If national media reports are to be believed, Manchester City won’t be the only north-west-based Premier League club planning wholesale changes this summer.
Liverpool are also envisaging a raft of comings and goings during pre-season, with ten players’ heads allegedly on the chopping block after a disappointing campaign.
A few names on the lengthy list of prospective P45 recipients are predictable, with the club willing to listen to offers (of which they are sure to be phone-line jamming inundation) for train-wreck striker Mario Balotelli, while chastised defensive duo Glen Johnson and Kolo Toure are out of contract.
One of those said to be on the shortlist, however, is one of the Reds’ most reliable assets in centre-back Martin Skrtel.
Wolfsburg are known admirers of the imposing Slovakian and their affection is understandable.
The one-man attack-repelling machine averages a phenomenal 10.1 clearances per Premier League match this season, while his pass completion rate stands at a near-flawless 90.5%.
As far as consistency goes, Liverpool have nobody in the ranks who can rival the 30-year-old and Brendan Rodgers has a dreadful record of recruiting finished-article footballers, so sourcing a sufficiently capable replacement looks unlikely.
Yet none of these factors, which would surely be regarded as major causes for concern for the majority of rational beings, appear to have perturbed the Ulsterman as he continues on his relentless quest to sound out the Reds’ best defenders before selling them.
First came Jamie Carragher; a club stalwart who is widely recognised as one of the most dependable centre-halves of the Premier League era.
Rodgers expunged him from the first-team picture when taking over at Anfield in 2012/13, using him almost exclusively in cup matches up until the end of January.
Upon accepting that keeping the team’s best rearguard marshal on the fringes for no obvious reason was madness, the Sky Sports know-all was reinstated, starting all bar one of their final 16 matches of the season, only two of which they lost.
Despite this return to form, however, Carragher’s exiling had already convinced him to retire from professional football.
The man who kept him out of the side that season was Daniel Agger, a centre-back rightfully lauded for his elegance and proficiency in possession.
Seemingly the ideal player for Rodgers’ system, it came as something of a surprise when the Dane was shipped off to Brondby last summer.
This was despite the fact the Reds lost just three of the 15 games he started in 2013/14, winning nine of the final ten he held the fort for as they came desperately close to winning the title.
Now, surrounded by converted midfielders, inconsistent performers and Dejan Lovren, Skrtel acts as the industrial-strength glue holding Liverpool’s ragtag defence and waning Champions League qualification aspirations (which they’re 6/1 to realise) together, so it stands to reason Rodgers wants rid.