Brendan Rodgers has reportedly placed Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa on the top of his list of summer transfer targets.

The 26-year-old missed the majority of the current campaign through injuries but had five goals and seven assists to his name from 26 Premier League appearances for the Magpies last season, and has been attracting interest from the likes of Chelsea.

Hatem Ben Arfa

Rodgers has already revealed he is looking to bring in three or four quality signings in the summer and, according to the Express, Ben Arfa is now leading the names on his list. The report also claims the Reds might use former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, who is currently on loan at West Ham United, as a bait to land the French international.

Ben Arfa had earlier revealed he would welcome the chance to join Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal. The winger had also claimed Chelsea were interested in signing him last summer but he decided to continue with Alan Pardew's side, who finished above the Blues last season.

"I am interested by Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. Today, these clubs are over Newcastle," the former Marseille man had said. "During the summer, there was contact with Chelsea. But I wanted to stay in Newcastle. Whoever tasted England, it's hard to go elsewhere. There is everything to be happy. My goal is to stay in England."

The Express report says Swansea City defender Ashley Williams is also a target for Rodgers. The Reds must deal with Jamie Carragher's retirement and have uncertainty looming over the futures of fellow defenders Sebastian Coates and Martin Skrtel. Coates has made just three Premier League appearances this season, while Skrtel looks to have fallen down the pecking order of late.

Liverpool currently sixth in the Premier League table, seven points away from Champions League qualification. They play Southampton at the St Mary's at the weekend.