Liverpool transfer state of play - Arne Slot to decide on huge exit as Goncalo Inacio stance emerges

Arne SlotLiverpool new head coach Arne Slot
-Credit: (Image: Hans van der Valk/BSR Agency/Getty Images))

The Premier League season may have only finished three weeks ago but that already feels like an eternity at Liverpool.

And that is despite, in some ways, both everything and hardly anything has changed. That latter certainly applies to transfers, the lifeblood of so many supporters during the fallow period when flags and banners are put away in the cupboard and songbooks are awaiting a refresh with the latest intake of players.

The Reds, of course, have overseen a seismic change since Jurgen Klopp waved goodbye to Anfield after the final-day win over Wolves that underlined a third-placed finish and a return to the Champions League.

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Arne Slot has been confirmed as new head coach - not manager, please note - and has since officially began his role, along with sporting director Richard Hughes and Fenway Sports Group's chief executive of football Richard Hughes. The likes of Julian Ward, Pedro Marques and Hans Leitert have also assumed positions at the Liverpool owners that will have an immediate bearing on the club itself.

But with less than a week to go until the transfer window opens for Premier League clubs, there has been little regards definitive player movement for the Reds, perhaps understandable given the concentration on the sweeping changes to the structure and the distraction of both Euro 2024 and the Copa America.

There has been some business, however. Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara have left on a free transfer, while Mateusz Musialowski, Melkamu Frauendorf and Adam Lewis were among the more recognisable names to be released from the Academy.

While Slot ideally wants to assess his new squad in training before any significant transfer decisions are made, that won't stop a number of calls being taken, most notably regarding players likely to leave on loan. That has already been seen with Calvin Ramsay - who has suffered a difficult few seasons since arriving from Aberdeen - agreeing to spend the season on loan at League One side Wigan Athletic.

There will be strong interest in several other players, with Hull City looking at James McConnell having enjoyed success when taking Tyler Morton andFabio Carvalho from Liverpool this season. Both are likely to again be in demand, and any offers of a permanent deal would leave the Reds with a decision to make.

Arguably Liverpool's most successful loanee, Sepp van den Berg, has declared he wants to leave and has claimed he is being priced out of a move to Mainz after an impressive temporary stay with the German side. The Reds value the centre-back at around £20million with Mainz nowhere near that mark at present. Premier League and other Bundesliga clubs are also showing an interest in the Dutchman.

Caoimhin Kelleher could be another departure, although again that would depend on Liverpool's valuation being met - they dismissed a £15m offer from Nottingham Forest in January and believe the player is worth near double that - and the player confirming he wants to be a number one goalkeeper elsewhere having accepted he is behind Alisson Becker in the Anfield pecking order. The uncertainty over the goalkeeping situation explains why Adrian, out of contract this summer, is contemplating the offer of a new deal.

Matip's exit means that, while Jarell Quansah has broken through from the Academy to become a fully-fledged squad member this season, Liverpool are looking for a new centre-back. Virgil van Dijk is in his thirties and Ibrahima Konate has struggled with injuries, whileJoe Gomez has become a utility player. Willian Pacho of Eintracht Frankfurt and 18-year-old Leny Yoro of Lille have both been linked, although the former is rated at more than £50m and the latter is interesting Real Madrid. Goncalo Inacio of Sporting Lisbon is understood to not be high up the shortlist.

Liverpool have spent the last two summers seeking a defensive midfielder and eventually settled last year on Wataru Endo, then 30 years of age. FSG, though, want a return to their regular profile of buying much younger players with the potential to improve, with the Reds again in the market for a number six, despite it not being a priority at present. Recent claims Liverpool were close to agreeing a deal with Atalanta's 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder Ederson have been dismissed, even if the player fits the mould of what the Reds are seeking.

A new wide forward is more likely, given doubts over the long-term futures of Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz. While there has been so suggestion Salah wants to leave this summer, the Egyptian is out of contract at the end of next season with strong interest from Saudi Arabia. Diaz, meanwhile, is being courted by both Paris Saint-Germain - who want a replacement for Kylian Mbappe - and Barcelona, although the Catalans would have to move players on before they can afford to make an offer. That expected wait would not suit Liverpool, who prefer to map out their transfer plans early.

This is the position, then, where a raft of players have been linked with two - Johan Bakayoko of PSV Eindhoven and West Ham United's Mohammed Kudus - offer the greatest intrigue. Leeds United winger Crysencio Summerville is another worthy of note.

Of course, there is also the small matter of seeking to negotiate new contracts for not only Salah but also Trent-Alexander Arnold and Van Dijk, whose present deals all expire in 12 months. International commitments mean such talks will have to wait for the time being.

While the summer transfer window may not ultimately sate the appetite of fans who feast on incoming deals, there will be plenty of business for Liverpool to complete over the coming months.