The Liverpool manager has operated with only one fit striker – Luis Suárez – for most of his debut season at Anfield, due to injury to Fabio Borini and a calamitous end to the last transfer window. The club are anxious to address their summer failings at the earliest opportunity and have made further progress on Rodgers' chief targets after negotiations with Chelsea and Blackpool.
Sturridge, who is expected to cost £12m and is keen on a move to Merseyside, could have joined Liverpool on transfer deadline day but Rodgers was reluctant to pursue a permanent deal – he favoured an initial loan move. His hopes of signing Arsenal's Theo Walcott in January have been frustrated by Arsène Wenger's determination to keep the England international at Arsenal until the end of his contract next summer.
Liverpool have also pressed ahead with a deal for the £6m-rated Ince. The 20-year-old left Anfield only in 2011 but has blossomed in the Championship with Blackpool. The potential cost of re-signing Ince would be offset by a 35% sell-on clause that Liverpool secured on the terms of his departure to Bloomfield Road.
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