Liverpool bosses are reportedly concerned about the form and fitness of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain going into the summer transfer window, when a new midfielder could be signed.
The Reds are looking to refresh their squad at the end of the season following a campaign curtailed by physical and mental struggles that have engulfed the squad.
While Liverpool have been light on numbers due to injuries, the extent of their demise – losing six straight Premier League matches at Anfield – has gone beyond their fitness problems.
But Jurgen Klopp and co. remain confident that Liverpool do not need a complete squad overhaul despite the prospect of entering next season without Champions League football.
Instead, the German coach is aligned with owners Fenway Sports Group in believing only a few signings are needed.
But there could be a raft of sales to help facilitate new signings and the midfield and attack are two of the main areas where there could be casualties.
Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson are among those who could be moved on.
But The Athletic say that there are also ongoing worries at Anfield about both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The latter has made just two Premier League starts this season and the former Arsenal midfielder has managed only 243 minutes of league and Champions League action all season.
It has been a disappointing campaign for the England international, 27, who scored eight times in 43 appearances last season after returning from a long-term knee injury.
Keita, 26, has endured three injury-stricken seasons on Merseyside and has been limited to only 75 appearances.
The Guinean, who cost just shy of £53million, has only made seven starts in the 2020-21 season having been plagued by muscle injuries and an ankle issue.
It remains to be seen whether the duo will continue to feature in Liverpool’s long-term plans or whether they could be moved on this summer.
West Ham have been loosely linked with Oxlade-Chamberlain, who cost up to £40m when he signed from Arsenal in 2017 but has only mustered 99 appearances since, in contrast to the 192 of Mohamed Salah, who joined the same summer.
With Wijnaldum set to leave for free upon the expiry of his contract, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita are perhaps more likely to be kept around unless a huge fee is received for either player.
It is unknown how Liverpool will look to replace the Dutchman, who appears Barcelona bound if he leaves Anfield, but Brighton’s Yves Bissouma has been mentioned as a potential candidate.
Liverpool’s major summer priority is to strengthen at centre-back where they have been worst hit by injuries this season.
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RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate has emerged as the most likely option with the 21-year-old Frenchman available for around £34m due to a release clause.
Ozan Kabak, on loan at Liverpool from Schalke, is a cheaper alternative and the Turk can be signed for £18m in July having already made nine appearances under Klopp.
But reports earlier this week indicated Liverpool were in advanced negotiations with Konate about making him their first major addition of the summer window.
Fabrizio Romano told talkSPORT: “Liverpool are convinced that this player is one of the best centre-backs of the future. Some are saying that he could be better than [Dayot] Upamecano in the future.
“Imagine how much potential this player [has]. So let’s see what happens with injuries, with the medicals and everything if Liverpool go on to sign the player.
“But for sure the potential of the player apart from the injuries is something great it seems.”