Transfer Talk: Rodgers lures Pedro, Dzeko bolting
Rumours, gossip, transfer news and signings from all of the top European clubs. It's Transfer Talk time.
Vote for Pedro
After Brendan Rodgers outlined his intention to sign "one or two absolute top players" during the transfer window, The Mirror has linked Liverpool with an audacious swoop for Barcelona forward Pedro, who would certainly fit the manager's requirements.
According to various reports, the 26-year-old could be allowed to leave the Camp Nou this summer, despite scoring 15 goals in La Liga as the Catalan giants narrowly missed out on the title. Speculation has been encouraged by Pedro's absence from Barcelona's promotional material for their new home kit, with Liverpool apparently confident of securing the Spain international after enquiring about his availability.
Meanwhile, The Metro says the Reds are ready to launch an 18 million pound bid for Wilfried Bony, who hit 25 goals in his debut season for Swansea. Liverpool are expected to lodge the offer before Bony jets off to the World Cup with Ivory Coast, but they could face competition from Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
Liverpool to raid Welsh rivals
Pedro and Bony aren't the only names on Brendan Rodgers' wish list, as Wales Online reports that the Liverpool boss is eyeing moves for Cardiff's Steven Caulker and Swansea's Michel Vorm.
It's thought that the Cardiff captain is keen to quit the club following their relegation to the Championship, while Vorm would presumably jump at the chance of a reunion with Rodgers, who brought the Dutchman to the Premier League in 2011.
Liverpool will have to pay around 15 million pounds to secure the duo, with Swansea eyeing Reading's Alex McCarthy and out-of-contract Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski as possible replacements for Vorm. Dzeko "Edin" to Valencia?
After he scored five goals in the last four games of the season to help Manchester City secure the title, The Daily Star claims that Edin Dzeko is a wanted man.
The striker is set to link up with the Bosnia and Herzegovina squad in Brazil at the start of June, but before that he might have to comment on speculation surrounding his future. With only a year remaining on his contract and no talks planned over an extension, it seems Dzeko could leave City for a new challenge.
The 28-year-old has previously been tipped for a move to Inter Milan, but Valencia are now the favourites for his signature as they plot a bid of around 20 million pounds. The transfer would represent a sizeable coup for Singapore businessman Peter Lim, who recently became the new majority owner at the Mestalla.
You're the Juan that I want
As the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Verona is supposed to be the city of love, but the Serie A side are showing no affection towards Liverpool with their demands for Juan Iturbe. According to The Daily Express, Brendan Rodgers has kept a close eye on the young Argentine throughout the season and is now ready to make his move.
However, Verona's sporting director Sean Sogliano has thrown a spanner into Liverpool's plans by insisting that Iturbe won't be sold on the cheap. "Iturbe? For me he is worth more than 24 million pounds," said Sogliano. "If we can sell at a figure to make a fortune for Verona he may leave. I do not know where he will go. I will only sit down with those who really want him."
Odds and ends
- Despite being linked with a move to Manchester United for what feels like an eternity, it looks like Ezequiel Garay is now off to Zenit St Petersburg. The Mirror says the Benfica defender is closing in on a 20 million euro switch to Russia after three years at the Estadio da Luz.
- The latest twist in the ongoing and hilarious Yaya Toure story is that Barcelona have no interest in re-signing the midfielder. According to The Telegraph, "the prospect of such a move appears non-existent", with Toure left to flutter his eyelashes at Paris St-Germain and Monaco as Manchester City refuse to pander to his whims.
- Newcastle's search for a new striker has taken them to Spain's Segunda Division, where Ayoze Perez has been firing in the goals for Tenerife. The 20-year-old scored 16 strikes in 33 appearances this season and could become the Magpies' first permanent signing for almost 18 months, claims The Guardian. Meanwhile, Bafetimbi Gomis is back on Alan Pardew's radar as Newcastle face a three-way fight with West Ham and Galatasaray for the out-of-contract Lyon forward.