Jurgen Klopp has teased the possibility of one Liverpool player being given a new contract over the next six months, although he was keen to stress that the final decision would be out of his hands.
As it stands, the Reds have three senior players whose deals will expire next June – Adrian, Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip (Transfermarkt).
The latter has seen his season ended prematurely by an anterior cruciate ligament injury this week, prompting fears that he may have already played the last of his 201 games for the club, but LFC mightn’t yet be ready to send him on his way elsewhere in 2024.
During his press conference on Friday, Klopp was asked if there was any chance of Liverpool handing a contract extension to the centre-back in the wake of his major setback in recent days, with the manager replying (via Liverpool Echo): “I would say so but it’s not my decision.”
The Liverpool hierarchy were either pragmatic or ruthless (depending on your point of view) in allowing four players to depart at the end of their contracts last summer, with Bobby Firmino, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all moving on.
It remains to be seen if they’ll take a similar stance with the trio who are due to become free agents in six months’ time, but Matip may stand the best chance of those three to be given new terms despite his ACL agony.
Adrian is now only third in the goalkeeping pecking order, while the £200,000-per-week Thiago hasn’t played in nearly eight months, so it’d be no great surprise if either of those were to depart at the end of this season.
By contrast, Matip had been a regular starter during the current campaign until his fateful injury blow, and his weekly wage is only half that of the Spanish midfielder (Capology).
Earlier today, Klopp appeared to downplay the likelihood of Liverpool signing a centre-back in January, which might suggest that he’d be happy to give the Cameroon international time to recover so that his time at Anfield isn’t brought to a shuddering halt.
The picture could obviously change between now and the end of the 32-year-old’s current deal, but it seems clear that the manager is leaning towards advocating for the defender to be kept on for another season at least.