For Liverpool, the focus doesn’t go beyond wrapping up their first league title since 1990.
Behind the scenes, the different parts of the Reds’ well-oiled recruitment machine will be whirring away. Once the title is secured, attention will switch to its defence. Maybe even going one better.
Michael Edwards and co. have got very little wrong in recent years. If they can repeat that success when this summer’s transfer window gets underway, Jürgen Klopp’s side will be odds-on favourites for further glory.
Liverpool’s squad is so well-constructed and tight-knit there’s little room for pruning.
However, Adam Lallana is expected to leave when his contract expires this summer. The 31-year-old has struggled to find a way back in after injury and West Ham United, Leicester City and Arsenal have been linked with the England international.
Nathaniel Clyne is another who will become a free agent. The full-back has been beset by injury in the past couple of seasons and lost his spot to Trent Alexander-Arnold. Still only 29, Clyne made his last Premier League outing for the Reds in December 2018 but hasn’t kicked a ball this season.
Xherdan Shaqiri remains contracted to Liverpool until 2023 but the 28-year-old has featured sparingly. The Swiss has hinted at his desire to leave Anfield in search of first-team football. Roma were interested in January, while Sevilla, Galatasaray and Newcastle are all keen now.
Finally, third-choice keeper Andy Lonergan should exit, having provided cover when Alisson was sidelined earlier in the season.
Key areas to strengthen
Liverpool will win the Premier League at a canter – at some point – so it’s hard to pick too many holes in Klopp’s squad. But if the Reds are to usher in a new era they must capitalise while at their strongest.
Andy Robertson has been a revelation since signing from Hull City in 2017. But the Flying Scotsman needs an able deputy to spare James Milner from left-back duties.
There’ll be an opening on the right-hand side of the backline too if, as expected, Clyne leaves. Again, Alexander-Arnold is unlikely to be displaced but some cover for the England international would allow Klopp greater opportunity to rotate.
Youngster Hoever could fill that role, though if he is expected to be the understudy to Alexander-Arnold, some more central defensive cover could be on the agenda – if Lovren leaves. The Croatian stopper has made just nine Premier League starts this term.
Further forward, January signing Takumi Minamino has been limited in his involvement. Another versatile attacking player is likely to be sought – especially if Divock Origi grows tired of his super-sub role.
Liverpool already have one of the best forward lines in the world – but Klopp is clearly keen to add to it. The Reds have been persistently linked with two forwards in particular – RB Leipzig‘s Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund.
Werner has flirted with Liverpool plenty already. “Liverpool is the best team in the world at the moment and when you’re linked with this team, it makes me very proud,” he told Viasport.
According to BT Sport’s German football expert Raphael Honigstein, Klopp and Werner have held a virtual meeting.
The versatile hitman, who can play wide or centrally, has a £52million release clause. Unlike in Spain, RB wouldn’t be obligated to accept an offer of that value. But they allowed Werner to insert the clause when he extended his deal in August 2019.
The clause is valid until June 15 but, owing to coronavirus, it could expire before an offer is received. That would drive Werner’s price up. It remains to be seen what impact extending the season will have on release clauses.
Another Bundesliga star firmly in Liverpool’s thinking is Kai Havertz. The Bayer Leverkusen captain has been in sensational form this season – particularly since the turn of the year. A creative midfielder who can pick holes and score goals, the 20-year-old has eight goals and four assists in 2020.