Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers spent most of last summer searching for a winger, and having missed out on Willian, who left Anzhi Makachkala for Stamford Bridge, the West London club agreed to loan Nigerian international Victor Moses to Liverpool.
But former Wigan winger has started just six Premier League games this season, and his lack of playing time has reportedly made Chelsea wary of loaning another of their young players to the Anfield club, particularly with Moses failing to impress. This may have allowed Fulham to steal a march on the Merseysiders in the race for England international Ryan Bertrand.
The Cottagers are in dire need of reinforcements as Rene Meulensteen's side currently sit 16th in the Premier League table, just two points clear of safety.
A move to Craven Cottage would be of great benefit to all parties, as Chelsea can almost be guaranteed that Bertrand will feature heavily, while the close proximity of the two clubs would make it geographically appealing to the young left-back.
Fulham have conceded a staggering 42 goals this season – nine more than the next leakiest defence – and need to revamp their back-line if they are to ensure Premier League survival.
To miss out on a player to Fulham would be somewhat embarrassing for Rodgers and a club as big as Liverpool, who had been hoping to land Bertrand after some problems at left-back. Regular first choice Jose Enrique had knee surgery in November and will only return in February at the very earliest, while summer loan signing Aly Cissokho has been disappointing since his move from Valencia and surely will be kept on at the end of the season.
Youngster Jon Flanagan has filled in admirably, but the Reds' interest in Bertrand would suggest that they see Flanagan as an option for the future rather than somebody to depend on now. And, after all, Rodgers worked as Bertrand's manager in the Chelsea reserves between 2006 and 2008, and even signed Bertrand on loan when he became Reading manager.
But their use of Moses – or lack of – could take Bertrand down the road to Fulham, leaving Rodgers to contemplate other targets this month.
With Moses struggling to make an impact, there may even be a chance of that deal being terminated in order for the Nigerian to find football elsewhere – particularly having been substituted at half-time in the FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic on Sunday.
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