Brendan Rodgers has reiterated that Liverpool are working hard to try and add quality to the squad, but concedes that signings will be difficult in January. The Reds have been active in each transfer window since Rodgers took the reins in the summer of 2012, but have so far been dormant this month. Yet, despite a strong season to date that sees them currently occupying the fourth and final Champions League place, Rodgers is adamant that there is still plenty of focus on identifying players who could improve Liverpool further.
“There are no real developments yet," he said, according to Liverpool’s official website.
"We've been working over a number of months on possibilities that could strengthen the team. We just need to wait and see how that goes in the next couple of weeks.
"The owners have been great in terms of if there's something there to be done that will help us and improve us, I'm sure they'll support that. It's one where it could be a difficult market to improve in. But it certainly won't be for the want of trying. There's a lot of good work going on; we're assessing a whole raft of players. It's just whether they are going to be available for us to bring in now.”
According to reports one of the men that Liverpool are having difficulty trying to bring in is Napoli’s defensive midfielder Gokhan Inler. Talksport is among the publications to link the Reds with the Switzerland international, who has been an important figure for Napoli since joining from Udinese in the summer of 2011. However, after his side’s 3-1 Coppa Italia victory over Atalanta on Wednesday, he claimed to be unaware of any interest.
“I do not read the news,” he said. “Napoli is important to me and I will always give my best for this shirt."
If speculation is to be believed, central midfield is an area where Rodgers is focused on bolstering. Sky Italia has reported that Liverpool, along with Chievo, are strongly pursuing Udinese’s holding midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu. While not guaranteed a place in the Udinese side, the 23-year-old has already made in excess of 40 appearances for Ghana.
Completing the theme, Liverpool have been credited with an interest in Porto midfielder Fernando. The Daily Express asserts that Liverpool have joined Manchester United and Everton in pursuit of the Brazilian, whose contract is set to expire in the summer. However, the impressive 26-year-old could be set to sign an extension to keep him in Portugal, according to his agent.
Liverpool have also been linked with a number of attacking players this month. The latest name to be added to that list is Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez, with Talksport speculating that the recent unrest at St Mary’s could help facilitate the England international’s exit. Nicola Cortese resigned from his position as Southampton chairman on Wednesday and is thought to have had a considerable influence on both signing and keeping players at the club.
Yet, despite much speculation over Rodriguez and several of Southampton’s young stars, head coach Mauricio Pochettino stated on Thursday that there had been no approaches for any of his players and that none would be leaving in this transfer window.