After spending every penny of the rumoured £75m Barcelona paid for Luis Suarez, plus around £40m more, it’s fair to assume that there’ll be little left in the Anfield coffers for Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to spend in the immediate future.
The Reds are currently odds-against outsiders at 13/10 to qualify for the Champions League through the Premier League for the second successive season.
Judging by Rodgers’ first two top-table free summers on Merseyside, failure to do so will see the Northern Irishman’s spending power reduced to around £30-£40m.
In such circumstances, and with Liverpool looking painfully top heavy in attack, talk of a Reds bid for Napoli forward Marek Hamsik must be shelved immediately.
Hamsik is 27-years-old, has three years left on his contract and is also thought to be interesting Manchester United and Chelsea.
Therefore, Napoli will surely command a fee in the region of Liverpool’s entire Plan-B budget, should he choose to leave Italy.
Furthermore, if Rodgers is willing to dip his toe into the icy waters of the winter window, as he did with aplomb when landing Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho for around £20m in 2013, a deep-lying midfield enforcer must be the priority.
Rumours of Steven Gerrard’s demise have been in no way exaggerated, and with the currently injured Emre Can looking like Rodgers’ only medium-term option in the anchor role (he clearly has no time for Lucas Leiva), the captain’s place in the team must be fully addressed.
Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote is surely gettable in January, judging by the way the Magpies’ season is spiralling downwards.
The Ivorian scrambler would make a huge difference to the balance of Liverpool’s side if stationed in front of the defence, which is also in dire need of a utility-back to compliment the marauding talents of Spanish flyers Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno.
Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen is looking less likely to sign another White Hart Lane contract with each passing day and could be available soon enough for around £20m.
Snapping up the Belgian alongside Tiote in January would represent much more of a coup and make plenty of sense for Liverpool, which is more than could be said for taking another big-money attacking gamble (see Lazar Markovic).