Jurgen Klopp is preparing to sell a senior Liverpool star in the summer and combined with another likely exit, a major new arrival is expected, per reports.
Liverpool’s dismal season descended into further chaos on Saturday when falling to a 3-0 defeat at Molineux. Wolves entered the contest the lowest scoring team in England’s top four divisions. It took Julen Lopetegui’s goal-shy side just 12 minutes to go two up and effectively put the game to bed before it’d ever truly begun.
All three goals were preventable from a Liverpool perspective, with their inability to apply pressure to Wolves’ ball carriers again costing them dear.
A Liverpool defeat was predicted by pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor upon learning Klopp would be forced into fielding a Joel Matip-Joe Gomez pairing at centre-half. Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate are both currently ruled out with hamstring issues.
It’s been a sobering season for Matip who has generally been among Liverpool’s most consistent performers in the past when fit.
However, now aged 31 and seemingly on the decline, speculation has begun to swirl his time at Anfield is coming to an end.
Goal previously reported there are ‘growing whispers from within the club’ Matip will be turfed out at season’s end. At that stage, Matip will have just one year remaining on his contract and if a new deal isn’t in the works, a sale makes sense.
Now, a fresh report from Football Insider has added fuel to the fire. Furthermore, they claim a second exit at centre-back will prompt a new arrival in the position.
Matip, Phillips both to go?
FI report Liverpool ‘will listen to offers’ for the Reds veteran over the summer. It’s then claimed Liverpool are ‘planning’ to let both Matip and Nat Phillips leave the club.
Phillips is regularly linked with a Liverpool exit each and every window. However, when the time comes to actually wave goodbye, the Reds always seem to be struggling with injuries at centre-half.
That very scenario unfolded again last month, with Van Dijk and Konate both sidelined late in the window. As such, Liverpool could not afford to sell Phillips despite Turkish giant Galatasaray being in talks over a move deep into the January window.
In the event Liverpool do axe Matip and Phillips, Klopp will be left with just Van Dijk, Konate and Gomez at centre-back. As such, FI conclude ‘the Merseysiders are in the market for at least one senior centre-back’.
The report doesn’t hint at who could be targeted, but another report has.
Liverpool eyeing Napoli colossus?
Napoli’s Kim Min-jae has been linked with both Liverpool and Man Utd and per the trusted Gianluca Di Marzio, has a tempting release clause in his contract.
The South Korea international, 26, can reportedly be signed by overseas clubs for €50m (approx. £44m) over the summer.
Liverpool were linked with Kim earlier in the January window upon learning of Van Dijk’s hamstring injury. A move obviously did not materialise, but if Klopp’s centre-back ranks are cut from five to three at season’s end, a new face will be required.
Kim has been an integral part of Napoli’s remarkable surge towards their first Serie A title since the Diego Maradona days this year.
They boast both the league’s most potent attack and meanest defence and are a whopping 13 points clear of Inter Milan at present.
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