A detailed assessment of Liverpool's potential incomings and outgoings this January.
Areas to strengthen
Liverpool have been in desperate need of another striker and in Daniel Sturridge, who they’ve acquired for £12m, they have a versatile addition to their strike-force.
They are in need of some quality and experience to add depth to what is a very young first-team under Brendan Rodgers.
Blackpool youngster Tom Ince looks set to return to his boyhood club for around £7 million. The winger will likely come in to replace the out-of-favour Stewart Downing who Rodgers will be looking to offload this window.
Kevin Gameiro has fallen down the pecking order at Paris Saint-Germain since the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovich and the 25-year-old forward could be brought in loan, which would be a cost-effective, and quality addition.
Arsenal contract rebel Theo Walcott has been a target of Rodgers’ but by all accounts he’s still negotiating with the Gunners and interest from Chelsea and Manchester City could put him out of reach for the Reds.
Xabi Alonso’s future is uncertain at Real Madrid – Liverpool fans would undoubtedly love to see him return but the recovery of Lucas to fitness and the cover provided by Nuri Sahin’s loan means it’s not a matter of urgency.
Joe Cole has returned from loan at Lille and Rodgers is keen to get his wages off the bill at Anfield to free up some funds. He’s linked with a move to former club West Ham and also to QPR to reunite with his former Hammers manager Harry Redknapp.
Stewart Downing hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since his £20 million move in 2011. The only problem is that he’s not exactly the hot property he was and, subsequently, he’ll be hard to shift.
Liverpool may send Nuri Sahin back to Real Madrid early – he’s not contributed as much as he might have hopes to and at the moment he’s a bench warmer.
£20 million is the quoted figure that Rodgers has at his disposal. Any other funds will be generated by player sales that will likely be re-invested back into the squad.
With Sturridge and Ince costing the best part of £20 million between them, I think a loan would be the most likely with Kevin Gameiro looking like the ideal candidate.
If Walcott leaves Arsenal, it’ll probably be for Chelsea or City – I think it would be hard for Rodgers to convince him to move to Anfield and Liverpool just don’t have the funds to win the bidding war that will likely ensue if he refuses to renew his contract at the Emirates. Sturridge and Ince both play in his positions so I think Rodgers will discontinue his interest now.
image: © Ben Sutherland