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Hazard shines but Blues stumble

Chelsea Ratings
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 By Mike Whalley

Liverpool lining up move for Willian

Liverpool are considering a move for Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder Willian as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his squad ahead of the new Premier League season.

Usher: Liverpool running just to stand still

The Brazil international is understood to be available, with Liverpool’s Boston-based owners Fenway Sports Group ready to give Rodgers the backing for a bid, sources said.

Willian arrived in Russia in January after six successful years at Shakhtar Donetsk
Willian arrived in Russia in January after six successful years at Shakhtar Donetsk

Willian, 25, only joined Anzhi from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in January for £32 million.

But the Russian Premier League club are understood to be looking to cut costs, having been bankrolled by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov for the last two years.

That means Willian is likely to be available for a reduced fee, sparking the interest of a number of European clubs.

Rodgers has made four summer signings so far -- bringing in goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland, centre-back Kolo Toure from Manchester City, midfielder Luis Alberto from Sevilla and forward Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo.

He hopes to add to that shortly with the £6 million capture of left-back Guilherme Siqueira.

But his biggest transfer targets have so far eluded him, with a £22 million bid for Henrikh Mkhitaryan falling through when the Armenia midfielder decided to leave Shakhtar Donetsk for Borussia Dortmund instead.

And hopes of signing Schalke central defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos have faded because of a disagreement over his value. Schalke wanted around £18 million, while Liverpool felt he was worth no more than £12 million.

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