Five names under threat as FSG could ditch five Liverpool stars over wage bill fears

Date published: Saturday 27th March 2021 1:30 - Robert McCarthy

Five names are reportedly at risk of being ditched by Liverpool this summer as FSG looks to lower the club’s ever-rising wage bill.

The Reds are set for a major squad overhaul, with Jurgen Klopp needing to change things round after a disastrous Premier League title defence. The Anfield outfit are expected to bring in additions. But expensive fringe players are likely to be sold off as a result.

FSG are concerned about their expenditure, with figures presented by Swiss Ramble claiming that the club’s wage bill jumped to £310m over a three-year period. That is a rise of 87%, outstripping the growth of the club’s revenue – which rose by 79% over the same period.

With all that in mind, the Daily Mirror has looked at five stars who could be sacrificed.

Georginio Wijnaldum

Wijnaldum has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, with some reports suggesting that a deal has already been agreed with the Calatan giants.

Although Klopp has previously stated that he wants the Holland star to stay, new deal talks have completely stalled.

The 30-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the campaign and can walk away for nothing.

Wijnaldum currently earns around £75,000 per week. That is modest in comparision to top earners Mo Salah (£200k) and Thiago (£192k).

The midfielder’s expected exit will see the Merseysiders swoop for a younger, more affordable option. They have already been linked with a number of names, with Betis star Guido Rodriguez the latest name in the frame.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Liverpool frustration

Oxlade-Chamberlain was expected to be a major player for Liverpool when he signed from Arsenal for £34m in 2017.

But his spell at Anfield has been marred by injury issues. The midfielder suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in 2018 which kept him out for almost a year.

The Reds also have a packed engine room, when the aren’t needing Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to play in defence.

The likes of James Milner and Naby Keita are also competing for spots, along with talented youngster Curtis Jones.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has two years remaining on his current deal but his £120,000-a-week deal could, perhaps surprisingly, be trimmed.


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Xherdan Shaqiri

No great surprises here, given that Shaqiri has had to be content with a supporting role since joining the Reds from Stoke for £13m in 2018.

With the wide berths being occupied by Sadio Mane, Salah and Diogo Jota, Klopp has often played Shaqiri centrally.

However, a bench warmer earning £80,000-per-week looks a bit rich. Indeed, the Swiss star is already being linked with an exit, with a possible swap deal for Leeds star Raphinha mooted.

Divock Origi

Divock Origi TEAMtalk

Origi has scored some big memorable goals for Liverpool, including a brace in their remarkable Champions Leeague comeback win over Barcelona in 2019.

His late effort against Tottenham in the final also sealed a sixth European crown for Klopp’s men.

However, his style of play has never really suited Klopp’s system and Jota’s arrival means an exit looks certain.

There could also be another swap deal on the cards, with Liverpool chasing Celtic frontman Odsonne Edouard.

Despite only costing £40,000-a-week, Origi looks like another Reds star on the brink of leaving.


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Joel Matip

Perhaps the most surprising name on the list is Reds centre-back Matip.

The Cameroon star has largely impressed when called upon, but his availability has caused a major issue.

The 29-year-old has had countless injury issues since signing from Schalke in 2016. He is currently ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury in January.

That led to youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams filling the void. They stepped due to the long-term absences of Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Ozan Kabak has since arrived on loan and has made a big impression, while January signining Ben Davies is also on Liverpool’s books.

The report in the Mirror adds that Matip’s £100,000-per-week pay-packet is too much for a player who spends more time on the sidelines than on the pitch.

 

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