By Greg Stobart
Liverpool are weighing up a January bid for PSV Eindhoven winger Dries Mertens, Goal.com has learned.
The Reds are long-term admirers of the €12.4 million-rated Belgian and manager Brendan Rodgers is considering a move in the new year as he looks to strengthen his attacking options.
|THE VIEW FROM HOLLAND
|'MERTENS IS READY FOR THE NEXT STEP'
|"Dries Mertens is ready for the next step in his career. Even when he's having a bad day he's still vital for PSV. The team has been struggling somewhat this season but when you look at his statistics, from the first seven matches, you can't say he's been the problem with four goals and seven assists.
"Dick Advocaat has substituted him a couple times for the biggest emerging talent in Holland at the moment, Memphis Depay, but Mertens knows what he's capable of. He's full of confidence and has never lost his starting place. Mertens is a selfish player, but for him that's not always a bad thing. He's fast, has got good technique and can decide a game with his ability."
Rodgers is desperate for more wide options having started the season with Fabio Borini and 17-year-old Raheem Sterling as his first-choice wingers.
Mertens is attracting interest from clubs in Italy but is keen on a move to the Premier League, where he has previously been linked with Newcastle and would join a number of Belgium team-mates including Eden Hazard, Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini.
“Liverpool first wanted Mertens when Kenny Dalglish was manager but they are still making their interest well known,” a source close to the player told Goal.com.
“He would obviously love to play for such a prestigious club in English football but right now he can only focus on producing strong performances for PSV.”
A transfer at the end of the season appears more likely for a player who joined PSV in June 2011 from FA Utrecht - but he is almost certain to leave the Philips Stadion before the start of next season.
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