There’s plenty of football to be played between now and the end of the season. However, behind the scenes preparations are already underway for the summer transfer window plus the summer tour to the East coast of America with a legends game in Hong Kong a possibility.
Liverpool like all the top European clubs have to stay in the present but must also be looking towards the future. The Reds are always identifying and scouting players who they feel can push the Reds to the next level. With the Premier League and the Champions League still up for grabs, there might not be a ‘next level’ as such if Liverpool wins them both, but every year a top team looks to improve on what they already have achieved and add more quality to the squad when the opportunity to sign the right player arises.
The Mo Salah Situation
There isn’t one if truth be told. Ok, so there has been plenty of publicity linking him with a move to Juventus in the summer, but it’s just journalists trying to fill news space at the moment. Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has also played down the recent rumours, which suggest Juve will offer £50m plus Pablo Dybala for Salah. Are you laughing yet? We were as soon as we heard that It’s not going to happen. Some fans were perplexed at the news. Rest safe in the knowledge that the Egyptian King will be going nowhere at the end of the season.
Just to put it into context from a betting standpoint, he’s heavily odds on to remain at Liverpool, with Real Madrid priced at around 3/1, City at 5s and Barcelona at 12s. With the rumour about Dybala heading in the opposite direction from Juve, he’s 20/1 to sign for Liverpool, so unless someone knows something we don’t, he’s not leaving and every interview Salah has given he has not even mentioned the idea of leaving Liverpool. Salah wants to be a club legend and while he has been flying slightly under the radar for him, for any other player it would be their best season ever. Mo raised the bar of expectations so high with that wonder season that all he gets now is “What’s wrong with Mo Salah?” The criticism being aimed his way is unjustified as he is still one of the top players in the PL in all the important categories.
Money does talk, we all know that. If Real Madrid came in with a £200m bid or something silly, Liverpool would have to consider it. That 3/1 price for Real is with Coral, but there are several quality new betting sites in the sports market which are now credible alternatives to the so-called big boys. New options for punters are emerging despite the seemingly already crowded betting industry. If you do fancy a punt on whether Mo Salah would leave for Madrid, we think you are on loser as the goal-scoring machine who was silently leading the Premier League goal scorers all season until Harry Kane recently caught him. You might get Salah at 4s or maybe even 6s if you’re lucky with some of the newer betting sites out there but always be clear you know exactly what benefits subject to what conditions, you will be getting for betting what amount and in what time frame if appropriate. That’s a bit of a gob-full but well worth reading and understanding.
Who’s Potentially Coming In?
It’s simple. Win the Premier League or the Champions League and Liverpool will be able to attract the world’s best players. Win neither, and they will have more of a challenge but they will still be able to point to the age of their team which is full of youth so there are many years that core of the team will be together and coming 2nd in arguably the 2 toughest club leagues/club tournaments in the world is nothing to be ashamed of, indeed quite the opposite. So bringing in new players should not prove too much of an obstacle especially as Jurgen Klopp is such a well regarded coach.
If the squad is fit and does not suffer the amount of injuries it did this season there is high quality defensive unit there except the clearly un-Klopp like Moreno who’s likely to be replaced and then will Nathaniel Clyne be given the chance to contest the right-back spot with Trent Alexander-Arnold? Van Dijk, Lovren, Gomez and Matip are a very solid set of centre-backs with the versatile Fabinho always able to slot in as an emergency centre-back.
With Liverpool’s rivals, Arsenal and Manchester United all linked with Jadon Sancho rumours are continuing to surface. It’s a well-reported story that Jurgen Klopp wanted to sign Sancho while he was still at Manchester City, but City didn’t want to sell to Liverpool, hence his move to Germany. Will anything happen in the summer? It all depends on how he’s coping in a foreign country and whether he would like to return to England or not. Time will tell, but Klopp and Liverpool will have a fight on their hands. He won’t come cheap either! It wouldn’t be a surprise to see City have a buy-back clause in his contract, to be honest.
Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt has been muted to as a potential summer signing. Still, only 19, the 6ft 2” centre back is highly thought of in world football, so do not be surprised if he ended up moving somewhere at the end of the season. Him and Virgil at the back for the next five years. Imagine that.
If you read the latest gossip columns, you’ll have seen that Liverpool has also been looking at Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski, PSG’s Adrien Rabiot, Lloyd Kelly at Bristol City, Barca’s Ivan Rakitic and Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio. It has been increasingly obvious that the one area Liverpool could do with strengthening is in the creative midfielder department as Coutinho has been definitely been missed at times and that’s why the just mentioned names have been linked with the Reds. Or should Liverpool look to prise James Maddison away from Leicester? In their dreams the reds would sign Christian Eriksen from Tottenham or more realistically sign Salomon Rondon (currently on-loan at Newcastle) from West Brom which could be a slick move. Let’s not forget Liverpool will basically have a new signing when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain makes his long awaited return at the end of the month.
Which Liverpool Players Will Leave in the Summer?
It’s impossible to say for sure, and much will come down to how many trophies Liverpool end up with at the end of the campaign. Some players may look for a new challenge if they fall short this season, whereas everyone will be on cloud nine and looking forward to the 2019/20 season if the Premier League or Champions League is won.
If we had a gun to our heads and were forced to mention a few names, we’d probably say that Divock Origi and Alberto Moreno may not be at Liverpool beyond this season as well as Adam Lallana who has found his chances limited as Shaqiri has been preferred this season to the often injured Englishman. They all want regular first team football, which is understandable. They won’t be getting that anytime soon though, not at Anfield and given Daniel Sturridge’s age, form and contract status it would not be a surprise to see him leave either as his opportunities have been increasingly rare as the season has progressed with Origi being preferred as a late attacking substitute when Jurgen Klopp has thrown on a late sub looking for a goal. Belgian striker Origi has delivered for Klopp on a few occasions so it is hard to see a way back for the former Chelsea and Manchester City man Sturridge who could even look to move abroad or cash in and join Wayne Rooney in Major League Soccer where the sport is growing and finally seems to have found a strong base audience with a solid ownership set-up.
There you have it. That’s a brief update on what may or may not happen this summer on Merseyside and beyond. Before anything happens transfer-wise, sit back, relax, bite some more fingernails and enjoy an emotionally draining end to an exciting season. Here’s hoping for a trophy or two!
Next up for Liverpool is Fulham away at Craven Cottage – a 2.15pm Sunday afternoon kick-off and it will be interesting to see if the manager rotates the starting XI much after the awesome win over Bayern in mid-week.