Via AllinOne Sports
Not quite midway through July, the summer transfer window is not yet in full swing. However, Liverpool has started their business side of the season very well, adding a number of key players while beginning to offload the deadwood in the squad. Without any European competitions in the coming season, manager Jürgen Klopp does not need a massive squad. This has given him the opportunity to chip away at the club’s wage bill by selling some of the squad’s less productive players on large contracts that are no longer needed for depth. This group includes players such as Christian Benteke, Mario Balotelli, and Martin Skrtel. While the Reds have not yet officially sold any players of note, a few deals appear imminent. On the buy side of the club’s transfer business, Klopp has already filled a few important needs. There are still a couple targets that the Reds are chasing, but at least half of the club’s acquisitions for the summer have already been made. Being the first half of July, there is still a lot of time before the window closes, leaving open the possibility of transfer complications that are bound to occur. That being said, the business that is already done or looks close to being complete is very positive, a pleasant surprise after the terrible transfer windows of the past couple seasons.
Thus far, the Reds have officially sold only Jerome Sinclair to Watford, but Benteke will likely be joining Crystal Palace in the coming days as well as Skrtel to Fenerbahce, Jordon Ibe to Bournemouth, and Sergi Canos to Norwich City. Benteke’s deal looks the furthest off of the four as Palace and Liverpool have not yet agreed upon a fee and his agent has stated he wants to stay on Merseyside, but according to the Mirror, Benteke has already agreed on personal terms with Palace making a transfer close to inevitable. This sale would likely reap about £30 million in proceeds, as well as the relief of no longer having to pay the Belgian’s £120,000 per week wages. The other three imminent transfers are much smaller in magnitude, as Skrtel’s deal is worth approximately £5.5 million, Ibe £15 million (although Liverpool only keeps £12.5 million due to a sell-on clause to Ibe’s former club Wycombe Wanderers), and Canos £4.5 million with future add-ons. These four transfers plus Sinclair’s move equal approximately £56.5 million in new funds, and over £85,000 per week off the club’s wages. Plus, both Ibe and Canos’ deals are rumored to have sell-on and buy back clauses inserted, meaning that if either player were to reach their potential, Liverpool could either bring them back to the club or make an even bigger profit on a future transfer. Offloading five players that were unlikely to be key parts of the first team setup for about £57 million is fantastic business by the Reds.
For a club like Liverpool that does not have the financial muscle of other European giants, garnering these significant profits in the transfer market can lead to benefits in all areas of the club. Not only can this money be allocated to transfers, but it can also be allotted into new contract renewals for current club stars. Players such as Philippe Coutinho, Emre Can, Divock Origi, Joe Allen, and a number of youth players are in need of new contracts in order to keep them at the club. Furthermore, Klopp is rumored to be interested in renovating the training complex to combine Melwood training facility with the Reds’ Kirkby youth academy, a project that will be very expensive. Some of the money from player sales can even be allocated to club projects such as this one, further improving the quality of the club on and off the pitch.
While Liverpool appears to be profiting handsomely in player sales, the club has also made a number of purchases that appear to be very good acquisitions. Although some may debate that the Reds paid too much for Sadio Mane, there is no debate that bringing in Loris Karius, Marko Grujic, and Joel Matip for a combined fee of £9.8 million is fantastic work by the club’s management. Mane, though expensive, is also a good buy as he is a great fit in Klopp’s side and will bring a whole different dynamic to the Reds’ attack. In addition, both Karius and Matip are set to be key members of the starting eleven for many years to come, while Grujic is more of a developmental prospect, but one that Klopp believes can become an excellent box to box midfielder. Acquiring three players that could form the backbone of the Reds’ squad in three to five years for under £10 million in today’s currently inflated transfer market is almost incomprehensible. Compared to the past few seasons where the club has spent over £50 million on flops such as Mario Balotelli, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, and Lazar Markovic (he may have a chance at redemption this season) this year’s transfer business is all the more impressive. The shrewd acquisitions already made by the club have set up Liverpool to achieve a decently low net spend amount. Despite some claiming this is a key reason why the Reds have not been able to compete with the financial behemoths in England, the Reds may end up acquiring upwards of four to five starting players in one transfer window without a significant net cash outlay. No matter the amount of financial power any football club possesses, the Reds are well on their way to a very successful summer transfer window.
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