Liverpool: January Transfer Rumors
A New Year is on the horizon and with January comes the transfer window. Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to add to his already talented squad but could be tempted to move for cover in central midfield after the revelation that Jordan Henderson will not be able to kick a ball until March. Departures might also happen, with backup goalkeeper Jason Steele and young winger Harry Wilson yet to sign extensions to their Liverpool contracts, both of which expire at the end of the season.
Which takes us to our first rumor of the day. The aforementioned Harry Wilson had an impressive start to the season, scoring his first ever Liverpool goal against Everton on the first game of the season and endearing himself to fans immediately.
However, he has fallen off since then and has managed only 4 more appearances in all competitions. The presence of Jordon Ibe has largely restricted the Wales international and it is understood that although he is in no hurry to leave, Rodgers and the Liverpool hierarchy are reluctant to offer him an extension to his contract, which expires in six months.
Wilson will be allowed to leave if interested clubs match Liverpool's £3 million valuation of him. Fellow Premier League clubs Blackburn and Nottingham Forest want to recruit the 20-year-old to help them in their battle to avoid relegation. Championship sides Fulham and Crystal Palace are two other possible destinations.
The excellent performances of James Ward-Prowse has attracted suitors searching for midfield enforcers. Bayern Munich and Roma are keen on the Southampton youth product, who was given the role of second vice-captain for his side after Steven Gerrard and Henderson at the start of the season.
Since his big money move to Anfield from the Saints, Ward-Prowse has made 73 league appearances and just last year won the Premier League's PFA Young Player of the Year. But the inital £40k per week contract he signed is due to run out in 18 months.
Bayern and Roma should not be encouraged though, with Ward-Prowse having emphasized his desire to stay with Liverpool on various occasions. But if the club do decide to make a profit on the player, Ward-Prowse could cost more than double the £26 million Liverpool paid for him in 2015.
Bayern Munich are keen admirers of Liverpool's James Ward-Prowse
With Steele out of contract in the summer, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic has been earmarked as a potential replacement as backup to Simon Mignolet.
The 20-year-old Serb plays for bitter rivals Manchester United, but the continued brilliance of David de Gea has not done much to help his chances of breaking into the first team and he has demanded a transfer away from Old Trafford.
But United are understandably hesitant to sell to a rival and it would take up to £15 million to prise Milinkovic-Savic from the Red Devils.
Jordan Henderson's torn hamstring has not deterred foreign clubs from registering their interest in him. The England international is highly rated in Italy and has been courted by Juventus and Roma.
Henderson, regarded as 37-year-old Steven Gerrard's successor after the long-serving Liverpool captain retires, is a critical part of Rodgers' vision for the Merseyside outfit and has played in more than 200 Premier League games in a Reds jersey.
A move to Juve, who have been crowned Serie A champions for six consecutive years, is undoubtedly appealing though, and Rodgers' head could be turned by a mega money offer of around £50-60 million.
Liverpool will only listen to offers of around £50-60 million for their vice-captain
Lazar Markovic's £60 million summer move to Manchester City has not turned out so well. The winger flourished under the guidance of Rodgers but has not really managed to adapt to City and is rumored to be already angling to depart.
But City are undeterred and have continued looking towards Liverpool for talent, and their latest target is also a winger, but this time in the form of Jordon Ibe.
Ibe has shown promise when given games this season with 6 goals in 16 appearances so far in all competitions. The 22-year-old has mainly been used in cup games and is a rising figure within the Anfield club.
City have a penchant for signing Liverpool players, and head coach Slaven Bilic wants to add Ibe to a squad that already boasts the likes of former teammates Markovic, Emre Can, and Divock Origi.
However, Ibe has made clear that he does not want to leave Liverpool, especially not for an overcrowded City side that already has Markovic, Theo Walcott, and Kasper Kusk, all of whom can play in Ibe's favored right wing position.
Jordon Ibe is arousing the interest of Manchester City but wants to stay at Liverpool
Liverpool have been sending scouts to watch 20-year-old Gustavo Cuello, who plays for Dutch club ADO Den Haag in the Eredivisie.
The Argentine is an Under-21 international and was brought to the Netherlands barely six months ago in June, after being noticed by Den Haag scouts while playing for local club C.A.I. de Chubut.
Cuello has immediately slotted into the first team and is currently the first-choice of Den Haag manager Ron Elsen in central midfield. He has so far appeared in 14 Eredivisie games and is enjoying a run of good form.
Liverpool were reportedly in no rush to sign a player who had just switched clubs in the summer, but Henderson's long-term hamstring injury has forced their hand into signing another player in his position.
Den Haag cannot play hard to get either as Cuello's contract includes a release clause in the region of £10 million, an amount that Liverpool officials are prepared to trigger.
Another talented youngster set to move to Merseyside sometime this month is 17-year-old Yusuf Turan, a versatile and pacey full-back coming through the youth academy at Frankfurt.
The German-born teenager of Turkish ancestry has already broken into the Frankfurt first team despite his young age, with 9 appearances in the Bundesliga thus far.