Depending on who you believe, names like Daniel Sturridge and Darren Bent may still be on Liverpool's radar, but with the January transfer window drawing ever nearer each day seems to bring a new name or two that might be coming to Anfield in the new year—but in the end probably won't. In the meantime, though, we can at least hope they might. If only because their names aren't Daniel Sturridge and Darren Bent.
This week brings a dose of Dutch, with 20-year-old defender Stefan de Vrij leading off as either one of the most intriguing or inexplicable names to be linked to the club in recent months. Already the captain of Feyenoord and having made two appearances this year for the Netherlands, he's widely considered one of the most promising centre back prospects in Europe.
However, if he were to arrive it would be contingent on finding a short-term loan destination for Sebastian Coates, and whether de Vrij would actually offer any more than Coates is a fair question to ask. Coates, after all, came to Liverpool one of the most promising prospects in South America after leading Nacional in the Copa Libertadores and being named young player of the tournament at the 2011 Copa America.
His lack of playing time at the club since arriving would suggest a loan could be in order, but with Jamie Carragher Brendan Rodgers' preferred third centre back in large part thanks to his experience, one has to wonder what good it would do to swap out one young and promising fourth-choice CB for another. On the surface, then, he would seem an odd target for Liverpool, especially with the need for attacking reinforcements seeming the clear priority.
However, de Vrij's contract runs out at the end of next season and the player has so far refused to sign a new one. With that in mind, if Liverpool could acquire him in January for a fee rumoured to only be in the £4M range while beating out the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and any other club more inclined to wait until the summer, then the move might begin to make sense—even if it wouldn't solve any of Liverpool's current personnel issues.
One move that could solve some of those current issues would be the arrival of Wilfried Bony, with the agent for the 23-year-old Ivorian claiming Chelsea and Liverpool are both in the running to sign the versatile forward from Vitesse. Bony had in fact agreed a deal in principle to move to Aston Villa over the summer only for Vitesse to back out at the last minute, and the forward continues to target the Premier League as his preferred destination—and the sooner the better.
Bony has a scoring record of a goal in just over every game and a half in the Eredivisie, and has scored four times in thirteen appearances at the international level since making his first senior appearance for Cote d'Ivoire in 2010. If he did end up at Liverpool it would be something of a return for a player who was given a trial at the club in 2007 before eventually landing at Sparta Prague. He would likely cost somewhere north of £10M, but arriving from the Dutch league his wage demands would likely be relatively modest.
Closer to home, West Brom's Shane Long continues to be linked. The striker has scored 13 goals in 46 league games since moving to the Hawthornes in 2011, and his importance in that side's current lofty standing under Steve Clarke would be hard to overstate. However, after being linked to Liverpool in the past, one might reasonably assume any rumours linking Long now are just the latest examples of lazy journalists and bored rumour mongers recycling old stories. One would also have to wonder whether he would be eager to switch sides in January given the two clubs' current standings.
Sticking to the Premier League also turns up suggestions that Liverpool—along with half the sides making up the top half of the table—are interested in West Ham defensive midfielder Mohamed Diame. Of particular interest are rumours that after being released by Wigan at the end of last season and with his sights set rather higher than newly promoted West Ham, he was only willing to sign for the club if they agreed to a £6M release clause that could be triggered this January.
Now, with the player having impressed over the opening months of the season, there are growing rumours his agent is actively shopping him to clubs that might be willing to trigger that clause—and many believe Liverpool would make an obvious destination for the 25-year-old French-born Senegalese international.
And last but not least, Harry Redknapp's rumoured love of Joe Cole has been rumoured to have been rekindled following his employment at QPR. With a tonnes of extra stress placed on the whole rumoured part.