Liverpool Transfer News: World-Class Players Reds Could Tempt to Anfield

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 30: Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid CF controls the ball during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Valladolid CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 30, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers' plans for winter reinforcements are incredibly significant in that not only will they show what prospects the club may have for the rest of this term, but will impact any expectations the Reds will have for seasons to come.

After a bright start to the 2013-14 campaign, Liverpool must shoot for the stars in terms of those they recruit, but not everyone would risk joining a team of their level just yet.

That being said, the Merseyside outfit still has a considerable amount of pulling power at its disposal, and there are those potential signings who combine realistic transfer prospect with world-class talent this winter.


Ivan Rakitic

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - DECEMBER 21:  Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla in action during the La Liga match between Villarreal CF and Sevilla FC at El Madrigal on December 21, 2013 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

A player that has continued to be associated with Liverpool and a number of other Premier League suitors in recent weeks is Sevilla's Ivan Rakitic, currently at a crossroads in his career with the La Liga outfit.

According to Charles Perrin of the Express, the Croatian playmaker, who currently has 18 months remaining on his deal at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, is deciding whether to persevere with the club or jump ship in search of more realistic title hopes.

Over the summer, Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke reported the passing maestro as saying that he was "flattered" to be linked with Liverpool:

Despite Sevilla's failure to break back into the Spanish hierarchy this season, the 25-year-old has stood out as one of the club's more impressive stars throughout, scoring eight goals and creating 32 scoring opportunities for his side, per Squawka.

As Perrin mentions, the player's £33 million valuation could be an issue for some clubs' hopes of sealing any deal, but recent seasons have shown that such expenditure isn't outside Liverpool's means.


Kevin Volland

NETANYA, ISRAEL - JUNE 12:  Kevin Volland of Germany reacts during the UEFA European U21 Championship Group B match between Russia and Germany at Netanya Stadium on June 12, 2013 in Netanya, Israel.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

One might argue that Kevin Volland isn't to be termed as "world class" just yet, but as a big fish in the small pond of Hoffenheim, Liverpool could easily get ahead of the curve if they were to move for the German this winter.

In mid-December, talkSPORT reported that the Reds were monitoring the attacker's Bundesliga progress with a view to a £12 million move being sanctioned, and will have undoubtedly been impressed with what they've seen.

Volland would fit well into Brendan Rodgers' preferred usage of wide players, but the winger's talents also mean that he's able to shift into a more centralised role if needed.

What's more, Hoffenheim wouldn't have the ability to resist Anfield's temptations for long, as they currently sit just four points off the Bundesliga's bottom three and may find their player accepting of a departure.


Xabi Alonso

Of course, one of the highest profile possibilities on the mind of any Liverpool supporter is that of Xabi Alonso's long foretold return to Merseyside.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03:  Defender Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid catches a pen from an autograph seeker to sign a soccer ball in the Los Angeles Dodgers' baseball dugout before the Guinness International Champions Cup soccer match against Everton  at Dod
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Although Carlo Ancelotti recently moved to quash any speculation of the Spanish playmaker leaving his ranks, per Metro, the fact remains that Alonso has less than six months left on his Real Madrid contract and is yet to pen an extension.

Given his long-standing links to Liverpool, Rodgers' side have a useful advantage over their Premier League peers in attempting to bring Alonso back to England.

It was suggested that the veteran had a deal in place to return to Liverpool, however, Spanish expert Guillem Balague says that such claims are false:

Despite the fact that the central figure is now 32 years of age, the former Red has nonetheless continued to play a key role for Los Merengues and is showing that he could still be of use as a potential Steven Gerrard successor, if only for a few seasons.

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