Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Players Reds Must Sign to Boost Title Challenge

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 26, 2013

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 29:  Mohamed Salah of Egypt celebrates scoring a goal during the Men's Football first round Group C Match between Egypt and New Zealand on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford on July 29, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Francis Bompard/Getty Images)
Francis Bompard/Getty Images

Liverpool head into one of the most pivotal January transfer windows of their recent history this winter, currently leading the Premier League title race and facing a sink-or-swim period in the months to come.

From here, the Reds must look to finish the journey they were unable to complete during the 2008/09 campaign, where they led at Christmas but ultimately finished as runners-up to Manchester United.

A fruitful patch of transfer business will undoubtedly play its hand in whether or not the Merseysiders can make a better go of things this time around, with a number of rumoured targets standing out as must-buys in their own regard.


Lazar Markovic

The volatile nature of modern football means that some clubs may go through their stages of financial inconvenience, and Benfica plays as a prime example as of late.

As a result, the Portuguese giants may be forced into selling off some of their most valuable assets, with summer arrival Lazar Markovic, who was reported as a summer target for the Reds in 2012, per the Metro.

More recently, the Serbian winger was once again linked with Chelsea, and is quoted by the Mirror's James Nursey as saying:

"A lot of people say that maybe I’m not suited to the English league. But I can tell you that I love the Premier League and I see it as an ideal stage for me.”

Given Brendan Rodgers' need for more top-class talent out wide, Markovic would be one of several cut-price options on the wing, but the Benfica youngster also has the added benefit of providing cover up front.


Mohamed Salah

A similar prospect to Markovic would be Mohamed Salah, although it's worth mentioning that the Egyptian's move to Anfield is currently looking a lot more likely.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04:  Mohamed Salah of FC Basel is tackled by Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg between Tottenham Hotspur FC and FC Basel 1893 at White Hart Lane on April 4, 2013 in London, En
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

According to the Mirror's David Maddock, the Reds are close to signing Basel's standout attacker for a fee of just £7 million, a price that could prove incredibly valuable if the forward's Champions League performances against Chelsea this season have been anything to go by.

Like Markovic, Salah would add some much-needed depth to the wide areas at Anfield, and he is already well-versed in plying his trade from either flank.

In truth, Rodgers has assembled a great squad at Anfield, but the wings stand out as the one portion of attack in need of reinforcement, with Salah a cost-effective but potentially fantastic talent that's too good to pass up at the moment.


Ivan Rakitic

It should be made clear that Ivan Rakitic is only to be considered necessary at Anfield if he can be bought for the right price, with his £33 million release clause not representative of great value.

The Metro's Danny Griffiths confirmed that the Reds have already sent scouts to watch the Croatian in action this term, as Sevilla has benefited massively from his leading influence in midfield.

OptaJose show just how prominent the 25-year-old has been for his club this term:

As they look to push on toward more silverware, Liverpool need as much dressing-room influence as they do quality on the pitch, with Rakitic conveniently bringing a mixture of the two.

Sevilla are another club in some state of financial uncertainty, meaning that Rakitic could yet be made available for a lower fee. Should that number be more within the Reds' range, the playmaker would be an ideal addition alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard, Lucas and Joe Allen.


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