The Deadly Gossip

Liverpool want Benfica striker Rodrigo, Konoplyanka for Spurs and Arsenal to get £100m to spend. Diego Costa?

Last Updated: 18/03/14 at 09:20 Post Comment

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Yes, the Rodrigo who scored once in 21 games for Bolton a few seasons ago. But thankfully for any fretting Liverpool fans, he is rather a lot better now - you may have seen him score for Benfica against Tottenham in the Europa League last week and he has also scored eight goals in 19 games in the Portuguese league this season. Still, the mooted figure of £25m (by the Daily Mirror) sounds rather a lot.

The 23-year-old Rodrigo was born in Brazil but has scored a remarkable 15 goals in 16 games for Spain's successful Under-21 side. That's a lot.

Tottenham are in talks to sign Ukraine star Yevhen Konoplyanka, according to the Dnipro club president, who pulled out of a deal to sell the winger to Liverpool in January.

Liverpool have been expected to rekindle their interest in the winger this summer, but Tottenham are now leading the chase for the 24-year-old and are in discussions with Dnipro president Ihor Kolomoyskyi.

"I have contact with the Tottenham president. I am talking with him," Kolomoyskyi told Ukrainian TV channel '2+2'. "He is interested in Konoplyanka. We are in the stage of negotiations and are perhaps close to signing a contract if Yehven agrees.

"I would choose Tottenham - London - not Liverpool. There are matches only once or twice a week, and at other times he will still need somewhere to live. I believe London life is preferable to Liverpool."

That's the size of his summer transfer budget, according to the Daily Telegraph. Though there is a slight catch.

They claim: 'It is understood that around £100 million would be available for squad strengthening, although this figure includes wages as well as transfer fees. On a signing of Mesut Özil's magnitude, the wages over the five years of a contract would amount to a similar commitment to the transfer fee.

'It all means that Arsenal can afford a world-class striker in the £40 million price range this summer and still make one or two cheaper but substantial additions in other positions. Arsenal now accept that it would be futile to renew their interest in Luis Suárez but are watching other leading strikers across Europe, including Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martínez, Julian Draxler and Diego Costa.'

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet wants to keep on-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Borini, 22, beyond the end of this season...Cardiff will ward off interest in goal machine Rhys Healey with a new three-year deal...Everton are tracking Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long, who has lost his place in the League One team to Mark Howard...West Ham midfielder Jack Collison is set for a loan switch to FA Cup semi-finalists Wigan until the end of the season and could be in line to face Arsenal at Wembley next month...Napoli are set to rival a host of Premier League clubs for Porto's 20-year-old forward Juan Iturbe, who has been likened to Lionel Messi.

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