With Divock Origi set to leave Liverpool after eight years this summer, speculation continues over a high-profile free transfer to Italian giants AC Milan.
Having joined the Reds from Lille in 2014, Origi has indelibly written his name in Anfield folklore – even though his record of 40 goals in 171 games falls short on paper.
The Belgian has scored an array of vital, iconic goals, and been a pivotal figure in the club’s trophy-laden revival under Jurgen Klopp.
But with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, it seems almost certain that this campaign will be Origi’s last on Merseyside – despite there being an extension clause in his deal.
Still only 26 and an accomplished Premier League and Champions League winner, Origi could be one of the most coveted players on the free agent market.
It seems, though, that clubs are already pushing to land the No. 27 on a pre-contract deal, with Milan the most likely to land his signature at this stage.
Transfer merchant Fabrizio Romano has reproduced ongoing claims from the Italian press that Origi is “more than tempted” by the Serie A club’s offer with “talks in progress.”
Milan are looking to “complete the verbal agreement as soon as possible” ahead of a formal transfer at the end of the season.
Klopp will be eager for all of his players to retain their focus between now and the final game of 2021/22, but he is powerless to stop Origi from discussing a potential move away.
Furthermore, the manager is unlikely to stand in his way, having acknowledged that his situation at Liverpool – as arguably seventh-choice attacker – is not feasible for the long term.
Origi was an unused substitute as the Reds won 1-0 at Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening, with Harvey Elliott starting ahead of him in attack and both Luis Diaz and Takumi Minamino coming off the bench.
He has, however, scored five and assisted three in 14 appearances so far this season, averaging a direct goal contribution every 66.6 minutes.
One of those goals and an assist came over two meetings with Milan in the Champions League group stage, which may well have sparked interest from the San Siro.