Liverpool have made Chelsea outcast Ryan Bertrand their number one transfer target this summer, according to reports.
The Daily Star claims the Reds have turned their attentions to the two-cap England international after failing in their pursuit of Spanish left-back Alberto Moreno.
Brendan Rodgers targeted the player as a ‘key addition’ ahead of next season’s run at both the Premier League and Champions League, according to the report, and tabled a £16million bid for the player.
£20m price tag
However, Sevilla want as much as £20million for the player, with others teams interested - including Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid.
That price-tag coupled with a delay in getting the deal done appears to have been too much for Rodgers, who has now turned his attention to Bertrand.
The 24-year-old has been at Chelsea for almost a decade, joining the club’s youth team from Gillingham for a small fee following a tribunal hearing.
Despite making 28 appearances for the Blues - his first coming in the 2010/11 season - he’s been shipped out on loan on six separate occasions, with Bournemouth, Oldham, Norwich, Reading, Nottingham Forest and more recently Aston Villa the beneficiaries.
After a run of games in the Premier League in that final loan spell, Bertrand could be forgiven for thinking that now might be his time to make a run at the Chelsea first team, especially when you consider that Ashley Cole has left Stamford Bridge this summer.
However, he may not get the chance to fulfil his potential on the King’s Road under Jose Mourinho, with the Reds looking to bringing him to Merseyside.
Lack of options
Liverpool went close in the title race last season, but ultimately fell short at the final hurdle as a lack of depth proved to be the undoing of Rodgers’ side.
The Reds boss also mixed his formation during the season, with a 3-5-2 and 4-2-3-1 formation often on show at Anfield. When using the later, it would often lead to Glen Johnson playing out of position on the left side of defence.
Bertrand would certainly be able to fill that hole for Liverpool, and it’s easy to forget that he also has Champions League experience from the year the Blues went on to lift the trophy.
He might not be the biggest name on the market in the position, but Bertrand has shown consistency wherever he’s been over the past few seasons, and would be an intelligent addition for Liverpool if not wanted in west London.
Despite being a rival, Chelsea are also unlikely to want a huge fee for the player.