Covering the latest transfer shenanigans from a Liverpool point of view with Coutinho dragging out, a new entrant in the Coates sweepstakes, and the first Suarez rumours of the year.
Given Luis Suarez is arguably the best—or at the very least the most infamous—talent plying his trade for a European side not likely to be in the Champions League next season, rumours linking him away from Liverpool were bound to pop up sooner or later. That sooner or later is now, with rumours surfacing that new Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has drawn up a wish list with Luis Suarez his top attacking target.
It may not be a rumour with any truth to it, but then it probably doesn't need to have any truth to it when it sounds so completely plausible. Luis Suarez is good at football; Pep Guardiola's brother is Suarez' agent; just about everybody in England thinks Suarez is the devil; Liverpool probably won't be in the Champions League next season and may not make it back into Europe at all; Suarez turns 26 today and Fenway Sports Group believe in selling assets when their value is highest; etcetera.
Add it all together and you get Bayern Munich and £40M, with about the only thing the rumour mongers disagree on being whether Bayern's bid will come in the summer or if they might take a run at Suarez before the January window closes. The truth is that at the moment there appears to be very little substance behind the rumour, but substance has never been a requirement when it comes to transfer speculation—especially when the transfers being speculated about seem as obvious as this one.
Meanwhile, with Liverpool's move for Philippe Coutinho still simmering, there's growing speculation in the Italian media that Southampton may be trying to beat Liverpool to the young attacking midfielder. That speculation is largely built around the fact that Southampton's new manager, Mauricio Pochettino, was in charge of Espanyol during Coutinho's time on loan at the Spanish club.
Liverpool still appear the most likely eventual destination for Coutinho, but if it were to happen a move to the Saints would certainly give the struggling side a pair of promising attacking midfielders after they signed Gaston Ramirez over the summer. Whether either would stick around long enough to fulfill their potential if Southampton ends up relegated is another matter.
Elsewhere, Liverpool and Juventus are reportedly tracking Marco Rojas with an eye towards taking a gamble on the A-League youngster who has scored ten goals in 15 games this season. While Rojas might be considered a long shot at the Premier League level, his fee would only run in the neighbourhood of half a million pounds—or even less if Liverpool were willing to wait for his contract to run out in three months, at which point they would pay a compensation fee less than half that amount.
In potential outgoings with more weight than the Suarez rumours, a third club has joined the Sebastian Coates sweepstakes, as Championship side Bolton are rumoured to be interested in taking the Uruguayan on loan. With West Brom and Wigan still hopeful of securing Coates' services for the next few months, Liverpool are free to choose the situation they feel the player's development will be served best in—so long as defensive cover can be found before January ends.
And this week's dose of the crazy comes a little closer to home than usual with Pepe Reina to Manchester United being a thing some people are seriously talking about. Reina to United is a rumour that seems to surface every so often, and while suggestions the keeper could leave for Barcelona in the summer can't be completely ignored, these ones can be. Completely.
If Liverpool's owners are taking the threat of Reina heading back to Spain seriously, though, it might explain renewed talk of Jack Butland being on the club's radar. It would also help to make sense of rumoured interest in Mexico reserve goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Though of course such links are just as likely to be the result of rumour mongers desperate to scrounge up a few potential Reina replacements for the sake of driving traffic as a reflection of genuine Liverpool interest.