Liverpool are planning wholesale changes this summer with Jurgen Klopp telling a defender he is part of a massive nine-man clearout, claims a report.
The Reds have endured a disappointing season, letting slip their usual high standards under Klopp. Indeed, they are currently facing a huge battle to secure a top-four finish and bring Champions League football back to Anfield next season.
They currently sit sixth in the table and are seven points behind Tottenham in fourth, albeit boasting two games in hand. However, the strongest threat may come from Newcastle, who have played the same number of games as the Reds and currently sit just two points adrift of Spurs.
To illustrate their dramatic fall from grace, Liverpool have lost their grip on the FA Cup and Carabao Cups they won last season. And their Champions League adventure was halted at the first knockout stage as Real Madrid won 6-2 on aggregate.
As a result, the club are ready to embark on a major rebuilding programme this summer.
And Klopp is looking to bolster his midfield area with at least two new players wanted in the engine room.
To that end, Jude Bellingham is a top target, though the Dortmund teenager will likely cost in excess of £100m.
In addition, Klopp is also chasing two players from Wolves, with talk of a double £80m raid this week gathering pace.
However, Klopp also wants to strengthen his central defence too. To that end, the Reds boss is looking at a number of potential upgrades on a facet that his side are normally so strong at.
Liverpool tell defender he is one of seven to leave
To help furnish such dealings, player sales are likely to be equally as important for Liverpool as arrivals.
And with FSG looking to attract new investors to fund their dealings, money is likely to be relatively tight for the Merseysiders.
Nonetheless, the owners will do all they can to allow Liverpool to compete for their top targets.
But realistically Bellingham’s arrival may limit what else they can do in the summer window. As a result, player sales could well provide a welcome further boost to Klopp’s kitty.
To that end, three departures are already confirmed at Anfield this summer. Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino will all move on at the end of their deals.
Firmino, especially, has been a major component in their success in recent years and will depart Merseyside as a bona fide legend.
Now it seems the trio will be joined by six other players.
And first up, Klopp is ready to show three centre-halves the door this summer with Football Insider reporting Rhys Williams has been told he has no future at the club.
The 22-year-old has made just 19 appearances for Liverpool and is a long way down the pecking order.
Indeed, he spent the first half of the 2022/23 season at Blackpool before being recalled by the Reds.
Liverpool look to raise transfer funds
Now it’s claimed the Seasiders are interested in signing Williams on a permanent deal this summer.
He will be joined out the door by Nat Phillips, who will likely command a fee of around £12m. Both West Ham and Newcastle are among his suitors.
And Liverpool will also listen to offers for Joel Matip, with his deal due to expire in summer 2024. The former Cameroon defender has struggled to find his best form this season.
Klopp will also reluctantly cash in on Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
The Reds No 2 has never let anyone down when called upon. However, he needs to be playing regular football and Klopp will now allow him to move on if a tempting offer emerges.
He will be joined out the door by another goalkeeper in Adrian. The Spaniard is third choice at Anfield, playing a leading role for the club in the 2019/20 season.
However, the 36-year-old’s deal will not be renewed and he will exit the club as a free agent. A return to LaLiga looks a possibility, having last played there for Real Betis in the 2012/13 season.
And finally, Klopp will also bid a not-too-emotional farewell to Arthur Melo. The Brazilian joined the Reds on a season’s loan from Juventus last summer.
The Reds do have an option to make the move a permanent £34m deal. However, after just 13 minutes of action during an injury-ravaged season, he will not be missed.
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