Liverpool could soon be looking to replace England international Raheem Sterling in their squad, and may have the chance to do it for free.
According to the BBC, Liverpool have formally rejected a second bid from Manchester City for Sterling, however, it’s unlikely to be the end of the club’s interest in the player.
Should Sterling leave Anfield for a new club this summer, then it looks likely that the Reds will be compensated handsomely for his services and could look to shell out big on a replacement.
Nevertheless, we take a look at how Liverpool could look to replace Sterling for nothing by signing Yevhen Konoplyanka and three big reasons why they should make that the case.
The main attraction with Konoplyanka is that he is a free agent and would expect a realistic wage within Liverpool’s budget.
The 25-year-old has scored 45 goals and contributed 37 assists in 210 appearances for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk over the course of his career and has always been labelled a key player at international level for Ukraine.
He is a proven, quality player and on a free, there will be few better deals done this summer.
Allows Sheyi Ojo and Jordon Ibe more room to grow:
If Liverpool do look to spend big on another winger, then it could hinder the potential of integrating Ojo and Ibe into more senior roles at the club.
Although both would be a big gamble for a senior role next season, the exposure to a first-team environment could see them improve exponentially and become key players in the not too distant future.
Konoplyanka would still act as a more senior member of the team, but without the big price tag around his neck and high expectation, Rodgers could be excused for rotating him with the youngsters in order to help their development.
Allows money to be spent in more troubled areas:
If Sterling goes, although Liverpool will still need improvement in the wide areas, they have more pressing issues to address.
For example, up front they still haven’t replaced Luis Suarez properly and the money from Sterling could go a long way to landing a high-profile striker with a proven track record of putting the ball in the back of the net.