With Liverpool’s last two games seeing them limply knocked out of Europe by Real Madrid and taking a major hit to their top four hopes in a loss to then last place Bournemouth, it’s fair to say a lot of Liverpool fans greeted the arrival of the international break with joy.
Two weeks without having to worry about what psychic misery football would heap on them seemed, in the moment, a balm. Only two weeks without club football inevitably means a bump in transfer stories—and given the way the season is going, many of them likely won’t be very much fun.
Along with suggestions that the Reds may no longer be favourites to sign Jude Bellingham, there’s new chatter this week on the Joël Matip front, with The Liverpool Echo referencing reports from unnamed sources claiming a likely £10-15M sale is on the horizon.
It’s all a bit of a transfer telephone game, but in recent months there has been increasing talk that Matip, now 31 years old and with a year to run on his contract beyond the current season, could depart, with speculation the Reds may look to get younger or that Matip himself might be the one looking to leave for playing time.
Either way, increasingly there seems a consensus that Matip will depart at the end of the season, with a return to the continent and the Bundesliga most likely. We can only hope that if—or when—that happens, Liverpool have a new centre half signing lined up.
Looking at last summer’s failures to fill an obvious need in midfield and the mistakes of a few seasons ago when the club entered the campaign with three established senior centre halves only to be hit by a wave of injuries at the position, doubts may well be justified.