Liverpool are interested in Atletico Madrid winger Arda Turan, according to Spanish newspaper AS. It is believed the Anfield club will offer £19m for the Turkish international. The 26-year-old was also linked with the Reds' Premier League rivals Arsenal and German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the mid-season transfer window.
Turan signed for the Vicente Calderon side in 2011, from Turkish club Galatasaray and has been in good form since, helping his team with four goals and three assists in 22 La Liga appearances this term. Atletico are enjoying a fantastic campaign and sit second in the Spanish league, four points ahead of city rivals and defending champions, Real Madrid.
An earlier report by talkSPORT quoted the player's agent, Ahmet Bulut, as hinting at a summer transfer to one of "five to six clubs which could afford Arda".
Should the Turk arrive at Anfield, it will no doubt ease some of the burden on captain Steven Gerrard's shoulders. The 32-year-old England international has long been the driving force behind the Reds' wins but time is taking its toll. Turan could be vital in helping to provide the all-important creative spark for strikers Luis Suarez, Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge. And this, in turn, will allow Gerrard to conserve himself and maximise his impact on big matches.
Liverpool's over-reliance on Gerrard's inspirational abilities (and this season, Suarez's goals) has been at the root of the Reds' inconsistent performances this term. The arrival of Turda, and the January signing of Brazilian Philippe Coutinho from Serie A side Inter Milan, could be the way of the future for Liverpool.
Skrtel on Club's Fans
Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has urged supporters to provide maximum support in the midweek Europa League clash. Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg visit Merseyside on Thursday, in the second leg of a knock-out tie. Goals from Hulk and Sergey Semak give the visitors a strong 2-0 advantage ahead of this tie and Skrtel knows the players will need Liverpool to be a fortress to have any chance of progressing.
"The atmosphere at Anfield in European games is always special and the game on Thursday will be even more because we lost the first game and the crowd feel we need their help. I'm pretty sure they will help us. In football everything is possible. We'll play at Anfield - we know the fans will be behind us. It's not going to be easy but if we can get an early goal that will help us a lot. Then just try to play our game, create chances and take them," he said.