Five in five out for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers in the summer
Following news that Liverpool, 6/1 for a top four finish with Coral this term, are set for a summer clearout, we suggest five names to come in and replace five possible departures, with skipper Steven Gerrard set to leave, and Jordan Henderson on the verge of signing a new contract.
Out: Mario Balotelli/In: Christian Benteke
It is likely that Liverpool will look to offload the Italian striker, after he has failed to impress since his £16m move last summer. Possible destinations could be former clubs AC Milan or Inter, though somewhere he can be the main man could be a better shout, such as Galatasaray or, if Gonzalo Higuain leaves, Napoli.
Brendan Rodgers may decide to revive interest in Aston Villa’s Belgian striker Benteke, after his return to form under manager Tim Sherwood, though nothing less than a bid of £20m would suffice, if the West Midlands outfit decide to sell.
Out: Fabio Borini/In: Memphis Depay
Sunderland were interested in signing the player they had on loan last season, permanently in the summer, and the Black Cats were prepared to pay £16m for the Italian, only for him to snub the club in favour of proving himself at Liverpool. Needless to say, this hasn’t happened and it would remain to be seen whether Sunderland revive their interest, though the fee would likely be much lower.
The Reds are one of a number of Premier League clubs who have shown strong interest in PSV Eindhoven talent Depay, and any fee would be at least around the £15m mark, after Tottenham tabled a similar bid last summer. His arrival, will certainly give the Reds a boost next term.
Out: Javi Manquillo/In: Sime Vrsaljko
The former will likely return to parent club Atletico Madrid after a disappointing campaign on loan in which he has failed to make an impact.
This should free up a place in the right back berth, and with the future of Glen Johnson also undecided, it could see Rodgers moving for one of Croatia’s highly rated players. Vrsaljko moved to Sassuolo last summer following a decent World Cup, and he offers the type of versatility that Rodgers likes.
Out: Steven Gerrard/In: William Carvalho
It is no secret that the captain is leaving at the end of the season, as he prepares to embark on a new stage in his life at LA Galaxy, with Coral wishing him the best of luck.
Due to Gerrard adopting a deeper, defensive role over the last two years, Rodgers could seek a direct replacement with any recruit able to do this job. There have been links to talented Portuguese anchorman Carvalho, who has had yet another good season at Sporting Lisbon, and at only 23 would represent good value if the Reds can negotiate at around the £25m mark.
Out: Martin Skrtel/In: Nicolas N’Koulou
Wolfburg are reportedly preparing a bid to sign Slovakian centre back Skrtel, and if the Reds can get at least £8m for the 30-year-old they can invest this in a replacement.
Marseille have reportedly placed a £20m release clause on the head of their star centre back, and, still only 25 has a plenty of years ahead of him, and would be a fantastic signing for the Reds.