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Origi & Mignolet close to exit as Liverpool plan £70m clearout

22:30 BST 23/07/2018
Divock Origi Simon Mignolet Liverpool
The Reds hope to recoup a substantial sum in player sales after a series of high-profile arrivals so far in the summer transfer window

Divock Origi and Simon Mignolet could be high-profile casualties as Liverpool look to trim their squad significantly before next month’s transfer deadline.

The Reds could recoup as much as £70 million ($78m) from player sales over the next fortnight, with as many as seven first-teamers facing uncertain futures.

Origi is one of those, with Valencia among a number of clubs keen on signing the Belgian striker, who has failed to impress Jurgen Klopp with his performances during Liverpool’s pre-season friendly campaign.

The 23-year-old returned to Anfield this month following a disappointing loan spell with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. Origi managed just six goals in 34 appearances in Germany, missing out on Belgium’s World Cup squad as a result. He is yet to find the net in five outings so far this summer.

Despite that, Liverpool value him at around £27m ($35m) and have received concrete interest from Valencia, who are keen to recruit a new centre-forward this summer. Whether the Spaniards would be willing to meet the Reds’ asking price, however, is another matter. Liverpool are ready to hold onto the player if not.

Another Belgian, Mignolet, looks almost certain to leave before the August 9 deadline. The goalkeeper was second choice behind Loris Karius during the second half of last season, and with Alisson Becker signed for a world record fee this summer, the 30-year-old believes it is time to move on. Liverpool will hope to get in excess of £10m ($13m) for the former Sunderland shot-stopper.

Mignolet will have options from clubs across Europe, with Premier League new-boys Fulham among those interested. Besiktas, Napoli and Barcelona have also been linked.

Danny Ings is another player set to leave in the coming weeks. The striker was left behind as Klopp and his squad flew to the USA on Saturday for their three-game tour, having suffered a couple of minor injury issues in the past fortnight. Liverpool believe it would be more beneficial for Ings, who turned 26 this week, to train at Melwood rather than being involved in their International Champions Cup games, but they are also aware that there may be developments in terms of a move away from the club.

Their valuation of the player is £20m ($26m) plus add-ons, and there is firm interest from Leicester, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle for the once-capped England man. Ings is keen to leave in search of regular football, having seen the last three years of his career decimated by injuries. Liverpool would ideally like to keep him, but Klopp believes the club owe him the opportunity to move on should he find the right club and the right offer.

Klopp would also like to keep Marko Grujic, who joined up with the squad on Friday after his World Cup exploits with Serbia. The midfielder has agreed in principle to join Cardiff City on a season-long loan deal, and would sign a new Reds contract if he did so.

However, Serie A side Lazio have expressed an interest in signing him on a permanent deal, though Liverpool are unlikely to sell for anything less than £20m ($26m). Klopp still believes the 22-year-old could become a viable first-team option for the Reds in the future, and would like to see him remain in England on loan ideally.

He is willing to sell both Lazar Markovic and Pedro Chirivella though. Markovic, rated by the club at £6m ($8m), has interest from Anderlecht, Getafe and Leganes and should leave before August 9. Chirivella, meanwhile, is wanted by both Swansea and Nottingham Forest.

Sheyi Ojo is another who could leave, though Liverpool would be prepared to sanction another season-long loan deal if they were unable to get £15m ($20m) for the talented winger.

The Reds have shown in recent years that they are able to command decent fees for fringe players, a fact evidence last week by Danny Ward’s £12.5m ($16.5m) switch to Leicester. The likes of Brad Smith, Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke, Mamadou Sakho, Kevin Stewart, Sergi Canos and Tiago Ilori were all sold for surprisingly high amounts during the past two years, and sporting director Michael Edwards is confident that they can do similar this summer.

Liverpool have also sent Joel Matip home from their pre-season tour due to his thigh injury. The defender underwent a scan at the team’s base in Charlotte on Monday having been forced off early in their defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Sunday evening and the club believe he will be out of action for a couple of weeks, though should be fit for the start of the Premier League season. Matip missed the last two months of last season with a thigh problem, and his absence would leave Liverpool thin on defensive cover with Dejan Lovren not returning to training until August 6 following the World Cup.

Liverpool will fly to New Jersey for the second leg of their US tour on Tuesday morning, where they will be met by new £13m ($17m) signing Xherdan Shaqiri. They face Manchester City in East Rutherford on Wednesday, before travelling to Michigan to face Manchester United on Saturday.