Five players who could leave Liverpool in the summer transfer window - including Balotelli and Lucas

We examine five players who could head towards the Anfield exit door this summer.

It has been a poor season for Liverpool. No trophies, no Champions League qualification and 22 fewer points than the 2013/14 campaign which saw them unexpectedly challenge for the Premier League title. 

There are a couple of obvious players among the five named below that could be joining the likes of Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Brad Jones - who are all due to leave on a free transfers - in exiting Anfield. There are also Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini to take into consideration, with many expecting the Reds to completely overhaul their strike force.

A lot of this will depend on whether Brendan Rodgers keeps his job as Liverpool manager, but as it stands, here are five players who may find themselves leaving Merseyside before the start of next season.

1. Mario Balotelli

The £16 million signing from AC Milan (per the BBC) was always going to be a gamble, but it's certainly one that hasn't paid off, with the Italian only contributing a total of four goals in all competitions this season to Liverpool's cause. There has been a lot said about his attitude, and with the absence of Daniel Sturridge through injury, Balotelli didn't earn the right in Brendan Rodgers' eyes to lead the line. You could argue that he wasn't managed properly by the Liverpool boss this season, but the fact he picked a winger ahead of him to play as a central striker speaks volumes. 

2. Raheem Sterling

This one is obvious as the 20-year-old seemingly won't be signing a new contract, with two years remaining on his current deal. Though Rodgers has said he is not for sale, as reported by Sky Sports, it is hard to see him staying beyond this summer if a big-money offer comes in. Given the way the saga has been handled so far, not many Liverpool fans will be shedding many tears, regardless of how talented he is. 

3. Lucas Leiva

This is a bit of an odd one. Lucas was touted as a potential departure last summer and when he has had a good run in the side this season he has been impressive, but he doesn't press naturally. Also, with persistent reports suggesting James Milner could be arriving from Manchester City, per the Daily Star, and Emre Can potentially moving into his preferred midfield role next season, will the manager find room for the Brazilian? If he does go, some fans will not be happy with the decision.

4. Javier Manquillo

Highly rated when he arrived from Atletico Madrid on a two-year loan at the start of the season, the right-back hasn't been seen since he made a substitute appearance in the Europa League clash with Besiktas. Prior to that we last saw him start a game in the FA Cup against lower league opposition in January. Emre Can, a midfielder, has been selected ahead of him, as has the outgoing Glen Johnson. 

5. Jose Enrique

After an injury nightmare last season for the Spaniard, he didn't make much of an impact when returning this season. There have been times when he has deputised for Alberto Moreno but others when wingers have picked ahead of him, while there is still also the issue of the odd niggling injury being picked up. It seems the right time for the former Newcastle United defender to depart Merseyside. 

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