LIVERPOOL will continue to splash the cash, even after stumping up Â£12.5million to make Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne their sixth signing of the summer.
And the Reds are expected to return to Aston Villa within the next few days with a massive new offer for Christian Benteke.
Boss Brendan Rodgers has had one bid of around Â£22m rejected by the Midlands club, who insist they will not come to the table concerning the Belgium international until a release clause of Â£32.5m is triggered.
But Benteke has told his Villa Park bosses he wonâ€™t be signing a new contract to stay beyond the 24 months remaining on his current deal.
The centre-forward – who has scored 49 goals in 99 Villa games since his Â£7m move from Genk in his homeland in 2012 – is currently on holiday, but it is thought he will return next week to reiterate his desire for a move.
And Liverpool are ready to follow that development up with an improved bid in excess of Â£25m, which they hope will tempt the Villans to take what would still be a big profit on an unhappy player.
Rodgers has long been a fan of Benteke, and would have bid for him last summer had the striker not been sidelined with a serious Achilles injury that cost him a World Cup place and kept him out until October.
Since then, he made up for lost time – and proved his fitness – with 15 goals.
If this fresh bid is successful, it would take Liverpoolâ€™s summer outlay beyond the Â£70m mark after deals that bringing in Clyne, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez plus out of contract trio James Milner, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan.
On Thursday, a renewed bid for Clyne – who has just a year left on his contract – was accepted by Southampton.
Liverpool are set to complete the formalities of a deal over the weekend that will see them pay Â£10.5m down and a further Â£2m in add-ons for the England right-back.
Such massive spending suggests the Reds are now resigned to selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City, with the Etihad club expected to return within days with a bid totalling Â£50m-plus for the brilliant young star.
Liverpool have been considering other strikers in case they fail to land Benteke, and maintain an interest in Sevilla’s Carlos Bacca.
But they have yet to make a formal approach for the Â£22m-rated Colombia international – who turns 29 in early September and as such is outside their usual transfer-target profile. – Mirror