With Jamie Carragher still scheduled for retirement in a few weeks and Martin Skrtel still stuck to the bench behind the 35-year-old stalwart, Liverpool are going to need a defender or three come summer. While fans continue to argue over potential signings, Liverpool will almost certainly have already begun to work towards finding replacements.
And when it comes to just who those replacements might be, regardless of personal preference most have assumed Swansea's Ashley Williams was at or near the top of the list from the moment the January window slammed shut and speculation about the summer kicked off. However, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins today insisted they have received no contact regarding the Welsh defender.
"We have had no contact from any club regarding any of our players," said Jenkins. "There's been no contact and no bids, and that goes for everyone including Michel Vorm and Ashley Williams."
While Williams has continually been linked to Liverpool, Swansea's style of play along with two strong seasons in the Premier League for Vorm has led to growing speculation Barcelona might look to the Dutch 'keeper to replace the outgoing Victor Valdes.
As for Liverpool's rumoured interest in Williams, given the defender turns 29 in August his acquisition would seem to go against Fenway Sports Group's preference for only buying younger players with potential and resale value, neither of which Williams would bring with him were he to arrive at Anfield over the summer.
For Williams, too, one would have to wonder at the appeal of moving to Liverpool at this stage in his career given Swansea can offer the chance to compete in Europe next season. Selling Liverpool as a project might work for players five to ten years younger, but for someone closer to the end of his career than the beginning it's hard to see the appeal.
That Liverpool appear to have not contacted Swansea about the possibility of acquiring him—at least if Jenkins' statements are to be taken at face value—only further suggests this is a rumour that is never going to become the reality, no matter how often people link Williams to Liverpool.