Liverpool are interested in Wigan striker Franco Di Santo, according to the Mirror. It is believed the Reds will look to either land him on a free transfer in the summer or negotiate a cut-price deal for a January move to Anfield. The 23 year old is in the final season of his contract at the DW Stadium, after transferring from European champions Chelsea in 2010.
The Argentine has scored only thrice in the Premier League this season, from 17 appearances. Nevertheless, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Di Santo is capable of improved performances, having worked alongside the youngster during his days as a Chelsea coach. In addition, the former Swansea City manager also believes Di Santo fits the style of football he wants at Anfield.
The Merseyside club are likely to face a fight for Di Santo's signature though, with Wigan unwilling to lose yet another star player; the Latics lost Nigerian winger Victor Moses to Chelsea in the summer. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is hopeful of persuading Di Santo to sign a long-term extension.
"His contract is not an issue. All our focus is on fulfilling Franco's potential from a footballing point of view. He's come a long, long way, but he still has a long way to go. I believe his potential is huge, he can be as good as he wants to be. But obviously he needs to be in the right environment to reach that full potential. And once he reaches that, he will be ready to challenge for anything," the Spanish tactician told Sky Sports.
Should a move for Di Santo be successful, he will join another 23 year old forward - England striker Daniel Sturridge - as part of Rodgers' plan to revitalise the Liverpool attack and provide cover for Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez.
Suarez is the sole senior striker at Anfield at present, following a long-term injury to summer signing Fabio Borini and the loan of Englishman Andy Carroll to West Ham United.
Rodgers Demands Consistency
Meanwhile, Rodgers has called on the Reds to show more consistency in their performances. Liverpool, presently struggling in 10th in the Premier League, slipped to a surprising 3-1 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia in a Boxing Day fixture.
The defeat to Tony Pulis' side comes after an impressive 4-0 win, at Anfield, over Fulham. And the win over the Cottagers followed a disappointing 1-3 home loss to Aston Villa.
"I said during the week and last week that [consistency] will be the biggest thing for the group. We were terrific at the weekend [against Fulham] but you have got to be able to put a run of games together - if not you just keep taking two or three steps forward and making one or two back and then going again," the Northern Irishman said after the defeat to Stoke.