Rodgers monitors Wigan duo and Sporting Lisbon youngster

Tiago Ilori copyright Catherine Kõrtsmik cc2
Tiago Ilori

Liverpool have hit the back pages today with newspapers speculating who might be on Brendan Rodgers summer transfer wish list.

The Times report that the Anfield chief was at the Emirates on Tuesday night to watch James McCarthy and Callum McManaman in action for Wigan.

McCarthy has been at Wigan for four years and has been an ever present in the Latics’ side in the league this season. Despite Arsenal’s dominance for much of the match, McCarthy was one of Wigan’s best performers.

Man of the Match in FA Cup final

McManaman put in a man of the match performance as Wigan beat Manchester City to win the FA Cup on Saturday. The winger who was released by Everton in as a youngster has come of age this season. He is now a first team regular for league matches rather than just cup games.

However, Wigan are in no rush to sell the players and won’t let them go on the cheap. Manager Roberto Martinez has run the club well and they have raised £50m from selling players such as Antonio Valencia, Victor Moses and Charles N’Zogbia since 2009.

They will also receive parachute payments after being relegated and will hope to keep the majority of the squad together to mount a promotion push.

Portuguese youngster on the Liverpool radar

The Daily Mirror report that Liverpool are planning for life without Jamie Carragher and are interested in bringing Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori to the club.

The 20-year-old was born in London but currently represents Portugal at U20 level. He is 6ft 3in but comfortable with the ball at his feet. After impressing for the Sporting B team he has recently broken into the first team.

Rodgers believes he will be able to land the youngster with a £4m bid and hopes to get a deal done before his value starts to rise.

Tom Warner praises Carragher

Meanwhile Liverpool chairman Tom Warner has praised the character and integrity of club legend Carragher.

Carragher will make his 737th and final appearance for Liverpool against QPR on Sunday and Warner told the Liverpool Echo: “To spend 16 years in the first team at Liverpool is testament to Jamie’s professionalism. He really is an extraordinary person and a man of remarkable integrity.

“His love for the club is such that he has always put Liverpool first. In moments of adversity he’s been there, lifting players around him.

“He gives everything and suffers for the team. It’s extremely rare in any sport for someone to dedicate their whole career to one club, especially in an age where loyalty tends to be secondary to other considerations.”

Carragher is set for a new career as a football pundit on Sky Sports alongside Manchester United legend Gary Neville. He has also expressed a desire to go into coaching in the future. When that day comes there will always be a place for him at Anfield.

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