International breaks are slow going for club football fans, and an international break where almost none of the games matter and it's wall to wall meaningless friendlies is even worse. It's the same for those tasked with covering the game, and so it's hardly surprising to see a marked uptick in rumour mongering.
It's Bild again keeping the German pipeline open this week by proposing that Liverpool are already deep in negotiations with Borussia Monchengladbach to sign Granit Xhaka in January. In fact, the German tabloid believe a fee of around £20M has been settled on and the two clubs at the moment are haggling over the details.
Whether there's any truth to the rumour—and Bild, despite their tabloid nature, is more reliable than most when it comes to German football—it's a name that will excite Liverpool fans. That's because as a young and highly versatile midfielder, Xhaka ticks a whole lot of boxes. It doesn't hurt he's been dubbed the next Schweinstieger.
He can screen a defence and most often takes on such a deeper role for both Monchengladbach and Switzerland, for whom he has earned 39 caps already, but his hammer of a left foot and passing instincts also make him useful as he moves higher up the pitch. There's a lot of talent there, and £20M is hardly exorbitant for it.
According to Bild, Arsenal are also sniffing around, but it's Liverpool who have seriously engaged Xhaka's current club and are close to closing a deal. If true, it would seem to make it less likely the Reds will also be going after rumoured target Ruben Neves in January given both fill a very similar role.