It’s Monday and another week closer to January’s transfer window. Here Henry Jackson takes a look at the latest transfer rumours affecting Liverpool over the weekend.
The international break is one of the worst things about football, but despite a horrible lack of domestic action for two weeks, the one thing that never goes away are the constant transfer rumours surrounding Liverpool.
The January window is edging ever nearer, and it appears that some current Reds stars’ futures may lie away from Anfield, while several top-class players are being linked with a move to Merseyside in the New Year.
Here are a selection of the rumours affecting Liverpool over the last few days; it’s fair to say some appear more feasible than others.
The skipper’s future has been discussed heavily in recent weeks, with some claiming he could leave Liverpool for one final hurrah before hanging up his boots. Although the thought of Gerrard wearing anything other than a Reds shirt is unthinkable to a generation of supporters, it’s seemingly not impossible.
According to the Mail on Sunday, new Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini will try and tempt the 34-year-old away from Anfield in two months’ time.
The gut feeling is that Gerrard will eventually sign a new short-term deal at his boyhood club, and seems unlikely to move mid-season, but don’t rule out the Liverpool legend joining other former Premier League stars Fernando Torres and Nemanja Vidic in Serie A in January.
The Mail on Sunday also reports that Johnson could be on his way to Italy in January, with Roma reportedly keen on signing him on a free transfer.
The 30-year-old has become an increasingly erratic member of Liverpool’s side in recent years, and there have been serious question marks about his place in the side.
Johnson’s current contract expires next summer, and he is no closer to agreeing a new deal at Anfield. The former Chelsea man is on big wages currently and that, coupled with his age and lack of consistency, should encourage Brendan Rodgers to sell him. He does seem frustratingly keen on him, however.
The 24-year-old has struggled to nail down a regular first-team place under Jose Mourinho this season, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian often preferred in attacking midfield.
The 42-time capped Germany international would be a terrific acquisition by Rodgers, offering pace, goals and an admirable work-rate in attacking wide areas. Mourinho showed with Juan Mata that, if he doesn’t rate a player, he has no issue selling them to a rival club.
With Johnson’s future very much up in the air, it looks as though Rodgers is already eyeing up potential replacements for him.
According to Portuguese publication A Bola, Liverpool could sign right-back Pereira from Benfica in January.
The 30-year-old has bags of experience, winning 98 caps for Uruguay to date, and would bring guaranteed defensive quality and attacking thrust to the side.
It is believed that contract extension talks between Pereira’s representatives and Benfica have stalled in recent times, and the Reds could pounce. Originally a right-sided midfielder, Pereira has matured into one of the most consistent full-backs around.
KEITA BALDE DIAO
The 19-year-old striker has reportedly been watched by Liverpool scouts during the last 12 months, and the Serie A club could be happy to sell if an offer of €30m is placed. That seems a lot for a relatively unproven player though.
The Spaniard joined the Rome team from Barcelona in 2011, and has scored five goals in 23 league appearances for the club to date. With Divock Origi potentially set to return to Anfield in January, however, you wonder whether there’s much need for him.