Premier League • England

Seven Liverpool players that could follow Jurgen Klopp out of the exit door: Salah, Van Dijk…

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Thiago Alcantara playing for Liverpool.

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Thiago Alcantara could all leave Liverpool in the summer.

Jurgen Klopp has decided to leave Liverpool at the end of the season – and his departure could have ramifications for a number of players. 

Klopp – who took over as manager in October 2015 – has a close bond with the players and his shock announcement left Liverpool staff in tears.

Some big-name stars may decide to follow Klopp out of Anfield and a new manager will also make a lot of changes to the squad in the summer transfer window.

We’ve taken a look at seven Liverpool players who could leave the club at the end of the season.

Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk joined Liverpool in January 2018 and has played an integral role in their success, helping Klopp’s side win the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup.

The Netherlands international replaced Jordan Henderson as club captain last summer, but he has cast doubt over his future at Anfield.

“That’s a big question. I don’t know,” Van Dijk said when asked whether he saw himself being part of the next era.

“The club will have a big job on their hands, that is well known. To replace not only the manager but the whole staff and there are so many things that will change.

“I’m very curious which direction that will go in, but when that will be announced we will see our situation.”

By the time the summer transfer window opens, the 32-year-old centre-back will be in the final year of his Liverpool contract.

He has spent the last eight-and-a-half years in the Premier League and might want to seek a fresh challenge before the end of his career.

Joel Matip

One of the first signings of the Klopp era, Matip joined Liverpool on a free transfer in 2016 and has been a wonderful servant for the Reds.

But the centre-back is very injury-prone and ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Liverpool’s 4-3 victory against Fulham in December.

He is unlikely to recover in time to play any further part in the 2023/24 season and is also out of contract at the end of June.

Klopp has publicly put pressure on the club to do right by Matip and offer the Cameroon international a new contract.

However, there’s no guarantee he’ll be the same player he was before the surgery and Klopp’s successor might not be as loyal to the 32-year-old.

Liverpool are also in the market for a new centre-back and have been linked with Goncalo Inacio, Piero Hincapie and Marc Guehi.

Nat Phillips

Phillips was thrust into the Liverpool side during their injury crisis in the 2020/21 season but further first-team opportunities have been few and far between.

The centre-back is firmly behind Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Jarell Quansah in the pecking order at Anfield.

He will spend the second half of the 2023/24 season on loan at Championship side Cardiff City. This is now his fourth loan move, having previously represented Stuttgart, Bournemouth and Celtic.

The 26-year-old has just 18 months left on his Liverpool contract and looks set to leave on a permanent deal in the summer transfer window.

Xabi Alonso – who has emerged as the early frontrunner to replace Klopp – likes his centre-backs to play out from the back and Phillips is an old-school defender.

Andy Robertson

Robertson joined Liverpool from Hull City in the summer of 2017 and has been one of Klopp’s most trusted lieutenants at Anfield.

But the defender has shown signs of slowing down in the last 18 months and a new manager may try and sign a younger left-back in the summer.

His Liverpool contract doesn’t expire until 2026, but he is a boyhood Celtic fan and has admitted that he’s always dreamed of turning out for the Hoops.

“When I look at Celtic and when I was growing up, I was thinking I wanted to give them my best years,” he told the Currie Club podcast in 2022.

“When I was at Queen’s Park, I had a dream of still playing with Celtic and always dreamed of giving my best years to Celtic. I don’t want to go as a 34 or 35-year-old old guy that my uncles start hating on me because I can’t move any more!”

The Scotland international celebrates his 30th birthday next month and may see this summer as the ideal moment to complete his dream move.

Thiago Alcantara

Having won the treble with Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 season, expectations were high when Thiago completed a £25million move to Liverpool.

The 32-year-old has shown glimpses of his quality but his Liverpool career has been plagued by a number of injury problems.

He’s made just 67 Premier League appearances over the last three-and-a-half years and is yet to feature for the Reds in 2023/24.

Admittedly, Alonso is a big admirer of the Spain international and they shared a dressing room for three years at Bayern Munich.

But his Liverpool contract expires at the end of the season and his fitness issues make it difficult to justify giving him a new deal.

The midfielder is also earning £200,000-per-week, making him the third highest-paid player at Anfield after Mohamed Salah and Van Dijk.

Mohamed Salah

Salah joined Liverpool from Roma in 2017 and has thrived under Klopp’s tutelage, establishing himself as one of the best players in the world.

He has netted 204 goals in 332 appearances in all competitions and is currently fifth on Liverpool’s all-time top scorers list.

The Egypt international was linked with a move to Al-Ittihad last summer and Liverpool rejected a verbal offer worth £150million.

According to talkSPORT, Saudi Pro League chiefs believe they can now take advantage of Klopp’s announcement by prising Salah away from Anfield.

Liverpool may also be tempted to cash in on the forward, who turns 32 in June and will enter the final 12 months of his contract.

The Reds famously sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a £142million deal in January 2018 and reinvested that money on Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

Caoimhin Kelleher 

A Liverpool academy graduate, Kelleher acts as an understudy to first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker and has made 33 first-team appearances for the club.

According to The Athletic, the 25-year-old has an excellent relationship with Klopp and has impressed the coaching staff with his professionalism.

“We see him every day in training, he is an exceptional talent,” Klopp said.

“Maybe we don’t mention the name often enough but (goalkeeping coach) John Achterberg said to me from day one when I was in that this will be our homegrown boy who will make it.”

But Alisson – who is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world – will undoubtedly be one of the first names on the teamsheet for Klopp’s successor.

Kelleher could leave the club in the summer in search of regular first-team football, and he’s already attracted interest from Nottingham Forest and Celtic.

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