BRENDAN RODGERS is contemplating a summer move for Swansea City defender Ashley Williams – after admitting Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification are realistically over.
Rodgers is anticipating another busy transfer window at the end of the season having already spent more than £50million since his arrival as Anfield manager last May.
The imminent retirement of Jamie Carragher means the Northern Irishman must recruit at least one centre-back.
But with increased uncertainty over the futures of Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates, Rodgers may be compelled to purchase as many as three new defenders.
And the Liverpool manager could return to his former club with a swoop for Swansea and Wales skipper Williams.
The 28-year-old was an integral part of Rodgers’ promotion campaign at the Liberty Stadium in 2011 and will lead the South Walians in their Capital One Cup final against npower League Two giantkillers Bradford City next Sunday.
Coates has fallen down the pecking order under Rodgers, making only 10 appearances so far this season and having not started a Premier League game since August.
And Skrtel, who was dropped to the bench for the last three league games, is a target of former club Zenit St Petersburg.
Williams will aim to keep a fourth successive Premier League clean sheet against Liverpool when Swansea visit Anfield tomorrow afternoon.
Thursday’s 2-0 Europa League round of 32 first leg defeat at Zenit means Rodgers’ men have won only one of their last seven games, with Monday’s dismal 2-0 home defeat against West Bromwich Albion leaving Liverpool 12 points adrift of fourth place – the same distance as the Anfield outfit stand from fourth from bottom.
And Rodgers accepts Champions League qualification is now almost certainly beyond his team.