We round up the latest Liverpool transfer news and rumours on Friday, with Jurgen Klopp set to oversee more departures than arrivals this January.
But while their focus will be on another three points against the bottom-dwellers, speculation continues over incomings and outgoings.
There are less than two weeks to go until the end of the winter transfer window, so who is set to leave and who could arrive before the deadline on January 31?
Here’s the latest from the rumour mill, as Klopp misses out on one of his midfield targets.
Inter Lodge ‘Serious’ Offer for Sturridge
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s trip to south Wales, Klopp remained coy on Daniel Sturridge‘s future, saying “we don’t discuss the transfer market here.”
But it is widely reported that the 28-year-old will be allowed to leave the Reds if a satisfactory deal is agreed with another club.
Both Sevilla and Inter Milan are believed to be interested in signing Sturridge on loan, and according to Goal‘s Melissa Reddy, the latter have now made a “serious” offer.
This “includes a substantial loan fee, the full assumption of his salary and a path to making the deal permanent.”
However, Seville is said to be Sturridge’s preferred destination, so it is likely that Liverpool will wait for an offer from their Champions League group stage opponents before moving forward.
Ings Set to Stay at Anfield
Sturridge’s future could have a major impact on the rest of Klopp’s attacking options, with a departure for the England striker depriving Danny Ings of a move of his own.
Ings has been touted with a temporary switch elsewhere, with the likes of Newcastle United and West Brom reportedly interested, but according to the Telegraph, he is now set to stay.
They also claim that a similar bid for Sturridge was also rejected, which may be due to the Reds not wishing to strengthen another Premier League side with a loan deal.
Goretzka Confirmed As Bayern Player
Liverpool’s pursuit of Germany international Leon Goretzka seemed doomed from the start, as with both Bayern Munich and Juventus among the clubs pursuing the midfielder, they were an outside bet.
Nevertheless, the Reds made an approach to the 22-year-old’s representatives with a view to sealing a pre-contract agreement as his deal runs out with Schalke.
But the Bundesliga side confirmed on Friday morning that Goretzka would be joining Bayern on a free transfer on July 1.
“We are losing a very, very good player,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “We did everything we could to try and keep him.”
This could leave Liverpool searching for an alternative to a young player who would have brought further forward thrust from Klopp’s midfield.
Grujic Loan Terms Guarantee Key Cardiff Role
It could be that Klopp’s alternative to Goretzka is Marko Grujic, with the Serbian joining Cardiff City on Wednesday on a six-month loan deal.
Grujic has struggled for opportunities under Klopp since joining from Red Star Belgrade in 2016, with his switch to the Championship hopefuls designed to provide him with regular senior football.
And according to Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, he will be given the chance to impress, with Liverpool imposing ‘financial punishments‘ if Grujic doesn’t play enough football.
“We haven’t had to give assurances, but we get financially ‘punished’ if we don’t,” he said.
“But that’s quite acceptable and, to be honest, a good deal or both parties, because I want to play him, I’m not signing him to make the numbers up. He’s a good lad, and a good player.”
City Join Race to Sign Free Agent Can?
But the failure to sign Goretzka piles considerable pressure on Liverpool to convince Emre Can his future remains at Anfield.
Can is in a similar situation to his compatriot, able to discuss terms with other clubs ahead of a free transfer in the summer, with both Juventus and Borussia Dortmund interested.
The Reds are still hopeful Can will put pen to paper on an extended deal, but their efforts may be thwarted by the emergence of another suitor.
However, they also claim that Can is not interested in joining Juventus as he would rather return to Bayern, with Arsenal also suggested as a possible alternative…in what is a mess of tabloid detritus.
Hoffenheim Target Out-of-Favour Markovic
Grujic’s chances of salvaging a career on Merseyside are vastly superior to those of his compatriot, Lazar Markovic.
Though he has trained regularly under Klopp at Melwood this season, Markovic has been afforded just once appearance as an unused substitute on the first-team stage.
Having failed to establish himself since joining from Benfica in 2014, the winger is likely to leave in the January window.
And surprisingly, according to Sky Germany, Hoffenheim could give Markovic a lifeline.
Liverpool ‘Winning Race’ For Next Charlton Prospect
The rise of Joe Gomez this season has been remarkable, with the 20-year-old recovering from a long-term injury absence to become one of Klopp’s most consistent figures.
This is a testament to the quality within the academy ranks at Charlton Athletic, and it could be that he is joined by a fellow Valley alumni in the near future.
According to Kent Live, they are “leading the race” to sign Charlton’s young centre-back Ezri Konsa.
They are said to have moved ahead of Everton as “Addicks’ owner Roland Duchatelet looks to cash in on his prize asset,” who has already made 68 first-team appearances.
Reds Youngster Linked With Championship Move
Finally, as Liverpool continue to trim the deadwood in their academy ranks, long-serving centre-back Lloyd Jones could be nearing a permanent exit.
According to HITC Sport, Jones is attracting interest from Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Bradford City and Oxford United ahead of a possible January move.
Jones has no chance of breaking through into the senior setup, and a move to a League One side like Oxford may be the boost his fledgling career needs.