Liverpool are considering a move in signing Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke in the summer transfer window, according to the Mirror.
After a disappointing campaign, which ended with a 6-1 crushing defeat to Stoke City, the Reds are looking to bring in a quality player to bolster their strike force. Brendan Rodgers' future is also uncertain after claiming that he will leave the club if the owners want him out.
Despite that, the Merseyside club are keen on securing the services of Benteke, who has been in fine form for Villa in this calendar year. Liverpool are willing to part ways with Rickie Lambert and will use the striker as bait in landing Benteke.
The England international arrived from Southampton last summer and has struggled to hit the ground, when given a chance to shine. Lambert has started in only seven Premier League games and has just scored two goals in 25 appearances.
Lambert had offers to leave his current employers in January, with Villa, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth all believed to be interested in signing him. However, he decided against the transfer as he wanted to fight for a place in the starting lineup.
The former Saints striker saw no change in his situation at Liverpool and is open for a summer exit. With Villa expressing their interest in Lambert earlier this year, the Reds believe using him as bait will convince them to part ways with Benteke.
The Belgium international is one of the priority signings for the 18-times English champions as they look to add more fire power to their strike division. Earlier reports suggested that Liverpool are preparing a £30m ($46.3m) deal in bringing the Villa star to Anfield.
A swap deal, which will see Villa land Lambert may convince them to let their player leave in the summer transfer window. Divock Origi will return to Anfield after a season-long loan spell at Lille.
Should Benteke make a switch to Liverpool, he will partner his compatriot Origi to lead the Reds' attacking division next season.