By support

2nd Jan, 2017 | 7:44am

Report: Liverpool eye £22m-rated forward as Sturridge replacement, summer move likely

By Dominic Toner

Liverpool are interested in signing Benfica striker Raul Jimenez, according to a report.

Football website Squawka claim that manager Jurgen Klopp has identified the 25-year-old as a transfer target as the future of Daniel Sturrdige is in doubt.

The report details that Liverpool have earmarked the £22m-rated forward as a summer target as he is not set to leave in January.

Jimenez is currently leading the line for Portuguese club Benfica and has scored eight goals in 18 appearances this season.

The striker has 48 international caps for Mexico and first played in Europe with Atletico Madrid, before moving to Benfica in 2015.

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He has scored 20 goals in 63 appearances for Benfica and Liverpool believe he could become a success at Anfield.

The Merseyside club are unclear about Sturridge’s future and he has been fighting for his position this season.

The 27-year-old has made just 13 appearances this season and has completed 90 minutes on just one occasion.

He has an impressive Liverpool record of 59 goals in 105 games, but he is currently behind the likes of Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi for an attacking position.

Football Insider verdict:

Liverpool will need a like-for-like replacement if they choose to sell Sturridge in the summer and Jimenez seems like he could fit the bill. However, the Mexican striker is yet to experience English football before and could take time to adjust to the pace and speed. Klopp already has a proven Premier League goalscorer in Sturridge, but should sell him if he can’t fit his philosophy. Liverpool could do with an extra attacking option in January as Sadio Mane departs to the Africa Cup of Nations and could experience a dent in their title hopes as a rest. The Reds will continue to monitor Jimenez’s form this season at the Estadio da Luz and will need to assess whether he can fit the club’s style before splashing £22million for his services.

In other Liverpool transfer news, the club have failed to agree a loan deal for a Serie A midfielder.