Michael Edwards ready to offload 12 as Liverpool clear path for sparkling young duo
Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards is poised to show the door to up to 12 players this summer amid plans to give Jurgen Klopp a more streamlined Reds squad next season.
The Reds have already bid an emotional farewell to Georginio Wijnaldum this summer. The Dutchman will enter free agency on July 1 after five years of outstanding Reds service. Talk of deals with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have grown, but nothing has yet been announced. Whoever he signs for, he leaves Anfield with a ringing endorsement from Klopp.
But after a season that saw Liverpool mount a late recovery to finish third, Wijnaldum is unlikely to be the only high-profile departure.
Indeed, as per Goal, the club are also making plans to offload a plethora of players this summer.
As per the article, Xherdan Shaqiri looks set to be moved on. He has only played a peripheral role this summer and has been linked with a move to Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
He won’t be the only departure in their forward line, however, with Divock Origi also set to be offloaded. The Belgian made just six starts over 2020/21 for the Reds.
Edwards is also preparing to finally offload Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic, both of whom have again spent the season out on loan. Liverpool will hope to gain £10m apiece from their sales.
Two more loanees in Loris Karius and Taiwo Awoniyi are also seen as surplus to requirements. The latter has finally been granted a UK work permit after several frustrated failed attempts. However, Liverpool seem destined to sell and hope he could bring in as much as £8m. West Brom, Fulham and Stoke have all been linked.
Youngsters Sheyi Ojo, Ben Woodburn and Liam Millar will also be allowed to move on this summer.
Furthermore, the club will also reportedly consider offers for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita this summer.
The 26-year-old Keita signed for the Reds amid huge hype in summer 2018 from RB Leipzig.
Talk of him emulating the play of Steven Gerrard for the Reds soon followed, such had been his success in the Bundesliga. However, he has never really fulfilled his potential at Anfield.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is also fighting for his Anfield future. The midfielder has made just two Premier League starts this season amid another injury-hit campaign. He was recently linked with a return to Arsenal.
Klopp recently killed claims he could consider letting Oxlade-Chamberlain leave. However, it’s believed they will consider his sale if an attractive offer comes in.
“Ox had some good moments; he has shown up really well and that is good,” Klopp said. “This situation is not always easy for all the boys not only Ox, but for Naby, not easy for Shaq – I know that. During this season, a lot of things have happened. One thing we try to do is get balance, rhythm and stability.
“That means you don’t change these kinds of positions too often during games and that is it pretty much. So a few things in midfield need to be different to other times when we were much more settled and stable. That is the reason why some players don’t have enough minutes.
“They understand the situation; that is clear. But hopefully that will completely change next year because when you have more stability in the last line then you can be more flexible formation-wise further up the pitch. Am I counting on him for next season? Yes.”
Any number of those will also be followed out the door by Ozan Kabak, with the Reds deciding against making his £18m move permanent.
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Klopp to make room for Konate and Elliott
On the flipside, Klopp, it’s reported, will make room in the first-team picture for Harvey Elliott. The teenager shone during a loan stint at Blackburn Rovers and will be given chances to impress.
Despite his tender years, Klopp is reported to be blown away by the young playmaker. While he won’t be a regular, opportunities will come his way, most notably due to the departure of Shaqiri.
The Reds will also sign Ibrahima Konate in the coming days.
France Under-21 international Konate has had links with a move to Anfield for some time now.
Earlier this year, reports claimed that he had began house-hunting ahead of his switch. Furthermore, personal terms have not posed a problem and have been agreed.
In fact, journalist Fabrizio Romano claims (via Twitter) that Liverpool and the player agreed those terms back in April.
The reporter adds in his latest update: “Liverpool will complete the signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, confirmed.
“He’ll join LFC soon. Personal terms agreed since April until June 2026. Here we go soon…”
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