Liverpool FC's Top Targets for the January Transfer Window
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January's transfer window could make or break Liverpool's season. Their thin, youth-packed squad has competed gallantly so far, and this weekend moves them into the top half, four points from fourth. However, the Reds need more depth in order to get a European place this year.
Manager Brendan Rodgers was left with a depleted playing squad in August following Andy Carroll's loan departure and the failure to sign Clint Dempsey. What's more, Liverpool's second-choice striker Fabio Borini was ruled out for three months in October after he broke his foot.
The gaps in the squad have been filled by youth players. 18-year-old winger Raheem Sterling has impressed so much that he gained "first team status" early on, whilst defender Andre Wisdom has been a solid backup to the full-backs.
However, Liverpool need to reinforce in January in order to have any chance of reaching the European places. Their comeback win against West Ham saw the Reds move into the top half of the Premier League table for the first time this campaign, but they have been outclassed by rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
So here are seven transfer targets Brendan Rodgers needs to snap up in the coming window.
Birmingham City's Jack Butland
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With Goal.com reporting Arsenal's interest in £8m goalkeeper Pepe Reina, Liverpool could move for Birmingham City's Jack Butland as his replacement. The 19-year-old impressed playing for Team GB in the Olympics and is seen as one of England's brightest goalkeeping talents.
Liverpool are also rumoured to be interested in Wigan's Ali Al-Habsi and Middlesborough's Luke Steele as long term Reina replacements.
Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge
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As Brendan Rodgers has only one available striker until Christmas at least, he will certainly be looking to strengthen his attacking options. The Guardian are reporting that Liverpool will bid £12m for Chelsea's England International Daniel Sturridge, who has made just seven appearances this season.
Sturridge, 23, would be a valuable asset—he has pace, skill on the ball and a cool head in front of goal. However, Rodgers will have to make sure Sturridge's ego is kept under wraps. Skysports is reporting that he is demanding Liverpool play him as a central striker, and that he is paid £80,000 per week.
Arsenal's Theo Walcott
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Arsenal's Theo Walcott is another striker from a Premier League rival who supposedly fancies a move to Anfield. He is out of contract in the summer, and the Daily Mail reports that Walcott is demanding £100,000 per week in any new deal, while Arsenal are not backing down from £75,00 per week.
Quick, skillful and an eye for the goal, Walcott would be a perfect fit alongside Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling in Liverpool's three-man front line. However, Walcott is also likely to insist he plays in the centre of the three, believing his wing role at Arsenal is not bringing out the best in him.
Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
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Competition will be fierce to sign Huntelaar, who has scored 48 goals in all competitions last season. Schalke have confirmed to the Daily Mail that scouts from Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton have kept a close eye on Huntelaar, who is out of contract in the summer, with Tottenham also reportedly interested.
Liverpool will have to act fast to land Huntelaar before he is attracted by a team with more realistic Champions League ambitions. However, The Reds have proved they can sign some of Europe's hottest properties without the Champions League, such as Luis Suarez.
Blackpool's Tom Ince
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Tom Ince has developed into one of the Championship's brightest talents since leaving Liverpool for Blackpool in last year. And The Reds' recent interest in re-signing him in January may indicate their regret at ever letting him go.
Ince has scored 13 goals in 19 appearances so far this season, whilst also picking up nine assists. The son of former Liverpool man Paul Ince has terrorised Championship defences in this season's first half, and The Guardian are reporting that Liverpool could sign him for £6m. His contract has a a 35 percent sell-on clause which Liverpool negotiated when he left.
Borussia Dortmund's Kevin Großkreutz
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Kevin Großkreutz was instrumental in helping Borussia Dortmund win their second consecutive Bundesliga title last year, contributing eight goals and seven assists from either the left or right wing.
However, since Borussia Monchengladbach winger Marco Reus arrived in the summer, he has made ten league appearances so far this season and has yet to find the net.
Metro reported that Liverpool representatives went to watch Großkreutz in Dortmunds Champions League game in Ajaz last month, and he told the newspaper that playing in England would be his "top priority" if he moved on.