Transfers of 2014-04-17

Liverpool leading race to sign Agyemang-Badu

During the January transfer window, multiple reports claimed that Liverpool planned to make a bid for Udinese defensive midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu. Nothing came of the interest, but the Ghana international admitted that he’d love to join Liverpool, and reports this week suggest that the Reds will go back in for a midfielder this summer.

Liverpool’s European scouts have personally recommended Badu to Rodgers, according to reports in Italy today:

Liverpool are ‘leading the race’ to sign 23-year-old Badu.

Badu is valued at €9m, but Udinese hope the World Cup will drive up his price. When asked in January about Liverpool’s interest, Badu made it clear that he’d love a move to Anfield. He told reporters: “It has always been my dream to play in England. We played against Liverpool in the Europa League last year so I know all about them. I would be very happy to join them. The chance to play for such a big club is something I couldn’t pass up.”

Some info about Badu:

Can play in midfield or defence, and that versatility is almost certainly an attraction for Rodgers, who seems to be obsessed with players who can operate in several different positions.

2011: Voted Ghana’s best player in Italy.

2012: Nominated for FIFA goal of the year award for his strike against Guinea in the 2012 African Nations Cup.

2012: Shortlisted for the Puskas Goal of the Year Award, alongside Newymar, Falcao, Lionel Messi and several others. Responding to the nomination, Badu enthused: “I was not expecting it and it came to me by surprise. I’m happy and privileged to be nominated among all these big names like Messi, Falcao and Neymar and others”

2012: Nominated for the African Player of the Year award by the Ghana Football Association, and praised by the GFA Chief as ‘outstanding’.

Has some lofty career ambitions, and he revealed in a recent interview: “I want to be remembered as a player who won the African [player of the year], the European [footballer of the year], or a Champions League medal. I know it is a long road but I’m ready to make the dream come to reality.”

7 goals in 48 appearances for Ghana.

Reds fans have repeatedly called for Brendan Rodgers to sign a tough, physically imposing central midfielder, but Badu is the same height as Sterling and Coutinho, so is he the right choice for the role?

If Liverpool are to sign a defensive midfielder, perhaps it should be a big, strong unit, not another small(ish) player who can be muscled off the ball? Having said that, Javier Mascherano isn’t the biggest player, and he did a good job as a defensive midfielder for LFC, so perhaps it isn’t really an issue…?

If Liverpool are planning to sign a dedicated defensive midfielder, what does this mean for Lucas? As well as being increasingly injury prone, Lucas has lost his automatic starting place to Steven Gerrard, and is now limited to camoe appearances.

Source: ghanasoccernet.com
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