By John Cross
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is lining up a last-minute swoop for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge.
Rodgers will have to pull off a massive clear-out at Anfield to get the proposed £15million deal done though.
He is ready to sell Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing this week to raise the funds to carry on his rebuilding plans and Sturridge is right at the top of his hit-list.
Andy Carroll could also go, with Newcastle and West Ham still interested in a loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer. The Geordie favours a return to his native North-East.
Rodgers is a big admirer of Sturridge who has become frustrated at Chelsea after failing to nail down a regular place in the side or get a chance in his favoured role as a central striker.
New Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo appears no more inclined than his predecessors to move him up the pecking order, only using him as a sub so far this season, which has alerted Rodgers and he is watching developments closely.
Chelsea are aware of Liverpool’s interest even though a bid has yet to come in, and may be reluctant to sell if it leaves them short of attacking options.
Having sent Romelu Lukaku out on loan to West Brom for the season, Sturridge is their only senior striker other than first-choice Fernando Torres.
However, they have been linked with a number of frontmen, including Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle.
Rodgers has impressed the Liverpool hierarchy and fans with his rebuilding plans and philosophy and if he can generate cash through sales then he will have the funds to get Sturridge.
Downing may be difficult to shift after a disappointing first season at Liverpool despite being an England international.
Adam is unlikely to be part of Rodgers’ long-term plans and has been linked with a move to Everton.
Full-back Jose Enrique has also attracted interest.
* CHELSEA misfit Gael Kakuta is set to join Marseille on a one-year loan deal with the French club having a £5million option to buy.
The 21-year-old, who joined the Blues in 2009, is due to fly out to France for talks and is eager to return to his homeland.