Ever since it was clear that Liverpool's dreams of qualification for Europe were over, the club and its fans have shifted their attention to the summer transfer market.

With Jamie Carragher retiring at the end of the season and Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates possibly both on the way out, who will fill their shoes in Merseyside?                                       

Toby Alderweireld | Ajax

Ever since Liverpool's interest in team-mate Christian Eriksen popped up, the Reds have also been linked with Toby Alderweireld.

Having just turned 24 recently, Alderweireld has still to reach the peak of his playing career. Despite his age, Alderweireld has already received over 20 national call-ups for Belgium and has played multiple games in the Champions League and Europa League.

With only a year left on his contract, Ajax will very likely attempt to sell him to avoid losing him on a free transfer next year. Although he recently publicly played down his link to Liverpool, he could definitely be a valuable signing to replace Carragher.

Probability: 6/10

Tiago Ilori | Sporting CP

In recent weeks, the Reds have been strongly linked with the 20-year-old Portuguese centre-back. In the last few months, Ilori has gradually forced his way into his club's first team.

Because of his great potential, Sporting will desperately try to hold on to him but the club's financial situation could force a move if Liverpool offer the right price.

Probability: 8/10

Ashley Williams | Swansea City

The 28-year-old was one of the first names to appear as Carragher's replacement, but competition with Arsenal will most likely drive the price up too far for owners FSG, who have recently refused to sanction a bid for the Welsh centre-back.

However, Williams would be an ideal replacement for Carragher next year with plenty of Championship and Premier League experience under his belt and a personal connection with former Swansea coach Brendan Rodgers.

Probability: 5/10

Douglas | FC Twente

The possibility of a free transfer of this value excited many Liverpool fans. Douglas Franco Teixeira has played in the Eredivisie for over five years and has been a target for multiple clubs such as Newcastle United.

With his contract running out in the summer, a move to a different league is highly possible but a link to Liverpool has not yet been confirmed. 

Probability: 7/10

Kurt Zouma | St Etienne

Although the degree of Liverpool's interest in the promising young defender was not certain, Zouma has recently stated that he would love to move to a team like Liverpool and would rather sit on the bench for them than for St Etienne.

Only aged 18, Zouma is one of the most promising players in Ligue 1 and would be a dream transfer for any team.

Probability: 7/10

Raul Albiol | Real Madrid

Having made just 16 appearances for Los Blancos this season, the Spaniard has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bernabeu.

Seeking to establish himself as a starter to increase his chances of finding his way back into the Spanish national team, Albiol might consider settling for a team like Liverpool.

Probability: 5/10

Aymen Abdennour | Toulouse

The young Tunisian is a very flexible player and an ideal replacement in defence. Abdennour is a modern attacking full-back and centre-back and could also replace Enrique if he falls out of favour with the Reds.

With a lot of international experience for his age, Abdennour has previously captained the Tunisian Under-21 national team and played in the African Cup of Nations. His young age and low price make him an automatic target for FSG and a move is quite possible.

However, the young defender is also on the shortlist of multiple top teams including Barcelona.

Probability: 7/10

With a limited Budget of £20m, it will be interesting to see which replacements Liverpool will move for. If they similarly to last summer it might turn very poorly for the Reds, but their efficient and smart moves for Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge in January show that their transfer policy can bear immediate fruit.

Despite rumours of both Skrtel and Coates leaving Anfield in the summer, I doubt their validity. Skrtel has under-performed this season but was of great value to the Reds in the last few seasons and if he finds his form will continue to be a good option at the back. Coates might leave, but more likely on a loan than a full transfer.

A lot of promising young players have been emerging from the academy, and combing this with the return of Martin Kelly, I do not expect that Rodgers will spend all of his limited budget on defenders, but I expect he will sign around two and FSG will strive to make sure that he opts for the younger options such as Ilori or Zouma.

Please add your comments if I missed any transfer targets - and tell me who the ideal replacement for Carragher is.

 

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#Ashley Williams
#Jamie Carragher
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#Liverpool