Liverpool Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of January 20
Defensive slackness and a lack of options in midfield were both on show at Anfield, where Villa went 2-0 up before the hosts fought back.
But which players are the Reds targeting to aid their push for Europe?
Here we'll keep track of all the week's Liverpool transfer news and rumours as the January window heads towards its final few days.
Last updated Friday January 24
Mohamed Salah Interest Intensifies
On Monday, several media sources stated that Liverpool have stepped up their interest in the Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah, who has been considered to be their top target in this window.
The Daily Express, the Telegraph, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail were just some of the sources claiming that a bid is being made for the FC Basel man, who has been identified as a key addition by Brendan Rodgers during talks with club owner John W Henry.
There is believed to be a difference in both clubs' valuation of a player who has been excitedly dubbed "the Egyptian Messi," but with Liverpool making their move with a week-and-a-half of the window to spare, they'll hope that a deal can be wrapped up soon.
I'm Staying at Real Madrid: Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata's was a name first linked with Liverpool during Luis Suarez's summer-long dalliance with Real Madrid (Daily Mirror), and the young forward has also been attracting interest from Arsenal and Tottenham this season as they sought a loan deal.
However, after scoring the fifth goal in Real's 5-0 hammering of Betis at the weekend, Morata indicated that he will stay at the Bernabeu and fight for his place in the team.
In quotes picked up by the Daily Express, he said:
Despite all the stories that have emerged, I am happy here.
I have spoken with the club and the coach and told them I want to stay here.
This is the team I have spent my entire life at and I will stay here and do whatever the club asks of me or needs of me, even if it's to play a minimal amount of games.
Sebastian Coates Set for Nacional Return
A forgotten man this season due to a serious injury and Liverpool's vast amount of other centre-backs, Sebastian Coates could be set for a loan move back to former club Nacional.
The Uruguayan is way down the pecking order at Anfield, and ESPN report that he has his heart set on completing his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury back in his homeland.
£15m Won't Be Enough for Hernanes
Lazio chairman Claudio Lotito is reported as saying that even £15m would not be enough to tempt the Rome side to sell, with the Reds unlikely to go above that amount for a 28-year-old.
Shock Nigel De Jong Move to Add Steel to Midfield?
The Dutchman has been a big hit in Serie A since moving to Milan in the summer of 2012, and although it is unlikely that he will want to leave now that compatriot Clarence Seedorf has taken over as manager, he would certainly increase competition for places at Anfield.
Reds in Talks for Norway Midfielder Valon Berisha?
The Daily Star are just one of the outlets reporting Liverpool's apparent interest in Red Bull Salzburg's Norway international midfielder Valon Berisha.
The Reds are in need of some increased competition in that area following the injury to Lucas Leiva with will rule the Brazilian international out for two months, and the 20-year-old with 11 Norway caps is seen as a good squad addition.
Salah "Rents Liverpool Apartment"
Such stories have proven to be fake in the past, but the Metro have reported that a picture posted on Reddit suggests that top Reds target Mohamed Salah has already rented an apartment in Liverpool.
It's certainly one to file under "wait and see."
Chelsea Step in to Hijack Salah Move
Flush from the money they are reportedly about to receive from Manchester United for Juan Mata, the Blues are set to outbid the Reds and further frustrate Brendan Rodgers in his hunt for a creative force in his side having signed Willian ahead of the Reds in the summer.
Reds Turn to Romulo Following Lucas Injury
With Chelsea having agreed a fee for Salah (ChelseaFC.com), Liverpool have instead turned their attentions to their troublesome central midfield problem.
With Lucas Leiva out injured for a couple of months, the Daily Express suggest that the Reds will look to replace him with fellow Brazilian international Romulo, who plays for Spartak Moscow.
Romulo, who has eight caps for his country and played at the 2012 Olympics, could be available for around £7m and would be seen as a real coup for the Reds given that he has previously been linked to both Arsenal and Chelsea.
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