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Divock Origi contract situation explained as Serie A clubs circle

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Amid confusion over Divock Origi‘s contract situation at Liverpool, interest from both Serie A and the Premier League has seen the details of his deal explained.

Origi is a player whose legend at Anfield is already cemented, having scored an array of iconic goals in the club’s successful history under Jurgen Klopp.

But only once in the past five seasons has he made over 25 appearances – that being in 2019/20, the first campaign after he signed a new long-term contract with the club.

Last season, the Belgian was only used 17 times, of which six were starts, and after failing to secure a move away in the summer, he has played 10 games so far.

He is expected to leave Merseyside in 2022, and could do so as early as this month, with Newcastle among the sides interested in a deal – with a price tag of £7 million reported.

There has been some confusion regarding Origi’s contract, with no length revealed when he put pen to paper in 2019, and until recently the most reliable source, The Athletic’s James Pearce, had claimed it was due to run until 2023.

However, Sky Sports have now explained that his deal is set to expire in 2022, though that would be automatically extended to 2023 if he reached a certain number of Premier League starts this season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 15, 2021: AC Milan's Alexis Saelemaekers and Liverpool's Divock Origi during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

That has been corroborated by Pearce along with other sources on Merseyside, and with Origi yet to start in the league in 2021/22, it seems likely he will be a free agent in the summer.

Sky Sports add that the player’s agency “have been approached by three Italian clubs regarding a pre-contract agreement this month.”

A pre-contract agreement can be reached with clubs outside of England up to six months prior to a player’s terms expiring – though whether that could really be the case for Origi, given his extension clause, is doubtful.

Though the three Serie A sides are unnamed, it has been reported in Italy that Lazio, Juventus and AC Milan are all interested in the 26-year-old.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 4, 2021: Liverpool's Divock Origi (C) celebrates with team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) and Mohamed Salah (R) after scoring an injury time winning goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, Sky Sports claim Origi would prefer to stay in England, which could open up the prospect of a fee brought in this month or a straightforward free transfer in the summer.

The Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle insists that the Reds “have no intention of selling Origi this month” and “have also received no word from the player that he wants to leave during the transfer window.”

His contract situation complicates things, though, and if Liverpool do hope to raise funds with his sale, they could be forced into action in January.

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