Kroos? Zakaira? Dembele? Seven men who could join Liverpool in January

The January transfer window is just around the corner and Liverpool are one club who are expected to be in for a busy month.

Liverpool's 1-0 win over Wolverhampton last weekend was their fourth straight victory in the Premier League. What's more, it was a result which moved them into second place, one point above European champions Chelsea.

However, in order to maintain their title challenge, the Reds will be hoping to add to their squad - especially with the upcoming African Cup of Nations set to leave Jurgen Klopp's men short-handed.

With that in mind, who can Liverpool realistically bring to Anfield in the early weeks of the new year? Planet Sport takes a look at seven names who have made the rumour mill and whose odds have shortened in recent days.

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

December 1, 2021, Madrid, Spain: Toni Kroos of Real Madrid during La Liga Santader match between Real Madrid and Atlhletic Club de Bilbao at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid

One name which consistently crops up is Toni Kroos. The Real Madrid midfielder has a contract with Los Blancos until 2023 but according to reports, a potential move to Anfield is far from fantasy.

The 31-year-old missed the opening two months of the season through injury but since his return, the former German international has been a constant starter. If that's not enough, he has also chipped in with a couple of goals in his last six games.

Spanish news outlet, El Nacional, reports that Klopp has promised Kroos he will make an offer next summer.

However, if the right price were to land on Florentino Perez's table, there's no reason why we couldn't see the World Cup winner ply his trade on Merseyside in the second half of the season.

Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Denis ZAKARIA (MG) in action with Ball; Soccer 1st Bundesliga, 13th matchday, FC Cologne (K) - Borussia Monchengladbach (MG) 4: 1, on November 27th, 2021

Denis Zakaria is a promising midfielder who is on the radar of many European clubs, including Liverpool and Arsenal.

The 25-year-old is currently playing in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach. However, with the team struggling for results this season, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Swiss international was hoping to change his surroundings.

Many clubs will come knocking in the summer, which is why it may be a good idea to seal the deal early and secure his signature during the first few weeks of the new year.

According to reports, the Reds are frontrunners in the race to sign Zakaria, although there's a lot of work to be done in order to get it over the line.

Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)

Ousmane Dembele

"Ooh, he's on the market? Now I'm interested. Ok, I never comment on transfer rumours. I've already said much more than I usually say."

Those were the words of Jurgen Klopp back in 2018 when it emerged that Ousmane Dembele could be on the market following a disappointing first season at FC Barcelona.

Three years on and little has changed. Dembele has failed to meet expectations at Camp Nou and the player appears to be on his way out.

The 24-year-old and the Catalonian club are currently at loggerheads over a new contract. Dembele's wage demands are making a deal less likely - something which has forced Barcelona to give the player an ultimatum to either sign by December 31, or else.

Should Dembele fail to sign on the dotted line, the Frenchman could very well be on his way out in January. That's where Liverpool come in.

With the player not 25 until May, there's no reason why he couldn't reignite his career elsewhere. Liverpool are one of the many clubs who are interested and while the transfer does come with risks, the Reds would be foolish not to take a chance on this very promising player.

Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)

Christopher Nkunku RB Leipzig Sep21

Surely it's just a matter of time before Christopher Nkunku moves to one of Europe's elite clubs.

The 24-year-old is scoring goals for fun over at RB Leipzig but with the team likely to miss out on Champions League qualification next season, Nkunku is one to watch in the transfer market.

Liverpool are a club who have good relations with Red Bull owned teams having previously signed Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate and even Takumi Minamino.

A move for Nkunku this January certainly wouldn't come as a surprise.

Raphinha (Leeds United)

Leeds United's Raphinha celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match at Elland Road, Leeds.

On one hand, it's hard to envisage Leeds United selling one of their best players halfway through a season in which they are battling against relegation.

Then again, the latest odds on Raphinha joining Liverpool have been slashed to around 7/2.

Links between the Merseyside club and the Brazilian show no signs of fading as the player continues to impress at Elland Road.

With the Reds able to provide Champions League soccer and a regular challenge for silverware, a move to Anfield must be a tempting proposition for any 24-year-old - especially one who appears to growing from strength to strength.

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)

Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund Sep21

Speaking of shortening odds, Jude Bellingham's price on joining Liverpool is currently hovering at around 7/4.

It's inevitable that the 18-year-old will make a move to the Premier League. The question is very much of when rather than if.

Bellingham is one of the biggest young talents in soccer and Liverpool are one of many clubs in the hunt for his signature.

However, considering Klopp's links to Borussia Dortmund, it wouldn't be far-fetched to say that the Reds are certainly one of the leading contenders.

Renato Sanches (Lille OSC)

November 27, 2021, Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, France: Renato Sanches 18 LOSC during the French championship Ligue 1 football match between LOSC Lille and FC Nantes

The list of clubs interested in Renato Sanches continues to grow as the player appears to be heading for the exit door at Lille OSC.

Since the club sensationally won the Ligue 1 title last season, Les Douges have encountered financial issues which have forced them to sell a lot of their top talent.

As a result, the club are now languishing in the middle of the table with their hopes of defending the title all but dead in the water.

Another exodus of players isn't far away and Sanches will be one of the marquee names to leave.

Liverpool are among the many teams hoping to land his signature, though on this occasion, they don't appear to be at the front of the queue.

The player has recently namechecked two potential future employers and neither of those names began with an 'L'. In fact, the two that Sanches did mention were AC Milan and Arsenal.

Nevertheless, the pulling power of Liverpool cannot be underestimated. If Klopp's men are serious about this move, it would be foolish to dismiss the Reds at this early stage.

READ MORE: Who could Antonio Conte sign for Tottenham in January?

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