Arsenal are ready to increase their interest in bringing Daniel Agger in from Liverpool after having to deploy Nacho Monreal as a makeshift centre-back once more, but Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that the club are yet to receive a formal offer for the defender.
Agger looks set to leave Anfield this summer after becoming frustrated with his fall down the pecking order under Rodgers, with Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and new signing Dejan Lovren all preferred to the Denmark captain.
With Arsenal looking to replace Thomas Vermaelen after the former club captain completed a £15m move to Barcelona, the Gunners are believed to be monitoring Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, although any move away from the Bundesliga club looks to be off after he was appointed captain for the upcoming season.
The likelihood is that Arsenal will instead push on with their attempts to sign Agger even though Liverpool would be strengthening a Premier League title rival. The Gunners sent out an early warning message as they dismantled a weakened Manchester City side 3-0 at Wembley to claim the Community Shield, and with Liverpool entering the season with Luis Suarez no longer among the ranks, the Reds could struggle without their former talismanic striker.
However, any struggles weren’t evident at Anfield yesterday as Rodgers’ side blew past Dortmund in a 4-0 victory in their final pre-season friendly. Speaking after the match, the Northern Irishman confirmed that he is yet to receive a bid for Agger’s services, and went on to reveal that the Dane is still recovering from injury as he undergoes further treatment on his knee.
“I've seen some stories on that but, no, we haven't had any enquiries,” admitted Rodgers.
“Dan's still getting some work done on his knee, he's been a bit unfortunate since America. He's still getting treatment but we haven't had anything, no offers."
The writing does appear to be on the wall for Agger though, with Barcelona no longer in the running for him after landing Vermaelen. Lovren impressed against Dortmund on Sunday, and even managed to get himself on the score-sheet to strengthen his chances of starting the first Premier League match against Southampton this weekend – not that they needed much strengthening.
Rodgers was pleased with his the side performed in their final pre-season match, with both Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge impressing as the former produced a lovely flick to allow his England team-mate to run on and open the scoring.
Yet Rodgers reserved special praise for his new signings and the depth that his squad now has as a result. In his eyes, Rodgers now has a squad that can contest with the very best as he has players that can be brought on during a match with the ability to still play the fast-paced, high-pressing style that he encourages.
“I have been really pleased with all of the signings because they have all come in as part of our strategy and the types of profile of players that we want,” said Rodgers.
“One of the pleasing things for me today was that I could make changes in the game and bring players on and still feel that we were strong.
“That hasn’t been the case since I have been here just because of the lack of depth. But today we could make changes and keep that desire and commitment within the team and the quality, very importantly.
“There are maybe one or two more to come, but come the end of August I think we will hopefully have depth in our squad and be ready to challenge.”
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