Jurgen Klopp is wielding the axe as he shapes his Liverpool squad for the new Premier League season.
Sadio Mane, Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and Loris Karius have all strengthened the Reds’ side, and they’ve also been linked with Newcastle United’s Georginio Wijnaldum.
But Klopp is hoping to shift some dead wood from the ranks, with Mario Balotelli and Christian Benteke told to find new clubs this summer.
Crystal Palace were interested in Benteke’s services, but the move has stalled lately, presumably because no one wants to work with this guy…
Poor old Balotelli is having a harder time finding a new club though, and Klopp is surely considering an advert in the Yellow Pages with the caption ‘free to a good home’.
Sampdoria may take the maverick Italian on, although a move to America or China would prove more financially rewarding.
As well as the attacking pair, Klopp has also informed Lucas Leiva, Lazar Markovic, Adam Bogdan and Tiago Ilori that they can all leave the club.
Lucas has been with Liverpool for nearly a decade, making over 250 appearances and establishing himself as a cult hero on Merseyside – even if his shooting is woeful.
Markovic is likely to return to Portugal, with Sporting the hot favourites to sign the winger, as they are managed by Jorge Jesus – who gave Markovic his breakthrough at Benfica.
Ilori spent last season on loan at Aston Villa but didn’t make a single appearance, which is perhaps the biggest indication of how bad he is.
Bogdan has dropped down the leagues as he makes Simon Mignolet look like Manuel Neuer, with Wigan preparing to be relegated immediately after signing him.
Speaking about the outgoings, Klopp said:
It makes no sense to stay in the squad and be in the squad when you don’t have a real opportunity to play.Advertisement
We have a few players, maybe who want to leave us and I am pretty sure it will happen – and one or two more players will join us from other clubs.
It’s a long time until the 31st of August and we have to work a little bit.
Looks like the entrance/exit door at Anfield is set to spin quite a lot in the next six weeks.