The January window may have slammed shut at 11pm on Monday night, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all transfer activity has suddenly ceased at the Premier League’s top clubs.
Indeed, recruitment has become a never-ending process in the modern game, with negotiations ongoing even when clubs are still five or six months away from being able to officially sign players.
So although Liverpool are probably a little disappointed with how their winter window unfolded – signing only youngster Mark Grujic and Steven Caulker on loan whilst failing to secure a last-minute deal for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Alex Teixeira – the Mersey outfit may have just set the blueprint for a series of deals that could take place at the end of the season instead, when greater funds will almost certainly be available.
With that in mind, here are FIVE January sagas involving Liverpool that look set to provide another chapter during the summer transfer window…
Amid an injury crisis at the heart of defence, Liverpool were linked with a cut-price swoop for Bosman-bound Schalke defender Joel Matip during the January transfer window.
The bid never materialised but the Reds are almost certain to return for the Cameroon international next summer when he’s available on a free transfer, with Kolo Toure set to leave the club and Dejan Lovren still failing to convince he’s of top-four contending standard.
Jurgen Klopp is well-acquainted with the 24-year-old from his time in the Bundesliga and famed for his athleticism and versatility, Matip could prove to be one of the best bargains of the summer.
Some sources claim Liverpool have already offered the 6 foot 4 defender a pre-contract.
Despite recently handing controversial No.1 Simon Mignolet a five-year contract, the tabloids seem to think Liverpool are still in the market for another goalkeeper – linking them repeatedly with Barcelona’s Marc Andre Ter Stegen throughout the January transfer window.
Following three incredible years between the sticks at Borussia Monchengladbach, the German international has been reserved almost exclusively for Copa del Rey and Champions League action since moving to the Nou Camp in summer 2014 but is more than capable of holding down a No.1 berth at a top European club.
There were reports of a bid around the £10million mark but some way short of Barcelona’s rumoured valuation, the Reds never really got that close to signing the 23-year-old. However, if another goalkeeper remains a priority, the Merseysiders will almost certainly make a follow-up offer in the next transfer window.
With three strikers amid long-term injuries and Jurgen Klopp clearly not too fond of bench-warmer Christian Benteke, Liverpool were reported as one of the clubs chasing former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez last month.
Regular first team football at Bayer Leverkusen has seen the one-time super-sub flourish this season, bagging 21 goals in 24 appearances across all competitions, and the Reds, Spurs and Arsenal were all accredited with an interest in bringing him back to the Premier League during the transfer window.
Of course, Bayer were never going to sell the Mexico international after just six months of incredible potency, but it’s claimed he’s one of Liverpool’s priority targets for the summer transfer window.
Liverpool reportedly held talks with Borussia Monchengladbach’s Granit Xhaka, one of the Bundesliga’s rising stars, over a potential switch last month, but it was always more likely to take place at the end of the season – especially after sporting director Max Eberl ruled out a January move.
The Switzerland international has been dubbed ‘young Schweinsteiger’ by former manager Ottmar Hitzfeld and boasts a similar kind of deep-lying style, this term averaging 2.3 tackles, 3.1 interceptions, 1.1 successful dribbles and a whopping 81 completed passes per match.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp seems particularly keen on the 23-year-old and a summer bid appears on the cards, but Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are all believed to be chasing Xhaka as well.
Alex Teixeira quickly became Liverpool’s priority pursuit of the January transfer window, until they discovered Shakhtar Donetsk were incredibly reluctant to part with their talismanic attacking midfielder mid-season.
This term, the Brazilian has bagged 26 goals in as many appearances for the Ukrainian outfit, who are currently level on points with Dynamo Kiev at the top of the Premier League table – so it’s understandable that they wanted a whopping £38million for a player whose departure could well have cost them the title.
Clearly a level above the rest of the Ukrainian league, however, Liverpool look set to revive their interest in the summer, when Shakhtar will hopefully be open to selling for a slightly more reasonable sum.
But at that point, the Reds may face rivalled interest from long-term admirers Chelsea.