Danny Mills says that Liverpool have to keep Divock Origi as part of their squad for next season but that he might only want one more year at Anfield.
The former England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claims that the Belgian international might not be picking up as much game time as he wants under Jurgen Klopp and that his contract status means the Reds have something of a dilemma on their hands.
The 24-year-old is heading into the final 12 months of his current deal at Anfield, having remained firmly on the fringes of the starting XI, with reports stating that Liverpool will keep him rather than cashing in.
Mills backs the club’s decision, insisting they would be losing a quality option were he to go, but hints there could be a behind-the-scenes agreement over letting him leave next summer.
Speaking of the Belgian’s contract status, Mills told Football Insider: “We’ve seen how good he is, he’s still young, he’s improving. Why would you get rid of him, not why are you keeping him?
“A player of that quality, without a doubt you keep him. He will still understand he’s getting some game time, probably not as much as he would like, he’s at a side that’s just won the Champions League – he was integral to that.
“I’m pretty sure he wants to have at least another season where he can enjoy that glory of doing what he did at Liverpool and why shouldn’t he?”
Asked whether he could be looking to run down his contract at Anfield, Mills said: “Yeah, or if not, if Liverpool are sensible, they’ll say here’s another deal but if we get X amount at the end of the season, you can go and you do a deal that way. That then benefits everybody and I don’t think that would be a bad move for either.”
Origi emerged as a surprise hero for Liverpool, managing to feature just 22 times across all competitions, seven of those appearances coming in the starting XI, but scoring eight goals.
Those strikes included late winners against Everton and Newcastle in the Premier League as well as a crucial brace versus Barcelona and the second goal against Tottenham en route to their Champions League victory.
In other Liverpool news, it can be REVEALED that an international star has privately spoken about leaving Anfield this summer.