Liverpool Transfer News: Valdes, Ince, Butland And Kuzmanovic Discussed In Latest Speculation

 @JasonLeMiere
on January 30 2013 2:05 PM
Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers will be desperate for a Liverpool victory against his former club Swansea on Sunday. Reuters

Liverpool have officially announced the signing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, but there may yet be a further arrival at Anfield before the close of the transfer window on Thursday.

Blackpool’s Tom Ince would appear to be the most likely new face as Blackpool continue to field interest for the 20-year-old winger. Liverpool had a bid rejected earlier in the summer and have been biding their time since.

It is believed that the Reds are prepared to wait until the summer when Ince will have just 12 months remaining on his contract. But interest from other clubs could yet force Liverpool to pay up this month.

Reading are believed to have tabled an offer closer to Blackpool’s asking price and are said to still be awaiting a response. Reading boss Brian McDermott believes that their ability to offer first-team action could count in their favor.

“Possibly [we can't compete] financially but I think we can compete as far as what we can offer,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “It has to feel right for the players, myself and our club. I definitely feel we can compete because we have a good environment for players to develop.”

Tom Ince’s father—and former Liverpool midfielder—Paul, has previously suggested that the England Under-21 international would not move somewhere only to sit on the bench.

Goal.com still believes a move to Liverpool could happen, though, with Liverpool’s position strengthened by the fact that they had a 35 percent sell-on clause inserted into the deal that took Ince to Blackpool from Anfield 18 months ago. It would mean Liverpool having to pay less than other interested parties.

Another player who could yet wind up at Anfield late in the window is Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland. The Reds have long been linked to the 19-year-old England international, who Birmingham are believed to be keen to sell to ease their financial position.

BBC Sport have reported that Chelsea had a £3.5 million offer accepted by Birmingham, however Butland declined the chance to discuss personal terms.

Continuing to gain first-team experience would also appear to be a big motivation for Butland.

"He will listen to what any club that meets Birmingham's asking price has to say, but playing is of paramount importance for Jack,” Butland’s agent Gary Mellor told BBC Sport.A potential solution may be for Liverpool to do a deal now and then loan Butland back to Birmingham until the end of the season.  

It has been reported that Rodgers is considering replacing current first-choice Pepe Reina. Another goalkeeper linked to the Reds is Barcelona’s Victor Valdes.

The 31-year-old announced recently that he would not be extending his current contact—which is set to expire in the summer of 2014. While an exit as early as this summer has been mooted, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has said that Valdes will not be forced out and will even be given the opportunity to change his mind.

"The Camp Nou's show of affection for Víctor Valdes on Sunday speaks volumes, as we believe we have the best keeper,” Rosell said, according to Marca. “He hasn't turned down Barca. He said that when his contract expires, he wants to have a new experience. That said, we have left the door open for him to decide what is best. If he wants to reconsider things in the end, then he'll be able to talk to us."

Liverpool have also been cited as an interested party in Stuttgart midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic. The Serbia international’s agent has claimed that Internazionale have made a bid, but that Liverpool have also made an approach.

"On the players there are Inter Milan, Liverpool, Valencia and Olympique Marseille,” Marko Naletilic said, according to Sky Sports.

"The Inter proposal is the one that most fascinated Kuzmanovic but other outfits offered more money.

"I am in Germany and I'm dealing with Stuttgart over the Zdravko transfer, there are still some details to discuss. I don't know yet if the player will leave now or in June. Today [Wednesday] will be a decisive day."

However, Sky Sports reports their understanding that Liverpool are not pursuing the 25-year-old, whose contract is set to expire in the summer.

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