With the end of pre-season in sight and the start of the Premier League season less than two weeks away, Liverpool are hoping to get a few final pieces of business done in the transfer market. Many expect a pair of fullbacks to be amongst that business, with reports that deals for Javier Maquillo and Alberto Moreno could be done within the week, but Rodgers is remaining coy.
"Nothing as of yet on any linked player," Rodgers insisted when asked about reports the club are closing on the two Spanish fullbacks, with Manquillo reportedly in Liverpool today undergoing a medical while club representatives fly to Sevilla to finalise the Moreno deal. "We've still got a few bits and pieces we'd like to do to solidify the group, but no names or definite signings as of yet."
Both deals getting done, though, are widely believed to only be a matter of time now. While the 20-year-old Manquillo, who has only played six times in La Liga for Atletico Madrid, will arrive as Glen Johnson's backup on a two-year loan with an option to buy—likely with the hope that he can start next season after Johnson's contract expires—Moreno will be expected to start.
Having just turned 22 in July, Moreno made 43 appearances in all competitions last season for Sevilla, with 29 of those coming in La Liga. He has also made three appearances for the Spanish national team. At a reported cost of around £16M, he will be arriving at Anfield expecting to unseat Jose Enrique and start when Liverpool face Southampton on August 17th.
After the Loic Remy deal fell through, a new striker signing is also expected—though it won't be Mario Balotelli. As yet there is no clear frontrunner when it comes to who the club might be targeting. No matter who that striker ends up being, though, Rodgers insists that how they fit within the existing squad will be key, and that squad building rather than targeting big names has been the goal all along.
"I think the advantage of taking them is that they understand how we work," he said, using Liverpool's trio of signings from Southampton as representative examples of his overall approach. "All the players we have brought in were done so because of their profile. Southampton played in a really offensive, aggressive way, so the players that have come in will adapt that little bit quicker.
"There are obviously pressures. If you're playing for Liverpool, there's a different adaptation altogether, but in terms of the football style, that will make it easier. Ultimately they'll gain respect because they're good players, and that's why they're at Liverpool. Hopefully they can show that over their career here."
Liverpool play the final game of their pre-season North American tour tonight in Miami before returning to England, where they will face Dortmund on August 10th.