Liverpool have lined up a move for Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder Willian, as Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his squad ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Reds are looking for a marquee signing to bolster their starting eleven as well as convince Luis Suarez of their ambitions and recent reports suggest that the twice capped Brazilian star Willian is now their top target.
It’s been a frustrating summer in some regards for Rodgers for despite the arrival of Simon Mignolet, Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure and Luis Alberto Liverpool have missed out on moves for exciting talents Diego Costas and Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
However that frustration could be about to end following the recent revelations that Anzhi have made a number of players including Willian available with the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group ready to sanction a move for the 25 year old.
Willian only moved to Anzhi from Shakhtar Donetsk last January in a £32 deal but with the Russian side’s owner Suleyman Kerimov understood to be introducing a major financial restructuring to drastically cut costs the player is likely to be available for a reduced fee, sparking the interest of a number of European clubs, including Liverpool’s perennial transfer rivals Spurs.
Willian started his career with Corinthians before joining Shakhtar in a £12 million deal in 2007, helping the Ukrainian side to four domestic titles and one UEFA Cup in his 6 year spell. Typically a winger, Willian is comfortable playing in an attacking midfield role and has a decent return in Champions league football with 4 goals and 3 assists in 24 games.
Rodgers is also hoping to solve his left back conundrum with reports claiming that the £6m capture of left-back Guilherme Siqueira is close to being finalised. That would take Rodgers spending to almost £30 million but with the departures of Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll to West Ham, Jonjo Shelvey to Swansea, Jay Spearing to Bolton and the loan move of Pepe Reina to Napoli the majority of that outlay has been recouped.
Downing became the latest player from the Kenny Dalglish era to leave the club when he completed his move to London on Tuesday. The former Aston Villa winger has agreed a four-year contract and will link up with former Red’s Carroll and Joe Cole.
He said: “It’s a great opportunity for me being here, it’s a great club and I’m really excited to get going.
“I’m ready and I’m fit for the first game against Cardiff City (on Saturday). I’ve played a decent few games for Liverpool in pre-season, so there will be no problems on that front.”