Paper Round: Liverpool in striker SOS

Liverpool's poor performance against Arsenal on Sunday has got the newspapers talking, particularly about the lack of striker options at the club.

Premier League - Owen impressed by Liverpool's Suarez stance

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Michael Owen, Liverpool

The decision to allow Andy Carroll to go out on loan without replacing him has left the Reds in a bind and with the transfer window now shut, they are limited as to who they can bring in, as only free agents can now be signed.

Every paper mentions Michael Owen as a potential signing with the former Kop hero available after his release from Manchester United in the summer.

Liverpool may need to move fast to get Owen though as according to the Daily Mail he has a two-year contract offer worth £1.5m-a-season on the table from Stoke City while Sunderland are also said to be keen.

Whether Liverpool have the inclination to match such an offer remains to be seen. Numerous reports say that Liverpool presumed they were going to be able to land Clint Dempsey from Fulham on deadline day, but the offer they finally submitted was just £3m which fell well short of the Cottagers' valuation, allowing Tottenham to swoop in and nab the American.

The Daily Star and The Sun put forward the more intriguing name of Didier Drogba as a potential signing but this idea is dismissed in other quarters, as, despite reports to the contrary, the former Chelsea star has not had his contract at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua terminated.

It is true that there is unrest at that club though, so Liverpool may monitor the situation and look to move if Drogba's contract does indeed get taken off the books.

The Reds would likely need Drogba to take a huge pay cut to join them as he is on a reported salary of £200,000-a-week in China.

Other than Owen and Drogba, the free agent pool does seem to be very shallow, although the Daily Express does mention another former Liverpool player, Emile Heskey, as an option.

Meanwhile, The Times also points out that Liverpool still have the option of recalling Carroll from West Ham in January.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said of bringing in a free agent: "I can't say no. Any player I believe can improve the squad, I will look at.

"I am not here to cry. Whatever has happened, I wouldn't change it for the world. I am very proud to manage this club. I have made it my life."

The window may have only just shut but there are still rumours floating around, the most exciting of which is from the Daily Mail which reports that Atletico Madrid striker Falcao could join a Premier League club in January.

They quote his father as saying: "There are three teams interested - Manchester City, Chelsea and a Russian team. Falcao has always wanted to play in the Premier League. Ever since he was a boy he has loved Chelsea and has always thought it would be an honour to play for a big Premier League team."

Swansea City will hunt for a left back in the free agent market after their left-back Neil Taylor fractured his ankle against Sunderland. (Daily Mirror)

Raul Meireles could be on his way out of Chelsea after Fenerbahce expressed a strong interest in signing the midfielder. The Turkish transfer window is still open and the Istanbul club's president Aziz Yildirim is keen to land a big name in the next few days.(Metro)

Tottenham are ready to let keepers Carlo Cudicini and Heurelho Gomes go to the Championship on loan after the pair were squeezed out. (Daily Mirror)

West Brom boss Steve Clarke hopes his side's flying start to the season will persuade central defender Jonas Olsson to sign a new contract. (Daily Express)

And finally, West Ham fear Andy Carroll's hamstring injury is worse than expected. The problem showed no sign of improvement on Sunday which suggests it is 'significant'. (Daily Mail)

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