Picking a Liverpool January Transfer Rumours XI

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistNovember 23, 2013

Picking a Liverpool January Transfer Rumours XI

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    January is just around the corner, and that means that the transfer window is drawing nearer.

    As ever, Liverpool have been linked with a number of names already, with several players likely to want to become a part of the Reds' largely impressive start to the season.

    Just how active the Reds will be in January remains to be seen, but here is a line-up of players to have been linked with Brendan Rodgers' side in the buildup to what could be a busy January.

    When put together they make for a decent team, but how many will be playing at Anfield when February rolls around?

Goalkeeper: Shay Given (Aston Villa)

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    The link: The Guardian

    The lowdown: The Irishman was one of the more surprising names linked with a move to Liverpool in the summer. After seemingly coming close to a switch from Aston Villa to Anfield it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers goes in for him again.

    Viewed as experienced cover for Simon Mignolet, a deal for Given would only make sense if current backup custodian Brad Jones sought first-team football elsewhere. But he signed a new contract in the summer, so that doesn't look like it will happen any time soon.

    At 37 years old and having been surpassed in the Villa pecking order by the American Brad Guzan, Given wouldn't appear to offer a lot to the Liverpool cause at the moment.

    The decision to go back in for him would be a strange one, but as the Reds have shown in the past with moves for the likes of Gary McAllister and Robbie Fowler, they aren't averse to occasionally bringing in a veteran.

    The likelihood: This one doesn't look a given. 2/10.


Defender: Dennis Aogo (Schalke, on Loan from Hamburg)

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The link: Daily Express

    The lowdown: With 12 caps in the last three-and-a-half years Dennis Aogo is by no means a regular in the German national team, but just getting anywhere near that squad is an achievement in itself.

    A regular at Hamburg since 2008, it was somewhat surprising to see the 26-year-old loaned to Schalke in August, but with reports suggesting that the versatile left-sided player could be open to a permanent switch in January, Liverpool could look to be at the head of the queue.

    Jose Enrique has struggled with injury this season, whilst the on-loan Aly Cissokho appears to have a huge battle on his hands to convince Brendan Rodgers that he can earn a permanent move to the club.

    The technically talented Aogo could slot into the side quite nicely then, and seemingly at a knockdown price too.

    Presumably Schalke are going to be in the mix when a permanent switch for him is discussed, but Liverpool look to be serious players too.

    The likelihood: Are all systems Aogo for Dennis? It'll be tough, but he would be a strong addition. 6/10. 

Defender: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    The link: Daily Express

    The lowdown: You can't talk about Liverpool and transfers for too long before Luis Suarez's name comes up. Although it might not seem like it here, he's about to crop up again.

    The Uruguayan's name was a regular feature in the gossip columns throughout the summer, with Real Madrid and Arsenal credited with having the strongest interest in the forward.

    Juventus were always somewhere in the mix too, and a new report has linked them with an unlikely swap deal which would see two Italian internationals heading to Anfield.

    One of those is Leonardo Bonucci, the centre-back who has become part of the furniture at Juve since joining the club from Bari in 2010, and who played for Italy in last summer's Euro 2012 final.

    Quite why he'd want to leave all that behind and move to a club who already possess an army of centre-backs isn't known, and this rumour looks as though it shouldn't be taken too seriously.

    The likelihood: Liverpool don't want to lose Suarez and don't particularly need Bonucci. It's a non-starter. 1/10.

Defender: Daniel Amartey (Djurgardens)

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    The link: Daily Star

    The lowdown: The one thing that a good transfer rumour needs for it to be taken more seriously are quotes, and we've got some here.

    According to Daniel Amartey, an 18-year-old Ghanaian youth international defender currently playing with Djurgardens in Sweden, the Reds have been in contact to discuss a potential transfer.

    "I have been in contact with the Liverpool management," he is reported to have said. "I hope we can sort a transfer out – it’s a great club to play for."

    As shown in the video above in which he sprints forward to win a penalty, Amartey is a powerful figure, and one who would have no trouble adapting to the English game.

    As discussed earlier, Liverpool already have a wealth of central defenders, but a young one they can mould into a promising player for the future would always be welcome, and a £1.5m move could be possible.

    The likelihood: Young talent is always welcome at Anfield, and Amartey could add to their ranks. 7/10.

Midfielder: Javier Pastore (Paris Saint-Germain)

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    The link: Metro

    The lowdown: How annoyed was Brendan Rodgers about missing out on a big-name creative midfielder in the summer? We could be about to find out.

    Failed moves for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian stung the Liverpool manager at the time, and although he was nonetheless able to add to his squad before the transfer deadline, he might think that he is still light in an area in which he's already lost Philippe Coutinho through injury this season.

    A move for Javier Pastore would certainly fill that gap.

    The Argentinean was Paris Saint-Germain's first big-money addition with the Qatar cash when he joined the club from Palermo in the summer of 2011, but he has since seen even bigger names shipped in to take his place.

    With the World Cup to come next year he'll be determined to play regular football somewhere, and whilst he's not guaranteed to get that at Liverpool he'd certainly be an impressive addition in the New Year.

    The likelihood: A loan would be more likely than an outright transfer, but either would certainly surprise. 3/10.

Midfielder: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)

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    The link: Daily Express

    The lowdown: The second Juventus and Italy player involved in that potential, and unlikely Suarez swap deal, Claudio Marchisio has established himself as one of the leading midfielders in Serie A over the past few years.

    Born in Turin, Juve blood runs through the veins of the 27-year-old, who has been a regular for his country since 2009 and has drawn comparisons with the likes of Daniele De Rossi and even Steven Gerrard.

    Whether he'll ever join Gerrard at Anfield remains to be seen, but he certainly seems unlikely to be doing so this January.

    As with Bonucci, Marchisio surely won't want to leave Juventus, and Liverpool don't want to let Suarez go.

    The midfielder is a fine player, but he belongs in black and white and not red.

    The likelihood: Neither he or Bonucci will be heading for Anfield any time soon. 1/10.

Midfielder: Will Hughes (Derby)

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    Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

    The link: Mirror

    The lowdown: Derby's blond bombshell has been taking the Championship by storm for a couple of years, so much so that he is now on the radar of plenty of big clubs.

    The 18-year-old plays with the maturity of someone twice his age, and possesses the ability to take matches by the scruff of the neck.

    Steve McClaren's side will have known that they were always likely to lose him long before the ex-England manager took over from Nigel Clough earlier this season, with the key question being the price.

    With plenty if reports indicating that Liverpool are prepared to pay up to £12m for Hughes, that price could well be met in January, although Brendan Rodgers has been at pains to point out that no deal is imminent and it could well be that the midfielder is purchased and then immediately loaned back to his current club to gain more experience.

    The likelihood: If blonds really do have more fun, then Liverpool could be set for a great time. 8/10.

Midfielder: Adam Lallana (Southampton)

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    The link: Daily Star

    The lowdown: You could almost have set your watch by it.

    From the moment that Lallana was called up for England, for whom he started the recent friendly defeats to Chile and Germany, the young Southampton captain was always going to be linked with one of the big boys.

    He certainly possesses the ability to play for one of them, as his frequently impressive displays this season have shown, but the millions that those two caps will have added onto his price tag make any potential deal prohibitive.

    He is sure to have admirers beyond just Roy Hodgson, but with Liverpool well-stocked in midfield and perhaps earmarking money to be spent elsewhere, a move to Anfield looks unlikely for a player who might be better off staying on the south coast and enjoying his club's fantastic season.

    The likelihood: Would you Adam and Eve it? No. 1/10.

Forward: Jay Rodriguez (Southampton)

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    The link: Mirror

    The lowdown: As with his Southampton captain Lallana, Rodriguez's name was almost instantly linked with some of the Premier League's big boys the moment he received senior international recognition.

    The forward started England's home defeat to Chile, and whilst he didn't really impress many on that showing there is no doubt that he remains a promising player for his club during what has already become a special season for them.

    Surely he needs to do more to get himself into the frame for a move to a powerhouse side though, as his intermittent displays of quality don't stack up high enough just yet.

    He's a little way off joining a club of Liverpool's stature at the moment, although that could change for him in future.

    The likelihood: Jay won't be following in the footsteps of Maxi. 1/10.

Forward: Kostas Mitroglou (Olympiakos)

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    The link: Mirror

    The lowdown: The goalscoring inspiration behind both Greece's qualification for the World Cup and Olympiakos' steady start in the Champions League, free-scoring forward Mitroglou is in the form of his life.

    The 25-year-old scored three goals over both legs of Greece's World Cup qualification playoff against Romania, whilst he's also found the net three times in four Champions League appearances this season, scoring 17 in 15 club games this season in all.

    As an addition to the striking ranks at Anfield, he suddenly looks to be an effective one. If Rodgers was looking to throw another body into the mix along with Suarez and Daniel Sturridge then his face would certainly fit.

    Goals look a given with the Greek, and the above report indicates that he will be available for as little as £7m. The decision to add him to the attacking ranks looks a no-brainer.

    The likelihood: Rodgers is seemingly very keen on Mitroglou, but the Reds will have to fight off serious competition to get him. 6/10.

Forward: Moussa Dembele (Fulham)

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    The link: Mirror

    The lowdown: No, not that Moussa Dembele, the one who used to wear the white Fulham shirt but now sports the white of Tottenham, but rather the teenager who is impressing in Fulham's youth teams.

    The powerful 17-year-old forward, seen above scoring a hat-trick in a youth game against Reading, has seemingly attracted the attention of both Liverpool and Manchester United thanks to his goalscoring prowess, and the French youngster has reportedly been watched by a delegation from the former.

    He surely has a greater chance of first-team football with Martin Jol's struggling Whites though, and it would be a surprise to see them let a player such as Dembele go just when they seem in dire need of goals.

    It would take a big, and surprising bid to bring him to Anfield.

    The likelihood: If January money in restricted then Rodgers will want to use it for first-team players, and so the other Moussa Dembele will have to wait. 4/10.