Liverpool pair Marko Grujic and Taiwo Awoniyi are on the verge of being sold by the club, according to reports.
Both players arrived at Liverpool with their potential clear, but have faced differing issues in finding a first-team breakthrough. Grujic, who was Jurgen Klopp’s first signing, has endured four different loan spells away. Awoniyi, meanwhile, has had seven loan spells away due to difficulties getting a work permit.
Last season, Grujic played for Porto and Awoniyi was at Union Berlin. Now, neither look set to make it back at Anfield.
As for Grujic, he too will return to familiar surroundings by re-joining Porto on a permanent basis. The Serbian midfielder will leave for £10.5m and is currently in Portugal to finalise the deal.
Thus, from the combined sales, Liverpool will pocket a total of £17m. What’s more, each deal has a 10 per cent sell-on clause.
Even though they were hoping for a bit more money, it seems they have taken the players’ desires into consideration. Grujic in particular was keen to return to Porto and Awoniyi enjoyed one of his busiest seasons in Berlin.
It seems like good business for players who have 16 and zero appearances to their name for the club. Grujic did make a couple of appearances in last season’s EFL Cup, even scoring once, but remains far down the pecking order.
Awoniyi, on the other hand, has only ever hit double figures in two of the seasons he has spent away from Anfield. He may well have had potential when they signed him, but unfortunately never got the chance to show it for reasons beyond his control.
Recent reports claimed he had finally been granted a UK work permit, six years after Liverpool signed him. However, he is set to continue his career in Germany instead.
The money they will receive from the twin sales should be beneficial to Liverpool. Klopp’s side are looking to strengthen in the transfer market; a new midfielder to replace Georginio Wijnaldum is a priority, but they also need more depth in attack.
Affording their potential targets is seemingly about to get somewhat easier.
Atletico chief responds to Saul links
In terms of signings, one man who is firmly on Liverpool’s radar is Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.
Saul is expected to leave Atletico this summer, seemingly against his will. The midfielder is under contract there until 2026, as part of a nine-year agreement he signed in four years ago. It seems his club’s opinion of him has changed since then and he will not be seeing out the entire contract.
Atletico need to sell before they can buy more players this summer. Saul is a likely candidate to make way, especially after the one player they have paid for, Rodrigo De Paul, will add further competition for his place in midfield.
A move to the Premier League seems to be the most likely solution for Saul, who would like to play in England. Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked with the 26-year-old.
Of the pair, it seems Liverpool are showing the most interest.
There have even been claims of an opening bid from Liverpool, although not one of an acceptable standard for Atletico.
It appears to be news to Atleti president Enrique Cerezo, though.
He said: “A lot of people will ask about all the players, as always, but in this case I don’t know if Liverpool has acted.
“We do have a technical service that deals with this very well and will be aware of everything.”