3 Apr 2014

Transfer Update: BR in secret scouting trip to watch record-breaking £25m Brazilian

Despite being England's top goalscorers, Liverpool are reportedly considering a summer move for Brazilian-born Benfica striker Rodrigo Moreno Machado ('Rodrigo'), and according to reports this week, Brendan Rodgers has personally scouted the Spanish attacker.

Last week, The Mirror reported:

"Brendan Rodgers is monitoring Rodrigo closely this season and is...plotting a £25million summer move.

"Liverpool have good contacts in Portugal and hope to beat the Zenit St. Petersburg to his signature".

This week, Portuguese newspaper O Jogo claims that:

* Rodgers attended the Spurs-Benfica game on the 20 March to scout Rodrigo.
* Liverpool and Benfica are currently engaged in 'informal talks' over a summer transfer.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Rodgers flying to visit to Spurs was part of his preparation for last Sunday's home game, but based on his time at Anfield so far, Liverpool's boss rarely goes to watch other clubs for this reason. Some info about 23-year old Rodrigo:

* Can play anywhere across the front line.
* Current contract expires in 2015.
* 2013: Broke the Spanish U21 team's 22-year old goalscoring record.
* 15 goals in 16 games for Spain's U21 team overall.
* 2013: Helped Spain win the U21 European Championship.

* 2010-11: Spent an unsuccessful year on loan at Bolton, and when asked last week about his time in the Premier League, Rodrigo recalled: "I remember my stay in England with Bolton. The Premier League is tremendously competitive and for me it was a big personal test".


* 11-12: 16 goals/3 assists in 38 apps
* 12-13: 11 goals/6 assists in 39 apps
* 13-14: 13 goals/4 assists in 29 apps
* TOTALS: 40 goals/13 assists in 106 apps
* Goal/assist every 2 games.

Signing another striker is a delicate balancing act. In my view, it's best to go for someone who is:

- Young and (comparatively) inexperienced.
- Won't expect to play every game.
- Will be happy to be third in line after SAS.
- Has the potential to make a contribution when needed.

I'm not sure Rodrigo fits the above criteria. If Luis Suarez stays, he will inevitably be a cover striker for SAS (a likely replacement for Aspas), and given the fact he's a regular for Benfica, will he be happy with reduced pitch time at Anfield? Additionally, Rodrigo admitted recently that his main ambition is to play for the Spain national team, and will a move to LFC help him achieve that goal?

Having said that, Brendan Rodgers may have a different role in mind for Rodrigo. The Brazilian-born attacker has played the number 10 role for Benfica many times this season, and in March, he told Marca:

"It's been my best season so far in Portugal. I was used to playing up front but Jorge Jesus understood that I might be better suited to a deeper role, supporting a centre-forward, and my understanding of that position is improving"

If Rodgers has a similar role in mind for Rodrigo, then it looks like Coutinho could have some stiff competition next season. £25m, though? That seems massively over-priced, especially for a player who averages a paltry 4 assists per season.



  1. B Rodgers should bring in these FOUR attacking players for £48m in the summer instead of Spending £25m on Rodrigo:

    AM: Diego(29) Of Wolfsburg(On Loan at A Madrid) for £5-£8M to compete with Coutinho(21) and Suso(20)

    RW: N Redmond(20) Of Norwich for £6-8M to compete and cover R Sterling(19)

    LW: B Arfa(26) Of Newcastle for £10-£14M to compete and cover J Ibe(18)

    FD: L Muriel(23) Of Udinese for £12-£16M to compete and cover D Sturridge(24)

    Those 4 players would cost club £48M and bring more class, quality, quality competition for places to the attack.

  2. Next season we will be in Champions league, i would rather have Arfa, Diego, Muriel and Redmond: class, quality players on the bench who would make a difference against the likes of teams like AC Milan, A Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, B Dortmund, Juventus and Real Madrid than the likes of Alberto, Ibe, Aspas and Borini would.

  3. Your four criteria: Jordan Rhodes

  4. Ok. Let's hope Rodgers reads your Post then..

  5. We need Players for the extra European games. I'd love to see Rakitic AND Konoplyanka sign. But we are also crying out for wing backs.
    But whatever, life is looking good again!
    Y N W A !!

  6. He was Yehven Konoplyanka's Agent during the January transfer window, when we were trying to sign him.
    BUT some people are now saying; He is NO LONGER Konoplyanka's Agent.
    So him (the Agent) being "En-Route to Liverpool" could literally mean ANYTHING!

  7. I absolutely think what we're looking for is a versatile forward who can play the 10 role or a bit wider, kind of like Coutinho but better. Konoplyanka is a wide player, I believe Rodrigo would be bought to play a 10-9 role. What you really want is a player who can press either Coutinho or Sterling to the bench, but they'll also get their chances, and then provide that cover for any injuries in the front two. 5 possible starters into 4 roles is the right balance of competition. Then you just arrange the players into the best formation on the day.

  8. pastore looked alright the other night in the 15 or so mins he had, muriel and pastore please.

  9. No chance 25'mil for a player who's contract is up in 2015, more like 12 to 15'mil if u ask me. I would rather we went for morata of real madrid to honest.

  10. I've got the honest, I don't much fancy some of the names you've tendered.

    Ben Arfa doesn't even consistently deliver for Newcastle. I know they're hardly accommodating to his style, but when has Ben Arfa ever shown he has the mentality to play for Liverpool? Every club has got rid and Newcastle can't even be arsed with him now. £10-14m for an underachieving and injury prone player would be poor business.

    I also don't think that Redmond is good enough. Decent player, has looked good in patches for Norwich but not worth spending £6-8m on. We'd be better off covering Sterling with Ibe and some better class competition of Salah or Konoplyanka's ilk and profile.

    Muriel is an interesting prospect but hasn't really kicked on as some thought he would at Udinese. Depends on price with this one.

    Diego is a decent player but isn't versatile or hard working enough for Rodgers, I don't think. His contract runs out in the summer though, I think, so he'd cost nothing, but I'd expect Atletico to pick him up.

  11. dream, signings are lascelass lovren shaw hughes lallana rodrigo danny ings and then alex macarthy sell the deadwood and use kelly and suso to help get southampton players loan out the likes of illori wisdom texaira for experience. youth levels look good but signings all theese players will only happen on fifa 14

  12. Personally I hope that BR would weigh the merits of an unchanged lineup against the likelier candidates to counter specific threats. The possibility exists that we could play three at the back, retaining Agger's organisation and Skrtel's industry, adding Sakho's physical presence to nullify Carroll. To me this is a tougher game in prospect than Spurs or United, purely because their style of play exploits our much discussed inability to handle big target men. Midfield will be key, as snuffing out long balls and retaining possession are the keys to winning this one.

  13. Yup. I think it is a shame the way it is perceived. The old UEFA Cup was once an extremely prestigious tournament. I suppose the depth of quality of the Champions League somewhat weakens the Europe League.

  14. Coutinho needs competion and there needs to be backup for Sturridge especially and perhaps Suarez

  15. I will be so happy to see this deal go through...I think he is a very good player and a good fit for the club.

  16. Tranmere Rovers?

  17. not this time the player will force a move to LFC if we want him

  18. Probably 2nd I'd say but hopefully 1st would be a better description...It's a tall order to win all 6 and of course Man C are on fire at the moment.

  19. No, that's not the case. They don't get to be in CL.

  20. I agree. League cup and Europa cup can serve as huge opportunities for youth/reserve players.

  21. That is why I say that someone like Arsene Wenger would play his reserve team for the Europa League if they had to finish 5th.

  22. The UEFA Cup was as prestigious as the Champions League is now but then UEFA got the daft idea to merge the UEFA Cup with the Intertoto Cup and Cup Winner Cup.

    I still stand by my opinion that the Europa league is a complete and utter waste of time even if you qualify for CL by winning it. The prize money is sh*t, you play against unknown teams on the other side of the world and with it being on Thursday nights it hinders your league form.

    The only thing it is good for is your youth players.

  23. JK it's supposed to be a secret. Telling a few more people, dozens perhaps :-) is not helping.....

  24. Plenty of smaller clubs relish the opportunity of earning extra TV and match day income. If smaller teams come up against one of the big boys, that's even more earning potential.

    The two European competitions serve different purposes

  25. B Arfa(26) has not been able to consistently deliver for Newcastle as he has not been used enough. Newcastle's Four key men were Arfa, Cabaye,Remy and Tiote.

    Tiote does the hard work and gets stuck in wins ball back, cabaye kept things ticking over in centre of park and passed the life out of teams and nicked a few goals as he is box to box midfielder. Arfa creates and scores here and there and Remy was banging them in for fun.

    do you think its a coincidence now Cabaye has been sold, Remy was out injured then suspended and Arfa has been on bench that Newcastle have been struggling badly.

    B Arfa(26) is over his injuries, we could say the same about Agger. B Arfa(26) has been able to play for last 2 months, just Pardew is not using him.

    B Arfa(26) like Coutinho(21) and Sturridge(24) just needs to be given his last chance at a big club with a manager who backs and trusts him and he will work hard for the team also.

    B Arfa(26) has the class ,quality, pace, speed and skill to unlock the best teams in the world he just needs to be at the right club with the right manager. And as Pardew doesn't fancy him for £8-£12M that would be bargain

    N Redmond(20) is similar to R Sterling(19) not at same level yet or but all the attributes raheem has and would excel working under B Rodgers. £5-£7M for a player who under B Rodgers in next 3-4 years would triple his market value playing for us. N Redmond has more attributes, class, potential than Alberto Aspas and Assaidi.

    Diego(29) is a world class player, not every player in B Rodgers squad has to be versatile you know. Diego(29) is a player coutinho(21) and Suso(20) could learn alot from, he would obviously have to work alot harder for team and to get in starting 11 but the class and quality the guy possesses if B Rodgers can get on a free or for £5-£8M it is a bargain.

    Considering Man United spent £64.5M on J Mata(25) and M Fellaini(26) this season.

    Diego(29) maybe 3/4 years older but he is still offers more class and quality than both of them.
    And for £5-8M that would be a bargain as he still has 2-3 years of good football left in him and in the tight games in Europe, special attacking players with special abilities normally step up to the plate and win games: B Arfa(26) and Diego(29) are both class, quality special match winning players.

    Muriel(23) is a very good player, he has all the attributes to become a world class player in future: class, mobile, quality, power, pace, good finish, strong, good first touch. he like Redmond(20) will only get better in the future under the guidance of B Rodgers.

    B Arfa(26) and Diego(29) are class quality special players( Match winners) who B Rodgers should bring to the club this summer.

    N Redmond(20) and L Muriel(23) are two young class quality players for now and future, who will only get better, look at how Allen, Henderson, Sterling have all excelled over last season with B Rodgers.

    N Redmond(20) and L Muriel(23) could and would excel with B Rodgers if they are willing to work hard for themselves and the team. And i am sure they would do that

  26. I wouldnt call getting 4 players from the championship dream signings and Lascelles has done bugger all i wouldnt even consider him.

  27. First and Foremost the owners need to back the manager properly this summer, in January transfer window he didn't get a penny.

    And now we will be playing in Champions league in upcoming season, B Rodgers needs to be given a big transfer chest of £60-£70m minimum and then whatever he can get buy selling and shipping out the 8 dead wood average or injury prone players and the 1 world class player he no longer wants or trusts out. ( £30-£35M)

    And he ships out the 2 poor loan signings he brought to club this season also.

    GK B Jones GK P Reina CB S Coates CB K Toure

    RB M Kelly LB A Cissokho AM L Alberto

    RW O Assaidi LW V Moses FD I Aspas FD F Borini

    He should be allowed to spend the funds on assembling
    a class quality squad and in bringing in 9 class quality players: 5 Defensive players and 4 attacking players:

    L Shaw(18) on his own is going to cost any club : £25-£30M

    Our club should bring in these 3 defensive players for £25-£30m

    1: RB: N Clyne(23) Of Southampton for £5-£8M to compete with G Johnson(29)

    2: CB: D Lovren(24) Of Southampton for £12-£15M to compete with M Skrtel(29)

    3: LB: B Davies(20) Of Swansea for £5-£7M to compete with J Enrique(27)

    And then two more defensive players need to be brought to club:

    4: DM: M'Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan for £8-£11m to compete with S Gerrard(33) and L Leiva(27)

    5: GK: A Mccarthy(24) Of Reading for £5-£7M to compete with Mignolet(25)

  28. Reina is simply not world class. A player who hasn't been able to break into the national team for his whole career cannot be considered world class!

  29. Europa league is a waste of time and the image below proves it.

  30. Charlie, P Reina(31) is world class , he is 2nd to Casillas. over the last two to three seasons he became complacent and inconsistant due to lack of class, quality competition for his place and club, team were not doing well either on whole. But P Reina(31) is world class , he is also the only GK to ever have saved a penalty from Balotelli.

    Reina(31) is no longer wanted by B Rodgers due to his huge salary and his letter he wrote before he went Napoli, but to say Reina(31) is not world class is comical in itself. Casillas(32) has been spains best goal keeper for over a decade now, Reina, De Gea or Valdez displacing him when he was no 1 at Real Madrid for so many long years was always going to be hard task. But P Reina(31) is a world class Gk in is still in the top 10 Gks in the world, he is no longer in top 5 but he is still in top 10

  31. Why on earth you want to compare the Europa league with domestic cups is just beyond me.

  32. Nathan Redmond and Ben Arfa would be a complete waste of money.

    If Liverpool were to sign Diego they would be able to get him for free as his contract runs out in the summer. However it is very unlikely as we have not been linked to him and FSG's transfer policy is usually players of 23 years or younger.

    As for Muriel I believe we could find a better back up striker for cheaper. My favoured one would be Jordan Rhodes but I don't know how realistic that would be. I would be happy with Rodrigo but I don't know if he'd be happy as 3rd choice striker, nor do I believe he is worth £25m

  33. There's no point in spending what is likely to be half of our transfer budget on Luke Shaw when there are other young left backs out there for a lot less. Such as Rodriguez of Wolfsburg, Alberto Moreno, Alex Sandro or even Ashley cole who would be for free and is 100% still one of the best left backs in the world.

    We do not need a right back. We've got Glen Johnson for at least one more year, Flanagan who's been top draw this year, Andre Wisdom and Martin Kelly if we decide to keep him too!

    I wouldn't sign Dejan Lovren, I don't expect us to either, I'd be much happier with Steven Caulker who would probably be a bit cheaper too especially if Cardiff were to be relegated.

    I don't know why you would sign both Luke Shaw and Ben Davies when we already have Enrique at left back and Johnson, Flanagan, Sakho and Agger who can all cover at left back. However I do agree we need a new left back.

    Yann M'villa would be a nice signing but only once we've hot our main priory which should be 2 attacking midfielders (1 who can play as a left winger), one new Centre Back, a new left back, and a striker to cover for SAS.

    Alex McCarthy would be a complete waste of £7m there is no sneed to splash that cash on a back up goalkeeper. If we were to sell Jones that would be a mistake and no need to be quite honest.

  34. Muriel, REDMOND!!?? And ARFA?!!? Would NOT make a difference against those teams! No way! The only one I would maybe agree with is Diego because we could get him for free but that's still a risk with his age and lack of EPL experience.

  35. B Arfa(27) and N Redmond(20) would not be a waste of money, for £18M-£20M would offer us more class, mobility, pace, quality, speed and goals to side than L Alberto, O Assaidi and I Aspas next season while we are in Champions league also.

    Diego(29) if we could get him on free would be great coup and he is ex international and a champions league player, we brought comical K Toure(33) to club this summer on free transfer. I am sure Diego(29) 4 years younger and someone of higher status and calibre than Toure(33) should be signed on 2 year contract.

    As like i said: our front 4 of Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge and Suarez need some healthy class competition for their places and if they are either injured or suspended, we need ready replacements of similar class and quality to take their place.

    or team would be a lot stronger with these 4 in attack if our front 4 was injured or suspended: Arfa, Diego, Muriel and Redmond.

    Than a front four of Alberto, Assaidi, Aspas and Borini

    From bench or from starting the top line offers club more class, quality and goals than the second line of names.

  36. Read the comment properly then say your point, i said there is no point spending £25-£30M on one player( Luke Shaw) instead B Rodgers should spend £25-£30M on Three Defenders:

    RB:N Clyne(23) Of Southampton for £5-£8M

    CB: D Lovren(24) Of Southampton for £10-£14M

    LB: B Davies(20) Of Swansea

    J Flanagan(21) has done very well this, defensively he has been good but against lively quick skillful players in Champions league he will struggle and as an attacking threat he is basically non existant. N Clyne(23) is solid defensively and good bombing forward also

    D Lovren(24) is 2 years older and is a better defender than S Caulker(22) , D Lovren(24) is one of the reasons Southampton are doing so well, not only is he in the top 3 defenders of making tackles and winning aerial duels. Him like Skrtel have scored alot of goals from set pieces also. So for £3-£5m extra, i would buy an all round better player and better defender.
    And that is what D Lovren(24) is compared to S Caulker(22)

    A Mccarthy(24) would not be a waste of money, he is an awesome young GK and he would compete with Mignolet(25) for the No 1 spot week in week out, if Mignolet was to make any of his hurrendous mistakes again( Chelsea away, Man City away and Aston Villa at Home) we would have a ready made deputy of same calibre and class of Mignolet(25), something B Jones(32) is not

  37. I agree we should get 4 players of those positions, at least! But you could have Redmond or Konoplyanka? You could have Arfa or Shaqiri? You could have Diego or Kovacic/Firmino? You could have Muriel or Drmic/Rodrigo/Rhodes?

  38. Arfa, Muriel and Arfa would cause Barcelona problems: Players with class, mobility, pace, quality,speed and skill and goals in their locker always trouble the best sides in the world. And those three players have all those things to them

  39. I disagree. Clyne is nowhere near experienced enough yet. In fact Flanagan is younger however is still more experienced.

    Lovren has been good but not as consistent as caulker who is also younger, and another English player. They are quite similar players and Caulker would also pitch in with goals. I believe he's scored more than Lovren has this season. And Lovren makes mistakes too, we can't have him as well as Skrtel making mistakes especially in the CL it'd be too risky.

    And I'm not doubting that McCarthy isn't good, he is very good! But there is no need at the moment to spend that money on a goalkeeper when we've already got one of the best in the league and a decent enough back up in Brad Jones. We've got a lot more positions to concentrate on before we start prioritising goalkeeper competition for that sum of money.

  40. I think you have a fetish for these players in particular because there is so much more class we could sign, especially now we are back in the champions league. Those 4 that you named were signings of the past two years. Now we're in the champions league we've got to be going for the best we can attract like the quality of players we lost out on in the summer such as Willian, Eriksen and The Armenian that chose BVB

  41. Apples and oranges...they're just different types of players. Right now we have zero depth up top...we lose one of Sterling Suarez or Sturridge and we can change formation, but if we lose two we're screwed. It'd also be nice to bring a game changer off the bench from time to time. I agree we need to strengthen our midfield for next season, but our top priority has to be a versatile attacking player and a LB. Rakitic is fantastic, but we need him less.

  42. Yeah, konoplanka will be a good addition to Lfc, but in order to compete in CL next season , Lfc will need a good left back , a defensive midfielder and a goalkeeper.

  43. I didn't. I'm just using the logic behind your reasoning. But see whatever you want to see.

  44. Your image does not prove anything.

    Are you saying 1.3M for a financially struggling Greek or Portuguese club, for example, is a waste of time? This table does not include TV revenue, it's strictly prize money from UEFA, which further aids my point.

    Your point of view is only taken by massive clubs, I'd say the top 10 performing clubs in Europe. The rest, IMO, would appreciate the Europa League. The Europa League suits small scale clubs, stop being so narrow only thinking about the top competing clubs.

  45. Well my original point was that the Europa league is a waste of time for the bigger clubs.

  46. It is you who brought it up so your logic is beyond me.

  47. Read again. It was just a relevant example that I used to demonstrate your thought process.

  48. No it is not. I did not mention local cup competitions. You did. The discussion is about the Europa league.

  49. It's a relevant example which demonstrates your thought process! Please read properly or refrain from commenting.

  50. My thought process has got nothing to with your comparison of the Europa league and local cup competitions. Please refrain from making things up just like you always do ;-)