Memphis Depay in sights as Liverpool eye striker

Brendan Rodgers remained tight-lipped over Liverpool’s interest in Memphis Depay but admitted the Reds were set for a summer overhaul.

Memphis Depay in sights as Liverpool eye striker

Saturday’s 0-0 draw at West Brom put a serious dent in their Champions League challenge and left them seven points adrift of the top four.

Rodgers has been linked with PSV’s Depay as he searches for a greater goal threat. Liverpool had scored 90 goals after 33 games last term — and were top — but have netted just 47 times this season following the sale of Luis Suarez and Daniel Strurridge’s injury-hit campaign.

And following their Hawthorns stalemate, Rodgers refused to be drawn on Depay, who is also reportedly interesting Manchester United, but knows they need a goalscorer.

“You know me in terms of speculation on players. The kid is a very talented player of course but I wouldn’t like to confirm either way,” he said.

“It’s clear we need a goal threat for next year so there’s going to be a whole raft of players who will be looked at and then it’ll be up to the club, whether they’re affordable and if they are available.

“We have to see the availability first.”

But should Liverpool fail to make the top four, Rodgers conceded they could miss out on targets, while also letting some players leave.

“It’ll be very difficult, I felt of the six games we certainly needed to win five at least so now we have five to go and we’ll have to look to win them to give ourselves a chance.You never know what happens above you, that’s the thing with football, but what you have to do is make sure you keep the pressure on.

He said: “If we’re not in the Champions League which is probably highly likely, players will still maybe want to come but they want to play in the Champions League.

“This (is) maybe a season we miss out but if we can regroup again, get some quality starters in for the summer we can go on another great adventure and hopefully get back in there.

“The natural process for some players is they will want to move on anyway and we have had some for a couple of years who maybe haven’t played as much.”

Adam Lallana set a 15-point target for Liverpool for the rest of the season.

“I still feel that if we pick up maximum points from the remaining games, we’ll be unlucky not to get into that fourth spot. It’s still possible and while it’s still possible, we’ll keep giving our all.” The draw left West Brom seven points above the relegation zone but they have to face Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in three of their last four games.

Boss Tony Pulis said: “With Leicester winning, Hull winning, it’s going to be a lot more points (required to stay up) than people think.

“If we can get 40 points, we’ll stay up. That’s got to be the attitude. We’ve got four games to get through.”

The Baggies are up for sale with chairman Jeremy Peace open to offers but Pulis does not expect an imminent deal.

He said: “I’m not sure. The chairman will keep that very close to his chest. He’s told me if there’s anything positive, he’ll keep me informed.

“He understands the situation. He’s a very astute man and he’s said that if it’s not sold by a certain time, that’ll be it, he’ll keep it and move forward.”

It was a forgettable first half on Saturday, with both sides’ one-paced approach leaving the stands in near silence for long spells. The second period brought some excitement within 10 minutes of the restart when the Baggies survived a triple scare. Johnson’s cross found Balotelli and his blocked shot fell to Coutinho, with Myhill saving his effort and Henderson’s follow-up.

A minute later Craig Gardner guided Chris Brunt’s cross into the sidenetting for Albion.

Liverpool almost grabbed the lead on 62 minutes when Jordan Ibe swapped passes with Balotelli and darted into the area, only for his 10-yard effort to deflect off the bar.

The Baggies nearly went ahead when Mignolet saved Morrison’s header after Martin Skrtel made a hash of Callum McManaman’s cross.

Mignolet had to ensure a point with two minutes left when he saved McManaman’s effort at the near post.

WEST BROM:

Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt, Gardner, Yacob, Fletcher, Morrison (Baird 81), Anichebe (McManaman 64), Berahino (Ideye 75).

LIVERPOOL:

Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson, Henderson, Gerrard, Ibe (Lallana 75), Coutinho, Sterling, Balotelli (Borini 75).

Ref:

Roger East (Wiltshire).

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