Marcel Brands’ summer shake-up of those already at Goodison Park has been tipped by the Liverpool Echo to include seven first-team players.
The local paper has suggested Sunday’s trip to North London could be the final games for a number of Marco Silva’s options, as they have either struggled for game time since the Portuguese took charge or have failed to show their worth when given a chance.
Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines were naturally the first two they hinted could be on their way out of the club after we face Tottenham this weekend, as neither defender has yet been offered a new contract and could leave once their current deals end next month.
Jagielka, though, is set to sit down with the boss in the coming days and weeks to discuss potentially staying on next season – a situation now increasingly more important with Chelsea’s transfer ban upheld by FIFA’s appeal committee.
The noise surrounding Baines, on the other hand, has not been as kind over the chances of a prolonged stay on Merseyside, with no indication as of yet that the veteran left-back will be retained to act as Lucas Digne’s understudy again.
If that proves to be true, it would give more substance to the reports in France which have recently linked us with a move for Paris Saint-Germain full-back Layvin Kurzawa in a double swoop including Thomas Meunier said to be worth a combined €50million (£43m).
Much like it carries a bearing on Jagielka’s future, Chelsea’s transfer ban rears its head with Kurt Zouma, as the French centre-back may have to return to South West London in the summer if the Pensioners are opposed to selling the 24-year-old while they cannot sign a replacement for the out-of-contract Gary Cahill.
Andre Gomes may not be sticking around once his loan from Barcelona ends, too, as while we are keen to sign him permanently, and the La Liga champions want to sell, there is a lot of competition for his signature.
In terms of actual sales, meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo believe Cenk Tosun’s time at the club may come to its end when the window opens, as the Turkish international has been resigned to the bench now that Silva has established his preferred system.
James McCarthy is another player currently frozen out of the boss’ plans despite being fit, but the Echo do not believe the holding midfielder will be sold. Instead, they suggest a loan spell away from Goodison looks the most likely outcome right now, so that he can work his way back into international contention.
And finally, they come to Maarten Stekelenburg. Our number two ‘keeper has not featured for a single minute outside of the EFL Cup this term, and there is a feeling he will not get more game time next season with Joao Virginia potentially earning a call-up from the youth ranks to the first-team.
If Silva does move the Premier League 2 winning shot-stopper into his fold, the word is that Stekelenburg may either fall down to third choice or be sold as he has one year left on his contract.