With the summer transfer window closing next Thursday, Liverpool have just one week left to finalise Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for the 2017/18 campaign.
The Reds sealed their place in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday night, cruising past play-off opponents Hoffenheim at Anfield to secure a 6-3 aggregate win.
Speaking after the game, Klopp acknowledged the importance of elite European football in negotiating with prospective new signings, as well as convincing his current charges to stay.
Sixteen have left, either on permanent deals, on loan or at the end of their contracts, but that is unlikely to be the end of transfer activity on Merseyside.
The hope is that Champions League qualification will allow the Reds to push forward with bolstering Klopp’s ranks further, with key area still in need of reinforcement before September.
Announcing his intention to leave the Saints, Van Dijk explained that his push for a move was fuelled by an ambition “to play European football again and challenge for major honours.”
With the Reds now established in the Champions League, they can definitively offer the Netherlands international top-level European football.
However, attempts to convince Van Dijk to make the switch to Merseyside in June muddy the waters significantly, with Liverpool forced to publicly end their interest after a complaint from Southampton.
But with Van Dijk training with the Saints’ U18s, and Klopp still in pursuit of a leading centre-back, a big-money deal could be revived as the transfer window nears its conclusion.
Signing a new centre-back partner for Joel Matip and another midfield option should be priorities for the Reds before August 31—and it could be that some surprise targets emerge.
Along with Stewart, Lucas Leiva, Andre Wisdom and Ryan Fulton have all been sold this summer, but a host of peripheral figures still remain on the books.
This is largely due to Liverpool’s lofty valuation of the centre-back, at £30 million, with Tony Pulis’ Baggies now the most likely to match this—but only if Jonny Evans makes the move to Man City.
Elsewhere, Adam Bogdan and Lazar Markovic are also expected to leave the club in the next week, with the former linked with a move to Nottingham Forest earlier in the summer, while Jon Flanagan will have to leave if he wants to play football this season.
Markovic was reported to be on the radar of Marco Silva’s Watford, but no deal has materialised, with clubs from Portugal, Italy and Turkey now more likely to sign the winger.
There is also the small matter of Barcelona’s interest in Philippe Coutinho, with Liverpool having already rejected bids of £72 million, £90.4 million and £114.2 million for the playmaker.
Coutinho is clearly not happy on Merseyside, but this is set to be an open-and-shut case, with the Reds not willing to sell.
There are also likely to be further departures on loan, with talented young winger Ryan Kent fronting the group set to leave on a temporary basis.
Kent produced a series of impressive displays throughout pre-season, earning the 20-year-old a new five-year contract, but he is yet to feature in Klopp’s matchday squad this campaign.
Absent from training ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with Hoffenheim, it is likely that Kent is nearing a loan move, with German sides Hannover 96, SC Freiburg and VfB Stuttgart all interested.
The Reds finally have clarity as the first month of the season edges towards its conclusion.
The hope will be that the final week of the transfer window is a decisive one.