Liverpool are reportedly preparing to make wholesale changes this summer with six players tipped to leave – including three midfielders – as Jurgen Klopp looks to revitalise his squad.
The Premier League champions have seen hopes of defending their crown wiped out in recent weeks. Costly home defeats to Burnley, Brighton and Man City means they now sit 10 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side. Given they went the best part of four years without a home defeat, it represents some fall from grace for the deposed champions.
In their defence, their squad has been obliterated by a number of key injuries, particularly in the heart of their backline. Season-ending injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have certainly hit them hard.
That said, the Daily Star claims Liverpool plan to offload up to six big names this summer in an effort to revitalise their fortunes next season.
As per the article, Xherdan Shaqiri looks set to be moved on, that despite being afforded more first-team chances in recent weeks.
He won’t be the only departure in their forward line, however, with Divock Origi also set to be offloaded.
However, it’s in the midfield where Liverpool are mainly planning to freshen things up.
Firstly, Liverpool could wave farewell to Naby Keita after reportedly putting him up for sale at just £30m. The 26-year-old signed for the Reds amid huge hype in summer 2018 from RB Leipzig.
Talk of him emulating the play of Steven Gerrard for the Reds soon followed, such had been his success in the Bundesliga. However, he has never really fulfilled his potential at Anfield.
On Keita, Klopp recently said: “It’s not a big thing. It’s a little bit like with other players in the past when they came back from injuries. Then, because of the amount of games and situation in the squad, they had to play.
“Then a little injury happened again. Now we just had to put on the brake and say ‘let’s settle it properly’.
“In the moment we have alternatives in midfield. Therefore, we really try to give him all the time he needs to get 100 per cent fit.”
The report, next citing The Athletic, claims Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also fighting for his Anfield future. The midfielder has made just two Premier League starts this season amid another injury-hit campaign.
The third departure in midfield will come in the shape of Gini Wijnaldum. While Liverpool still hope to tie him to a new deal, he looks destined to leave for Barcelona as the clock ticks down on his current arrangement.
The final exit will come in goal with Adrian now third in the pecking order behind Alisson and Caoimhim Kelleher.
His deal expires this summer, though the Reds do have the option to extend that by a further year. However, they look unlikely to take that option with Adrian free to move elsewhere. The Reds did sign teenage goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga from Brazilian side Fluminense last summer. Should Adrian leave, he will likely be promoted to No 3.
Klopp looking to Monchengladbach midfielder
Liverpool have this week been linked with Leeds winger Raphinha, who has made a big impression since moving to the Premier League.
However, with three midfield exits touted, beefing up that area will be of top priority to the Reds.
Neuhaus has a contract until 2024, which includes a release clause of €40m, and is happy at his current club.
However, if the Premier League champions are willing to pay the exit fee then Neuhaus could be bound for Merseyside.
He is a box-to-box midfielder with a decent range of technical skills, having scored four times this season. He also has four assists to his name.
The 23-year-old, who has three caps for Germany, certainly looks an attractive summer option for Klopp.