Running down the week in Liverpool transfer rumours with a focus on Bafetimbi Gomis, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, and Arda Turan, plus a chance to complete your Barcelona bingo card with David Villa.
With just two weeks to go until the January transfer window opens, Brendan Rodgers has once again offered up his own peculiar brand of worrying reassurance to Liverpool fans by insisting that while he will seek to bring in a new face or two, he won't be tempted into overspending just to get a deal done and that with little value in the January market anyhow it's best if nobody goes setting their expectations too high between now and then.
"All our problems were never going to be solved in this window because the January window is one of the least productive and the least movement goes on there," he said as he sought to temper expectations for the transfer window following the tempering of expectations on the pitch provided by Saturday's loss to West Ham in the league. "But we will look to solve some of our problems then and then we will look to revisit it in the summer knowing that in the summer we will be better placed than the previous summer."
And with that in mind, we've got a whole new batch of players joining the likes of Fernando Llorente, Mohamed Diame, and everybody's favourite swashbuckling duo of Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince as the rumour mongers just keep on throwing names against whatever vertical surface is convenient in the hopes one or two might stick. As is usually the case, most of them won't. But one or two of them might. Which is exciting. Or depressing, depending on what you think of the names involved.
First up this week is Bafetimbi Gomis, with rumours linking the 27-year-old striker to a slew of English clubs heating up after news emerged that he had been handed an ultimatum by Lyon's president: either sign a new contract of find a club willing to pay the roughly £10M he's valued at. Gomis told Canal Plus he was "flattered" by the interest, and most believe Liverpool and Chelsea are frontrunners for his services.
At 27, he's older than most players seriously linked to the club since Fenway Sports Group took charge, but with his contract expiring at the end of next season and all parties interested in finding him a new home he could bring Liverpool some much needed experienced support up front for a relatively modest fee. However, with a record of a goal in every three games in league action with Lyon and Liverpool only likely to play one out and out striker, whether he's good enough to justify shifting Suarez to the wing or would end up little more than a costly backup is an open question.
In the end, though, with Chelsea not considering Daniel Sturridge a long-term option and actively searching for an option to Fernando Torres—even if the ex-Liverpool striker's form has improved somewhat following the arrival of Rafael Benitez—there's a decent chance whether or not Gomis would be a good fit for Liverpool will become moot if Atletico fight to hold on to Falcao once the window opens.
Next comes 23-year-old Dutch attacker Ricky van Wolfswinkel, a player who was first linked to Liverpool while Kenny Dalglish was in charge though in the end there was little substance to those rumours. That hasn't stopped suggestions that this time around Liverpool really truly for reals are interested, though, and so the player who has scored 24 goals in 66 appearances for Sporting since he arrived from the Eridivisie in the summer of 2011 once again finds himself linked to Anfield.
Van Wolfswinkel would seem to tick most of the boxes where FSG and Brendan Rodgers are concerned. He's young, can play almost anywhere in attack, will look to get into the box whether he's played as a lone striker or in a supporting role, and he's a regular starter for Sporting both in the league and Europe. The downside is that he's already cup-tied in the Europa League. Tottenham and Fiorentina are also rumoured to be looking to sign the impressive young striker who would likely command a fee in excess of £10M.
Moving east in Iberia, Atletico Madrid are second in La Liga but face the prospect of losing star striker Falcao in January with Chelsea waiting to pounce, and news got even worse for them when Arda Turan's agent told Turkish television that his player was seeking a move away from the club. "I have wanted to see him play for another team in another league and Arda also wants to play for another club," said agent Ahmet Bulut. "Atletico know of our intentions. If successful, Arda will leave at the end of the season."
Given Turan, now 25, has been linked to Liverpool since the Benitez era and that not a transfer window goes by that doesn't see Liverpool fans reminding anyone who will listen that he's a fan of the club and bound to show up sooner or later, speculation linking the attacking midfielder to Anfield is inevitable. About the only thing stopping this rumour from reaching critical mass right now is the suggestion that if a move does take place it's likely to be after the season ends and not in January.
Moving quickly to outgoings, the most noteworthy news of the week came when Stewart Downing revealed that Brendan Rodgers has given him the okay to find a new home: "The manager has said I can leave if I want to. I'm at an age where I can't be sat around. I need to play and the manager understands that. That's how the situation is and we'll have to see what happens in January or the summer."
And for those keeping track at home, this week's Barcelona attacker linked to Liverpool is David Villa. In related news, there are now no Barcelona attackers in the first team not named Lionel Messi who haven't been linked to Liverpool.