World Cup exits who Liverpool could sign

The World Cup has shifted the goalposts for Liverpool’s recruitment this summer.

Their desire to get Nabil Fekir through the door came swiftly after a £39.3million deal to snare Fabinho from Monaco was concluded with minimal fuss.

Liverpool were keen to wrap up the Fekir deal up before the World Cup before its collapse, and the Reds have been holding off continuing their transfer pursuits since it began two weeks ago.

However, with the group stages now done and dusted, Liverpool could perhaps look to take advantage.

Here are five players who the Reds could move for whose participation in Russia is over.

Julian Draxler (Germany)

The most high-profile exit of the group stage so far is undoubtedly world champions Germany, who tumbled out with a whimper on Wednesday.

The squad is littered with top quality – despite their disastrous showing in Russia – but one player who could attract Liverpool’s attention is forward Julian Draxler.

The technically gifted Paris Saint-Germain star is certainly up against competition at Parc des Princes, with the likes of Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria all vying for a starting berth.

Draxler would be a superb addition to Liverpool’s attacking arsenal and could be moulded into a more central attacker under Jurgen Klopp.

Mat Ryan (Australia)

Liverpool were likely to move for a new goalkeeper even before Loris Karius’ horrific double howler in the Champions League final but that sorry display to reinforced their need.

Understudy Simon Mignolet appears to be on his way from Anfield and despite some improved displays, his German rival has ultimately fallen short.

Short could be the key word for Ryan though because at just over six feet tall, he’s relatively small for a modern top flight keeper which may ultimately put suitors off.

Nevertheless at 26 he’s at a decent age and has already experienced a season of Premier League football, helping Brighton & Hove Albion to upset the odds and retain their top flight status.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia)

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic battles for possession with David Guzman during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia at Samara Arena on June 17, 2018 in Samara, Russia.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is a name who has been regularly linked with Manchester United over the past few month. Lazio’s all-action midfielder was sent packing from Russia after Serbia lost 2-0 to Brazil on Wednesday.

Milinkovic-Savic could be happy with his efforts in Russia however. He was comfortably his nation’s best player in their 1-0 win over Costa Rica and was unfortunate to be on the losing side in their 2-1 defeat to Switzerland.

The 23-year-old is adept at finding space in midfield, picking passes and creating chances and would be another strong addition to Klopp’s midfield. However, perhaps Klopp is well-stocked in that area at present?

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)

The Dutch League’s Player of the Year, Ziyech is a considerable talent who has already been linked with a potential move to Liverpool.

Despite his silky skills – he’s been the Eredivisie’s top assist provider for three of the last four seasons (2014/15; 2016/17 & 2017/18), he continues to divide opinion though with question marks about his consistency.

Now 25 years old, he seems poised to leave Ajax with Roma also mentioned among interested parties and he can operate in any of the three attacking midfield roles, either as a winger or centrally as a number 10.

Julian Brandt (Germany)

Julian Brandt was a target for the Reds in January 2017 before they cooled their interest and signed a certain Mohamed Salah six months later. Another victim of Germany’s chaotic campaign in Russia, but Brandt still did well when called upon.

The Bayer Leverkusen attacker was unfortunate not to score off the bench against Sweden when he rattled the post with a sweetly-struck half-volley and was again close in the dying stages of their 2-0 defeat to South Korea.

Brandt was the inclusion that surprisingly kept Manchester City’s Leroy Sane out of the German squad. A World Cup exit now frees up Liverpool to potentially re-ignite their interest as they continue to search for another versatile forward player.