Liverpool left to do with both comings and goings within the squad, with a couple of moves still up in the air and a bit of deadwood to shift on.
The 40-year-old spoke of his desire to add a few fresh faces before the end of deadline day, telling reporters last week: “We hope to do some business between now and the end of the month. We know we still need one or two additions more and the club are doing everything they can to assist me in that.” With that in mind, what are the five things above all else that manager Brendan Rodgers needs to do before deadline day?
Decide what to do with Tom Ince – The club have taken a tough stance in transfer negotiations with Blackpool over the future of the England U-21 international winger, with Rodgers et al refusing to kowtow to Karl Oyston’s demands, the rather shady Seasiders chairman. Liverpool, somewhat understandably, believe that with the player out of contract in the summer and due to the fact that they retain a 35% sell-on clause from Ince’s move between the two clubs 18 months ago, an offer of between £4-6m is about right, but Blackpool look to be holding out for £8m with their own 30% sell-on clause attached.
To be honest, given he can leave for nothing at the end of the season, the Championship club are really in no sort of position to be making demands like that and after they reportedly turned down a £7m offer from Reading, who then subsequently withdrew from the race for his signature, Liverpool look like the only interested party again and they need to weigh up whether forking out £8m for him now or waiting until the summer is the best approach; you suspect it’s the latter.
Scout about for a second-choice goalkeeper – The standard of reserve goalkeepers in the Premier League has dropped all across the board these past five years horrendously, with the systemic dearth of talent effecting the entire global game, Brad Jones’ performance during the FA Cup defeat away at Oldham just cast further doubt on whether he’s quite good enough for the club. With Pepe Reina’s future somewhat up in the air amid likely interest from Barcelona, in search of a shot-stopper of their own after Victor Valdes’ decision to move to a new club at the end of the season when his contract expires, the 30-year-old Australian has already featured 12 times this season in the league and in Europe to due the Spaniard’s patchy injury record this term.
To say he’s failed to impress would be an understatement and the search for someone actually capable of stepping in to Reina’s shoes needs to become a priority. This also means addressing the future of Brazilian goalkeeper Doni, who appears to be at the club in spirit but increasingly homesick for a return home.