Liverpool's summer transfer plans ahead of the 2019/20 campaign

  • Rob Swan

Liverpool have enjoyed an excellent season so far and could end it by being crowned champions of Europe on June 1.

Jurgen Klopp’s side came agonisingly close to winning their first title of the Premier League era, pipped to the post by a single point by Manchester City on Sunday.

Liverpool’s 97-point finish is the third best tally in Premier League history, behind City’s 98-point and 100-point tallies from the past 12 months.

However, victory over Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano at the start of next month would certainly make up for that bitter disappointment.

Klopp’s side have reached the Champions League final for the second season in a row, only this time they’ll be favourites.

Win or lose, it’s going to be tough for Klopp to think of ways he can improve his squad this summer.

However, there’s always room for improvement and the Liverpool boss will be acutely aware that failure to make slight adjustments to his squad could prove fatal heading into the 2019/20 season.

So, what are the Reds planning to do over the next few months?

Well, the ever-reliable journalist David Ornstein has revealed details about the Reds’ transfer plans on the BBC Sport website.

He begins: “Liverpool are the most settled of the Premier League’s top six and this is a summer of consolidation, having already stockpiled well. They’ve done their big shop, so don’t need to do it weekly.

“The feeling is that to improve their squad it would take astronomical spending and there are few ‘gettable’ players who can come in and be first choice.

“Owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) don’t just want to splash out, take a punt or spend for the sake of it; they’d rather be nimble, brave, smart and strategic.

“Their aim has always been to get to a stage where they are ready to react and make game-changing signings when the need and the opportunity arise.

“They feel they’re now at that stage – as shown, for example, post Philippe Coutinho and with the acquisitions of Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson.

“Currently the need, opportunity and level of finance required for such game-changing signings is not there.

“So unless any unforeseen circumstances arise to change that, it will be a low-key, conservative window at Anfield.”

Ornstein expects a maximum of two new signings this summer – but says the fees for either player are unlikely to surpass £13 million.

He also expects one of the signings to be a full-back with Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne both set to depart Anfield.

“One, maximum two signings – and for fees unlikely to surpass, for instance, the £13m Liverpool spent on Xherdan Shaqiri last summer,” he continues.

“With Alberto Moreno on his way out and Nathaniel Clyne likely to go too, full-back cover – especially on the left – is needed. But not necessarily specialist cover, rather a flexible full-back – somebody who can grow into the role or operate in various positions.”

Ornstein also understands that Klopp is unlikely to sign a replacement for the outgoing Daniel Sturridge due to his faith in youngster Rhian Brewster.

However, the Liverpool boss may add a ‘versatile attacker’ to his ranks.

“It’s a similar situation in attack,” he adds, “with Daniel Sturridge set to depart but unlikely to be replaced like-for-like. Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of 19-year-old Rhian Brewster and therefore does not plan to recruit a back-up ‘number nine’.

“Instead, the Reds could sign a versatile attacker, allowing Klopp to shuffle the pack as and when he sees fit. Divock Origi is expected to stay, regardless of whether or not he signs a new deal.

“Liverpool don’t mind certain players entering the final year of their contracts and ultimately leaving for free, if they see greater relative value in them staying than exiting for a small fee.”

What about the players currently out on loan?

Ornstein says: “Those who have enjoyed successful loan spells away from the club – the likes of Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent and Marko Grujic – could go out again on a temporary or permanent basis. There could also be movement for players such as Ben Woodburn, Sheyi Ojo and Ovie Ejaria.”

As for specific transfer targets, Ornstein does not expect Julian Brandt to join the Reds.

He also says that Nabil Fekir and Timo Werner are not transfer targets as things stand.

“Liverpool have been linked with Bayer Leverkusen’s attacking midfielder Julian Brandt, but it’s thought a move for the Germany international will not materialise.

“Although they were keen on Brandt in the window before Mohamed Salah was signed, the 23-year-old realised he would not be guaranteed a starting place and decided to stay put. That predicament would be worse for him at Liverpool now and, with that in mind, his £21.5m release clause along with a probable five-year contract and agent fee is not viable.

“Similar applies for RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner and, previously, the Chelsea-bound Christian Pulisic. Why come to fight for a place when you can be first choice elsewhere?

“Liverpool’s pursuit of Nabil Fekir a year ago was genuine and at the time he fitted the bill. But in the end Shaqiri was signed, Klopp reworked the shape of his attack and experimented with other players, and he has Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to return. So as things stand Fekir, Brandt and Werner are not targets.

“The unforeseen circumstances mentioned above would include a serious injury occurring or a key player demanding to leave. That said, Liverpool proved with Coutinho they are prepared to give a hard ‘no’, take the moral high ground and do things on their terms.”

As for potential big-name outgoings, Liverpool fans can rest easy.

“Among the players Paris St-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has eyes on is Roberto Firmino, but it’s not something the Reds would even consider,” Ornstein concludes.

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