5 Players Linked to Liverpool in January
The summer transfer window is not long closed but already plenty of rumours are surrounding Liverpool after their low-key start to the Premier League season, with the world's media keen to pick out the newest recruits for Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool brought in Fabio Borini, Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin (loan) and Oussama Assaidi during the summer, as well as young forward Samed Yesil. Still, further additions will be required if the Reds are to get anywhere near the top four this year.
Forwards, both central and in the wider areas, are probably going to be highest on the Reds' list of requirements come January, with the midfield and centre of defence well stocked.
Here are the five latest players linked with Brendan Rodgers' new-look Liverpool team.
At 24 years of age, Sam, a winger, has yet to play for the German national team but has been a fixture in the Leverkusen side for the past two years.
Sam can play on either flank and is a fast player, comfortable on the ball and running at players, with an eye for a shot from distance—though he is far from prolific.
He has recorded 11 league goals for Leverkusen since signing in 2010. He won his team a penalty this weekend against Moenchengladbach, but it was missed and the game ended 1-1.
SportsNews Ireland has Brendan Rodgers ready to make a firm offer for Marcelo Brozovic, a central midfielder playing in his home country with Dinamo Zagreb.
A highlights package to view might be of more use for those who don't follow the Croatian league closely.
Zagreb, though, have produced midfielders in recent seasons such as Luka Modric, Milan Badelj and current starlet Mateo Kovacic—over one year younger than Brozovic—so the reported Liverpool target is in good company.
The accuracy of this particular report might be questioned given that Brozovic only joined Dinamo Zagreb this summer, signing an extremely long-term contract in the process.
Isco has shot to prominence around Europe in the past few weeks with some excellent displays for Malaga and two well-taken goals in the Champions League—now Mirror Football have the Reds after him in January, along with the Spurs.
Isco came through Valencia's youth system but made only a handful of appearances for their first team before moving on. Now aged 20, he is lighting up La Rosaleda on a weekly basis with his blend of direct running and close control.
He can play as a second forward or as an attacking midfielder, being a typical media-punta. He has quickly become a media favourite after being mentioned as one of the players Malaga needed to offload this summer to raise funds—though it seems unlikely he might leave in the middle of his first Champions League season when he is playing such a prominent role.
Lewandowski has started the new season with a goal (from 13 shots) and two assists for his team in four games, with teammates Jakub Blaszczykowski and Ivan Perisic taking up the early-season goal-scoring mantel for the side.
A good finisher with excellent movement, if Lewandowski does leave Dortmund he will have no shortage of takers. It seems likely he would choose to move to a side who can offer immediate Champions League football.
Athletic Bilbao forward Fernando Llorente is the final name on the list, with Sport360 claiming the Reds are one of the front-runners to secure his signature on a cut-price fee in January.
Perhaps the more realistic target of the group, but even then, this striker will have an awful lot of interest this winter if he does indeed leave Bilbao.
Llorente's qualities are well-documented though. Even if he is not the archetypal forward the Reds will be looking to use long term, his resale value—compared to a lowered market value now with little time left on his contract—would make him a sound investment and an increase in squad quality.