Liverpool look to Serie A for Steven Gerrard replacements

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Liverpool will lose captain and talisman Steven Gerrard this summer when he departs for a jaunt at MLS with LA Galaxy, and Brendan Rodgers is now on the lookout for replacements for the veteran midfielder.

Rodgers already has some decent options in the centre of the park, with Gerrard's departure set to open up a spot for Emre Can, but the club still seem likely to invest to some degree.

Serie A is reported to be somewhere the Liverpool boss is looking with great interest, with Miralem Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan and Keita Balde Diao all supposed targets.

Who are the three men?

Bosnia international Miralem Pjanic would be a great replacement for legend Gerrard, 34, as he has excellent vision and always looking to feed the forwards.

The Roma playmaker's passing is sublime and is almost at the same level as the very best: Andrea Pirlo and Xavi’s. It is reported he would cost £37 million were Liverpool to bid.

Another player for Roma, who sit just Serie A leaders Juventus, in the sights of Liverpool is supposedly Belgium international Radja Nainggolan, 26.

He is regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe who possesses great all round stats, being strong going forward and competent in defence. Nainggolan is valued at £25 million, but will Liverpool pay that sort of money?

The final man in this trio of Italy based midfield players is ex-Barcelona youth teamer Keita Balde Diao, 19, currently at Lazio.

He is performing well in Italy and Anfield scouts have recommended the player to Rodgers. Diao's fee would also reportedly be £25 million - a hefty one indeed for a teenager.

Does Rodgers need to invest?

It will be interesting to see how seriously Liverpool go about reinforcing their midfield options following Gerrard's exit, given how highly Can is rated by those at Anfield.

The pursuit of three midfielders for a total cost beyond £80 million does not appear to make sense, given that there are also concerns up front, while Can has been outlined as a future Liverpool captain by assistant manager Colin Pascoe.

“He’s young, he’s learning his game, in years to come he’ll progress and be one of them," Pascoe said.

“He’s a leader, he’s a leader on the pitch, he’s been fantastic – but at the moment, he’s not looking at that himself, but he’s a great lad.”

Do Liverpool need to spend £80 million plus on three new midfielders? Or should Brendan Rodgers put his faith in Emre Can?

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Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Brendan Rodgers

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