Liverpool have joined the race to sign Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama and are looking to make a bid for him in the summer. The player has been in demand since his performance against Barcelona in the Champions League group stage match, where he restricted the Catalans with his staunch defending and also scored a goal to secure a historic 2-1 win at Celtic Park.
The Daily Mail reports that Brendan Rodgers has scouted the player extensively this season and believes that his addition to the Liverpool squad will improve their defence by leaps and bounds next season. Wanyama's versatility, with his ability to play at centre-back, will be a huge boost for Rodgers who is in the market for a defender to replace the retiring Jamie Carragher and has earmarked Swansea defender Ashley Williams as his top defensive priority in the summer.
However, Liverpool will face competition from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United for the 21-year-old, and with the Reds currently not in the reckoning for a Champions League spot next season, it will be difficult for Rodgers to entice Wanyama to Anfield ahead of clubs in Europe's most elite competition. The former Swansea manager also has a tight budget to work on, with the owners reported to have sanctioned only £20m for a splurge in the summer.
The Kenyan has had an impressive season with Celtic, scoring seven goals and assisting three in 38 starts this season and will be a great signing for any club across Europe. However, with Lucas Leiva currently fit and almost back at his best, a defensive midfielder is currently the least of Rodgers' worries under such a tight budget, with a centre back and an attacker expected at the top his priorities.
Jordan Henderson on Top Four Spot
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson believes the Reds can pick themselves up and still qualify for the Champions League next season, in spite of their disappointing 3-1 loss to Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium this weekend. Liverpool are currently nine points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth spot, with eight games to go till the end of the season.
"It was a big disappointment against Southampton but Europe's not gone yet. We've still got eight games to play and that's a lot of points to play for. We've still got to play some of the teams above us so we have to keep going.We have to pick ourselves up from this and ensure we respond positively against Aston Villa after the international break," he told Liverpool Echo.