Liverpool have been keeping busy this summer by striking early to sign the trio of James Milner, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan on free transfers.
With Charlton defender Joe Gomez set to complete his move to Anfield in the coming days after his £3.5 million release clause was triggered by Liverpool, there have been calls for the Merseyside club to step and make a marquee signing. But those calls appear to have been answered as it was revealed that Christian Benteke is the player they look to sign next.
HOUGHTON REVEALS ALL
Speaking to talkSPORT this morning, ex Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton revealed that he understood Benteke was the man identified to be their top target this summer as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to address his side's distinct lack of goals from last season.
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"I’ve heard Benteke is one of their major priorities in the summer, he is the one they are looking to sign,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show.
Adding that Liverpool lacked a physical presence up front last season, Houghton conceded that the Belgian would offer Liverpool a different attacking option and could prove a lucrative source of goals for the reds next season.
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“Benteke would fit into Liverpool’s style. He’s big and physical and he’s something Liverpool haven’t got at the moment. He can upset defenders, he’s got genuine pace and, when you get him in the right frame of mine, he can score goals.
“That’s something Liverpool have been missing.”
LIVERPOOL'S NEED FOR GOALS
Liverpool's struggle to find the net was evident for all to see last season as they scored just 52 goals compared against the 101 they managed the season before.
After losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona, and Daniel Sturridge succumbing to injury for large parts of the season, a drop in goals was always going to be on the cards, however such a dramatic decrease was not expected and will have been a cause for concern for Rodgers. Especially considering that he bolstered the Liverpool attack by bringing in Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli last summer.
At just 24-years-old the Belgian has plenty of years ahead of him and with 42 goals to his name at Aston Villa, he is clearly adept at playing in the Premier League.
Benteke has a £32.5 million release clause written into his contract which if released would guarantee Liverpool the chance to approach their man.
However, if the Merseysiders were to move for Benteke and activate his release clause, then they can expect a flurry of other clubs to jump in on the action too. As one of Europe's hottest prospects many will be keen to prevent a potential rival from stealing a march, which could prove to be a potential stumbling block for the reds.
Having expressed his desire to play in the Champions League, something which Liverpool currently cannot offer him, were a club with a place in Europe to come in for him too then Brendan Rodgers can expect a fight on his hands.