Tuesday 23 January 2018

Mario Gotze heads Jurgen Klopp's wishlist as big names head for Liverpool exit in summer revamp

Simon Mignolet could be on his way out of Liverpool and Mario Gotze could be coming in
Simon Mignolet could be on his way out of Liverpool and Mario Gotze could be coming in

Jack de Menezes

Christian Benteke’s Capital One Cup final snub will pave the way to the striker being sold by Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp in the summer, with the Reds set to undergo a major overhaul in a bid to improve their Premier League form.

Benteke was left on the substitutes’ bench as Liverpool played out a 1-1 draw after extra-time at Wembley on Sunday, only to suffer defeat in a penalty shootout as goalkeeper Willy Cabellero inspired Manchester City to the trophy.

Daniel Sturridge’s return to fitness has not helped Benteke’s cause, but he has fallen behind Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi in the Liverpool pecking order, and according to The Sun the Belgian will be on his way out of Anfield just a year after sealing a £32.5m transfer from Aston Villa.

Benteke remains Liverpool’s second most expensive signing in their history, with only the £35m that the club paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll costing more. But he will not be the only player to pay the price for Liverpool’s shortcomings this season with the Reds languishing down in ninth place, 18 points behind leaders Leicester City.

Along with the 25-year-old striker, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet could well be sold despite signing a new five-year contract earlier this season. Mignolet endured a tumultuous day at Wembley on Sunday that saw him allow a Fernandinho shot to slip under him despite getting to hands to the ball, only to pull off a number of impressive saves to keep Liverpool in the tie and send the final to a penalty shootout.

However, with Adam Bogdan certain to leave Liverpool after being informed he has no future at the club, Klopp may be forced to hang on to Mignolet even if he signs a new goalkeeper in the summer.

New signing Marko Grujic of Liverpool is unveiled at Melwood Training Ground on January 6, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

But a number of new arrivals are expected on Merseyside in the summer, with Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Götze topping Klopp’s transfer wish list. A deal is already in place to sign defender Joel Matip from Schalke when his contract expires at the end of the season, while Red Star Belgrade midfielder Marko Grujic will also join the club having agreed a move in January – having chosen to remain in Serbia on loan until the end of the campaign.

Alberto Moreno’s place in Klopp’s first-team plans could come under question too given the interest in young Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell. The Spaniard made a number of defensive errors on Sunday that summed up his attacking preference this season, and he was replaced by Klopp during the second half of the final with midfielder James Milner being shifted back into a makeshift defensive role on the left.

But it will be the interest in Götze that will spark the most optimism among Liverpool fans given that Klopp worked with the 23-year-old Germany international during their time at Borussia Dortmund. The attacking midfielder’s future at the Allianz Arena has been in doubt ever since he admitted that he does not know what the future holds, and the exit of the current head coach, Pep Guardiola, could offer Götze a fresh start.

(© Independent News Service)

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