Michael Edwards will have a plan, but Liverpool need to make some important transfer decisions over the next few months to move into the transfer window for next summer.
There are currently eight players under the radar that are likely to be next in line for contract renewals, as discussed in the Liverpool.com podcast.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri are only just over two years until the end of the season, and they are all currently tied up until 2023, according to Transfermarkt.
So what’s next? For many of them, the answer is perhaps not as simple as it might seem, as Liverpool seek to rejuvenate their squad for a while and move on to the next stage of evolution, be it under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp or someone else.
As part of this long-term strategy, contracts will be key – starting at the end of this season.
In the summer of 2021, these eight will have two years to conclude contracts, meaning talks should continue with those who are likely to stay, given that once a year has passed, uncertainty – as is now the case with Gini Wijnaldum – may distract.
Wijnaldum, as it stands, will be leaving on a free transfer, but Liverpool must not allow this to happen to too many stars on this list.
Close to becoming Liverpool’s top scorer in Europe, Salah has been a key man for Liverpool since he arrived.
But he will be 31 until his contract expires. This is not necessarily a problem, but the Reds will have to decide whether they want to finance the succession plan with a substantial fee for it, or offer him a new contract to extend his stay.
Like Salah, Mane became a key man. A few months older than Salah, there is a similar dilemma.
Mane’s pace may slow down a bit, but he can still be extremely useful for Liverpool, going well beyond his current contract.
Like Salah, the new deal is probably the most likely outcome, but neither is a foregone conclusion.
Virgil van Dijk
A year older than Salah, the new contract dilemma for the Dutch center-back is somewhat easier to predict.
Finding Van Dijk’s successor is even more difficult than Mane or Salah. Saving it when he comes back from injury or even sooner will likely be a priority.
* Listen to the latest podcast from Blood Red by clicking HERE
Still incredibly useful for the Reds, the Brazilian is older than Mane and Salah, but his form has undergone extensive scrutiny this season.
His role on the team will also be hard to replace, but Liverpool must make a decision on his behalf.
Will he be offered a new contract? This is probably less likely than Salah or Mane, considering his is a little older than the other front stars.
Fabinho, the youngest of the players so far discussed, arrived from AS Monaco in 2018 and has become an integral part of Klopp, showing his worth as a center-back this season.
At only 27 years old, the Brazilian’s best years could still overtake him, leaving Liverpool no need to wonder, not only because he can play in many positions, but also because he is arguably the best holding midfielder in the Premier League. .
A fighter full of talent but without the best injury record, Keita is only 26 in February and is the youngest of the players to have contracts expiring in 2023.
Again, his best years lie ahead of him. Although he has had problems with injuries while at Anfield so far, Klopp remains a huge fan of him.
And the utility of his abilities has been clear so far this season when he has played a lot – when he was in shape.
Get all the latest Liverpool injuries and team news as Klopp faces a selection dilemma, plus breaking news and analysis of what’s next for The Reds.
With our FREE email newsletter you will receive the latest transfer information and analysis directly to your inbox every day.
Register here – It only takes a few seconds!
The club captain has come a long way at Liverpool, especially under Klopp, and his next move could be interesting depending on what comes after his career ends.
Could he have become a James Milner character at Anfield? Quite possible. If he has future coaching ambitions, Klopp, Pep Lijnders et al are a decent place to learn.
Keeping it close will likely be a priority given its impact both on and off the pitch.
Another who has had injuries at times – but Chamberlain is a big part of the dressing room and scored important goals.
He is turning 28 next year and will therefore be close to 30 by the time the contract expires.
Will he receive a different offer? Time will tell.
Perhaps the most likely player on the list not to be offered a new deal, given he almost left last summer, the Swiss have been back at Anfield since the transfer window closed.
Shaqiri has played a new midfielder role this season when he is in good shape and has once again shown his clear skills.
The winger will be nearly 32 by the time his contract ends, and with some interest in him this summer, which could be renewed in the future, there’s a good chance he’ll move on.