7 Liverpool Players Who Won't Return Next Season
The fixtures have been released, and the non-World Cup players will be returning to pre-season training in the next fortnight—Premier League football isn't too far away again.
The end of the World Cup will be a time that will see the transfer activity increase around Europe, with players arriving and departing as managers shape their squads ahead of the new season.
Brendan Rodgers has been linked with a plethora of new signings, and the Luis Suarez saga now looks set to dominate the headlines just as it did last summer.
But amid all that, there will be other players leaving Liverpool; some will be expected, some perhaps less expected, as Rodgers seeks to bring in quality who can represent their value on the pitch.
Here are seven players who won't return to Liverpool next season.
Despite Napoli insisting that they won't be making Pepe Reina's loan move a permanent deal, the Spanish stopper will still leave Liverpool this summer.
His high wages appear to be a huge issue, certainly making it impossible for him to play understudy to Simon Mignolet. If that can be resolved somehow, there will be plenty of suitors for the experienced goalkeeper.
He's likely to end up back in La Liga.
Still officially a Liverpool player, Sebastian Coates has been back in Uruguay with Nacional, where he has been regaining fitness ahead of the World Cup after suffering an ACL injury at the start of the 2013/14 season.
The 23-year-old is likely to either extend that loan or head out on loan to another club, or even make a move away from Anfield permanently.
Spanish midfielder Luis Alberto's loan move to Malaga has now been confirmed, meaning the 21-year-old will spend the 2014/15 season with the La Liga side.
First-team experience will hopefully see Alberto improve as a player, either in order to return to Anfield next summer or to gain a permanent move away so that Liverpool can recoup some of the £6.8 million they spent on him last summer.
26-year-old forward Iago Aspas failed to make an impression after his £7 million move from Celta Vigo last summer and looks almost certain to leave Liverpool 12 months later.
With the arrival of Rickie Lambert and possible signings of other attacking players, Aspas would be well down the manager's list of attacking options next season.
A return to La Liga looks most probable.
Having spent the 2013/14 season on loan to Almeria, many expected that Suso would return to Anfield and become a part of Brendan Rodgers' squad.
However, his contract situation appears to be a problem for the player and club, as per Simon Jones' report in The Daily Mail. The player is seeking assurances over playing time before signing a new deal, with his current one expiring in 12 months.
Therefore, it seems likely that Suso will be sold this summer while Liverpool can get a fee for the highly-rated 20-year-old.
Ivorian defender Kolo Toure looks like being another player signed last summer who will leave Liverpool after just 12 months.
The Reds are now in a different position, having qualified for the Champions League, and are expected to sign at least one centre-back this summer. Toure will become surplus to requirements.
He's been linked with Turkish side Trabzonspor, as reported by Turkish-Football.com.
Another player who is surplus to requirements is Lucas Leiva. The long-serving Brazilian is no longer required under Brendan Rodgers.
With Steven Gerrard now operating in the holding-midfield role, Lucas has found life in a more advanced role far from comfortable. The signing of Emre Can, a player who is most effective in the same midfield role, looks like signalling the end for Lucas' career at Anfield.
If the right fee comes in, Lucas will likely to leaving, but if not, he'll be a squad player at best. Pre-season could be a huge test of whether Lucas can salvage his Liverpool career.