We all mull through transfer rumours every day, be it reading a newspaper on the train home, on the iPad while grazing over a bowl of cereal, or a quick gander at Sky Sports News before bedtime. But we all know that the vast majority of them are complete nonsense, dreamed up by some overworked journalist scared they’re about to get the sack from the Daily Mail.
But every now and then, should one be able to comb the wealth of misinformation in front of them, a transfer rumour eventually proves true.
So with that in mind, here’s FIVE January transfer rumours involving Liverpool that we at Football FanCast believe might actually happen.
Liverpool’s squad already includes an array of attacking midfielders, but Brendan Rodgers might feel compelled to find room for Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri when the transfer market re-opens, following reports that he’ll be sold in January:
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) November 18, 2014
The Swiss international is a known long-term transfer target of the Reds, with Brendan Rodgers reportedly launching a summer bid before Shaqiri’s exceptional form at the World Cup, where he averaged the most chances created per match of any player:
It’s since been revealed by the 23 year-old that the Bavarians blocked Liverpool’s bid due to his undeniable potential, but he’s gone on to make just three league starts for the German champions, with Bild claiming Pep Guadiola doesn’t believe the stocky playmaker is ‘clever enough’ to be in his side regularly.
Famed for his industry, creativity and physicality, Shaqiri would be an ideal fit for the Premier League. He also suits Brendan Rodgers’ preferred transfer type of youthful, high potential signings that have often struggled for game time at other major clubs. Here’s a clip of him in action:
Liverpool are by no means the Swiss midfielder’s only winter suitors however, especially from the Premier League:
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 18, 2014
— Man United Tickets (@ManUTickets) November 18, 2014
There’s been plenty of debate about Simon Mignolet’s goalkeeping credentials over the last 18 months, with Gary Neville even scrutinising his attempt to save Phil Jagielka’s wonder-strike in the Merseyside derby:
It remains to be seen if Brendan Rodgers shares the same opinion or wants to find a new No.1 in January, but with Mignolet currently understudied by hap-hazard Aussie Brad Jones, either way, the Reds need to drastically improve their options between the sticks.
One impressive goalie recently linked with the Reds is Espanyol’s Kiko Casilla, allegedly valued at around £8million:
— IndySport (@IndySport) October 14, 2014
The Spain international’s been enjoying some decent form this season, keeping four clean sheets and making the second-most saves of any La Liga regular:
Furthermore, whilst some of Liverpool’s other rumoured goalkeeping targets seem unlikely – such as Chelsea’s Petr Cech or Guillermo Ochoa, who currently can’t get a game at Malaga – Casilla was surprisingly honest about his future in October, admitting Espanyol might be forced to sell him for financial reasons.
If one Liverpool old boy is likely to leave the club in January, it’s undoubtedly Brazilian tough-tackler Lucas Leiva.
The 27 year-old came close to an Anfield exit in the summer, amid rumours linking him with a loan move to Rafa Benitez’ Napoli, but it eventually never materialised:
Liverpool transfer news: Lucas Leiva loan deal put on hold as Napoli wait for Champions league qualification:… http://t.co/tOjjcxPDrf
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) August 25, 2014
He’s since gone on to make just one start in the Premier League and two in the Champions League – included in Liverpool’s infamous ‘B Team’ that faced Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Lucas offers Liverpool’s midfield something a little different, which has prolonged his Merseyside stay for quite some time. But the Reds now have the likeminded Emre Can, seven years the South American’s junior, and Lucas has constantly struggled to perform alongside Steven Gerrard in the middle of the park – a sure-fire way to cut short any Anfield career.
Resultantly, it appears the Napoli switch could be back on:
— ATM Tareq (@Twittyfooty) November 6, 2014
With some even alleging a swap deal involving £22million and Gonzalo Higuain, but that seems a little unlikely.
Aston Villa star Fabian Delph has enjoyed a meteoric rise since the start of 2014, winning the Villain of the Year award at the end of last season and recently muscling his way into the England squad, with three caps since his debut in August.
Interestingly, his contract at Villa Park is up at the end of the season and despite having plenty of time to consider a new deal, currently sidelined with a shoulder injury, it appears he’s rejected extension offers from the Birmingham club:
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) November 7, 2014
Just 24 years of age and clearly in Roy Hodgson’s plans for Euro 2016, Liverpool are one of the names thrown into the mix for Delph’s signature, along with Spurs and Everton. Here’s a look at the former Leeds youngster in action:
It appears Delph will be going somewhere this January and he’s certainly the type of signing Brendan Rodgers tends to go for. But Liverpool are hardly light on central midfielders, so they may look to improve other areas of the squad first.
It appears winger-forward Pedro could be set to leave Barcelona in January after falling out of favour with Luis Enrique and the tabloids claim it’s a direct race between Arsenal and Liverpool for his signature:
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 2, 2014
The Reds have struggled to make marquee signings in the past but the 27 year-old would fit the bill perfectly, especially if Brendan Rodgers’ side beat the Gunners to his services.
Furthermore, Liverpool are still searching for that talismanic attacking replacement to Luis Suarez, and although the Uruguayan overshadows his now-Barca team-mate somewhat in terms of quality, they share that tenacious attacking style and front-line versatility. Here’s a clip of the two-time Champions League winner in action:
Barcelona’s transfer ban could form a bit of a stumbling block however.