Brendan Rodgers
Despite getting to work straight away, Rodgers still has a busy summer ahead of him. (Reuters)

Following a seventh place finish last season and the retirement of stalwart Jamie Carragher, this summer was always going to a pivotal one as Liverpool continue to try and claw their way back to the top of English football.

The instant success of January signings Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho gave fans every reason to be enthusiastic over what lies ahead. That is, until the club's best player announced his intention to leave Anfield.

As well as continuing the restructuring process at the club, Brendan Rodgers now has the task of either convincing Luis Suarez that he is best placed in the red half of Merseyside, or identifying a suitable replacement with the club's limited resources.

Business so far

Rodgers has wasted little time in addressing concerns at both ends of the pitch. In securing free agent Kolo Toure whose contract at Manchester City expired this summer, the club have taken some of the pressure off the most pressing area of their summer recruitment drive; their thin options at centre half.

Spanish starlet Luis Alberto also appears to be close to joining after impressing for Barcelona B last season, while the club are also seemingly on the brink of securing a deal for Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas. The Spaniard would appear to possess the versatility the manager looks for in his forward options, and could be a Liverpool player by the time you read this having undergone a medical ahead of a £7m move.

What they need

While the Suarez debacle may have considerably rocked the boat, Rodgers must address what he identified as a priority at the beginning of the summer; his defence. The future of Martin Skrtel remains in the balance after he fell grossly out of favour with the northern Irish manager last season, while Uruguayan international Sebastien Coates is another who has failed to impress. Those problems pale in insignficance to the one created by Carragher's departure, whose presence in the backline has so often been the bedrock of any success the club have conjured in the past ten years.

With Agger the club's only established option; Liverpool would do well to bring in another two defensive recruits, in addition to Toure.

Who could join

Sporting Lisbon starlet Tiago Ilori has been heavily linked with a move, with Portuguese reports suggesting Liverpool will offer misfit Oussama Assaidi on a season long loan deal in the other direction to sweeten the deal. Towering Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld has expressed his desire to join the growing Belgian contingent in the Premier League, but Liverpool's hopes of snaring the 24-year-old could be hampered by their chronic lack of European football next season. Swansea captain Ashley Williams is another name to constantly reappear amongst the gossip columns.

The club were consistently linked with Tom Ince in the first half of last season while they have more recently been credited with interest in FC Twente winger Nacer Chadli, both of whom possess the free scoring ability from wide positions Rodgers appreciates.

Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan has also been linked with a £22m move to Merseyside.

Who could leave

Although his future remains in the balance for the time being, it hard to envisage Andy Carroll at the club come September 2. The club will be desperate to hold onto Suarez despite his cries of personal persecution at the hands of the media, and have made their stance on the situation clear by stating under no uncertain terms he forward would not be sold.

Slovakian international Skrtel remains linked with a reunion with Rafa Benitez at Napoli, while uncertainty still surrounds the future of Stewart Downing and Coates.

What the manager has said

"A lot of great learning has taken place throughout the year both on and off the field," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "Now we want to build on the positive impact of the second half of the season.

"It's our job as a club to look to bring in the types of players who will allow us to kick on again. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes in order to reinforce the group.

"In order to breed the consistency needed to give us success, we need to bring in winners - those with the winning mentality.

Rodgers will not receive the funds bestowed upon his predecessors, but the former Swansea manager has shown he can be shrewd in the market. The questions regarding Suarez's future can so easily dominate proceedings however, and deciding whether the club dig their heels in or attempt to bring in a replacement for the enigmatic South American could define their summer.