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Rumour Mongering: The Final Countdown Edition

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With only hours to go until the new year—and with it the start of the January transfer window—we run down the latest Liverpool rumours making the rounds.

Claudio Villa

The biggest name making the rounds on the eve of the transfer window is Wesley Sneijder, the 28-year old attacking midfielder who has recently become surplus to requirements at Inter Milan after refusing to sign a new contract that would pay him less as the Italian club desperately seeks to lower its wage bill. Sneijder would likely cost around £10M and, if he were to arrive, would slot straight into the most advanced midfield role at Anfield.

Any chance of him actually making his way to Liverpool, however, seems slight at best, as despite reliable sources linking him away from Inter on the Italian end, Liverpool have since sought to distance themselves from any speculation connecting the club to Sneijder. Given the player's age and likely hefty wage demands, this is hardly a surprise. Meanwhile, Liverpool have yet to do anything to distance themselves from continuing suggestions Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince are, for all intents and purposes, done deals that will be finalised sooner than later.

Elsewhere, with Lewis Holtby's contract at Schalke running down and the 21-year-old attacking midfielder refusing to sign a new one, there is increasing speculation that the player could sign a pre-contract with an English club in the new year—though the player himself so far appears intent on seeing out the season in Germany. Rumour has Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool the sides most interested in his services, and it wouldn't surprise to see at least one push hard for him in January, paying a nominal fee now to prevent him hitting the open market once the season ends.

If he were to arrive at Liverpool, either in January or June, he would instantly step in as the club's best attacking midfielder, providing answer to a question that's been waiting on one for three seasons now—namely, who replaces Steven Gerrard moving forward. Holtby would also be able to do a job as an inside forward on either side of the attacking trio as Suso and Jonjo Shelvey have at times this season, and though he grew up an Everton fan, rumour holds that he wouldn't turn down a chance to play for their rivals.

Also of note as January's transfer window insanity prepares to kick off in earnest are that rumours of Liverpool interest in taking David Villa on loan—rumours that just wouldn't go away no matter how unlikely they seemed—appear to have finally run their course with reports Barcelona have decided to reject any loan offer for the out of favour striker and will only consider a permanent move for the 31-year-old. Needless to say, Liverpool aren't expected to offer such—especially for the £15M or more Barcelona would want.

Meanwhile, on the outgoings front there are conflicting reports as to whether Jordan Henderson is once again up for grabs—with Fulham supposedly the most likely destination four months after they were rumoured to have turned down Henderson plus cash in exchange for Clint Dempsey—or whether he has in recent weeks convinced Rodgers he has a future at Liverpool alongside the likes of the formerly out of favour Jose Enrique.

The thought of Fulham chasing Henderson shortly after they turned down the young midfielder as part of the Dempsey deal Liverpool were rumoured to have proposed certainly doesn't pass the common sense test. Yet at a club with few saleable assets that in the past has shown a need to trim the wage bill and largely balance new spending through player sales, it wouldn't be entirely shocking to learn a Henderson departure might be required to at least in part fund the arrivals of Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince—even if for many it would provide one more reason for doubt and disappointment.