Liverpool are confident Daniel Agger will remain a key part of Brendan Rodgers' defence next season despite claims that the Denmark international is the latest target for Monaco's lavish spending spree.
Reports in France on Tuesday said the Liverpool central defender was close to joining Monaco on a four-year contract as the newly promoted club aim for an instant challenge for French honours and European qualification. Backed by their Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev, Monaco have already added over £100m worth of talent to Claudio Ranieri's squad this summer in Radamel Falcao, João Moutinho, James Rodríguez and Ricardo Carvalho.
Agger and the out-of-favour Manchester United winger Nani are the latest high-profile figures to be linked with the Ligue 1 club but Liverpool have not received an approach for the 28-year-old and would not welcome one. The Dane was a target for Manchester City last summer but ultimately signed a new four-year contract at Anfield in October, and Liverpool have had no indication that his commitment has wavered.
The former Brondby player is the only senior central defender at Liverpool whom Rodgers could confidently include in his plans for next season. Of last season's quartet, Jamie Carragher has retired and the Anfield futures of both Martin Skrtel and Sebastián Coates are in doubt, prompting a search for at least two defensive signings this summer. Schalke's Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Tiago Ilori of Sporting Lisbon head the Liverpool manager's list while Shakhtar Donetsk's goalscoring midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a target and would cost around £22m.
Liverpool have confirmed they will play Celtic in a pre-season friendly at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 10 August. The match, kicking off at 5.30pm, adds to a pre-season programme that will take Liverpool to Indonesia, Melbourne, Thailand and Norway, plus Steven Gerrard's testimonial at home to Olympiakos on 3 August.
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