Liverpool latest: Reds scout one target, another possibly put up for sale

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Gerrard reflects on Champions League exit

Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Basel on Tuesday night wasn't enough to see the Reds qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, meaning Brendan Rodgers now has to make do with the Europa League.

Midfielder Steven Gerrard served his role as Reds saviour once again, scoring a superb free kick to give Liverpool hope with ten minutes left, but it wasn't enough - and the captain said the whole campaign wasn't good enough.

"We haven't gone out of the competition because of our performance [on Tuesday]," said Gerrard. "We've gone out because away at Basel we weren't good enough and in our last game [Ludogorets away] we conceded a stupid goal towards injury time. You always qualify over the six games and unfortunately we have not been good enough."

Safari denies play-acting criticism

The game saw Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic sent off for striking Behrang Safari in the face, though contact looked minimal at best. Swedish left back Safari has been criticised for play-acting, but he says there was contact.

"Yes, yes of course. I was bleeding from my mouth," he said.  "I wouldn’t have gone to ground if he hadn’t hit me. I am not the kind of player who dives. It was a bit strange, I didn’t realise that it was a red card first.

"I thought the referee had blown his whistle because it was a head injury and I thought I was going to give the ball to the Liverpool players afterwards. But then I noticed that the Liverpool players were angry with me."

Scouts sent to Benfica - why?

Whilst the game at Anfield was being played, Reds scouts were out in Portugal to watch Benfica play Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.

It's believed that Uruguayan right back Maxi Pereira was the subject of their interest, as Rodgers looks for an alternative for Glen Johnson in defence.

Keita finally available?

Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move to sign Lazio forward Keita Balde Diao in recent months, and their persistence could be rewarded soon.

New Lazio boss Stefano Pioli is reportedly unhappy with Keita's displays since his arrival, and is willing to sanction his sale in January if bids come in.

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