Liverpool have been linked to Benfica forward Nolito in the summer, according to the Express. The 26-year-old joined the Portuguese club in 2011, from La Liga champions Barcelona.

The Spaniard has struggled to cement a place for himself with Benfica and spent the second half of the 2012/13 season on loan to Spanish first division side Granada. However, he did have an impressive debut season, scoring 11 times in 24 league appearances.


According to the Mail Online, the Reds were monitoring the former Barcelona youngster last summer as well; Nolito joined Benfica after refusing a contract offer from the Nou Camp side. At the time, a bid of £15m was mooted but nothing materialised from Anfield, leaving the player free to shift to Granada temporarily.

Nolito is contracted to Benfica till 2016 but has fallen down Jorge Jesus' pecking order and is unlikely to get regular playing time in the new season.

Carragher: Top Four Finish is Realistic

Jamie Carragher

Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Brendan Rodgers could use last season's disappointing performances as motivation for his first team this season. The Reds finished seventh in the 2013/13 campaign and finished below arch-rivals Everton for the second season in a row.

"The last few seasons haven't been good enough but top four has to be a realistic aim for Liverpool Football Club and I think Brendan is raring to go after learning a lot last year," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"I am sure they will be ready for the start of the season and hopefully they can get three, four, maybe six points from the first two games as they need to get off to a good start and do better in terms of challenging for the top four," he added.