Wednesday 18 October 2017

Daniel Agger and Lucas face the chop as Liverpool target £30m from summer sale

Liverpool's Daniel Agger rues a missed chance during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.
Liverpool's Daniel Agger rues a missed chance during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Chris Bascombe

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, has a list of 14 players who could be culled from his squad ahead of next season, raising a potential £30m in transfer funds.

Defender Daniel Agger and midfielder Lucas are among the most high-profile players facing an uncertain summer, while the out-on-loan goalkeeper Pepe Reina will make his temporary exit permanent. The signings from last year, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, are available for transfer and Victor Moses and Aly Cissokho, on loan from Chelsea and Valencia respectively, will return to their parent clubs, with Liverpool having no interest in retaining their services.

Players who excelled on loan elsewhere, such as Fabio Borini, whose goals at Sunderland secured Premier League status, and Oussama Assaidi, who is wanted by Stoke, could raise more than £10m for Rodgers.

Liverpool also have youngsters such as Jack Robinson, Martin Kelly and Conor Coady, who will be given the opportunity to pursue their career elsewhere.

Rodgers will be realistic about how many players can be offloaded, given the additional demands of Champions League football next season, but with the addition of five or six new players, he will still have the compact base of around 18 first-team players plus emerging youngsters he craves.

Agger's future at Anfield has been under constant scrutiny as he has been fighting for his place with Mamadou Sakho. It is clear Rodgers wants to add another centre-back, Steven Caulker of Cardiff is under consideration, which would further jeopardise the Danish international's position.

Agger is a sought-after defender on the continent, regularly linked with clubs of the calibre of Barcelona and Liverpool would expect more than £12m for him.

Likewise, Lucas – although not a player the club would actively look to sell – finds himself with much to ponder since Rodgers restructured the side with Steven Gerrard in a holding role.

The popular Brazilian would undoubtedly be retained as a squad player if he wished, but he is at a point in his career where he may be inclined to go where he will be a permanent starter.

STRUGGLED

He has always performed better when enjoying a consistent run of games and struggled deputising for the suspended Jordan Henderson in the latter weeks of the season.

Like Agger, Lucas would command a considerable fee if sold and will not be short of admirers should he decide on a fresh challenge.

Reina burnt his bridges with Rodgers when he moved to Napoli on a season's loan, the Liverpool manager speaking publicly at his surprise at the farewell letter the number one wrote to the supporters despite, technically, being due back for the next pre-season.

If they do not sign him permanently, Liverpool will still expect him to find a new club for the £4m stipulated in his exit clause. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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