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Seven possible Sterling replacements to excite Liverpool fans if the winger does leave

first_img 7 7 7 7 With Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling putting contract negotiations on hold until the end of the season, rumours about his long-term Anfield future have reached fever point.The 20-year-old reportedly turned down a tidy £100k-a-week deal which would extend his stay with the Reds past 2017, before turning to the BBC for an unauthorised interview in an attempt to denounce his ‘money-grabbing’ label.After two damaging Premier League defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal in recent weeks, the Reds’ Champions League qualification hopes are in tatters. Sterling has been with linked with European superpowers across the continent, including Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and could force a move if Liverpool do expectedly fall short of a top four place.But if Sterling does leave Anfield this summer, who could Brendan Rodgers bring into fill the void? talkSPORT looks at seven possible reinforcements Liverpool have been linked with to soften the blow… 7 4. Ezequiel Lavezzi – Continue to see which Reds youngster could be a ready-made alternative for Brendan Rodgers – Liverpool were strongly linked with an £8m move for Lavezzi in January which failed to materialise, but are expected to renew their interest in the summer. The 29-year-old has fallen out of favour at PSG under Laurent Blanc but is undeniably talented, starring for Napoli before his move to Paris. His age means a potential deal would be uncharacteristic of Brendan Rodgers, who likes to nurture younger players, but Lavezzi would add palpable experience to the Reds’ attack. 7 6. Theo Walcott – Continue to see which Argentine striker is making a name for himself in La Liga – Arsenal are flying at the moment, but a player who appears to have been left behind is Theo Walcott. After a knee injury kept him out for the best part of a year, the England winger has struggled to forge a way back into Arsene Wenger’s first-team plans, sitting way down a pecking order which includes the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. With Sterling linked with a move to the Emirates, could a potential swap deal be on the cards? 7 3. Jordon Ibe – Click right to see which Brazilian attacker linked with Chelsea could be tempted by an Anfield move – Liverpool might not have to look too far to find a replacement for Sterling, as the meteoric rise of Ibe in the last few months suggests the winger could become even better than his compatriot. Brendan Rodgers recalled the 19-year-old from a loan spell at Derby County to throw him straight into the Merseyside derby at right wing-back; a game he was man of the match in. Ibe cemented his place with brilliant displays against Tottenham and Southampton and, but for a knee injury picked up in March, would have almost certainly nailed down a spot in Rodgers’ starting XI. 7. Could Roberto Firmino replace Raheem? Click right to find out which England winger would be a like-for-like replacement for Sterling – A stylish attacking midfielder who has spearheaded Hoffenheim’s impressive push for European qualification in the Bundesliga this season, Brazil coach Dunga recently declared the 23-year-old could play in any league in the world. He has 11 goals and eight assists in club competitions this season, whilst Firmino also impressed for his country with the winner in a friendly against Chile at the Emirates last week. 2. Douglas Costa – Continue to see which proven La Liga star has been on the Reds’ radar in recent weeks – The Shakhtar Donetsk forward was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea during the January transfer window, but the Blues plumped for Juan Cuadrado instead. The 24-year-old Brazilian is the latest in a long line of his native country’s attackers to catch the eye in Ukraine, following the likes of Willian and Bernard. With Chelsea’s strength in depth in attacking positions, could be Costa be tempted by a guarantee of first-team action at Anfield? 5. Luciano Vietto – Click right to discover which PSG forward would strengthen the Reds’ attack – At 21-years-old, Vietto is one of the most coveted names in world football already after a standout season with Villarreal in La Liga. The Argentine striker has netted 18 goals in all competitions, starring particularly in the Europa League to underline his pedigree in European competition. The Reds are reportedly leading the race for his signature, although Real Madrid and Inter Milan are also monitoring his development. 1. Pedro Rodriguez – The Spanish forward has found himself frequently alienated at Barcelona after the arrivals of Neymar and Luis Suarez in recent seasons, and it seems likely the 27-year-old could follow Alexis Sanchez’s example of quitting the Nou Camp in search for first-team football. Pedro is a proven goalscorer at both domestic and international level and recent reports suggest the Reds have identified him as their main summer target, should Sterling leave.last_img read more

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