Liverpool FC director of football Damien Comolli has been busy bolstering his team's roster after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the English Premier League at the close of the 2010-11 season. Comolli has already had tremendous success in the transfer market thus far this summer, following up his acquisition of 21-year-old midfielder Jordan Henderson from Sunderland with the snagging of 25-year-old Charlie Adam, another star midfielder, from Blackpool to be the new face of the Reds.
The Reds are also looking to add Aston Villa left winger Stewart Downing before the summer transfer window closes, though the Villains have already twice rebuffed offers to bring the 26-year-old to Anfield.
Meanwhile, as Liverpool's roster continues to grow, there will come a point at which manager Kenny Dalglish will have too many players on his roster with which to work and Comolli will need an influx of cash to bring more fresh blood on board, requiring that the club sell off some of its current players.
And there is certainly no shortage of candidates ripe to be dumped this summer. The Reds have taken on a number of players over the years who currently stick out as surplus waste left behind by managerial regimes come and gone, and with Dalglish back on board, now appears to be as good a time as any to clean house.
According to ESPN, that list includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Joe Cole, Alberto Aquilani, Milan Jovanovic, Danny Wilson, Emiliano Insua, Brad Jones, Chris Mavinga, David Ngog, Philipp Degen and Christian Poulsen.
At 29, Cole has fallen out of favor in Anfield and, as reported by Goal.com, may join his old club West Ham United on loan after scoring only two goals in 20 appearances during his first season with Liverpool. A move back to Upton Park may be a bit complicated, though, as the Hammers will likely require some subsidization of Cole's rather exorbitant £100,000-a-week wages.
Loaning Cole out at this point would help the Reds to sever ties with the failed and short-lived Roy Hodgson era, as Hodgson, who left Anfield before finishing a full season with Liverpool, was responsible for Cole's much-heralded signing.
Then again, at least Liverpool brought Cole in as a free transfer. The Reds had to sacrifice £17 million in transfer fees to acquire Alberto Aquilani from Roma back in August of 2009 and have gleaned from him only 18 appearances in Premiership matches since.
To be fair, the Reds loaned the Italian midfielder out to Juventus last season, though that does little to massage the fact that Aquilani first arrived in Anfield with a reputation for sustaining injuries and has since made clear his preference to remain in his home country.
Milan Jovanovic sticks out as another former star who arrived in Liverpool just in time for the twilight of his career to set on, though fans can blame Rafa Benitez rather than Hodgson for this particular mistake. The Reds have already informed the Serbian winger, who appeared in a whopping 10 Premiership matches last season, that he can seek a free transfer, with the club prepared to pay off his £60,000-a-week wages after just one year at Anfield.
FC Brugge and Anderlecht appear to be the front-runners for Jovanovic's services, though the Reds won't likely care which Belgian side he ends up with, so long as he never suits up for them again.
All told, there is no shortage of fat yet to be trimmed from Liverpool's roster of failed signings and aging has-beens and it won't likely all be gone by the start of the 2011-12 EPL season next month.
However, with plenty of diligence and determination, along with some serious time spent in negotiations, Comolli may sooner than expected have plenty more cash to throw at younger and better talent in support of Dalglish's efforts to lift Liverpool back to the top of the table in English football.