Liverpool are eyeing up a move for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal as a replacement for Steven Gerrard according to reports in Italy.
Gerrard said an emotional farewell after playing his last ever game at Anfield after 17 years at the club in the 3-1 Crystal Palace on Saturday.
It seems as though Liverpool are already looking to the future despite the fact that the 34 -year-old still has one more game to play before he sets off to join MLS outfit LA Galaxy, with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claiming today that boss Brendan Rodgers is eyeing a move for Vidal in the summer window.
Rodgers admitted after the defeat against Palace, which puts them seven points adrift of Manchester United in fourth with one game to go, that his side are lacking in character after a disappointing campaign – an area which the tough-tackling Vidal may be able to address.
“That [leadership] is what we have to find – the answers to that,” said the Reds boss. “You have to find the solutions. It is an incredible lot of experience, game management and quality gone out of the team but it is something we will find I am sure.
“Stevie has a huge influence in the changing room and a star quality. Of course it is something that will be missed, but if you want to be the big player at a club like this you have to step up and make the contribution in the big games.
“That is the idea next season. I am sure that will be the case. We have players with good character and if we can throw in some quality with that it is important.
“We need threat at the top end of the field because too many have disappeared for us, you only need to look at the number of goals. We have to find ways to get those goals back, the creativity and offensive threat while staying disciplined in our defending.”
The Chilean was heavily linked with Manchester United last year however the deal failed to materialise and the Red Devils now appear to prioritising a move for his Juventus team-mate Paul Pogba or Borussia Dortmund ace Ilkay Gundogan.
Liverpool are hoping to land Vidal for a reported fee of £14.4 million – considerably less than the £35 million figure Manchester United were quoted last summer. That may be because the 27-year-old is coming off the back of a season in which he has struggled with the knee injury which plagued him during and after the World Cup.
Juventus are reportedly willing to let him leave for the right price and have already identified Roma’s Radja Nainggolan as the man for the job. There may be difficulties in getting the deal done and not only because Roma won’t sell to a direct rival; the Belgian is still part-owned by his former club Cagliari who want €15 million for their share.