SOCCER-GERMANY/Brendan Rodgers is hoping to start his crucial summer of spending with a bang by snapping up a long-term replacement for Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool manager Rodgers has targeted highly-rated Greece international Kyriakos Papadopoulos, and will table a firm £13.5million offer for the centre-half.

At just 21, Papadopoulos has the right age profile for a big Anfield signing but already has vast experience, having become the youngest-ever player in the Greek league at the age of 15 and won 14 caps.

His performances with Olympiacos earned him a move to Schalke, and he helped the Germans reach the later stages of the Champions League before turning down a £16m move to Russia's Zenit St Petersburg.

Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City have all monitored his progress in the Bundesliga, but Liverpool have been in contact with the player's father and believe he would choose Anfield.

The Reds will first need a medical thumbs-up on a knee problem that kept him out for the second half of the season, but are expected to make a formal approach within the next week.

Rodgers also wants £7m-rated right-back Sam Byram from Championship side Leeds.

The Yorkshire club have resigned themselves to losing the talented 19-year-old - also a target for Everton - and have already lined up Manchester City starlet Reese Wabara as a replacement.

Source: Liverpool FC

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