Kenny Dalglish is rightly bullish about his chances of attracting top class talent to Anfield this summer.
Liverpool’s pulling power is unlikely to be dented by their absence from the Europa League next season.
In truth the biggest challenge facing Dalglish and director of football Damien Comolli over the coming months isn’t strengthening the squad, it’s getting rid of a huge amount of dead wood.
Owners Fenway Sports Group has made no secret of their horror at discovering Liverpool’s annual wage bill is in excess of £100million.
Unsurprisingly, they want better value for money and with no European football next season the size of the squad needs to be slashed back. The Reds have had a dozen players out on loan this season and few have a part to play in the future.
The only one who will considerably boost the kitty for transfers is Albert Aquilani but Juventus are continuing to stall over a deal for the midfielder.
Names like Philipp Degen, Nabil El Zhar and Emiliano Insua may feel like blasts from a past fans would rather forget but they remain Liverpool’s property.
Injury-plagued right-back Degen has spent the season at Stuttgart, while Moroccan El Zhar has been at PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece. Galatasaray have had the services of left-back Insua but none of the trio have been snapped up on a permanent basis.
Then there’s French defender Chris Mavinga who was signed by Rafa Benitez in 2009 but didn’t make a senior appearance before being farmed out to Racing Genk this season. Mavinga made headlines earlier this month when his reckless high boot shattered the jaw of Standard Liege’s Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez.
Once they’ve been dealt with Dalglish has Roy Hodgson’s mess to sort out as he tries to find homes for keeper Brad Jones and left-back Paul Konchesky. Liverpool will take a hit as they have no chance of getting back the £6million wasted on the pair.
Other decisions will be trickier as the manager weighs up the merits of youngsters who have been out on loan to gain valuable experience.
It’s difficult to see where Stephen Darby fits in following the rise of fellow Academy graduates Martin Kelly and John Flanagan. Dalglish will also have to consider the merits of Daniel Ayala, Nathan Eccleston, David Amoo and Daniel Pacheco.
If dealing with all that wasn’t enough, there are also the fringe players who remained at Anfield for the duration of the season.
If Liverpool is serious about reclaiming their top four status there can be no room for the likes of Milan Jovanovic, Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, Sotirios Kyrgiakos and David Ngog.