Joel Matip, Neven Subotic, Andrea Ranocchia. Liverpool have been linked with moves for a string of veteran centre halves this month, players variously nearing the end of their contracts or out of favour with their clubs. With January nearly half way through, it appears none of those moves is likely to happen.
That seems a safe assumption to make with James Pearce with The Liverpool Echo and Dominic King with The Daily Mail claiming the club are closing on a short-term loan for Steven Caulker, who once played for Brendan Rodgers at Swansea. He also, at one point, was a quite highly rated young England international many were expecting great things from.
Currently under contract with Championship side QPR, Caulker forced a loan move to Southampton over the summer. It hasn’t gone well for him. The 24-year-old defender has mostly spent the season sat on the bench for Southampton, making three league appearances. Including the cups, he has played eight times for the Saints.
Caulker remains young, and the promise he once held won’t have evaporated, but it’s hardly an exciting move for Liverpool. Exciting, though, may not matter, given the struggles Liverpool have had with injuries this season and with any attempts to sign both Matip and Subotic having been blocked repeatedly by their clubs.
A six-month deal for Caulker is dependent on Southampton being willing to terminate his loan. If that happens, reports claim a deal would be done quickly—it may, according to some, already be done or close to it and only waiting on the finalisation of the paperwork. It’s even possible he could join in time to face Arsenal.
Caulker began his career with Tottenham, spending time on loan with Yeovil Town, Bristol City, and Swansea before moving permanently first to Cardiff City and then to Queens Park Rangers. He made one senior England appearance, against Sweden in a friendly in 2012.