Date: 14th November 2012 at 4:35pm
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There may still be six weeks to go before the transfer window reopens but speculation over new players is rife so we’ve taken a look at some of the latest rumours…

Win, loose or draw there is always someone somewhere, whether in print, online or through social media, linking Liverpool FC with new players.

The current rumour mill is exaggerated further by a recent acknowledgment from Reds manager Brendan Rodgers that he will invest in new players come January.

“We’ll have funds. I’m in talks with the owners at the moment along with our recruitment team,” said Rodgers to at the beginning of the month.

“We know we need to reinforce the group, so that’s something that is ongoing.

“The priority is to get players into the building. Our squad is very small, very thin on the ground, and the players have performed admirably up until now.”

It’s no secret Liverpool’s biggest problem this season has been goal scoring and Rodgers is known to be desperate to bring in some much needed support for the club’s only fit and recognised striker Luis Suarez.

The requirement borders on neccesity stemming from the club’s well documented failure to replace the likes of Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt during the summer. It is virtually inconceivable that a repeat scenario will be allowed to happen again.

Consequently we at Vital Liverpool have decided to take a closer look at some of the strikers most heavily linked over the past few days…

Lucina Traore
From: Ivory Coast
Age: 22
Club: Anzhi Makhachkala
Value: £18m

One of the forwards mentioned of late in relation to a move to Liverpool, by sources including Sky Sports and the Metro, is Anzhi Makhachkala beanpole Lacina Traore.

The gangly front man is no stranger to Liverpool fans with the 22-year-old scoring a fine lobbed goal in the recent Europa League meeting between the two sides.

Traore’s agent, Dmitry Selyuk, is quoted by Russian newspaper Izvestia as saying: “Aside from Liverpool, Udinese are another on the list of clubs to have made contact about the purchase of Traore.

“I’m afraid the Italian side won’t be able to meet the player’s valuation.”

Although there is no doubt Rodgers is desperate to invest in more attacking options Traore does not seem the most natural fit for his preferred style of play which calls for technically gifted players with a strong work ethic.

Also, with Anzhi not short of money and only purchasing the player themselves at the beginning of the season it would be a surprise to see them willing to sell.

Likelihood (Out of 5): Two

Domenico Berardi
From: Italy
Age: 18
Club: Sassuolo
Value: £5m

Another possible addition, according to the Daily Mail amongst others, is little-known Italian based striker Domenico Berardi.

The 18-year-old currently plays for Serie B side Sassuolo but is supposedly attracting interest from a number of Europe’s leading clubs including Manchester City, Juventus and Roma.

Beradi, who has three goals in 10 appearances this season, has been connected to the Reds as a result of comments from Sassuolo’s general director Nereo Bonato.

Bonato told Italian football website Calciomercato: “We have received accreditation requests to view our games in recent times from English clubs such as Liverpool and Southampton. But it is too early to talk about the market so there has been no contact with any club.”

Given Berardi’s lack of experience and the fact that the quotes merely suggest a request for scouts to attend a match involving the player, this link is at best tenuous.

Likelihood (out of 5): Two

Charlie Austin
From: England
Age: 23
Club: Burnley
Value: £5m

A more recent name in the frame is thought to be Burnley hot-shot Charlie Austin after the 23-year-old become the leading scorer in the whole of Europe.

The former Swindon Town striker has 20 goals in just 18 matches so far this term and The People newspaper indicate Rodgers has had staff researching Austin’s background to find out more about the player’s personality.

Burnley are keen to tie him down to a new long-term deal but with a number of the countries top clubs circulating it is unlikely he will remain at Turf Moor for long.

The Championship side purchased Austin last January for £1.5m and will clearly make a substantial profit on their outlay should he move on but at this stage it is difficult to ascertain if the form is just a flash in the pan or a sign of true talent.

Should a transfer materialise then Austin will probably have a choice of clubs to move to and coming from a Liverpool-supporting family in Berkshire, the Merseysiders cannot be ruled out.

Likelihood (out of 5): Three

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
From: Holland
Age: 29
Club: Schalke 06
Value: £6m

The most high-profile of Liverpool’s alleged striker related pursuits in recent weeks is probably Dutch international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

On paper the 29-year-old would seem a good fit for the team’s needs and there is no doubting the natural finisher’s pedigree; his tally for current club Schalke stands at 69 goals in only 97 appearances.

Previous moves to European giants Real Madrid and AC Milan may not have worked out but that can partly be attributed to a lack of opportunities and his record of 34 goals in 59 caps for Holland suggests he certainly can succeed at the highest level.

Intriguingly Huntelaar is out of contract at the end of the season and very unlikely to sign a new deal which may force Schalke to sell in January rather than loose him for nothing come the summer.

The Mirror speculate that £6m could be a figure to make the move happen and with a youthful squad at Anfield Huntelaar’s experience could bring additional benefits to a developing side.

Likelihood (out of 5): Four

Many other names have been banded about with Demba Ba and England duo Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge possibilities who continue to crop up at regular intervals. All three could happen in theory but would be considered somewhat of a coup for Liverpool.

Despite the column inches afforded to them, ex-Chelsea pair Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anleka can largely be discounted due to their respective ages and the astronomical wages they currently earn in China.

Only time will tell who the Reds purchase and in the meantime we will no doubt continue to be subjected to heaps of gossip and conjecture; much of which should be taken with a giant pinch of salt.

Share you thoughts on these and any others players that you feel Liverpool should be targeting in the comments section below.

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