Liverpool defender Joel Matip is likely to leave the club during the summer transfer window.
That’s according to journalist Ben Jacobs. Writing for CaughtOffside yesterday, Jacobs gave a round-up of the players expected to depart Anfield at the end of the season.
“Arthur Melo will not be signed permanently. Liverpool did agree to an option to buy for £33m with Juventus, but I am told it was just a ‘give’. Liverpool has always seen Melo as a straight loan,” explained the journalist.
“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner (a fantastic Liverpool servant) are all currently heading towards free agency. Nat Phillips, Joel Matip and Adrian are all likely to leave, too.”
Matip aside, the names Jacobs mentions aren’t a surprise. But despite good reasons for it, it’s still a little bit of a shock to hear that the Cameroonian is set to leave.
No more freebies from Liverpool
With a bigger picture in mind, selling Matip this summer is the right decision for Liverpool. The 31-year-old has just a year left on his contract and the Reds need to stop letting players go for free.
As we’re often reminded, FSG operate on more-or-less a ‘sell to buy’ basis in the transfer market. In recent years, they’ve let too many players walk away for nothing. This summer that’s set to continue further.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita were signed for almost £85m combined. Now, Liverpool are virtually certain not to recoup any of that.
They follow Emre Can, Gini Wijnaldum and Divock Origi as high-profile freebies over recent years. With Roberto Firmino still potentially to follow, that’s a lot of money down the drain.
So, instead, Liverpool need to wise up a bit. Matip is clearly in decline right now – Jamie Carragher recently labelled him as being ‘shambolic.‘ The Reds need to replace him before things take a steeper turn. There wouldn’t be a huge market for the £100k-a-week man, but it’s reasonable to expect between £5m and £10m. Liverpool could really use that.
There’s a lot to be said for letting players who have given the club so much stay and leave on their terms. But with money needed for a big rebuild, sentiment has to be put aside this summer. It would be a wrench to see Matip go, but it feels like the right time.
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