Transfer news: Liverpool turn attention to Anzhi star Willian after Diego Costa rejects Anfield switch
Costa has agreed a contract extension with Atletico Madrid forcing the Reds to switch targets amid speculation they could make a £35m bid for Brazilian playmaker
Wednesday 14 August 2013
Liverpool could turn to Brazilian playmaker Willian in their attempt to land a big name summer signing having missed out on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Diego Costa.
The highly-rated Anzhi Makhachkala star only joined the Russian side in January, but owner Suleiman Kerimov has lost patience with the faltering squad and is looking to offload as many of them as possible.
Tottenham are also in the hunt for Willian, although this £35m valuation could pose a problem for both clubs after they have already spent considerably in the transfer window so far.
However, should the Reds’ sell Luis Suarez or Spurs’ let Gareth Bale join Real Madrid, both would be able to easily fund the move with the cash that would be generated from letting their star players move on.
Liverpool had been keen on Atletico Madrid forward Costa after they believed they met a release clause in the Brazilian’s contract, but the La Liga club has announced today that the forward has signed a contract extension with the Spanish Cup champions, meaning Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will have to look elsewhere for his marquee signing.
"I am very happy with the deal, it is a very special moment," the 24-year-old told Atletico's official website.
"I am delighted with this agreement after fighting for a long time to win the respect and affection of the fans, my team-mates and people in the club."
"This was one of the priorities of the club and it is great news for everyone at Atletico," president Jose Luis Perez Caminero said.
"Diego Costa is one of the key pieces of the squad and following our policy of keeping together the block that has given us so much success in recent years, extending his contract was one of our goals."
Rodgers has previously spoken that there is money left to be spent on new players even if Suarez remains at Anfield, although he will not waste it on players that he deems do not have the quality to play for Liverpool.
The Northern Irishman is also on the verge of signing Granada left-back Guilherme Siquiera, and managing director Ian Ayre flew to the continent with the task of negotiating a deal believed to be in the region of £6m.
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