David Alaba and four players Liverpool can agree a free transfer with in January – Liverpool Echo

The January transfer window is open for business, giving Liverpool the opportunity to add to their squad or offload players.

The Reds have been hit hard by injuries this season – particularly in defence – but boss Jurgen Klopp has said it will be difficult to bolster his ranks this month.

“A supporter may look at it and think ‘they need a centre half and the other team has a good one so bring him in’. I understand that but my job is not that,” he said recently.

“My job is to really to make the players we have here as strong as possible to deal with the trickiest situation you can imagine – three senior centre halves and they are all injured.

“We cannot sort it now in the transfer market. The club tries what it can. But if they can’t then we have to do what we did so far, even when everyone is thinking ‘now they have no chance’.

“We must get stronger as a group, stick more together and fight against the world. Fight against the circumstances. Strike back with all you have and make it the most special season ever.”

Another thing clubs can do, though, is negotiate pre-contract agreements with players from outside their own league who are entering the final six months of their current deals, to sign them on free transfers in the summer.

Could this be an option Liverpool might look to utilise? If so, here are four players they could contact…

Must-read Liverpool FC news

David Alaba

Austrian international Alaba has turned down the offer of a new contract at Bayern Munich, meaning he is almost certain to leave at the end of this season, barring a dramatic turn of events.

The defender, who can operate at either centre-back or left-back, has reportedly made demands that Bayern are not willing to meet.

Unsurprisingly, the 28-year-old is already said to be attracting interest from a string of clubs, including Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

The Reds will be hoping to have Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez fit again next season – but with questions remaining over the fitness of Joel Matip, Alaba could give Klopp another option.

Julian Draxler

Germany international Draxler joined Paris Saint-Germain from Wolfsburg in 2017 for €42million (£37m).

It has not quite worked out for the winger, who has dropped down the pecking order at the French side and is out of contract at the end of this season.

He told Bild: “Last season didn’t go well at all. Not on a sporting level and also due to my injuries. Then the season ended due to coronavirus. It was definitely a season to forget for me.”

Could the 27-year-old make a fresh start in the Premier League?

Memphis Depay

The Dutch forward was something of a flop at Manchester United – but has rebuilt his career in some style with Lyon.

He has scored 65 goals and provided 48 assists in 157 appearances for the French club since leaving Old Trafford to join them in 2017.

Depay’s form for club and country has reportedly attracted interest from the likes of PSG and Barcelona.

Maybe compatriot Virgil van Dijk could put in a word if Liverpool fancied joining the race? Not that they probably should.

In any case, Depay has a sideline as a rapper and once namechecked Van Dijk in a track – saying he wished the defender had signed for United rather than the Reds!

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

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Sergio Ramos

Vastly experienced, yes. Out-of-contract at Real Madrid this summer, yes. Coming to Liverpool? No.

Just because the Reds can talk to Ramos, doesn’t mean they should!

The 34-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career with the La Liga giants, of course, but talks over a new deal are reported to have reach a stalemate.

The Spainard has been linked with Tottenham, having previously worked with Jose Mourinho in Madrid, but there are likely to be no shortage of potential suitors should he leave the Bernabeu.

He is in no way a long-term solution for Klopp though.