With Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers in the market for reinforcements in January, who will be the Anfield club's top targets before deadline day? A versatile winger and young players with potential seem to be the priority for the Merseysiders. We pick some key names...
By Peter Fraser - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsPeteF
Last Updated: 24/01/14 8:28am
Estimated Value: £11m
Alternative Targets: Javier Pastore (PSG), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) & Danny Ings (Burnley)
Following Mohamed Salah's brilliant performances for Basel in tearing Chelsea apart in the UEFA Champions League group stages, he was linked to many top clubs around Europe. He was believed to be Liverpool's top target but they have seemingly been gazumped by Chelsea. It will be a big blow to Liverpool to miss out on a player dubbed the 'Egyptian Messi' and they will hope for a last-minute hitch in his move to Chelsea. Salah's versatility to play on the wing or up front made him a key target for Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and speculation suggested talks were taking place. However, while there had been whispers of a five-year contract being agreed with the player, the conjecture was Liverpool are unprepared to offer much more than £7million when Basel wanted a higher fee and Chelsea were prepared to pay £11m.
Estimated Value: £10m
Alternative Targets: Javier Pastore (PSG), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid), Danny Ings (Burnley)
The suggestion was that Liverpool were close to signing Barcelona youngster Tello last summer. Since then, they were also described as being on the brink of a loan deal this January before making the move permanent this summer. However, Liverpool may have to wait until the end of the season for any deal, loan or permanent, as Barcelona are thought to have told Tello he cannot leave in January due to their crippling injury list. But having won the Under 21 European Championship with Spain in 2013, the tricky winger is rumoured to be disillusioned by his lack of opportunities at Barcelona, where he has started very few Primera Liga games this season.
Club: MK Dons
Estimated Value: One For The Future
Left-sided midfielder Dele Alli can also play in the centre of the pitch and has been described as "special" by MK Dons manager Karl Robinson. Despite his tender age, Alli played in his club's recent FA Cup third round 3-3 draw at Wigan Athletic and did not look out of place, with Rodgers reportedly at the game to watch. Robinson has also said: "I know Brendan quite well and we speak about different players all the time." The suggestion is that a deal is close for England Under 17 international Alli and he is the sort of player in whom Rodgers would like to invest some time in order to covert his sensational potential into a star performer. But Robinson is also adamant he will not sell this season.
Position: Deep-Sitting Midfield
Estimated Value: £8m
Alternative Targets: Yann M'Vila (Rubin Kazan) & Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese)
Nostalgic Liverpool fans would have preferred their 2005 Champions League winner, Xabi Alonso, before his contract renewal at Real Madrid but Rodgers' interest in Rakitic appears much stronger. Switzerland-born Croatia international Rakitic has age on his side and is Sevilla's captain while his contract runs out in the summer of 2015. Rakitic is prepared to talk to Sevilla over an extension but Liverpool are rumoured to be monitoring the situation in case there is no agreement. Reports in Spain have suggested Sevilla are also looking at Turkish midfielder Mehmet Topal as a potential Rakitic replacement, which is encouraging for Liverpool.
Club: Derby County
Estimated Value: £3m
Arguably the Championship's hottest prospect has long been linked with Liverpool. Those in the know suggest it is more likely to be the summer when Will Hughes makes his move from Derby County to Anfield but do not rule out a January deal. The left-footed attacking midfielder would be another one for the future for Rodgers to develop but he is already highly rated and is second only to Theo Walcott as the youngest player in history to earn an England U21 cap. That, combined with Derby's insistence Hughes is going nowhere, means he will not come cheap even as just a teenager. Hughes' form has dipped recently after a taxing run of fixtures but Derby boss Steve McClaren insists that is to be expected for a teenager.