Granit Xhaka
Reports claim Liverpool see Xhaka as the heir to Gerrard\'s throne. (Reuters)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has identified Steven Gerrard's long term replacement in Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka, reports claim.

The Reds captain signed a new contract at Anfield during the summer and has enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign in a deeper midfield role, but will be 34 once the current season reaches its conclusion.

Although the England international remains a fixture in Rodgers' first team plans, speculation as to who the club may sign in an attempt to replace their captain's influence remains a topic of debate.

The Metro suggest the club may have already found their man in Switzerland international Granit Xhaka, and may make their first approach for the midfielder during the January transfer window.

The 21-year-old has played an integral role in Borussia Monchengladbach's midfield following his arrival from Basel in 2012, instantly impressing with assertive play and excellent range of passing that saw former Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld label him 'the new Schweinsteiger'.

The report suggests Monchengladbach would be looking for a fee in the region of £20m if they were to do business, but with Rodgers looking to strengthen other areas of his team sooner than others, a potential move for Xhaka may be put on hold until the summer.

Despite Luis Suarez's wonderful form epitomised by his four goal haul against Norwich on Wednesday, Rodgers has indicated he is keen to add another forward to his ranks after Daniel Sturridge picked up an ankle injury that will rule him out for the next two months.

"It was always going to be the case that if we had a few injuries to key players, that leaves us light," Rodgers explained earlier in the week.

"It's no different to a lot of squads, but for us it is even more prominent because Daniel Sturridge is not playing and he's a good player.

"I think every window for us will be exactly the same - if there's a player we think can improve our squad and in particular the team, I'm sure we will be able to go out and get that player."