Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on making the German internationals his first signings following his summer move to the Merseyside clubEXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart
Liverpool are plotting a double swoop on German club Schalke for midfielder Lewis Holtby and attacker Julian Draxler, Goal.com can reveal.
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to freshen up his squad and the youngsters, both Germany internationals, fit the bill in two areas he most wants to strengthen.
Liverpool face a tough task in completing a move for either player, but the early indication is that Holtby appears a more realistic option as his current contract expires next summer and he is yet to extend his deal.
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Holtby is a big fan of English football and his father supports Everton but it seems that a move to the Premier League would be too early for him.
[Manager] Horst Heldt wants to extend his contract but if the price is right Schalke will consider it because they have a lot of players in his position.
The forward, whose contract ends 2016 and has no buy-out clause, can play in many attacking positions.
He joined the club at seven years old and holds the record as their youngest ever player in the Bundesliga.
He has even previously turned down moves to Dortmund and Bayern but admits that it is his dream to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona one day.
Any move for him by the Spanish pair or Liverpool would cost a lot of money.
Though a move for Holtby is more feasible, the player's agent has told Goal.com that he is in talks over a new contract and Schalke are eager to keep their all-action midfielder.
The 21-year-old, who shares dual English and German nationality, has previously talked up a future move to the Premier League and has declared a desire to one day play for Everton, his boyhood club and Liverpool’s city rivals.
Goal.com revealed on Tuesday that Rodgers wants to sign £10 million-rated Joe Allen from Swansea but Holtby, who scored nine goals in 41 appearances last season for Schalke, remains high on his list of targets.
Draxler netted five times last term playing in an attacking role on the left-hand side for the Bundesliga outfit, with the coming season marked as his breakthrough year following the departure of Spanish legend Raul.
Liverpool are looking to bolster their attacking options, especially with Andy Carroll likely to leave Anfield and the future of Alberto Aquilani unclear, but German sources insist Draxler would be too expensive for the Reds and would only leave Schalke for one of the two Spanish giants, Barcelona or Real Madrid.
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