After enjoying one of their busiest summers of spending in recent years, Liverpool are expected to sanction an exodus of players before next week's transfer deadline.
A host of Anfield figures are said to be at risk of departure, according to the Daily Mail's Simon Jones, and it's been suggested that Daniel Agger, Fabio Borini, Lucas Leiva, Jordon Ibe and Joe Allen could all leave:
Daniel Agger, Jack Robinson and Jordon Ibe expected to leave Liverpool in the next week http://t.co/I5M6vUMf5O— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 27, 2014
Ibe featured prominently for Brendan Rodgers' side in pre-season, but a loan move to Derby County has been mooted, giving the youngster a chance to build on his temporary spell with Birmingham City last season.
Fellow Reds starlet Jack Robinson has also been linked with an exit, but the defender's move will be a permanent one, according to Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke, with QPR mentioned as the most likely suitors:
Agger was a peripheral figure on Merseyside last season, starting just 16 Premier League games in total, per Squawka, leading to speculation that his time with the club was nearing its end.
The arrival of Dejan Lovren would appear to have only weakened his chances of first-team football, and Agger spoke to Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten (h/t The Guardian's Andy Hunter), voicing his concerns:
The future is complicated. There are a few things that has to be sorted and we have to take it from there. I actually don’t know what will happen. It is a bit up to Liverpool.
I have had niggling injuries at the wrong times and I have to say that it is difficult to change the team when it is winning. I am not frustrated by that. I am frustrated the way it happened and the way it was handled.
Along with Lovren, Agger already had Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure providing competition for places, and it seems the battle has worn Rodgers' defensive staple down to the point of accepting his fate.
That being said, for Agger to leave, the club would still require interest in his services, and the Daily Mirror's David Anderson says no offers have yet been made:
Liverpool say they have not received any offers for Agger, despite ongoing uncertainty over his future.— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) August 26, 2014
After pleasing on loan at the Stadium of Light last season, Borini is once again on Sunderland's radar with a second temporary deal in mind.
However, the Northern Echo's Scott Wilson says that Milan are entering the race in the hopes that they can bring the former Roma starlet back to Serie A, having this week sold Mario Balotelli to the Reds:
With Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana added to the wealth of wide options at Anfield, Borini's chances of success at Liverpool look scarce.
The same could be said of Lucas, dwindling in involvement alongside the likes of Allen, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and now Emre Can.
Which deal makes more sense for Liverpool?
Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has long been linked to a reunion with his former Anfield charge, and Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football Italia) says a deal is now in place for the player to leave for Naples.
The report states the injury-prone midfielder will head to San Paolo on a season-long loan for €1.8 million, with the option for Napoli to purchase his services for €10 million next summer.
If sold for that sum, Liverpool will have made a profit on the player they signed for £15 million two years ago. While a strange and seemingly unrealistic rumour, the Manchester Evening News' David Lynch hints that Allen does hold some value for the Red Devils:
It's a nonsense rumour, but don't think United fans should scoff at Joe Allen. Does all the things their midfield currently doesn't.— David Lynch (@DavidLynchMEN) August 27, 2014
It's well founded that central midfield is an area in which Louis van Gaal hopes to strengthen. That being said, Liverpool may not be open to the idea of selling a valued squad member so close to the deadline, especially to a direct rival and one of their closest enemies to boot.
The Reds' summer has been all about those players coming to Anfield, for the most part, but it's possible that in these final days, heads turn to which players are exiting the club, on temporary terms or otherwise.