Last summer Liverpool spent big and made very few outgoing transfers, but this summer could be quite different.
The only departures from Anfield in summer 2018 were Emre Can (free), Ragnar Klavan (£2m) and Danny Ward (£12.5m), but the outgoing business for the Reds this summer should be significantly different, giving Jurgen Klopp plenty of room to improve his squad further.
Daniel Sturridge‘s contract is up and he won’t be signing a new one, bringing to an end his six-year stay at Liverpool.
The forward could be replaced within the squad by youngster Rhian Brewster, who is extremely highly regarded within the club, but much could depend on how he performs in pre-season.
Either way, Sturridge remains one of the high-earners from before injuries hit hard for him, removing £120,000 per week from the Reds’ wage bill.
Alberto Moreno is also out of contract and free to move elsewhere. The Spaniard made just two Premier League appearances last season, showing how little faith Klopp had in him.
He is on a reported £40,000 per week, and could be replaced by under-23s captain Adam Lewis within the squad – again much will depend on how Lewis performs in pre-season. Liverpool have also been scouting Bristol City’s versatile defender Lloyd Kelly.
Connor Randall and Adam Bogdan are also out of contract and will therefore leave the club.
Simon Mignolet has been a true professional this season, despite wanting to leave the club last summer and playing just twice this season (in League and FA Cup).
The Belgian, who is on a reported £60,000 per week, is highly unlikely to accept another season as an understudy. The 31-year-old will want a move away to retain his place in the Belgium squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
Liverpool should be looking for close to £10 million for the ‘keeper.
Similar to Mignolet, Dejan Lovren will be keen to ensure he doesn’t lose his place in the Croatia lineup and after making just 18 appearances in all competitions this season – the fewest of any Liverpool defender – he could well seek a move away.
Lovren turns 30 this summer, is on a reported £100,000 per week, injury prone and the fourth choice centre-back; Liverpool would be wise to sell while he retains any resale value.
Liverpool should be looking for north of £10 million for the Croat.
Another peripheral squad member on high wages, well past their best and extremely injury prone is Adam Lallana.
Now aged 31, Lallana made just 16 appearances this season, playing less than 600 minutes in all competitions.
He’s on a reported £70,000 per week and, like with Lovren, Liverpool would be wise to sell while they can get any decent fee for him. In all honesty, he should have gone last summer when his resale value was much higher.
Another in the £10 million range potentially.
And the fourth in this category is another past their prime Englishman with a dodgy injury record, Nathaniel Clyne.
The 28-year-old right back is apparently available for around £15 million now that he’s seemingly proven his fitness while out on loan at Bournemouth.
Another on a reported £70,000 per week who offers nothing to the squad.
That’s around £45 million for this quartet and saving £300,000 per week in wages – money that can be invested in new signings.
Then there’s the future of Marko Grujic to be decided. He could be offered a chance to impress, perhaps replacing Lallana in the squad, but some reports have suggested a significant offer in the region of £30 million-plus would encourage Liverpool to sell.
The 23-year-old Serbian midfielder has been a star for Hertha Berlin this season and is an ambitious player who wants to be playing first-team football, he could request a move. Liverpool would likely insert significant sell-on fees or buy-back options if he does depart.
If Liverpool want around £30 million for Grujic, they’ll want similar for one of the Championships top performers this season, Harry Wilson.
While many fans would like to see Wilson become part of Klopp’s first-team squad, there are suggestions from Liverpool journalists that the Reds will be open to offers for Welshman.
If a permanent move doesn’t arise for Wilson, it could be another loan, this time to a Premier League club – potentially Derby if they are promoted – with a significant fee involved.
In addition to those, there’s young winger Rafa Camacho whose future is very much in doubt, with differing reports on his contract situation.
Some have claimed the Portuguese teenager is out of contract this summer, but others have suggested he has longer to run on his deal but that he wants a move back to his homeland. Liverpool are said to want near £10 million if so.
Danny Ings‘ move to Southampton was initially on loan but the south-coast club are now obliged to purchase the forward for £20 million, with the deal being officially completed on July 1, 2019.
Similarly, Loris Karius‘ move to Besiktas was a loan with a requirement to buy, with the Turkish side obligated to pay £7.25 million for the German goalkeeper if various performance and appearance-based criteria have been met.
Another loanee, Ryan Kent, will be allowed to leave on a permanent deal. Liverpool want around £12 million for the 22-year-old who has enjoyed a good season with Steven Gerrard’s Glasgow Rangers.
Pedro Chirivella has openly stated his desire to leave the club and make a permanent return to Spain, after his loan move to Extremadura in January left him in a flux.
Ovie Ejaria will likely move out of the club permanently after three loan spells in the last two seasons, while Herbie Kane – who has impressed at Doncaster Rovers this season – is also likely to find a new permanent home.
Sheyi Ojo, who has been on loan to French side Rennes this season, should also move on.
In total, that’s 17 players who could quite feasibly leave the club this summer, bringing in well over £100 million and taking over half a million pounds off the wage bill.
That money could then be reinvested into the squad to sign a new backup goalkeeper, cover at full-back, strength in depth in attack and another option at centre-back.
While some reports this week have suggested a quiet summer for Liverpool, it’s unlikely the club will want to rest on their laurels and make the mistakes of the past by not strengthening from a position of power.