With the opening of the January transfer window just hours away, Liverpool are being linked with several big names as they look to boost their squad for the remainder of the season.

Liverpool have already had an ambitious attempt to bring Spain forward David Villa on loan until the end of the season rejected by Barcelona, according to the Daily Mail.

Villa, 31, has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Barcelona side after returning from a broken leg at the beginning of the season. The Mail claims that Villa is eager for a move next month, but Barcelona are only interested in a permanent deal. The La Liga leaders' reported asking price of £16 million is likely to rule out a move to Anfield with Liverpool’s transfer strategy centered around only committing fees to younger players.

Another surprising transfer that Liverpool are reportedly pursuing is for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. The Dutch attacking midfielder has been frozen out of the first team at Inter after reportedly failing to agree a reduction in his salary.

Sneijder has admitted that his future likely lies away from the side he helped to Champions League glory in 2010.

“Clearly it’s best for everyone concerned that in January I am transferred,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.

While Manchester United have long been linked to the 28-year-old and Tottenham are also reportedly interested, Italian publication La Gazzetta Dello Sport has claimed that Liverpool have offered Sniejder a three-year contract and are prepared to pay between €9 million (£7.3m) and €10 million (£8.1m).

Sneijder, has dismissed the reports, stating “Again, no truth,” according to the Daily Mail.

Not only would Sneijder’s age and doubtless high salary make him an unlikely Liverpool signing, it is also difficult to see how he would fit into Brendan Rodgers’ high-pressing style at Anfield.

There is a third European star linked with a surprise move to Liverpool with former Reds favorite Xabi Alonso hinting that he would welcome a return to the Premier League. Alonso, 31, performed with distinction in Liverpool’s midfield between 2004 and 2009, when he was sold to Real Madrid.

The Spain international has enjoyed a successful time with the current Spanish champions, but with 18 months remaining on his contract has revealed that his future is up in the air.

"I have not decided on my future,” he said, according to the Daily Mirror. “I will only stay at Real Madrid if I can offer the same level on the pitch as I can now and we will see what happens in the next few months.

"There is always a chance I could go back to the Premier League as I always enjoyed good times there."

A return to Liverpool has previously been mooted and he would doubtless be a big success in a Rodgers Liverpool team.

Liverpool also appear to be making plans for next season with the Reds set to join Arsenal and Tottenham in making an approach to sign Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby with a pre-contract agreement, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Germany international has told Schalke that he won’t be extending his deal with the club that expires at the end of the season. And Holtby will be able to negotiate a free transfer with foreign clubs from next month.

Holtby has an English father and has previously spoken of his desire to one day play in the Premier League.