By Matt Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez
Well here we are ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, geezers and geezettes (is that a thing?).
The January transfer window slams shut next Thursday at midnight, meaning that this will be the last rumour review in which we could possibly sign or sell one of these players – sad times, I know how much it’s meant to you all reading these sarcasm-filled articles.
Well, don’t start crying just yet because we still have next week’s final rumour review where will look back at some of the gems which we’ve discussed over the past eight weeks. For now however, Jürgen Klopp still has a week to sign an absolute world-beater…. even though we aren’t linked to any in this edition.
Either way, let’s just yabadabado this – shout out to Fred Flintstone, you guys remember that show?
Nicolo Barella – Cagliari
The Italian “Steven Gerrard”… yep that’s what he’s being called. Not gonna lie, I hate when young stars get compared to footballing legends because they never live up to the billing. With this being said, there is always that little grain of doubt in the back of your mind that says “what if he actually is the next Gerrard” – probably not but lets discuss.
If reports are to be believed, Liverpool have been interested in the 21-year-old since the summer. The Italian has racked up 19 appearances in the Serie A this season, scoring once and assisting once.
His numbers are hardly astounding, however, its his style of play that apparently has Klopp salivating. Barella is a very versatile midfielder who excels at controlling the game, and its this that could attract Klopp. The German manager has lined Liverpool up in either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 formation this season, both formations which would suit the adaptable youngster.
Barella is primarily a central midfielder, but he has the talent to play both in a defensive role and an advanced role – something which he has done with great success this season.
It is reported that the Italian outfit are looking for a figure in and around the region of £44 million. It is believed that other clubs are also interested in the diminutive midfielder, with Chelsea and Inter Milan believed to be hot on the heels of Liverpool, who are apparently leading the race.
With all this being said, it is growing increasingly unlikely that Liverpool will sign anyone in this window – maybe this deal goes through in the Summer but I cant see this happening in the next week.
Steven Bergwijn – PSV
Now this kid has blown up this season. A relative unknown when the season began, Bergwijn currently has nine goals and eight assists in 17 Eredivisie games this season – that’s a goal involvement every game!
Now I know what you’re all saying, ‘it’s the Dutch league it’s a joke’, and fair enough the Premier League have had its fair share of flops from the Eredivisie, but they’ve also provided some of their finest stars…*cough* Luis Suarez *cough*.
It’s clear to see looking at his stats that Bergwijn has been a vital cog in PSV’s title challenge this season, so its near impossible that the Eindhoven side will allow him to leave in January. With this being said, he’s being linked with absolutely everybody so the likelihood of the Dutchman lining up for PSV next season is pretty slim.
If this deal was to go through in the summer I for one would love it. Bergwijn can play on either wing, and is a fast and tricky player who is able to unlock a defence.
He definitely would not start ahead of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané, but the kid is young enough to develop as a player and good enough to make a substantial impact off the bench – far better quality than Lazar Markovic (more on him later).
Moreover, in his managerial career, Klopp has shown a knack for developing young, high-potential players into world-beaters – such as Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus. Due to this it could be a smart career move for the young Dutchman to pack his bags for Anfield.
With all this being said, Manchester United appear to be leading the race for the youngster who is believed to be commanding a record Eredivisie transfer fee. As is the case with Barella, I don’t think Liverpool will be doing any major business in this window therefore I wouldn’t hold out too much hope.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – Chelsea
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to my pick for bulls**t rumour of the week.
Hudson-Odoi is a major talent with bags and bags of potential and I’d love him at Anfield. But, all window he as been subject to ever increasing bids by Bayern Munich – with the last being a reported £35 million.
There is no doubt, that the young winger wouldn’t start at Anfield, instead he would be used in rotation to provide cover for Liverpools big stars. However, It’s not happening.
Let’s look at the facts. Chelsea wouldn’t let him go to Bayern because he’s a big talent they want to keep. So why in the hell would they allow him to then leave to a direct rival. Moreover, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would think that Liverpool would pay in excess of £35 million for a kid who has only made three senior premier league appearances.
Either way, my old pal James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo has already rubbished these reports, so…
Nicolas Acevedo – Liverpool of Montevideo
No lie, complete honesty right now – no clue who the hell this kid is. And I’m pretty sure Google doesn’t know who this kid is either because, when I typed in his name, pictures of Lucas Torreira came up…
From what is being reported, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea are all interested in the 19-year-old midfielder. The only thing I know is that the youngster can play in defence as well as in the centre of the park and therefore he ticks Klopp’s ‘versatile’ box.
Liverpool have apparently sent scouts too watch him at the South American u20 championships, so there does appear to be interest.
With this being said, this is the first mention of the youngster therefore I’m not sure how much faith I give the rumour.
Emerson – Atletico Mineiro
Again guys not a clue.
But, through the power of Google I have found that apparently we are one of 14 teams who are interested in the young Brazilian right-back.
He is currently enjoying a fine debut season in the Brazilian Serie A so the interest may, in fact, be real. Liverpool’s only issue in my opinion is the interest of FC Barcelona.
We all know what happens when Barcelona want to sign a Brazilian, more often than not they get their man. Due to this, I’m pretty certain that if the interest is genuine, Emerson will be going to the Camp Nou as opposed to Anfield.
Sandro Tonali – Brescia
This one seems to have some meat about it, with Massimo Cellino, Brescia’s owner, revealing that he has been contacted by Liverpool officials regarding the youngsters availability.
The 18-year-old midfielder currently plays in Serie B, but has already drawn comparisons to Andrea Pirlo and has earned himself an international call up – hype hype hype. Our man Maxi Angelo, the Italian football, is a fan as well
Roma are also apparently interested, however the owner has stated that Brescia will not sell to the highest bidder but only to the club who they believe is right for their starlet – Klopp is good with kids (wow that sounds dodgy reading it back).
The starlet currently has 18 appearances this season, scoring once and assisting five times. He has absolute bags of potential, and the idea of him growing at Liverpool and maybe partnering Fabinho In the next few years is quite exciting. Simply put, if he is half the player Pirlo was then his signing is a must.
With all this being said though, as has been the trend in this review, I doubt Liverpool will sign anyone of note in this last week so we may need to wait until summer.
Lazar Markovic – Everyone… anyone… PLEASE
The forgotten man. Markovic signed for Liverpool for £19.8m back in 2014 which makes him one of the clubs longest serving players – let that sink in for a minute.
The Serbian arrived at Liverpool its bags of potential and so much hype. Well he quickly fell out of favour, got sent on a bunch of loans and hasn’t featured in a competitive match since May 2015 – all the while he’s been picking up a weekly pay check which has apparently totalled in excess of £9million since – someone please get me in touch with his agent.
The wingers contract is up at the end of the season so he will finally be off Liverpool’s wage bill. The fact that he is still at the club is very confusing as he has reportedly had many chances to leave – most recently in the Summer to Anderlecht only for the deal to fall through in the last minute.
Ultimately at the end of the season, Markovic will lose his guaranteed LFC pay cheque and will be in search of a new club – wonder what his wizard of an agent conjures up for him, probably a move to Juventus or Real Madrid knowing his luck.
Verdict: Bye bye
Divock Origi – Galatasaray
Nope, no, no, nope, nopetty-nope-nope.
I am done talking about Origi possibly leaving, these journalists need to stop feeding the public rubbish.
The Merseyside Derby winning, 6ft super-sub is going nowhere – okay, super sub was a bit of a stretch but he’s not leaving.