Liverpool are reportedly considering a January bid for West Bromwich striker Shane Long. The Reds have been seriously short of senior strikers this season and with summer signing Fabio Borini suffering a foot fracture, manager Brendan Rodgers has had only Uruguayan Luis Suarez to call on. The third striker on the club's books is England international Andy Carroll, who is on loan with West Ham and is generally believed to have no future in Rodgers' visions of Liverpool's future.
A report in the Daily Star indicates the Anfield club have settled on a £12m bid for the 25 year old Republic of Ireland international. Long will be tasked with providing competition and support for the in-form Suarez. The striker has more than two years left on his contract at The Hawthorns but would probably be interested in the chance to play for Liverpool.
The report also indicates the club's administration has already made contact with Long over a transfer and that the player's £25,000 per week wage would fit in perfectly with the club's present budgetary policies.
Liverpool have also been linked with Mauro Zarate, Serie A club Lazio's out-of-favour Argentine striker, and a similarly overlooked forward in Aston Villa's record signing, Darren Bent. However, for what it is worth, former Reds' legend Steve Nicol has warned Rodgers against signing Bent, claiming the England striker does not fit in with the kind of football the Northern Irishman wants at Anfield.
Long is enjoying a fine season with the Baggies, who are coached by former Chelsea assistant Steve Clarke, scoring seven times in 15 appearances (with four assists to boot). And the club is riding high on their star forward's goals. West Brom are fifth in the Premier League, with 26 points from 15 games. However, the club slumped to a surprising 0-1 defeat at home to Stoke City in the weekend fixture.
Meanwhile, the Reds rode on the back of a Daniel Agger header to beat Southampton 1-0 at Anfield. The win was a well-deserved three points for Rodgers and his men, as the home side dominated proceedings from start to finish and should, actually, have won by a larger and more comfortable margin. Nevertheless, the club's lack of sharpness in front of goal aside, Rodgers said he was delighted with the win and the performance.
"The game should have been put to bed well before it was," the ex-Swansea City manager said to the club's website, adding, "I thought we were outstanding the first half. The tempo, we shared the ball, everyone was passing and moving, the creativity [was good] in the team throughout the game and it was just getting that little bit of luck with the final ball."
"There's no question we should have been out of sight, but the most important thing is it was a terrific performance and another win at Anfield. We continue with another three points and moving up the league," Rodgers concluded.
The win moves Liverpool to 11th in the league, with 19 points from 15 games. They trail Arsenal by two points and travel to Italy, to play Udinese in a UEFA Europa League group stage match in midweek.