Liverpool will listen to offers for six of their first-team squad stars this summer as the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group look to significantly increase their transfer budget.
Jurgen Klopp’s side faced disappointment this week after learning that they have missed out to Chelsea in the hunt for Timo Werner, with the Reds hierarchy unwilling to meet the £53million exit clause in the RB Leipzig striker’s contract.
As per a report on Friday, Klopp is said to have ‘consulted with Liverpool owners FSG, then called Werner to explain why the move would not happen’. The report adds that the Reds boss ‘insisted the reasoning was purely financial’.
Werner is reported to have ‘accepted the explanation’ and the two men ‘remain on good terms’.
And while some will not be happy at FSG’s caution in the transfer market, the report added that their Boston-based owners will not take money out of Liverpool and do expect the club to ‘live within its means’.
FSG remain adamant they did not have the funds to finance Werner’s signing, despite posting £42m ($53m) in profits in their latest set of accounts, alongside a record turnover of £533m ($671m).
However, in order to ensure they do not miss out on their top targets again, FSG, after consulting with Klopp, are prepared to sell Divock Origi, Dejan Lovren, Xherdan Shaqiri, Loris Karius, Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic.
That’s according to Goal, who reckons the departures of the six stars could bring in as much as £125m to the Anfield coffers, with Grujic, Wilson and Shaqiri likely to be the biggest of their sales.
Wilson has spent the season on loan with Bournemouth and is thought to have been valued at around £25m by the Reds were they to cash in last summer. The Wales forward instead moved on a season’s loan to Bournemouth and he’s since been linked with a move to Leeds.
The Welshman, 23, has impressed with the Cherries this campaign, notching seven goals from 23 league appearances.
Another loanee to have caught the eye is Grujic, who during his two-year loan stint in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin has shown the kind of form that persuaded Klopp to make him his first signing as Liverpool boss.
The Serbian has gone on to record to state his wish to play for Liverpool next season, saying: “My dream is to get the chance in Liverpool next season.”
However, with the likes of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner ahead of him in the pecking order, the player is expected to be sold and was valued at around £40m before the bottom fell out the market.#
Liverpool would, nonetheless, still hope to claim around £25m for the midfielder.
The Serbian’s last appearance for Liverpool came in a 5-1 win over Brighton in December 2017, when he came on as a 90th-minute substitute.
Shaqiri is another star who would raise decent funds for Liverpool; the Swiss playmaker failing to make much of an impression at Anfield despite a good start following his bargain £13m move from Stoke.
He has been linked with a move to Sevilla, among others, and is also expected to fetch in excess of £20million.
Liverpool, however, won’t bank much from the sale of Loris Karius, with the goalkeeper recently returning from a two-year loan stint from Besiktas following a pay dispute.
The Reds, however, will also look to bank a minimum of £10m apiece from Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren, both of whom have played big roles for Klopp in recent years, though neither of whom can command regular first-team shirts.
Despite speculation mounting that his time at Anfield is coming to a close, Lovren insists his only focus remains on helping Liverpool over the line and ending their 30-year wait to be crowned domestic champions and will be ready to play whenever he is needed.
He told Sky Sports: “I’m always ready. If someone is injured and coming off, I’m ready to step in and show my quality. I think I proved that last season, when Joe Gomez or Joel Matip were injured and I came in and played.
“My goal is to play and to win as many trophies as possible. But at the moment the focus is just to win the next two games and be champions. After that, we will see what happens.”
Lovren addresses Liverpool future
The heart of Lovren’s determination to move on remains his wish to play regular football and the defender has admitted he has, at times, felt frustrated by his failure to command a regular shirt.
“It has been a test for me. But in these moments, I think you should stick with the team even more, to show your quality even if you are not on the pitch with the first XI,” said the Croatian defender.
“The next day in training, you should give everything, just to respect your team-mates.
“Of course, it’s not the happiest moment when I see myself on the bench, but it’s the decision of the manager. I respect it and I am always the guy who will work 200 per cent behind closed doors.”