Liverpool is in the process of a roster makeover, but that won't include the services of Molde central defender Vegard Forren, who is reportedly taking an offer from Southampton to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Saints.
Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims Southampton have agreed a deal to sign Vegard Forren.— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) January 15, 2013
The 24-year-old Forren was a popular target to roam the backfield at Anfield, particularly due to his reputation as a top defender in the Norway International league circuit. Still, it appears he won't be lacing up his cleats for Brendan Rodgers, so it's back to the drawing board for the Reds after Daniel Sturridge remains the lone big signing of the window.
It certainly would have been nice to get Forren in uniform before the big offer from the Saints came in, but that's not the case, and Liverpool has work to do to replace some of the defenders that have been linked to the club but are now signing with other managers.
Here's a look at three guys who could help ease the pain of the Forren miss.
Modibo Diakite, Lazio
Already linked to Anfield in recent weeks, Diakite and the Reds appeared to be close to a deal before Lazio upped the ante on the defender and want to ensure he doesn't leave the club at all.
Currently injured, Diakite is a rugged defender with good passing skills and a nose for the ball. He would be a fine addition as a 25-year-old who could come in immediately and help this club defend the goal.
Recent reports from TalkSport.co.uk have linked Diakite back to his Lazio roots, therefore ending Rodgers' interest in his services.
Not so fast.
The Reds appear to be frustrated with their attempts at grabbing Diakite from Lazio's clutches, but after Forren has apparently snubbed the club with a move to Southampton, nothing will be off-limits. Look for these discussions to continue and for good reason—Diakite is a force back there.
Federico Fazio, Sevilla FC
According to a report by Jamie Sanderson of Metro, Liverpool is hot on the trail of Fazio, the Argentinian youngster who has appeared in 104 games during his Sevilla career.
Financial problems have left his current club searching for answers, which is great news for the Reds, who aren't really strapped for cash at all at the moment.
Even so, it likely won't take a huge bid or wage shift for Fazio to shift to the Premier League. He's done an admirable job with Sevilla as an enforcer for the club and has versatility to switch defensive positions if need be.
He certainly isn't the first choice for the job, but Fazio has potential to blossom into a good young player. On a small transfer fee or a free release, he might be the man for the job in the form of a low-risk, high-reward signing.
Victor Valdes, Barcelona
As repoted by Tom Hopkinson of the Mirror, Liverpool has been plotting a move for the keeper for quite some time and appear ready to offer him a hefty salary to leave Barca in the summer when his contract situation becomes more and more uncertain.
Hopkinson explains, "His situation has sparked interest at Anfield, where Pepe Reina – Valdes’s deputy with the all-conquering Spanish national team – is once more at the centre of transfer talk with Arsenal reported to be interested."
Although Valdes isn't a defenseman and therefore doesn't technically qualify for this list, it's important to understand the kind of impact he could have in net if the club decides to move on from Reina and into a new era.
Which guy should the Reds be most interested in?
Valdes has done the job admirably with Barca, and since 2003 he's been a fixture in the net. Winning five La Liga titles in the process, he's positioned himself for a nice payday if Camp Nou decides he is not worth the risk.
It's a complicated process, this transfer window, and Liverpool has seemingly been in on every player during this time frame who has been put out there by other clubs. They only have one guy (Sturridge) to show for it, so finding some defensive help will be a premium over the next few days.
Don't be surprised to see one of these three guys roaming Anfield in the coming months.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team. Check him out on Twitter.