With a significant portion of our readership and an even more significant portion of our editorial staff distracted by the various obligations that go along with the day that falls a week before the January transfer window opens, it's a rather brief edition of rumour mongering this week. Though in the end that fact perhaps has at least as much to do with the club already having done its shopping by most accounts.
For the five people who have until now been too busy these past few weeks to check the internet or back pages, that finished shopping would be attackers Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince. It may not be officially official quite yet, but despite a attempts by the media to wring one last ounce of drama out of the situation by claiming difficulties with subsection eight, clause seven-b could scupper the Sturridge deal, everybody's pretty much certain both will become officially official by the time your New Year's eve celebrations have turned into New Year's day regrets.
With the pair likely to cost close to £20M and Brendan Rodgers confirming movement in January will be limited to "one or two" incoming players at his pre-Stoke press conference on Monday, it's difficult to imagine either Sturridge or Ince being followed up by the kind of splashy signing many had hoped might be on the way despite all signs pointing to the contrary. That, in turn, really only leaves room for the tidying up of loose ends when it comes to Liverpool and the January market.
One of those now cleaned up loose ends would be Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who signalled the arrival of the pre-January transfer window rush back in November when rumours linking Liverpool to the veteran Dutch striker kicked off. Now, though, it can be certain he isn't heading to Anfield after signing a new long term deal to keep him at Schalke. Elsewhere, some are still desperately trying to link the English club to the likes of David Villa and Arda Turan, but neither potential move appears to have any solid foundation to it—though with Turan's agent talking of finding a new home for his client in the summer, at least one of them could end up on the radar again in a few months.
However, there is the slight chance Liverpool could still be in for another youngster with Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland in particular still a potential target. Given he's English and hasn't yet turned 20, he does seem the sort of signing that has become the norm at the club under Fenway Sports Group. Though as the top English 'keeper prospect of his generation, even those who have grown skeptical given the club's transfer record in recent years would likely welcome his arrival.
In outgoings there's a little more potential for new developments, though given the players the club is looking to offload the key is on potential. Still, we would be remiss if we didn't pass along suggestions QPR could be in for Joe Cole, which if true is something that should make just about everyone a little more cheerful. And given his recent, finger-shushing tinged uptick in form, with a bit of luck one of the half-dozen clubs linked to Stewart Downing over the past month might actually be willing to part with a bit of cash to get him, too. Or of course both could still be at Liverpool to witness the eventual heat death of the universe and/or the next World Cup winners from England.