#360transfers: Roma join list of clubs interested in Bacca

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Wanted: Carlos Bacca.

Roma have joined Liverpool and AC Milan in the race to sign Sevilla forward Carlos Bacca this summer.

– #360view: Firmino could become a shrewd Liverpool addition
– EPL fixtures: Matches to watch out for in 2015-16 season
– AFC: General Secretary steps down after ‘cover up’ claims

Bacca, who is under contract with Sevilla until June 2018, has attracted the attention of top European clubs after his heroics inspired Sevilla to their second successive Europa League crown this season.

Roma have reportedly made a €25 million (Dh103m) bid to acquire the Colombia international.

“We want Bacca,” Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini said to Spanish newspaper ABC. “But I cannot say anything more.”

Roma, who finished runners-up to Juventus in Serie A this season, are looking to strengthen their attacking line and Bacca is considered their top target this summer.

Bacca was prolific in the Primera Division this season, scoring 20 goals in 37 appearances to help Sevilla finish fifth. The 28-year-old, who joined Sevilla two years ago from Club Brugge, also scored seven goals in the Europa League, including two in last month’s final that saw Sevilla beat Dnipro 3-2 to win the competition for a record fourth time.

Bacca is currently on international duty at the Copa America in Chile, with any decision on his future unlikely to be sorted until his participation in the tournament has ended.

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#360transfers: Liverpool have more money to spend

Carl Markham 25/06/2015
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Liverpool-bound: Firmino.

Liverpool’s £29 million (Dh167m) deal to bring Brazil forward Roberto Firmino to Anfield will not impact on further summer spending or change their stance on wantaway winger Raheem Sterling.

– #360view: Firmino could become a shrewd Liverpool addition
– EPL fixtures: Matches to watch out for in 2015-16 season
– AFC: General Secretary steps down after ‘cover up’ claims

It is understood the Reds will pay €30 million (about £21m) for the Hoffenheim player with add-ons likely to make the 23-year-old the club’s second most expensive signing in their history, after the £35m (Dh202m) purchase of Andy Carroll in January 2011.

Firmino, who will undergo a medical after his involvement in the Copa America is over, has agreed a five-year contract with the Reds after chief executive Ian Ayre flew out to Chile on Wednesday and the deal was finalised overnight.

The money for Firmino was outlined as planned summer transfer spending and the club do not have to sell Sterling, for whom Manchester City’s second £40million offer was rejected earlier this month as they value him at £50m-plus (Dh289m), in order to balance the books.

They still have funds left for another centre-forward, with their sights set on Sevilla’s £20m-rated (Dh115m) Colombia striker Carlos Bacca and Zenit St Petersburg’s Venezuelan Salomon Rondon, valued about £15m (Dh87m), who have both been in action at the Copa America.

Ayre is scheduled to remain in Chile for at least another 24 hours but Liverpool already had staff present at the tournament and they still retain interest in the South Americans after refusing to consider Aston Villa’s £32.5m (Dh185m) release clause for Christian Benteke.

Liverpool are also remaining patient in their pursuit of Southampton’s England right-back Nathaniel Clyne, having already had a £10m (Dh58m) bid turned down, as the recruitment programme aimed at regaining Champions League football continues.

Firmino is Liverpool’s fifth signing of the close-season having already recruited Burnley’s England Under-21 striker Danny Ings, Manchester City midfielder James Milner, Charlton defender Joe Gomez and Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.

The Brazilian spent four and a half years in Germany, scoring 47 goals in 151 appearances with four goals in nine internationals, including Sunday’s Copa America winner against Venezuela.

Manager Brendan Rodgers will hope Firmino, who made his professional debut for Figueirense at the age of 17 in October 2009 but left for Germany just over a year later, can bring more goals to his side.

Liverpool are in the process of overhauling their striking options after last season’s dismal tally of 52 league goals – 49 fewer than the previous campaign.

Main striker Daniel Sturridge was injured for most of the campaign and so their top scorer with 13 was Steven Gerrard, who has now left to join Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy. It’s understood Rodgers wants four front-line strikers to cope with the demands of domestic and Europa League football.

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VIDEO: Mario Mandzukic signs for Juventus

Scott 23/06/2015
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Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic signs for Juventus.


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