Liverpool are close to completing their second signing of the summer after Iago Aspas arrived on Merseyside to finalise his £7.7m move from Celta Vigo. The 25-year-old forward travelled to Liverpool on Monday, having cancelled a holiday to the Caribbean once he became aware of interest from Anfield, and will undergo a medical on Tuesday before sealing the transfer from his boyhood club.
Aspas had a €10m (£8.5m) release clause in his Celta Vigo contract but that would have dropped to €7m in the event of the club's relegation, a fate they avoided on the final day of the Spanish league season. Liverpool struck a compromise deal in the days before Celta's relegation reprieve.
Aspas can operate across the front line and scored 12 goals in Celta's return to the top flight last season following five years in the second division. He had offers from Valencia, Portuguese and Italian teams plus Swansea City, whose failure to conclude the deal has added to Michael Laudrup's frustrations at the Liberty Stadium, but cleared the way for a move to Liverpool after settling a contractual issue with Celta Vigo.
He will become the second addition to Brendan Rodgers's squad this summer, with Kolo Touré's free transfer agreed once his Manchester City contract expires, and the Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori may soon follow. Liverpool remain in negotiations for the 20-year-old central defender, but have yet to reach agreement on a fee with Sporting and face competition from Valencia, among others.
Martin Skrtel's agent, meanwhile, has claimed he will meet Liverpool officials this week to clarify the defender's future. Skrtel is open to offers following what the 28-year-old described as the worst season of his Liverpool career last term, when he was publicly criticised by Rodgers and lost his first-team place to Jamie Carragher, and has been linked with a reunion with Rafael Benítez at Napoli.
The Slovakia international's agent, Karol Csonto, said: "There has been no contact between the two clubs. Martin has a contract with Liverpool and it is important to honour that. Obviously Napoli know Martin well, but there cannot be any contact between us and them if they do not first reach an agreement with Liverpool.
"Between Martin Skrtel and Rafa Benítez is a professional relationship that has gone on from the years they spent together at Liverpool. [Napoli midfielder] Marek Hamsik and Skrtel are very good friends and they met last week. The midfielder requested information from Martin about Benítez, while Skrtel has asked questions about Napoli. But I think that if Napoli want to take Skrtel, they should first talk to Liverpool. I will be in England next week to talk with Liverpool and define Martin's future."