With the January transfer window a week old, suggestions Liverpool have already finished their major business begin to look increasingly likely. After Brendan Rodgers sought to cool expectations in December it was perhaps always likely the closest thing to a big-money signing the club would make would be the £12M-rated Daniel Sturridge—though the very early returns do suggest he will help by adding some much needed depth and scoring touch to an attacking lineup generally lacking both.
Still, even if his deal being wrapped up signals that Liverpool are mostly done in the market it doesn't necessarily mean that they are entirely done. Besides, at this point we need something that isn't how Luis Suarez is the worst person in the world to talk about for a couple of minutes. And so, though the proverbial pickings may be slim, it's on to this week's round of rumour mongering.
First up this time around is a potential outgoing, with growing rumours Sebastian Coates could be heading for a reunion with Steve Clarke at West Brom. Speculation Coates would head elsewhere in January has refused to go away in recent weeks, though after some suggestion he could be heading to Spain or Italy on a permanent move the consensus now is that a short-term deal is more likely following Rodgers' saying he needed to "go out and play some games."
A loan to West Brom would certainly qualify for the going out part, though regular minutes might remain hard to come by for the Uruguayan defender at a side that remain ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League table. Plus there's the added complication of the fact that both sides will be hoping to compete for a spot in Europe as the season winds down—and with that the possibility for embarrassment should Coates aid the Baggies to a spot in Europe at Liverpool's expense. Still, spending a few more months with the man many credit for Liverpool's stingy defence last season would hardly be the worst thing in the world for Coates, especially if Clarke believes he has the minutes to make bringing in the defender worthwhile.
If Coates does leave on loan, rumours continue to suggest Nicolas Isimat-Mirin would be the man to fill the gap created by his departure. The highly rated 21-year old French centre back broke through to the Valenciennes first team in 2010 and has since then made a handful of appearances for the France U21 side. When his name was first linked to Anfield, many believed he was seen as a replacement for Coates, but it now appears his recruitment could have more to do with Liverpool lining up options for next season ahead of time with Jamie Carragher's contract running out and no signs that an extension is being negotiated.
Elsewhere, no matter what happens on the defensive front, Tom Ince remains Liverpool's most likely second signing of January—though after playing in Blackpool's FA Cup tie against Fulham on Sautrday he is now cup-tied in that competition. Liverpool originally approached Blackpool with a £6M offer to recapture their former academy product, but the Championship side's demands for more caused the deal to stall. Now, though, with Ince pushing hard for the move there are suggestions Blackpool may in the end be willing to sell the want-away player for the price first suggested by Liverpool.
While a move for Ince may once again look likely, rumours Liverpool were seeking Kevin Gameiro on loan in addition to Daniel Sturridge rather than keeping tabs on him as a backup in case the Sturridge deal fell through now appear to have been nothing but rumours. With speculation in the press gathering steam, PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti has responded by going out of his way to suggest the French striker's immediate future lies in Ligue 1, and unless Liverpool are willing to seek a permanent move for Gameiro in January it is likely he can now be ruled out as a target.
Meanwhile, despite a handful of persistent rumours suggesting Liverpool aren't well and truly out of the running for Lewis Holtby, Liverpool are will and truly out of the running for Lewis Holtby. With the player already off the table following the signing of a pre-contract agreement with Tottenham, it now appears Schalke would be open to him moving this month, favouring a nominal fee and losing the player now to losing him for next to nothing in the summer—and in the process killing the faint hopes some Liverpool fans still had that Tottenham's deal might be hijacked.
And finally, this week's title for craziest rumour goes to the suggestion Manchester United could sell David de Gea and bring in Pepe Reina to replace him. This is not going to happen. Though if you want to get worked up about it and drink heavily we won't stop you.