Liverpool could bid farewell to a Jurgen Klopp favourite in the summer whose exit has not been too widely anticipated, according to a report.
A rebuild may be required in the Liverpool squad at the end of the season. Despite doing so well last term and winning two trophies, Klopp’s team have been seriously underwhelming and inconsistent in 2022-23.
There are concerns about several areas of their squad. They have invested in their attack, but seem to have neglected their midfield and defence.
Liverpool will have to look for targets who can breathe new life into their system next season. Before that, though, they will have to clear some space and raise funds by offloading players.
There has already been plenty of speculation about what the future holds for Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner, all of whom are out of contract at the end of the season.
Now, a report from Goal has included the trio in an overview of who is likely to leave Liverpool in the summer. But another entry into their list is someone whose future hasn’t been discussed as much.
According to the report, Liverpool could say goodbye to Joel Matip at the end of the season.
The centre-back is now into the final 18 months of his contract at Anfield. Although not under the same immediate pressure as Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Milner, his status in the squad is now in jeapordy.
Indeed, it is claimed that Liverpool will find it “hard to refuse” a “suitable offer” for the former Schalke star. There is no information yet about where such a bid might come from.
Per Goal, there are “growing whispers from within the club” that Matip will move elsewhere in the summer. It is therefore concluded that it could be “the end of the road” for Matip at Liverpool.
The report implies there is a 60% chance of Matip securing his exit as things stand.
Many fighting for Liverpool futures
The reception to the news will be mixed. Klopp has been a big fan of the player, who was his first Liverpool signing. However, injuries have reduced his reliability. For some, his departure will not be coming too soon.
Matip’s exit may open the door for Liverpool to sign another defender. For now, Klopp prefers to use Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate, while he still has long-term faith in Joe Gomez.
Elsewhere in the report, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita and Milner are deemed more likely than not to leave, as are backup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and deputy defender Nat Phillips.
Phillips was the subject of interest for a January move, but an injury to Konate ended his hopes of moving on. The time could finally come in the summer and it would be a completely understandable move.
Sepp van den Berg could also complete a permanent exit after his loan spell with Matip’s former side, Schalke. Other young defenders like Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio will also attract interest.
Matip approaching end of Liverpool spell
But Matip leaving would certainly be the most high-profile of those potential defensive exits.
The 31-year-old has made 180 appearances for Liverpool during his time on Merseyside, scoring 10 goals.
There could be more reliable options out there for Liverpool to replace him with. However, they will have to be careful about their net spend, which they have generally been smart with in recent years.
Indeed, Matip might not be able to generate much of a transfer fee due to his age and contract status. Finding someone who can offer a similar supporting role might be slightly more expensive.
But it does feel like a change could be good for Matip and Liverpool, as the Premier League club aim to keep their squad fresh and more competitive.