Liverpool will be undergoing a major rebuild in the summer. Regardless of whether they can secure a top four finish in the months ahead or not, it is clear that major investment will be needed in the squad at the end of the campaign.
The midfield will be the main area of concern. The squad management in that particular position has been incredibly poor, with the club having signed only one senior midfielder since the summer of 2018 (Thiago Alcantara in 2020). As a result, the squad has grown stale.
Jude Bellingham will be their main target. Liverpool have identified the Borussia Dortmund man as the ideal building block for their rebuild, with all their focus being put on bringing him in this summer.
While the Merseyside club are often hesitant to drop huge fees on players, it is said that they will not hesitate in sanctioning a fee of up to £120million for the 19-year old in the coming months.
However, they are sure to face plenty of competition for his signature.
Rio Ferdinand gives opinion on Liverpool's Jude Bellingham chase
In the reporting around Jude Bellingham, it has been said that three clubs are currently in the mix for his signature. Liverpool are considered to be favourites, with Manchester City and Real Madrid also hoping to lure him to their clubs in the summer.
Manchester United have not really been considered as a viable option, with it being said that the Englishman would be hesitant to move to Old Trafford due to their spotty recent record when it comes to player development. In saying that, he might reconsider that position as a result of their progress under Erik ten Hag.
If it did come down to a choice between Manchester United and Liverpool this summer, Rio Ferdinand believes players would choose the former.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the ex-England defender said that the likes of Jude Bellingham or Declan Rice would likely opt for a move to Old Trafford over Anfield due to the respective state of the clubs at the moment.
If you put the two teams on a graph, Manchester United are going in one direction and Liverpool have stagnated.
I wouldn’t say Liverpool are in decline, but other teams are catching them up and maybe going beyond them. If I’m a player, say Jude Bellingham or Declan Rice – two of the most in-demand English midfielders that may get moves this summer – and someone says, ‘Manchester United or Liverpool, where are you going?’, forget my Manchester United ties, I have to go with United right now.
The way the team looks, the way the squad is shaping up, the way the managers are navigating their teams’ fortunes and who I see being more successful in the upcoming future – I really would be sitting on the side of United.
Manchester United have certainly improved drastically this season, and while they did win the Carabao Cup last weekend, they still have some way to go to prove that they will be able to compete for the major honours on a consistent basis.
As for Liverpool, they will need to show that they are willing to rival the spending of the other elite teams in the Premier League if they are to build another successful side under Jurgen Klopp.
It will certainly be an interesting summer ahead at both clubs.