Liverpool look set for a squad overhaul this summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to turn last season’s Premier League champions back into title contenders.
While the Reds are not expected to make huge signings, a number of fringe players could be sold with the club’s American owners FSG reportedly concerned over a rise in salaries over recent seasons.
According to figures presented by Swiss Ramble, Liverpool’s wage bill jumped to £310m over a three-year period – a rise of 87%, outstripping the growth of the club’s revenue, which rose by 79% over the same period.
This has left FSG cautious over sanctioning new signings, according to the Liverpool Echo – meaning player exits are likely if Klopp is to have funds to improve his squad this summer.
So with some stars set to be moved on, Mirror Sport looks at five who could be on their way out this summer.
Wijnaldum has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, with some reports claiming he has already agreed a deal to join Ronald Koeman’s side.
The midfielder has been a crucial part of Liverpool’s success over recent seasons – underlined by the fact he has played every Premier League this term, having started all but two of them.
Klopp has repeatedly insisted he wants Wijnaldum to stay – although no progress has been made over a new deal for the 30-year-old, whose contract ends in July.
The Dutch international is believed to be on £75,000 per week – a modest salary compared to top earner Mohamed Salah (£200k) and the likes of Thiago (£192k), Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk (£180k).
Nevertheless, the rising wage bill is perhaps at hint at why no agreement has been struck over a new contract for Wijnaldum.
Big things were expected of Oxlade-Chamberlain when he joined Liverpool from Arsenal for £34m in 2017.
But his spell at Anfield has been marred by injury, with the midfielder suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in 2018 which kept him out for almost a year.
By the time he was fully fit he had a job on his hands breaking into an engine room normally manned by Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, with the likes of James Milner and Naby Keita also competing for places and Curtis Jones breaking into the first-team set-up.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has made just 99 appearances in nearly four seasons at Liverpool.
And with just two years left on his contract, this summer could be the time for the Reds to extract maximum value from a sale – and to shave a reported £120,000 per week off the wage bill.
Shaqiri has had to be content with a supporting role since joining Liverpool from Stoke for £13m in 2018.
With Mohamed Salah ahead of him on the right of the Reds attack, and Sadio Mane equally impossible to oust from the opposite flank, it is no surprise Shaqiri has made just 59 appearances.
Klopp experimented with playing the 29-year-old as an attacking midfielder earlier this season.
But the £80,000-per-week Swiss star looks set to have to Anfield if he wants regular first-team football, and could be another who is trimmed from the pay roll.
Divock Origi has scored some big goals for Liverpool – notably his double in the thrilling comeback against Barcelona on the way to Champions League glory in 2019, and of course his late effort in the final which sealed the triumph against Tottenham.
But he doesn’t fit easily into the Reds’ style of play, and has made just six starts this season in all competitions.
Diogo Jota is now Klopp’s go-to option when he wants to change up his attack, following the forward’s blistering start after he joined from Wolves in September.
And with many expecting the Reds boss to seek out more attacking options this summer, £40,000-per-week Origi looks set to fall even further down the pecking order.
After Matip was left as Liverpool’s only fit, senior centre-back this season, it wasn’t that surprising when he also fell foul of the Red’s crippling injury crisis.
The centre-back has had plenty of spells on the sidelines since arriving at Anfield from Schalke in 2016, and is now ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury in January.
That led to Liverpool signing Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies on the final day of the January transfer window, while Nat Phillips has also stepped up and youngster Rhys Williams looks promising.
Klopp looks set to have plenty of options once he has his first-choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez fit again – and the club could look to get Matip’s £100,000-per-week pay-packet off the books.