Benitez:
However, such uncertainty could well play into Liverpool’s hands. Still, the fact remains the Reds need to focus their transfer attention elsewhere.
A solid centre-back or two should be top of Rodgers’ wish list or the 2015/16 campaign threatens to peter out once again.
Liverpool are a few players away from being the formidable outfit they once were, but they need to spend their money wisely if the glory days are to return.
With only one killing recorded this year, brutality incidents and years of mistrust still mar the city’s reputation
Last Wednesday, Devon Guisherd shot a Philadelphia Swat officer in the chest before the officer returned fire and killed the 27-year-old. Guisherd had been wanted on murder charges tied to the death of 25-year-old Megan Doto, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2014. Doto’s unborn daughter also died in the incident.
Guisherd’s death marked the first time this year a person shot by an on-duty Philadelphia police officer died as a result of their injuries. A few years ago, it would have seemed impossible that seven full months could pass before the city hit this milestone. In 2012, 15 people died after being shot by Philadelphia police, according to the department’s own records. In 2013, 13 people died.