Jack Hallows gives his thoughts on what the summer transfer window could hold for Liverpool Football Club and the big questions that need answering.
The window is open!
While July 1st signals the official opening of the transfer window, plenty of deals have been completed in the footballing world already.
Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke have already joined the Reds, while Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen are Blues, Bernardo Silva and Ederson have already signed for City, Manchester United have confirmed Victor Lindelof and Sead Kolasinac is an Arsenal player.
However, there is plenty of business still to come. Here’s my guide to Liverpool’s upcoming 2017/18 summer transfer window.
When does the window shut?
Thursday, August 31st at 11pm GMT.
All transfer deals this summer must be concluded by this point and all players must be finalised, wrapped up and confirmed by their new clubs.
By the time it comes around, Liverpool will have navigated the opening three rounds of the Premier League season – away to Watford on opening day before hosting Palace and Arsenal at Anfield – along with both legs of their Champions League playoff match up.
Who are Liverpool targeting?
Honestly, if you don’t know the answer to this by now, you’ve surely been living impressively off the grid.
The Reds have already strengthened their youth ranks with the signing of former Chelsea striker Dominic Solanke, while the first team’s lack of depth in wide areas has been addressed by the impressive coup of Mohamed Salah from AS Roma.
However, Jürgen Klopp is still desperate to sign a new centre back, with Virgil van Dijk of Southampton remaining his number one target.
Sadly, while the £60m man is said to be agitating for a move to Anfield, Southampton are extremely reluctant to sell – especially to Liverpool – and the public apology for the ‘tapping up’ scandal hasn’t helped matters.
In central midfield, Naby Keïta of RB Leipzig is Jürgen Klopp’s go-to guy this summer.
The Reds have supposedly been quoted an eye-watering fee of £70m for the Guinean midfielder’s services but the feeling that the club will pay whatever it takes to secure his services is growing day-by-day.
Leipzig have affirmed publicly that they do not want to sell their star man but Liverpool’s determination to land Klopp’s top targets coupled with the fact the German club just signed a new central midfielder could be good omens.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another continuing to do the rounds, with the Arsenal man’s versatility seen as key in Klopp’s decision to target his signature.
The Englishman can play as a winger, central midfielder and even wing-back if necessary and if his contract issues with Arsenal don’t get solved soon, the Reds could be tempted to make a swoop.
Left-back is the final area that is receiving heavy media attention when it comes to the Reds and while Benjamin Mendy was tentatively linked earlier in the window, it seems as if Klopp would prefer not to spend big on the position.
Funds raised by the inevitable sale of Alberto Moreno are likely to be used on signing Hull City fullback Andy Robertson in an attempt at making a shrewd strengthening move, rather than another potential big money acquisition.
What about outgoings?
While the focus from most fans is on the amount of funding available to spend this summer, Liverpool are certainly not going to be short of money coming into the club this window either.
It is not expected that there will be any high-profile exits this summer, with Daniel Sturridge the only first team star who could potentially move on. However, the ECHO have reported that this is looking highly unlikely.
The Reds are likely to sell off a number of fringe players such as Alberto Moreno, Mamadou Sakho, Kevin Stewart and Lazar Markovic and if all four go for the desired asking price, they could raise the club as much as £70m – all but paying for one of van Dijk or Keïta.
Other players who are slightly further from first team action such as Adam Bogdan, Pedro Chirivella, Connor Randall, Ryan Kent, Jon Flanagan and Cameron Brannagan could all leave either on loan or on a permanent basis while Lucas Leiva will be allowed to leave if he chooses.
Other young stars such as Sheyi Ojo and Joe Gomez will be looked at further in pre-season before any decisions are made over their futures.
What probably won’t happen?
Liverpool will not be signing a striker this summer as they cool their interest in Kylian Mbappé and prepare to face the 2017/18 season with the striking options they already have.
Klopp is said to be happy with Firmino, Sturridge and Origi while Danny Ings is also nearing a return to fitness. The likes of Dominic Solanke and Ben Woodburn can also provide helpful youth options when rotation is required.
So, in short, no Lacazette or Aubameyang. Sorry guys.
Goalkeeper is also an area that the Reds will not likely be addressing this summer, with Klopp keen to let Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet compete for the first-choice role.
Danny Ward will also be kept at the club to provide further competition for places after an impressive campaign at David Wagner’s Huddersfield last season.
The Reds will also not be selling any of their key stars this summer with Jürgen Klopp keen to continue building on the foundations laid last season.
The likes of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and perhaps most importantly, Philippe Coutinho, were all tied down to new, bumper deals during last season and it’s probable that others will soon follow with Emre Can hopefully set to be the next.
What’re our rivals up to?
The rest of the top six are expected to spend just as, if not more heavily than Liverpool.
Champions Chelsea are seeking a replacement for Diego Costa – likely in the form of one Romelu Lukaku – while also attempting to tie up a deal for Brazilian left back Alex Sandro from Juventus. Tiemoue Bakayoko of Monaco is thought to be close to signing for the club.
It seems Antonio Conte is also after another centre half with links to Virgil van Dijk, Kostas Manolas and Leonardo Bonucci all featuring heavily alongside today’s news that the Blues have entered negotiations with Antonio Rüdiger of AS Roma.
Manchester United continue to be linked with every world-class, expensive talent under the sun from Antoine Griezmann, to Alvaro Morata, to Cristiano Ronaldo.
They have already snared Victor Lindelof from Benfica and are said to be working on a deal to reunite Jose Mourinho with midfielder Nemanja Matic.
Manchester City look set to outdo their red rivals in terms of outlay with big money already spent on Bernardo Silva and goalkeeper Ederson.
Interestingly, links with Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez have also been prevalent.
Arsenal seem to be resigned to losing all of their players with new contracts for Sanchez, Özil and Oxlade-Chamberlain all no closer to being finalised.
Rejected bids for Thomas Lemar and Alexandre Lacazette – although a deal for the Lyon man seems to be edging closer – have also added to the misery. Still, they’ve signed a left back so it’s not all bad!
Finally, it seems Spurs have decided to keep their business to themselves for now as other than links to Fulham left back Ryan Sessegnon, they have been doing practically nothing since the season ended.
Now, without further ado, let the summer madness begin.