Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Top Targets Linked with January Move to Anfield

Leigh WalshCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2013

SEVILLE, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 25:   Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla FC celebrates after scoring Sevilla's second goal during the La liga match between Sevilla FC and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 25, 2013 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The future looks bright at Liverpool. Well, that’s if the latest transfer rumours surrounding Anfield are anything to go by.

The Reds have recently been linked with the “Swiss Steven Gerrard," the “Egyptian Lionel Messi” and the new Mesut Ozil, among a host of other names.

While transfer talk is often a case of “one plus one equals 10," there are some rumours that have more substance behind them than others.

Here’s a look at the names most commonly floated around when Liverpool’s January transfer dealings are discussed.

 

Pedro

BILBAO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01: Pedro Rodriguez of FC Barcelona reacts after missing a chance to score during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Bilbao, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Ima
David Ramos/Getty Images

Pedro has found himself shoved down the pecking order at Camp Nou this year. The Spanish winger, who can play across the front line, is behind Lionel Messi, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas at Barcelona, and with the World Cup on the horizon, it is believed he is seeking a move away from the Catalan side.

Mundo Deportivo—via ESPN—reported that Pedro is interested in a move to the Premier League with either Liverpool or Manchester United looking the most likely destination. 

Pedro would offer Liverpool something they have been lacking for years: a talented and pacey winger with an eye for goal.

 

Martin Montoya

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 18: Martin Montoya of Spain is fouled for a penalty by Vasco Regini of Italy during the UEFA European U21 Championship final match between Italy and Spain at Teddy Stadium on June 18, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.  (Photo by Alex Gri
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers will be eager to bring in reinforcements at left-back in January. The Reds are cut thin in this area, particularly with Jose Enrique ruled out with a long-term injury.

Martin Montoya is now the fourth-choice wing-back at Barcelona, and although he is naturally a right-back, he could do the job at Anfield.

James Pearce in the Liverpool Echo said managing director Ian Ayre was in Spain two weeks ago to talk about a possible move for the Spanish defender. 

If the Reds do manage to secure his signature, then he could also fill in at right-back with Glen Johnson shifting across to the left, where he performed well under Kenny Dalglish.

 

Ryan Bertrand

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Ryan Bertrand has struggled at Stamford Bridge since Jose Mourinho returned to the club over the summer. Despite the injury to Ashley Cole, Bertrand’s first-team action is still limited and the English defender may attempt to force a move away from London, according to John Percy and Jason Burt in the Telegraph

Chelsea turned down an offer for the 24-year-old at the beginning of the season, but a lot has changed since then. Bertrand appears surplus to requirements and the Reds are a little more desperate due to Enrique’s injury.

 

Granit Xhaka

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 15:  Granit Xhaka of Switzerland compete for the ball with Kim Jin-Soo of South Korea during the international friendly match between South Korea and Switzerland at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on November 15, 2013 in Seoul, S
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Xhaka has been touted as the new Gerrard. According to Jamie Sanderson in Metro, Rodgers has the 21-year-old at the top of his list of possible targets in January. 

The central midfielder appears to have all the attributes to make it in the Premier League. He possesses excellent upper body strength for a young player, he can evade challenges and when he looks up, his vision and distribution are first-rate. 

If Rodgers wants his man, he will need to move for him in January. Xhaka played an important role in Switzerland’s World Cup qualification campaign, and if he puts on a show in Brazil, his stock will inflate.

 

Ivan Rakitic

SEVILLE, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla FC reacts during the La liga match between Sevilla FC and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 25, 2013 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Rakitic is keen on a move to the Premier League, according to Darren Lewis of the Mirror

The Sevilla midfielder has reportedly been left disenchanted by the sale of former teammates Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas, but Liverpool will face competition from Chelsea and Manchester United.

It is unlikely the Croatian would move to Chelsea—where there is plenty of competition for midfield places—in a World Cup year.

Rakitic is an extremely talented midfielder and would offer Liverpool exactly what they need in the centre of the park. The 25-year-old has scored seven goals and assisted a further five in La Liga this season—per ESPN

 

Mohamed Salah

According to Simon Jones in the Daily Mail, Liverpool are leading the chase for the player dubbed the “Egyptian Messi."

Salah’s representatives were spotted at Anfield as recently as last Saturday—per Jones—but they will need to fend off reported interest from Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham.

The Basel player, who has pace to burn, is comfortable being deployed anywhere along the front line. The 21-year-old has impressed in the Champions League for the Swiss side this season, and he could offer Liverpool some additional pace going forward.