Liverpool latest: Reported left back target intends to stay in Germany

Joe Allen Liverpool

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Liverpool have added Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can this summer, increasing the competition for places in the middle of the park. Brendan Rodgers now has captain Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Can and Joe Allen at his disposal ahead of the new season - and former Swansea City star Allen says that his fitness is improving as pre-season continues.

"That's always great, touch wood there have been no injury problems - so far, so good," said Allen."I feel like my fitness is getting better every day. With the matches that we've got, hopefully I can get some time under my belt in those games and really push on.

"In the first couple of weeks there are no games and not as much ball work as you'd like. But fitness has improved and I'm looking forward to the game time now. We all know the season will be upon us very quickly."

Rodgers has yet to land a defender, but with Kolo Toure set for a move to Trabzonspor and Andre Wisdom loaned out to West Bromwich Albion, there could be an opportunity to impress for Martin Kelly. The 24-year-old has played just 15 games for the club since Rodgers took over as manager, but he says playing in pre-season is a boost having been on the fringes for so long.

"As a young lad you train and then you play at the weekend, so to train throughout the week and then not play at the weekend was difficult [last season]," Kelly said. "But I'm still part of the team, I was still travelling to all the games and I still felt a part of it. That's what was good from Brendan - to keep me involved with the team."

"I'm just looking forward to this season, enjoying my football, enjoying being here with the team and it's exciting times for Liverpool as you know."

Defensive reinforcements will still be needed at Anfield after Rodgers saw his back line capitulate in the title race, and left back is a particular concern after Jose Enrique suffered a season-ending injury. Right backs Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan filled in admirably, but finding a natural left back has to be a priority for Rodgers, but his hopes of landing Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez have been dealt a blow. The Swiss international impressed at the World Cup, but says he won't be leaving this summer - meaning Rodgers must look to other targets.

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