Transfer Talk: Steven Gerrard could return to Liverpool on loan; quartet chase Ilkay Gundogan; no Chelsea move for Lionel Messi

All the latest transfer gossip and rumours on 3 January

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The Independent Football

Silly season has well and truly begun.

With the January window opening at midnight on Friday night, so have the floodgates with more rumours and gossip than one thought possible.

Steven Gerrard has only just announced he will leave Anfield - probably for the LA Galaxy - and he is already being linked with a return to Liverpool.

The Daily Telegraph report that Gerrard, who will join the MLS in July for the second half of the season, could come back next January for a couple of months; the league begins its season in March.

Brendan Rodgers' struggling Reds are, unsurprisingly, at the centre of a lot of today's speculation, owing to their poor performance in the Premier League so far this season.

The Telegraph also report that former England striker Jermain Defoe could move from Toronto FC back to the Premier League and arrive at Anfield, though Leicester (The Guardian) and Queens Park Rangers have also been linked with the 32-year-old.

West Brom will look to cash in on promising youngster Saido Berahino, but only if the Reds, or Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Sun stump up at least £20million for the striker.

Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be unhappy with the make-up of his Spurs squad and several unwanted stars are seemingly on the way out of White Hart Lane this month. The Mirror suggest that five players could be on the move.

Brazilian flop Paulinho is being linked with a return to his homeland at Cruzeiro, while Vlad Chriches could move to Roma on loan and goal-shy Roberto Soldado to AC Milan.

English wingers Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon are both linked with exits, with Townsend drawing interest from Newcastle, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers and Lennon by Stoke and Southampton.

Newly appointed Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has said he will make some tweaks at his new club, with a loan move for Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo imminent, according to The Times.

Reports in Spain state that Lionel Messi has committed his future to Barcelona, ending the optimistic speculation linking him with a Chelsea move.

The Daily Express reports that four clubs - Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal - are chasing classy German Ilkay Gundogan, who does not want to sign a new contract at struggling Borussia Dortmund, who are in the relegation zone at the halfway stage of the season.

Long-term Manchester United target Wesley Sneijder looks to be heading to Juventus, according to Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio