Liverpool transfer news and rumours: James Milner tops target list, Miralem Pjanic to replace Steven Gerrard, PSG want Mario Balotelli

A look at the latest transfer talk surrounding Anfield

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The Independent Football

LIVERPOOL BOUND…

James Milner has emerged as the top transfer target for Brendan Rodgers in January. The Times report that the Manchester City midfielder, who is available on a free transfer at the end of the season, could make the switch to Anfield if Rodgers is able to talk City into selling, with the fear of losing him for nothing in the summer falling in the Reds’ favour. Milner is in talks with his club over an extension but talks are not progressing and the England midfielder is frustrated with the lack of first-team opportunities available to him.

Reports in Italy suggest that Liverpool could launch a €30m bid for Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic. While the Bosnia-Herzegovina international would not be a direct replacement for the departing Steven Gerrard, he would undoubtedly inject talent into the midfield having established himself as one of the best young talents in the Serie A. However, Gazzetta Dello Sport Roma’s current title campaign means the club are unwilling to discuss a move until the end of the season.

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Nemanja Vidic has also been linked with a move to Liverpool from Italian side Inter Milan after being frozen out under recently appointed manager Roberto Mancini. The former City boss has left Vidic out of his side in recent weeks, and a return to the Premier League is on the cards for the Serbian defender as reported in the Evening Standard.

 

HEADING FOR THE EXIT…

Defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva appears to be closing on a move to Italy after multiple reports linked the Brazilian with an agreed switch to Inter Milan. Lucas has made 18 appearances this season and stands out as Liverpool’s only recognised holding midfielder – although Steven Gerrard is capable of filling in the role having performed well in a deeper role last season. The same report in the Evening Standard claims Leiva’s switch could be part of a swap deal for Vidic.

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Pjanic has been linked as a replacement for Gerrard

Paris St-Germain are reported to be in the running to sign Anfield flop Mario Balotelli this month. The news comes after reports in Italy suggested Greek side Olympiakos wanted to land the striker, but the talk in France this morning is that French league champions PSG are preparing a shock move for the 24-year-old, who would cost less than the £16m Liverpool shelled out for him in the summer. However, the move may hinge on the departure of either Edinson Cavani or Ezequiel Lavezzi, such is the Financial Fair Play restrictions imposed on the club by Uefa.

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Gerrard's move to LA Galaxy was confirmed this week

TWIST…

LA Galaxy have confirmed that no talks have taken place regarding a loan move for Steven Gerrard to return to a European club during the MLS off-season. Club president Chris Klein says that talks have “never been discussed” in an interview with BBC Five Live, despite talk of a move back to Anfield when the MLS is on a break. Thierry Henry famously returned to Arsenal from New York Red Bulls while David Beckham also returned to Europe during his spell with Galaxy, and Frank Lampard is currently playing for Manchester City despite agreeing a move to newly-formed club NewYork City FC in the summer.

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