Liverpool have enjoyed the first half of the season and remain in contention not just for a Champions League place, but a league title. Nevertheless, Brendan Rodgers will be keen to add to a squad that has suffered some injuries and ensure his side competes for a top-four finish.
The Reds have spent wisely under Rodgers, and those signings have usually repaid the club's outlay. Among the names being floated around this January, there are three that stand out as being particularly suitable.
Mohamed Salah, Basel
Mohamed Salah has been linked with the club for a while now, and the Egyptian forward would certainly be a good acquisition.
Having demonstrated excellent touch and movement for Basel, he also showed confidence in front of goal, scoring against both Chelsea and Tottenham in Europe.
Mohamed Salah scouting report: Everything you need to know about the Liverpool target http://t.co/VspNA7Ialw— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) January 4, 2014
With quick players like Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez already finding success at the club, adding Salah to the attack would give Liverpool a formidable presence going forward. Which, considering how successful they've been scoring goals this year, is an ominous proposition.
It was reported by the Metro's Jamie Sanderson that Rodgers has intensified his efforts to bring Salah to Merseyside as other clubs joined the race, and the article states that a £9 million bid will be tabled over the next few days.
Cristian Tello, Barcelona
With Cristian Tello making just two first-team starts under Gerardo Martino, rumours have arisen about a possible loan move to an English Premier League side.
The Daily Star's Gary Jones lists Liverpool as favourites to land his signature, and the Spaniard would immediately upgrade the Reds attack. Capable of mazey runs and excellent through balls, Tello would no doubt offer a useful option to help the Reds maintain their Champions League push.
While success during the loan spell would raise the price on any permanent deal, it's arguable that the more pressing need is for a genuine No. 10, and Tello could simply be used as top-quality cover for injured players.
It's worthwhile to mention that he isn't yet a complete player, and still makes mistakes in possession, losing the ball in crucial areas by trying to do too much.
A loan deal would be the perfect option for Rodgers to pursue.
Ivan Rakitic, Sevilla
While the £33 million Sevilla are reportedly asking for Ivan Rakitic should realistically deter Rodgers from making a bid, he remains a valid option at the No. 10 position—for a reduced fee.
Sevilla are not having the season that they would like, and Rakitic could begin to use that as leverage to get out of his current contract, which expires in 2015.
The Express reported that the player's decision on his future will be the key. This could spark multiple clubs into life and lure him away from Spain. That report quotes a statement made to Sevilla's official website, which was deliberately ambiguous:
Now, news does not exist about my future. I have returned from my holidays and during these dates I did not use the phone. I will attend a meeting with the Sevilla directors and speak with calm.
After, I will decide the best option for me in all senses.
Liverpool is a good destination for the Croatian, as they are seeking a long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard.
However, Jordan Henderson has performed admirably in relief of the Liverpool talisman, so Rodgers will not be tempted into overpaying for Rakitic.
It's a deal worth watching, and one that could pay off handsomely for Liverpool, but it's also one that Rodgers could let pass by without it adversely affecting the club's league position.