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Rumour Mongering: Tidying Up Loose Ends Edition

Looking at the latest Liverpool transfer rumours finds little new of interest, but in Philippe Coutinho, Tom Ince, and Sebastian Coates there are more than a few loose ends to be tied up between now and the end of Thursday.

Dino Panato

With no likely new names having yet leaked out as Liverpool prepare for the end of the January transfer window, we're left with little to do but tidy up the loose ends of existing rumours as we begin the month's penultimate run through the rumours from a Liverpool point of view. And when it comes to those loose ends, the one closest to being tied up this week is the impending arrival of Philippe Coutinho.

Brendan Rodgers may not be willing to confirm Coutinho's imminent signing, with the club waiting on the young Brazilian's work permit to go through before they complete the deal, but at this point that appears to be all that's holding things up. Meanwhile, though Rodgers is remaining tight lipped on the matter, Inter President Massimo Moratti has been more than happy to talk about Coutinho's departure.

"Selling Coutinho is not done with the idea of cashing in," said Moratti over the weekend, "but because, looking at the way things have developed recently, we have a greater need in different areas than Coutinho’s position, regardless of his age." With the player eager to complete his move to England, his work permit and a slew of the requisite awkward medical photos on Liverpool's official website could show up any time now.

Beyond Coutinho, the chances of any further signings in January appear increasingly slim, with Rodgers saying, "If we can add another player, if not more, then great. If not, we'll look in the summer to keep the building process going."

While he doesn't rule out more action in the transfer market, with Coutinho set to be the "another player" Rodgers is referring to when his deal becomes official some time in the next few days, there doesn't seem a lot of room for more. And really, given Liverpool entered the month in desperate need to reinforce their attacking options, the arrival of first Daniel Sturridge and now Coutinho mean the club's most pressing needs have been filled and most will feel it a successful window no matter if nothing else goes through.

"I have said in the last couple of weeks that he is a player who I believe needs games and needs to go and play," added Rodgers when asked to address the issue of Sebastian Coates. "But obviously, I need to protect the club as well in relation to the size of the group. Everyone knows how small we are as a squad. It might be the best thing for Seba to go on loan, but it might not necessarily be the best thing for the club."

With West Brom, Wigan, and Bolton all eager to take the 22-year-old Uruguayan centre back for the remainder of the season, Rodgers must quickly secure the services of another defender—or, if that isn't possible, decide whether he can live without Coates as an emergency option over the next few months. Clearly a loan would be in Coates' best interest—and in Liverpool's best long-term interest as well—but whether such a loan will actually materialise before the close of the window remains uncertain.

And finally, news that Tom Ince was in the stands watching Liverpool as they fell to Oldham on Sunday sparked a slew of rumours that the young winger's transfer was back on. Later, however, it was learned he had made the trip to support fellow youth academy graduates Jack Robinson and Raheem Sterling, so while a deal remains possible, his presence in the away end didn't signal new developments.

"Every player wants to play top level at some stage of their career," said Ince when he later talked to reporters, "but as far as I am concerned, if I am still a Blackpool player come Thursday then great. My attitude will never change and I won't go off the rails thinking, 'Why didn't I get this move or that move?'"

There's a slight chance that even if Ince doesn't move to Liverpool this window he could end up changing clubs, with Reading continuing to show interest in him. In the end though, it continues to appear as though Ince remaining at Blackpool at least until the summer is the most likely outcome.

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