The transfer window is closed. Which means it’s time to start worrying about the next one. It seems a touch absurd, truth be told, but with Liverpool holding firm on deadline day and making it clear there would be no new signings coming in there was already talk of the future starting up 24 hours ago.
Talk of the need for a goalkeeper, with the rumoured top target Roma’s Alisson and everybody’s favourite unlikely pipe dream, Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak. Talk of a potential Emre Can replacement in Hoffenheim’s Kerem Demirbay. Talk of still being interested in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.
All of those names, though, were either already known as potential targets or, in the case of Demirbay, made for a player one could easily imagine was always a potential target such was his seeming fit for Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool on paper. A few others, on the other hand, are anything but.
Enter James Rodriguez, formerly of Monaco and currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid. He’s still just 26 but somehow has already managed to go from the best young player in the world to spare part for a pair of the biggest clubs in the world. Clearly, he needs a change.
He’s had less than 1000 minutes in the league so far this season for Bayern, and there’s been talk that both player and club would be happy to cut short his two-year loan. He’s not going to want to go back to Madrid, though. Which leads us around to rumours that he wants Klopp and Liverpool.
There’s really nothing at all of substance to them, and they spring from the lowest tabloids in Spain, but on paper it’s easy enough to put two and two together—at least when it comes to the part where the player clearly needs to make a change. And, hey, Liverpool didn’t replace Coutinho.
So now we’ll be stuck talking about James to Liverpool for the next few months even though there’s probably nothing there and it’ll probably lead to nothing. Another that’ll probably lead to nothing is Isco, another player on Real Madrid’s books and another potential Coutinho replacement.
He’s played a little more than James, recording a little over a thousand league minutes, and he’s a year younger. Like James, he’s also occasionally been tenuously linked to Liverpool in the past and, yesterday, the rumour mongers in Spain began to suggest he could be heading to Anfield—at the end of the season.
The transfer window is closed. But already we’ve got some major stories running for the next one. Some—like Alisson and Demirbay and Lemar—could amount to something. Others—like James and Isco—almost certainly won’t but we’ll be hearing about them for months. Happy February first, then.