Even before the January transfer window begins, former Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria has become a free agent after seeing his contract terminated early.
The transfer window officially opens on January 1, which will give clubs the chance to strengthen and trim their squads mid-season.
For many players, it can provide the opportunity to seek the game time they are not currently being afforded, and for Liverpool that is likely to see a number of loans considered.
Away from Merseyside, one ex-Reds player has already made himself available on a free transfer.
Monday evening saw League One side Reading confirm the termination of Ejaria’s contract by mutual consent, three-and-a-half years after he officially joined from Liverpool.
Reading agreed a deal worth £3.5 million to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis in 2020, following an initial loan spell, and he found himself a regular starter.
But injury and form led him to fall out of favour, and last season the 26-year-old made just eight appearances, before being left out entirely this term.
The decision to rip up Ejaria’s contract is described by Reading as due to a “desire from the club to reduce its expenditure,” amid growing fears the club will enter administration.
Both parties reached an agreement “amicably,” with his contract originally due to expire at the end of the season.
“I saw him [in warm-weather training in 2016] first.
“I knew him, I saw him playing a few times, but here having him around for four days and seeing him in small spaces in the sessions against the ‘adults’ if you want was very important for him and for me.”
But Ejaria, whose rangy build and press-resistant, dribble-happy style of play caught the eye, failed to make another appearance after 2016/17.
Loan spells with Sunderland, Rangers and then Reading followed, and now he will begin the search for a new club midway through the season.
Liverpool had negotiated a sell-on clause in the sale of Ejaria three-and-a-half years ago, but that will no longer come into effect.