The January transfer window may have only recently closed, but with Liverpool’s poor form of late, already attentions are beginning to turn to this summer and where the Reds’ need strengthening.
The Mirror report that Brendan Rodgers “is planning a summer clear-out as part of phase two of his rebuild”.
Pepe Reina, Martin Skrtel, Sebastian Coates, Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing are reportedly those of the current first-team squad that will be made available in order to fund new purchases. While a buyer will also be sought for Andy Carroll.
With Jamie Carragher retiring, Rodgers will need to address the defensive frailties this season – with Swansea’s Ashley Williams said to be a top target.
Sweansea boss Michael Laudrup responded to reports, saying:
“Of course I want him to stay – he’s so important to our team. Ashley has done so well for us. He had a difficult start to the season but it shows his character that he’s come back to play at such a high level for the past three months.
“He has so many good qualities. He’s quick, strong, his positional play is good and he reads the game so well.
“It’s also so important that he is good on the ball because that gives confidence to the rest of the team.
“I can understand the bigger clubs looking at him. If they want your players, it shows they are performing. We don’t want him going anywhere.”
Selling Coates and Skrtel, along with Carragher’s retirement, would leave only Daniel Agger as a first-team centre back. Martin Kelly, currently sidelined with ligament damage, could return to the position he occupied while progressing through the youth ranks at the club but Rodgers would still need at least two more new centre backs.
The Reds boss this week hinted that he will be looking to sign experienced players to help the squad:
“The biggest thing we need this summer is to bring in some men, some character that allows and supports the other men to see the games out. That is the biggest thing for me. Look at Jamie Carragher. He is our best defender, he is 35, but we are losing that character. That has to be replaced somehow.”
Rodgers will also face a tough summer in order to keep Luis Suarez at the club, he is now 26 years old and a move to a side in the Champions League would be tempting.