He was linked in March as a potential replacement for departing legend Steven Gerrard and was rumoured to be a summer target despite competition from Arsenal and Manchester United. William Carvalho is still at Sporting, Liverpool didn't sign a defensive midfielder in the summer, Lucas Leiva was retained to actually give some credence to the notion that a defensive midfielder belongs in Liverpool's first-team squad, and rumours have risen once again.
We know what happened to Asier Illarramendi and Mateo Kovačić: one left Real Madrid and the other arrived in his stead. Neither went to Liverpool despite the many links and teasing rumours. At least loyal Reds can pin their hopes on another defensive midfielder by dreaming about the prospect of beating Arsenal to a player in the January transfer window. Such a fantasy involves Arsenal actually bidding for a player along with Brendan Rodgers acknowledging the use of a defensive midfielder in his physical prime who can actually defensively midfield, but let's investigate the sources.
Tuttomercato seems to be the originator of the latest edition of the Carvalho to Liverpool rumours, but for those wishing to refrain from a bit of Google translating, the Daily Express provides vague details in English. Interestingly, the Italian website cites the Daily Express, which in turn uses "reports in Italy" as the basis with which to run the story. This probably means these rumours are even more meaningless than previously thought, but it's better than pondering whether Liverpool's season will get back on track with a rousing win against Carlisle United and a weekend triumph over high-flying Aston Villa.
Arsenal might need a defensive midfielder to join the promising-but-already-24-years-old Francis Coquelin, which brings Carvalho to Arsène Wenger's attention. Regular Champions League football along with London's bright lights may be attractive to the 23-year-old Portuguese international. Carvalho hasn't played since suffering an injury in July but excelled in the European Under-21 Championships earlier in the summer.
Liverpool have been linked with the 23-year-old defensive midfielder before, so it's not a major stretch to think they might have been watching him over the past few weeks at the U21 Euros. And he's a player who the club should at the very least be interested in, one of the best young defensive midfielders in the game and a player who can still grow.
Thanks Noel, what was true in the summer hasn't really changed. That's probably the best summary of where Liverpool would stand with a January bid, unless one thinks clandestine forces are scheming to provide a new manager with a shiny welcoming present to follow the five-year contract awarded to Mamadou Sakho. William Carvalho is the type of player Liverpool should be getting, and in truth, Liverpool need another defensive midfielder. Lucas Leiva is decent but not the most physically robust, Emre Can is still finding a position on the pitch, and Jordan Rossiter looks like he's 12.