It doesn't really look as if Liverpool are going to be doing much on the transfer front this summer. Having just won the league with seven games to spare, can you really blame them?
As Premier League rivals look to spend big to bridge the absolutely enormous gap between themselves and the Reds, it seems the Anfield decision-makers and Jurgen Klopp are in agreement that the current group are good for another tilt at the title.
It's not that the Reds can't afford to spend money - if you need convincing that the club who currently hold the Champions League, Club World Cup and Premier League titles have some cash in the bank, then I'm not sure what to tell you.
In the wake of a worldwide pandemic and subsequent lockdown that has hit the books hard, it's just that they would rather take a breather and see how the land lies for a season, than greenlight a raft of investments in the current climate.
The state of affairs being what they are, then, banking north of £10m for Dejan Lovren? It might not be £140m for Philippe Coutinho, but for a 31-year-old defender with a year left on his deal, that's a bloody good bit of business.
Liverpool are still working to extend Georginio Wijnaldum contract - talks on with his agent to find an agreement. Dejan Lovren is going to leave the club and join Zenit St. Petersburg for €12M. No official bid yet for Thiago Alcantara. ? #LFC #Liverpool #transfers— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 24, 2020
That sort of fee for an out-of-favour defender by no means represents a substantial windfall for a club in the carefully crafted financial position of Liverpool, but there nonetheless remains a misconception about just how far a player sale like this can go.
Selling Lovren now, after all, will effectively bank something close to £15m in revenue - around £10m from his sale, and the £5m they will clear from his annual salary (per Spotrac). When you consider that's close to half of their post-tax profit from the financial year to May 2019, it becomes clear this is the sort of sensible business decision that could have a positive knock-on effect on player investment in the years ahead.
People really underestimate the difference an uncontrolled wage bill can make to a club.— Korie (@Virg_VD) July 18, 2020
If Liverpool were to release Lovren and Lallana this summer they clear £11,000,000 per year. If you include Milner it's over £18,000,000 per year.
Salah and Mané cost LFC £15,600,000 p/a.
One man who won't be praising the decision publicly is Klopp, who will tell you - as and when the deal is confirmed - that he's losing a player whose personality is a big part of the current title-winning group. Privately, though, he won't have too many concerns about shaking his hand and waving goodbye - if he did, then Zenit would have been shown the door at the first sign of their interest.
The squad can handle losing Lovren, whose presence at the heart of defence is no longer trusted after his humbling at the hands of Troy Deeney in February. To do so, however, it will require the establishing of a new fourth-choice central defender, and finding one within the current ranks will be a challenge relished by Klopp.
There are contenders who will be keen to step up, and the opportunity to do so could lead to the emergence of another star - much to the squad's long-term benefit. Returning Stuttgart loanee Nat Phillips seems fancied, while the versatile Ki-Jana Hoever has been trusted on occasion.
Happy birthday, Nat Phillips ?? pic.twitter.com/w4jw2CKJZE— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions ?) (@LFC) March 21, 2020
It may come too soon for last season's signing of the summer Sepp van den Berg, but he too will be watching the situation with interest
There may not be much incoming business, then, but with Adam Lallana and now Lovren leaving behind some scraps for the emerging youngsters and stifled fringe stars to fight over, the months ahead will be an interesting watch nonetheless.
All-in-all, Lovren's departure creates more green on the balance sheet and more space on the team-sheet, at a time when both of those are at a premium. It may be a mercenary way of thinking, but as Lovren leaves with the club's best wishes after six years of studious professionalism, Liverpool have the opportunity once more to turn negative into positive, as they look to build a long-lasting legacy.
Source : 90min