What can we expect from Liverpool in the final week of the transfer window?
When Liverpool beat Middlesbrough 3-0 on the final matchday of last season, Jurgen Klopp made the following comments about the club’s summer transfer plans.
We have already pretty much done (the work). We have to see. Most of the work is already done, of course.
(It's not like) tomorrow with Michael Edwards we will sit together and speak about what we think we need!
Based on the evidence of the transfer window so far, there is still a lot of work left for Liverpool to do with just 5 days left in the window.
Liverpool’s transfer targets were clear to everyone when Klopp made his above-mentioned comments. The Reds were aiming to bring in Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal and Mohamed Salah from Roma.
Of the above mentioned five players, all but Salah are still with their parent clubs.
The Reds publically apologized for their alleged tapping up of Van Dijk, were thwarted by Leipzig in their attempts to sign Keita, Sessegnon has been heavily linked with rivals Spurs and Chamberlain is starting games for Arsenal despite having just one year left on his contract.
On top of all this, Philippe Coutinho made a huge U-turn and has handed in a transfer request which Liverpool have refused to accept.
Jurgen Klopp has constantly emphasized that he is happy with his squad but has been dropping hints that there could be transfers in and out before the window shuts. So, what could be in store?
Who’s going out the exit door?
Jurgen Klopp has been clearing out players since the start of last season and the process is still going. The Reds have sold Lucas Leiva, Andre Wisdom and Kevin Stewart so far with more players likely to leave the club permanently before the window slams shut.
Mamadou Sakho has not figured in Klopp’s plans after their fall out before the start of last season. However, no club has been willing to match Liverpool’s £30m evaluation of the player and this has proved to be a stumbling block.
Crystal Palace might reconsider signing the player after a horrible start to the season while West Brom might make a late bid for the Frenchman if Johnny Evans joins Manchester City.
Another player who has not figured in Klopp’s plans is Lazar Markovic. The Serbian enjoyed an impressive spell on loan with Hull City last season but there haven't been any significant rumours of interest in the player from any club throughout the summer.
The story is similar for goalkeeper Adam Bogdan and the Reds will be actively trying to clear all three players off their books.
The only other player with an uncertain future is Jon Flanagan but he might stay on as a squad player following a mystery injury to Nathaniel Clyne. However, he still finds himself behind Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez in the pecking order.
As for Philippe Coutinho, the club is adamant that the player won’t be sold and James Pearce who is as reliable as it gets when it comes to Liverpool news has reassured the fans that Coutinho will remain at Liverpool once the window closes.
The possible arrivals?
The transfer Liverpool needs badly and the one that is most difficult to secure is that of Virgil van Dijk. Southampton are adamant that the player won’t be sold despite him handing in a transfer request. Plus, there is also the fact that the Saints are annoyed by Liverpool’s earlier approach for the player.
If Southampton change their stance, then Liverpool will be eager to land one of their prime targets. However, as things stand, it looks like it is Van Dijk or nothing in the defensive department. That could be suicidal!
In midfield, rumours of Naby Keita have gone cold after a couple of frantic weeks in July. Despite this, some ITKs claim that the deal is not dead after Liverpool secured a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
A deal for Keita looks highly unlikely given Leipzig’s strong stance but there is still hope if you look at the history books. Back in 2014, when Leipzig’s current director of sports, Ralf Rangnick, was at Red Bull Salzburg, he was reluctant to sell Sadio Mane but the player eventually forced a move through to Southampton on deadline day.
Guess which agency represents Keita? The same agency which represents Mane!
Rumours regarding another long term target for the Reds is also resurfacing now. Arsenal’s Chamberlain has reportedly turned down a new contract with only one year left on his current contract. If Arsenal sell the player, then Liverpool will have to fight it out with Chelsea for the player’s signature.
Another player who has been linked more recently is Renato Sanches of Bayern Munich. Given Liverpool’s struggle to land Keita and their need for midfield reinforcements, Sanches makes perfect sense as he is not a key player for Bayern and the Bavarians won’t stand in his way if he wants to go on loan with the FIFA World Cup coming up.
In my opinion, Liverpool are likely to end the transfer window with the addition of Van Dijk and Chamberlain.
Possible loan deals
If Liverpool manage to secure their top targets, then some of their talented youngsters could go out on loan.
Divock Origi has fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of Dominic Solanke and he would be looking for regular game time with the World Cup on the horizon. He has been linked with Ligue 1 clubs Olympique Marseille and AS Monaco as well as Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur!
The Belgian striker’s outgoing deal will depend on Liverpool’s ability to land an attacking player or in simpler words - Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.
Another youngster who could go out on loan is Ryan Kent. The 20-year-old has been linked with many Championship and Bundesliga clubs but Liverpool will only send him on loan to a club where he can get regular game time and take significant strides forward as a player.