Liverpool closing in on £9m swoop for Premier League striker - three questions and reaction

Liverpool are reportedly set to agree a deal to sign Southampton forward Rickie Lambert for £9m ahead of this summer's World Cup.

The Reds bagged a second place finish in the Premier League just a year after finishing in seventh place, but the end of the season was tinged with disappointment after throwing away the title in the final weeks of the season, allowing Manchester City to steal in to claim the crown.

Champions League football is returning to Liverpool though, and manager Brendan Rodgers will now have the ability to strengthen his squad this summer in order to cope with the rigours of competing in multiple competitions, and has already reportedly made a move to sign Saints hitman Lambert.

The England international striker, 33, racked up 13 goals and 10 assists this season and reports this evening suggest that the Reds have made a £9m move to sign Lambert - who started his career at Anfield back in 1992 before leaving in 1997.

With a move now looking more and more likely, here are three questions and reaction to Lambert's potential return to Merseyside.

1. Could Lambert be arriving as a potential Luis Suarez replacement?

The Uruguayan may have signed a new contract in December, but speculation remains rife that he will be leaving the club in order to join Real Madrid this summer. By bringing in a striker who has been the focal point of the Southampton attack, Lambert may be expecting an important role under Rodgers - which could be possible if Suarez leaves.

2. Does this spell the end for Iago Aspas?

Rodgers made an attempt to add depth to his attacking options last summer with the capture of Celta Vigo's Aspas, but the Spaniard has been something of a disaster having failed to hit the back of the net in the Premier League. Lambert's potential arrival would push Aspas even further down the pecking order - and maybe out of the Anfield exit door.

3. Will Lambert's arrival lead to Adam Lallana following him?

Speculation is continuing that Lambert could be arriving in a package deal involving fellow Saint Lallana - which would be a huge boost to the Reds. If Lambert can convince Lallana that Liverpool is the club for him rather than Manchester United or Tottenham, then he will immediately be a fan favourite.

Here are some reactions from Liverpool fans on Twitter...


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