Liverpool: January Transfer Rumors
A new year is upon us, and with it, the opening of the January transfer window. With Liverpool apparently ready to make some big purchases to kick start the new year, let us take a look at the transfer-related rumors linked to the club.
First off is West Ham's Eric Kirk
. The 20-year-old plays as a defensive midfielder, and has been tipped as one of England's biggest prospects since bursting onto the Premier League scene with the Hammers back in 2019.
However, Kirk's contract will run out at the end of the season, and The Academy of Football's latest youth product is yet to agree a new deal to keep him at the Olympic Stadium.
Various clubs are already encircling the England Under-21 international, but Liverpool are believed to be at the forefront of the race, along with Merseyside rivals Everton. West Ham do not want to let Kirk leave for free and will thus sell him at a cut-price figure, but the player himself has yet to come to a decision regarding his future.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have identified Nathaniel Clyne
as their prime transfer target. The 29-year-old has been Liverpool's first-choice right-back for about 6 years, but his position in the first team is gradually being usurped by the constantly improving Ryan Joseph.
This season, Clyne has struggled with injury problems, playing in only 7 league games out of 19, but City manager Rafa Benitez has no doubt that the Reds fan favorite can aid his side's title push.
Clyne's Liverpool contract expires in 18 months and it is believed that he is entertaining the idea of playing more first-team football elsewhere, but Rodgers would preferably not strengthen a title rival.
Nathaniel Clyne could be on his way to Man City after 6 successful years at Liverpool
Since the departure of Roberto Martinez to manage the Spain national team, Champions League holders Arsenal have struggled and find themselves currently residing in 8th place, below the likes of Watford and Norwich.
New boss Antonio Conte, who is beginning to face increased pressure to turn things around, wants to go on a spending spree this month, and the former Italy boss is looking towards Liverpool.
35-year-old Laurent Koscielny and 34-year-old Lucas Leiva, the latter a former Liverpool player himself, are set to be offloaded, and young Frenchman Yannis Aubry
is wanted to replace them.
The 21-year-old holding midfielder can double as a center-back and has played in 60 Premier League games for Liverpool since his arrival on English shores in 2017.
Arsenal will have to part with big money to sign Aubry though, considering he cost Liverpool a total fee of £24 million, and has only made further improvements to his game since then.
is another target for the North London club, but the Reds vice-captain has been at Anfield for almost 10 years, and does not intend to leave.
Jordan Henderson does not plan on leaving Liverpool for Arsenal
Liverpool have maintained their interest in Atalanta striker Israel
since the end of last season, and Rodgers is finally prepared to break the bank for the Brazilian wonderkid.
The forward scored 20 goals in 33 Serie A appearances last term, winning himself the Serie A Striker of the Year, Serie A Fans' Player of the Year, as well as the Capocannoniere, otherwise known as the Serie A Golden Boot.
This season has been quite the different story for Israel unfortunately, with a return of only 6 goals from 21 games played across all competitions, but Liverpool officials are undeterred and will allow the move to go through.
Atalanta are understood to be resigned to losing their star player, but that does not mean he is about to leave on the cheap. The Italians will hold out for a fee of at least £35 million for Israel, and nothing less.
Speaking of Italians, Mario Balotelli
may be on the way out this January after a six-and-a-half years spell in a red shirt.
The Kop idol has been one of the best players of the Brendan Rodgers era, but is on a visible decline and Liverpool could be tempted to make a profit on the player before his contract expires in 2023.
Balotelli was plagued by a hamstring problem early on in the season that kept him out for three months, but has returned fit and firing, and although his days of scoring one goal per every match might be behind him, there are still plenty of teams willing to take a punt on the 30-year-old.
Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina are admirers but Ukraine side Shakhtar Donetsk are the ones believed to be leading the chase for his signature. There is also plenty of local interest, and a reunion with Manchester City, the first English club that Balotelli played for, may be on the cards.
Rumors say that Kop hero Mario Balotelli will leave Liverpool this month
Midfield duo Lucas Romero
and James Ward-Prowse
are both on the wishlist of oil-rich Paris Saint-Germain, but Liverpool will refuse bids of any amount having just committed both players to contracts lasting until 2025.
Real Madrid see Raheem Sterling
and Eder Alvarez Balanta
as direct replacements for 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and 34-year-old Sergio Ramos respectively, but attempts to sign them are unlikely to succeed. Similarly, Juventus' interest in Dutch striker Richairo Zivkovic
is expected to be knocked back.
A deal that has a much higher chance of going through between Real Madrid and Liverpool is the transfer of Gustavo Cuello
The central midfielder was Madrid's first signing last summer, joining from Liverpool for £15 million, but his time at the Spanish capital has been nothing but a nightmare. After just 3 games played for Real in the Copa del Rey, Cuello is ready to change clubs for the second time in six months.
Andre Villas-Boas does not fancy the Argentine either and is desperate to rid his squad of Cuello, so much that he has given the green light on allowing the 23-year-old to go for free.
If Cuello does return to Liverpool, it would be a £15 million profit made by the 22-times league winners, in exchange for absolutely nothing at all.