Liverpool are waiting to see how many of the squad depart before the transfer window closes, but Jurgen Klopp is relaxed about the situation and has no issue of several remain.
The boss has generally worked with a much smaller core group during his time at Anfield, supplementing the regulars with a couple of back-ups and a string of Academy prospects, but this year presents different challenges.
Fixtures crammed in, the removal of the five subs rule, three international games being played at a time and the desire to go further in Europe all mean more players could be involved than usual – and that’s without considering the possibility of losing players to coronavirus for a couple of weeks at a time.
As such, while some players might be wanting to depart Anfield for more regular, guaranteed game time, Klopp isn’t panicking too much about getting funds in and squad members out.
At the same time, he’s aware enough of the needs of his players to alter his match plans accordingly in the final week of the transfer window.
Xherdan Shaqiri was left out of the side which went out to Arsenal in the EFL Cup on penalties, as was Rhian Brewster, and both look close to moves away.
But Klopp isn’t giving a definitive figure on how many might leave before 5 October.
“No numbers! In general, transfer windows are obviously from a media view about who you bring in, but a squad is the most important thing in a football club because it’s working with them and giving them opportunities to play,” Klopp told reporters.
“So we have to find solutions for different personal situations. We try to help the players do the right thing.
“Sometimes that’s a loan, sometimes another club wants to buy him. It’s not to do with the umbers; I can work with 24, 25 players for a long season, it’s no problem, but if the player doesn’t feel comfortable or see the perspective then we have to talk.
“There’s nothing to announce now, but sometimes it’s better for a player to go and get more game time.”
Shaqiri is reported to be the subject of bids from “two clubs, one understood to be from Serie A” according to the Athletic, while Brewster has been widely reported as close to a move to Sheffield United, who have agreed terms with the Reds.
Then there’s Marko Grujic, who did play against the Gunners but who the Mail‘s Dominic King says is “wanted by Southampton and West Ham“, with the former “very keen”. Borussia Monchengladbach had previously been linked, too.
And finally, Harry Wilson has long been linked with a move away—but that now appears off the cards for the time being.
There were reports last week that he would stay if Shaqiri left, regardless of incoming bids, but Burnley had been quick to start talks with the Reds to sign the Welshman.
However, their offer has fallen short of Liverpool’s valuation and Andy Jones of the Athletic says the Clarets have now “pulled out of talks” over signing Wilson.
Liverpool wanted at least £15m up front, rising to £20m, but Burnley had offered only £12m with another £4m in add-ons.
The quartet are not the only potential departures before the deadline, with Yasser Larouci and Sepp van den Berg both linked with exits and other youngsters potentially heading out on loan, but they are the highest-value potential sales and could bring in upwards of £70 million if they were all to leave.
Otherwise, the Reds will clearly keep them in place and utilise them as squad depth options going forward, in what is likely to be the most tricky of seasons to navigate in terms of work load and fitness.