Report: Liverpool identify Salomon Rondon as Benteke alternative

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The Reds are looking at two players involved in Copa America if the Aston Villa striker becomes a no-go move, with Carlos Bacca another option.

With Liverpool's pursuit of Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke stagnating, as reports of interest from other top sides look like making any transfer attempt a messy affair, the Echo have stated that the club are considering two South American forwards as an alternative to the bruising Belgian, naming Zenit St Petersburg striker Salomon Rondon and Sevilla star Carlos Bacca as the players in question.

The Echo report that Villa are holding out for every penny of Benteke's £32 million release clause, while Liverpool are reluctant to spend over £20 million, a figure which could see them get either of the players below.

First up is 25-year-old Rondon, a forward who has been a prolific scorer wherever he has played. The Venezuelan has just finished his third season in Russia, and is the star of his national side. The striker joined Zenit in the middle of the 2013-14 campaign, and in his first full season, he scored 20 goals in 44 games to help the St Petersburg side win the league under Andre Villas-Boas.

Rondon, who is a powerful and skilful individual with good pace, played for Malaga before switching to Rubin Kazan, his first Russian side, and impressed there despite his youth.

Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca is the second forward Liverpool will look to, but is someone who will be a much tougher signing to bring in. There are plenty of interested parties circling a player who capped another superb season in La Liga with a match winning brace as the Spanish side beat Dnipro in the Europa League final.

Liverpool have been linked with the Colombian before now, with the Express suggesting the Reds are tracking the 28-year-old alongside the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. But then, after his 28-goal season, which top club wouldn't be.

Rondon would certainly be a less competitive transfer to complete, and considering his age, would be better long term value for money than Bacca. Interestingly, the Zenit player scored the winner as Venezuela beat Colombia at this summer's Copa America.

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