Rumour Mongering: Transfer Deadline Day Edition

Charlie Crowhurst

Running through the rumours one last time finds Liverpool's coffers boosted by an Insua sell-on fee, Reading interest further muddying the Ince issue, and desperate rumour mongers pushing stories that won't happen.

With a little more than half a day left in the January transfer window, there's a good chance Liverpool have already wrapped up all their business. There's always room for an unexpected last minute signing, and rumours linking Tom Ince to the club and Sebastian Coates away from it refuse to go away completely. Still, whatever happens, from a Liverpool point of view it's nice to mostly be able to just sit back and enjoy the madness of transfer deadline day after the way August ended.

Of course, all because Liverpool are probably done for January in the transfer market doesn't mean there aren't rumours of maybes and what ifs floating around as everybody prepares for the mad final rush. There's at least one solid piece of news to pass along, too, with the recent completion of former Liverpool left back Emiliano Insua's transfer from Sporting to Atletico Madrid.

Insua's move, a year and a half after he left the club for good, manages to count as Liverpool news on account of the 50% sell-on fee included in the deal that sent him to Portugal. Now that sell-on fee means €1.75M of the €3.5M transfer will end up in Liverpool's coffers. It may not be enough to do more than buy an extra youth player or two moving forward—or perhaps it's money already earmarked to help pay for the recent arrivals of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho—but in any case it's nice to see another piece of smart business in the market by way of Insua's previously unreported sell-on fee.

As for the player, after being one of the first names on the teamsheet last season for Sporting, Insua has struggled this year—though his struggles have been dwarfed by those of the club as a whole, with Sporting now on their fourth manager of the season. For Insua, then, it means both a move away from the chaos as well as a move to the second-place side in one of Europe's top four leagues.

Elsewhere, links tying Liverpool to Mauro Zarate that surfaced in the weeks leading up to January have now resurfaced, with the struggling Lazio striker desperate for a move away from Italy before the window snaps shut. Zarate's star has faded in recent seasons while the arrival of Daniel Sturridge and return to fitness for Fabio Borini appear to make him unnecessary at Liverpool, but until he finds a new home—whether that's now or in the summer—it's likely desperate rumour mongers will refuse to give up entirely on the idea that he might end up at Anfield.

Far more likely destinations for Zarate appear to be Stoke and Sunderland, both of whom have also been linked to the 25-year-old Argentinean. It's mostly likely, though, that if he leaves Lazio in the next twelve or so hours it will be to exchange Italy for Russia, with Zenit frontrunners to land the striker who once got himself into trouble for returning the Nazi salute employed by Lazio's ultras.

Meanwhile, with Blackpool unwilling to budge on their valuation of Tom Ince, there are conflicting reports over whether Reading have pulled out of negotiations completely or if they are instead considering a second bid that would come closer to matching Blackpool's £8M demands. Whether Reading increase their bid or not, it's become quite clear that Blackpool are unwilling to sell the player for less than the £8M they feel he's worth. It's also become clear that Liverpool don't think Ince is worth that much.

If Reading do believe he's worth it, it will mean another £2.8M in Liverpool's account thanks to the 35% sell-on fee they included in the deal that sent Ince to Blackpool. And if Reading don't believe he's worth that much you can expect talk linking Ince to Liverpool to resurface in the summer.

And finally, though some sources have reported that Liverpool could be chasing Lazio defender Modibo Diakite after the player's agent called Liverpool his "first choice" destination, to do so requires ignoring the second part of his agent's statement where he goes on to say that Diakite would have a hard time saying no to Liverpool if they came for him in the summer. The 25-year-old French centre back's contract does end this season, though, and news of a pre-contract agreement between now and then wouldn't be out of the question.

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More: Complete Liverpool Transfer Deadline Day Coverage

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