Liverpool are close to completing the signing of Luis Diaz from Porto in a deal worth potentially £50m (€60m), however, should the exciting attacker make the switch to Anfield, then Jurgen Klopp is expected to allow as many as three first-team players to depart.
That’s according to a recent report from The Athletic, who claims the Reds will consider offers for attackers Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and defender Nat Phillips.
A potential deal for Diaz, 25, has come somewhat out of nowhere with very few fans expecting to see the Columbian emerge as a genuine target for Klopp. However, following negotiations held between Porto and Liverpool’s soon-to-be new sporting director Julian Ward, that is exactly what has happened – despite Tottenham Hotspur previously tipped as front-runners to secure the South American’s signature (Sky Sports).
Although there are still some final pieces to tie up, Diaz certainly looks like becoming Liverpool’s latest blockbuster signing.
The timing could not be better either, especially with both Sadio Mane and Mo Salah both going on deep runs in this year’s African Cup of Nations.
However, although there will be genuine excitement surrounding the prospect of seeing one of Portugal’s most prolific forwards arrive in the Premier League, Liverpool fans will likely need to prepare for some departures.
In order to balance their books, it has been noted that Minamino may be allowed to leave should an offer of around £20m come in with Origi also a strong candidate to move on before his deal expires at the end of the season.
Phillips, on the other hand, has fallen way down his manager’s pecking order, despite stepping up to fill in for the injured Virgil van Dijk last season.
Speaking recently to Sky Sports about the possibility of moving on, Phillips said: “The manager and I agree that the best thing for me is to play as many games as possible.
“I think you saw last year I developed well. I’m going to see what comes along [in January] and go from there.
“I think at this moment in time it’s unlikely that I’ll be playing lots of games for Liverpool, so if an opportunity arises where I get the chance to do that somewhere else.
“And if it suits everyone then it’s certainly something I’d be interested in.
“I’ve had the exposure and experience in the Premier League and the Champions League. So maybe those situations where you’re new and nervy, I’ve gone through that phase.
“I don’t need to go through that process if I do go somewhere else. I’ll be ready straight away to get involved and play.”
West Ham and Newcastle United are two clubs heavily linked with signing the English centre-back, who is rumoured to be available for as little as £15m.