Sturridge and Ince edge closer to Liverpool switch as Rodgers plans £18m winter raid
Double bubble: Sturridge and Ince look set for a switch to Anfield
Liverpool will unveil a new £18million strike force in January after taking significant steps to securing deals for Daniel Sturridge and Thomas Ince.
It has been Brendan Rodgers wish for Liverpool to get their business in the New Year done early and they now are on the brink of landing their two prime targets.
Chelsea forward Sturridge is expected to cost Liverpool in the region of £12million, while they will have to pay Blackpool in the region of £6million to take Ince back to Anfield 18 months after letting him leave for £250,000.
Sturridge, who is currently in Japan with Chelsea at the Club World Cup, almost joined Liverpool in August but did not want to move on an initial loan deal. Rodgers, though, has remained an admirer and his transfer will be completed when the window opens.
Ince, meanwhile, will also be brought in to ease the burden on leading scorer Luis Suarez. He left Anfield in August 2011 and has since made eye-catching progress at Bloomfield Road, winning five England Under 21 caps this season.
Rodgers said last month he was looking for players "who would really help take the club forward" and both 20-year-old Ince and Sturridge, 23, fit the criteria of players who Liverpool look to buy. Rodgers remains keen on Arsenal’s Theo Walcott but he would be a signing for next summer.
It promises to be a significant transfer window for how Rodgers shapes Liverpool’s squad. He remains on the look-out for a left-back, as Stewart Downing has been told he is free to leave if they receive a suitable offer.
But whether Joe Cole follows suit is not certain. The former England midfielder made a significant contribution to Sunday's 3-2 win at West Ham, scoring Liverpool’s crucial second goal and Rodgers has challenged Cole to maintain that form.
Short on options: Liverpool are relying heavily on Suarez with Carroll out on loan