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Football Whispers

Liverpool approach for Shane Long rejected by Southampton - sources

Shane Long has scored five Premier League goals this season.

Liverpool have seen an enquiry for Republic of Ireland international Shane Long turned down by Southampton, sources have told ESPN FC.

Liverpool have sounded out Southampton about Long's availability as they look to bolster their striking options during this month's transfer window.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has said he may need to bring in a new striker this month due to the club's injury list with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings all on the sidelines.

Liverpool have struggled for goals this season and top scorer Christian Benteke has found himself out of the starting lineup in recent weeks as Klopp has preferred to play Roberto Firmino in attack ahead of the Belgian.

Klopp is considering his options before the transfer window closes and sources have told ESPN FC that Long, 28, has emerged on Klopp's radar.

Long's future at Southampton has been placed in doubt following the arrival of Charlie Austin from Queens Park Rangers at the weekend.

However, Southampton have no plans to offload Long, who has scored seven goals in all competitions this season, and have rejected Liverpool's initial approach for the former Reading forward.

Southampton, who bought Long from Hull in summer 2014, value the Irishman at around £15 million and would only reluctantly sell him if Liverpool were to match that valuation.

Saints chairman Ralph Krueger said in the Southern Daily Echo: "I can tell you depth is something we are striving for.

"We all know the past couple of seasons in the second half of the season the lack of depth cost us dearly and we are hoping that in the second half this year the strength in depth shows up and takes us back to the top half of the standings where we expect to land.

"I think that players coming in and out here in the last two weeks is not in the plan.

"I would never say never on either direction because it's the nature of the sport, you don't know what opportunities present themselves.

"At the moment we are pleased with the depth and Ronald has shown that we have different looks and even I, with my limited football experience, understand we have different lineups and looks and it's difficult to prepare against us.

"Ideal would be to keep all those names in the lineup."


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