It’s been a relatively quiet January transfer window for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers thus far, with just Daniel Sturridge arriving in a £12 million transfer, but with three goals in his first three games, Sturridge has already made a big impact at Anfield.
Amidst reports that a move for Blackpool’s Thomas Ince has run into several obstacles (via the Daily Mail), Internazionale’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho is the latest name to be linked with the Reds (via the Guardian).
With just over a week left to go in the transfer window, there are still plenty other options that Brendan Rodgers should consider, especially given the club’s policy to look for cut-price young players.
Here are nine of them.
The first is perhaps the most well-known.
Mohamed Diame, a player that Kenny Dalglish had reportedly agreed a deal to sign on a Bosman free transfer prior to the ex-Liverpool manager’s sacking (via The Independent), reportedly has a £3.5 million release clause in his contract at West Ham and has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal.
Liverpool fans, players and coaches alike will have been aware of Diame’s game in Liverpool’s visit to West Ham back in December, when Diame’s physicality, pace and power tore through the Liverpool midfield. The Reds came back to win the game 3-2, but only after Diame’s injury had left West Ham toothless in the middle of the park.
At a still-bargain-basement price, Diame would be a good addition to a Liverpool side needing some muscle down the middle.
Liverpool’s local rivals Everton are also supposedly in the hunt for Capoue as a potential replacement for the talismanic Marouane Fellaini, who has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park (via The Independent).
Capoue has won rave reviews in France following his starring performances for Toulouse and was granted his first cap for the French national team in August last year. He has made four appearances for Les Bleus to date and has one international goal to his name.
Speaking of powerful French midfielders, it wasn’t too long ago—last summer, in fact—that Yann M’Vila commanded a transfer price in the €20 million range (via ESPNSoccernet).
Now, following half a season of controversy and disciplinary issues, he is reportedly available for half that price and has been linked with a £8 million move to Tottenham in light of an injury to midfielder Sandro (via Daily Mail), but Russian club Rubin Kazan have apparently stolen ahead with a £9.6 million offer that Rennes have allegedly accepted (via BBC Sport).
Given the huge price drop and the arsenal of abilities that M’Vila has, any club would do well to consider a move for the French midfield enforcer, provided that his personal issues can be kept in check.
After M’Vila, another player in the £8 million region who should be on Brendan Rodgers’ list of targets is Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas.
His exploits with Celta in recent seasons have seen him linked with Chelsea, Valencia, Swansea City, Newcastle and Reading (via Daily Mirror); Bleacher Report’s very own Allan Jiang has an in-depth profile on Aspas’ attributes that illustrate why he would be an excellent candidate for Brendan Rodgers’ Spanish-style setup at Anfield.
While Daniel Sturridge’s arrival has lessened the goal-scoring burden on Luis Suarez’s shoulders, Aspas would bring goals from an attacking midfield/free role position, and he could possibly give Swansea’s Michu a run for his money as the Premier League’s bargain of the year.
At a reported £6 million fee, Hooper wouldn’t be a costly addition to the Liverpool front line, but would bring a decent amount of goals to Anfield.
As a reminder of what the Scottish Premier League can bring to Merseyside in the January transfer window, we only need look at Everton and Nikica Jelavic, whose transfer from Rangers last year set the Premier League alight.
At the start of the transfer window, Liverpool were strongly linked with a move for Birmingham City’s young English goalkeeper Jack Butland (via Daily Mirror), who famously traveled to Euro 2012 as Roy Hodgson’s third-choice goalkeeper for the England tournament squad.
Current Liverpool No. 1 Pepe Reina has recently been linked with a move back to Barcelona (via Daily Mail), and his at-times unsure performances between the Anfield sticks have led to speculation about Reina’s long-term future at the club.
As Birmingham battle financial problems, they could be forced to sell their best players at low-cut prices, and Liverpool could well swoop in with a bid to prise the English prospect away from St. Andrew’s.
Fazio, whose current contract still has 18 months to run, has also been linked with Hoffenheim, who have reportedly had a bid rejected, and Zenit St. Petersburg (ESPNSoccernet).
With Martin Skrtel’s place taken by Jamie Carragher against Norwich City on Saturday and reserve center-back Sebastian Coates linked with a loan move away from Anfield (via Daily Mirror), Liverpool could be on the lookout for further defensive additions, and at the reported transfer price Fazio could present a bargain addition to Brendan Rodgers’ squad.
One defender who has been linked with Liverpool throughout the January transfer window is Modibo Diakite, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has decided not to renew his ties with Lazio (via the Daily Express).
Diakite has been out with injury for most of the current campaign, but has impressed during his time in Rome.
While he has been linked with an end-of-season move, with pre-contract talks apparently having commenced, Diakite could also find himself moving to Anfield in the next week or so on a cut-price deal, especially if Coates does leave on loan and leaves Rodgers thin in defence.
Our last name on this list is perhaps the most unlikely, but presents perhaps one of the best options that Liverpool should consider this winter.
Mateo Musacchio, a 22-year-old Argentine defender who has been linked with Liverpool in the past (via Daily Mail), has been a key player for Villarreal during his time at the Yellow Submarines, but following their relegation from La Liga last season is currently plying his trade in Spain’s second division, and is one of their most saleable assets this January.
The current Liga Adelante table shows Villarreal in a disappointing 10th place, some seven points behind second place, which would guarantee automatic promotion, and a second consecutive season in the second division would surely be unappealing to such a hot young prospect.
Having already allowed Giuseppe Rossi to sign for Fiorentina, Villarreal would be wary of letting another key player go, but if they don’t gain promotion at the first time of asking, Liverpool should return with renewed interest in the summer.
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