Liverpool fans who received calendars as Christmas gifts have been staring intently at Jan. 1 ever since peeling off the wrapping paper.
There isn’t another club in the Premier League who are in need of such obvious January investment as the Reds, and with that need comes inevitable transfer rumours linking Liverpool with all manner of players even before the transfer window opens, but which of these rumours do fans most want to see come true?
For clarification purposes we’ve stuck to rumours which can be backed up by credible sources―it would be easy to link the Reds with Lionel Messi, something that supporters would no doubt welcome once they’d stopped jumping up and down excitedly―and so which of those moves would raise both the pulses and the excitement levels at Anfield?
(Source: Daily Mail)
After Santa Claus, Ba’s clause has been the most widely mentioned over the festive period, as the talk continued of a release fee in the Senegalese forward’s Newcastle United contract.
A bid of around £7 million will reportedly be enough to speak to one of the Premier League’s leading scorers this season, and the prospect of linking him up with another in Luis Suarez is sure to see defences quaking when they come up against the Reds during the remainder of the campaign.
However with Chelsea apparently jumping to the front of the queue for Ba's services (Sky Sports) then a deal looks far from certain, and it would still be somewhat of a surprise if the 27-year-old ended up at Anfield.
Although the most likely of Liverpool’s January arrivals, the prospect of Sturridge donning a red shirt might not have excited all Reds followers but he could be just what the club needs.
There can be a selfish streak which sometimes runs through the 23-year-old, but if you’ve got the talent to back that up then it needn’t be a problem. In a Liverpool team who are all too often guilty of just passing the ball to Suarez and then watching and admiring the Uruguayan’s work then it could well be a blessing.
Sturridge is at a time in his career when he needs to settle down and find some consistency, and he can do that in a Liverpool team which could just be well suited to his needs.
(Source: The Independent)
After Sturridge the next most likely arrival in January is Ince―a player that the current regime at the Reds have taken a liking to even after the previous one agreed to let him go.
Thirteen Championship goals before the turn of the year make it easy to spot just why he has caught the eye at Blackpool, and the sell-on clause that Liverpool inserted into his contract means that the Reds will effectively get over a third off any transfer fee they agree with the Tangerines.
That fee is still to be negotiated though, but if and when it is then Liverpool will be getting a talented, hungry player who will be determined to prove that the club were wrong to let him go the first time. He might not be bringing the experience that many fans want to see, but he will certainly add excitement.
This one does seem a bit fanciful, but the experience and guile of the 31-year-old Barcelona and Spain forward is surely exactly what Brendan Rodgers needs in his young team.
A summer move for Spain’s record goalscorer would be more likely that a January one, but in truth neither seems too probable given the Reds’ much publicised stance on transfers and Villa’s apparent options elsewhere.
The forward could earn more money and play at a higher level somewhere else, but Liverpool’s Spanish links―Pepe Reina is a close friend―might just see him swayed by a move to Merseyside, although it is unlikely.
(Source: Liverpool Echo)
Walcott’s contract wrangles at Arsenal have become well known to even the most casual of football fans, and with clubs seemingly queuing up to speak to the England man Liverpool have inevitably been linked with a move.
A spell playing as a central striker with the Gunners will have smoothed his negotiations with his current club somewhat though, and whilst it will be a big surprise to see him leave in January, if those contract talks drag on then he could move on a free transfer in the summer.
The highest bidder will get their man then, and whilst Liverpool will be able to offer him a generous financial reward then they would still be facing fierce competition. He’d be a good player for the Reds, but a move seems unlikely.
(Source: The Guardian)
Scrutiny of Reina’s performances have increased during Liverpool’s struggles over the past couple of years, and the Spanish stopper hasn’t always covered himself in glory over that time.
As Rodgers looks to establish a young core of players in his squad there has been talk of a potential swoop for the 19-year-old Butland from financially stricken Birmingham City, with the goalkeeper certainly regarded as one for the future but no doubt ready to make an impact now.
The Reds severing ties with a fantastic servant such as Reina would split the opinion of fans, but with the interest in Butland appearing to be real then a move for a player who looks to be a superb prospect is sure to find favour. It’s a bit of a "wait and see" move.
Try as he might, Cole’s face is never really going to fit at Liverpool, and removing him from the wage bill could be seen as a definitive moment in Fenway Sports Group’s plans to create a young, relatively cheap squad.
Paying off Cole’s vast wages will certainly hit Liverpool in the pocket, but with likely January arrivals forcing him even further towards the sidelines then the midfielder will surely have to realise that an exit will be best for all concerned.
There aren’t like to be many Reds fans disappointed if he does.