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Familiar feeling for fallen giants Asante Kotoko

Football
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Rodgers plays down Walcott move

Brendan Rodgers has been told he has money to spend in January, but admits he faces a struggle to improve his Liverpool squad after playing down talk of a move for Theo Walcott.

• Blog: League form must improve

Arsenal forward Walcott, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is being linked with a move to Anfield again, after Liverpool were reportedly interested in signing him last summer.

Rodgers has dismissed the Walcott link as "speculation", despite the fact that needs to strengthen his forward line. With Fabio Borini injured and Andy Carroll on a season's loan at West Ham, Luis Suarez is Liverpool's only fit senior striker.

Rodgers will have money made available by owners Fenway Sports Group to strengthen the squad, but reckons that the mid-season transfer window offers little genuine opportunity for squad improvement.

Asked about Walcott, Rodgers said: "There's nothing to say on it. He's an Arsenal player. It's all speculation on many players at the moment. My concentration is purely on the squad that we have."

The manager, though, has acknowledged the need to strengthen in January, however difficult that may be.

He added: "We'll have funds. I'm having talks with the owners at the moment, along with our recruitment team. We know we need to reinforce the group, so that's something that's ongoing.

"The priority is getting players in the building. Our squad is very small, and very thin on the ground. The players have performed admirably up until now. They've been terrific in their mentality considering the number of games they've been playing.

"But at the moment, it's really about reinforcing the group rather than looking too much at people going the other way. January's always a difficult one. You don't get too many top, top players. Clubs will be unwilling to move on players. But we have to scour the world and country to get the types of players who are going to be available and correct for our model of play.

"Obviously, we're limited as to what we can bring in, both in terms of availability of players and financially. But there's no doubt we need to do that. So our scouting team are working very hard to identify those talents who might be available, and there's no doubt we need that support in January, and I'm very confident we'll be able to do that."

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