After five seasons, six trophies and 219 appearances, Fabinho’s Liverpool career looks set to come to an end.
The 29-year-old admittedly struggled for the Reds below par for the majority of last season, although a change in formation saw him take form in the final weeks of the campaign. But while he was expected to start this year as first choice under Jurgen Klopp, Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad had other ideas.
Having reportedly already agreed personal terms with the Saudi outfit, the Brazil international was left out of the Liverpool squad that traveled to Germany on Saturday for a 10-day training camp as the Reds consider an offer from Al Ittihad, believed to be in area of £40m.
At this point, Fabinho looks set to become the latest high-profile star to move to the Gulf state, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and former team-mate Roberto Firmino. But who else could still leave Liverpool this summer? And could further transfer bombshell reshape plans beyond midfield? We take a look at the situation of the players currently most linked with the exit door…
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Firstly, the most obvious name on the list – Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. The Reds captain has reportedly agreed personal terms with Saudi side Al Ettifaq, managed by Anfield legend and his former team-mate Steven Gerrard, claiming he would be paid a whopping £700,000-a-week if he joined the club.
This has since been disputed in some sections and it is unclear whether the 33-year-old will move to Saudi Arabia at this stage. Al Ettifaq had reportedly wanted to sign him on a free transfer, but with Henderson still having two years left on his current deal, Liverpool are likely to refer to the £20m Al Hilal spent on the 32-year-old Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea last month in possible negotiations.
As things stand, no official offer has been made and Henderson is currently training with the Reds out in Germany after being included in their 32-man traveling squad. At this point, the ball is in Al Ettifaq’s court to make a suitable offer if they really want to sign the midfielder, although unlike Al Ittihad and three of their other Saudi domestic rivals, they are not backed by Newcastle United owners PIF.
Like his fellow senior midfielders at Anfield, Thiago Alcantara has reportedly also been of interest to clubs in Saudi Arabia. However, reports suggested he rejected such advances earlier in the summer with no contact made to Liverpool.
The 32-year-old remains linked with a move to Turkey or a return to Barcelona, however, with his future uncertain as a result – though not to the same extent as Henderson and Fabinho.
With a year left on his contract at Anfield, both player and club would be happy for the Spaniard to see out his deal with Liverpool. If Henderson and Fabinho leave, such a stance is likely to be even stronger from the Reds.
However, an exit cannot be ruled out should a suitable offer come in as speculation surrounding his future continues, with Thiago unlikely to be offered a new contract at Anfield regardless. He is currently in Germany for Liverpool’s training camp as he recovers from hip surgery at the end of last season.
Klopp was adamant that Caoimhin Kellher was not for sale at the end of last season when it was put to him that the Ireland international could look to move on in the pursuit of starting football.
“Honestly, I can’t see Caoimh leaving,” the German told reporters. “It must be an extraordinary offer for me to start thinking, I must say.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the 24-year-old from being constantly linked with an exit this summer, given Alisson Becker’s undisputed first-choice status at Anfield. After all, he will be first choice himself sooner or later, wherever that may be.
Kelleher, who is currently out in Germany, was linked with the likes of Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year, but all three have since signed new goalkeepers while he remains at Liverpool. However Daily mail reported earlier this week that he has emerged as a target for Wolves.
Whether there will be an ‘extraordinary offer’ remains to be seen. And while the outside consensus remains it would be in Kelleher’s own personal interests to move on at this stage of his career, at least the Europa League could offer him further playing time this season if he ends up staying at Anfield.
Surely this is the transfer window when Nat Phillips finally completes a move away from Liverpool? A winger at Anfield, the centre-back has seen a number of moves fall through in recent years.
The 26-year-old shone for the Reds in the face of a defensive injury crisis in 2020/21 as he helped Klopp’s side qualify for the Champions League, but has ultimately found playing time limited since then. With 29 appearances for the club to date, he was restricted to just five appearances in all competitions last season.
Currently with the first team squad in Germany, the athletic have reported that both Feyenoord and Leeds United are interested in Phillips, with Liverpool valuing the defender at £10m.
Like Thiago, Joel Matip has just one year left on his Liverpool contract and is expected to leave next summer, with the former Cameroon international unlikely to be offered a new deal.
Earlier this year it was reported that the Reds would be willing to consider offers for the centre-back this summer, although such speculation has since cooled. While Klopp would like to sign a new left-sided centre-back, it currently appears that would not be at the expense of the soon-to-be 32-year-old, who is currently out in Germany. After all, Liverpool’s new 3-2-2-3 formation requires extra cover at the heart of the defence.
Admittedly, such willingness could still be tested this summer, with the Reds unlikely to stand in Matip’s way should he wish to move on and a suitable offer received. But as things stand, he appears to be seeing out his contract.
The sight of Kostas Tsimikas in tears after Liverpool’s final home game of last season against Aston Villa had led some supporters to speculate that the Greek would leave the club this summer. Limited to back-up duties behind Andy Robertson during his three years at Anfield, he has already been linked with a move away.
However, reports in Greece have dismissed the possibility that the 27-year-old looks set to leave the Reds despite his role being somewhat of a role. In reality, the Europa League will offer him additional minutes this season.
Still, it’s worth noting that Robertson’s place as a guaranteed starter is potentially threatened by Liverpool’s rumored move for a left-sided centre-back, with the Scotland captain not naturally suited to the more defensive role asked of him in the Reds’ new system. . Tsimikas would be even less appropriate.
If Liverpool manage to sign this new left-sided centre-back, and one capable of filling that left-back role, the Greek, who is also in Germany with the first-team squad, may likewise find his first-team options limited. further. Whether that results in his situation at Anfield being reassessed remains to be seen.