Liverpool's recent movement in the transfer market has likely been partly sanctioned by the knowledge that Raheem Sterling is set to leave the club this summer, according to ex-Reds manager Roy Evans.
Following a disappointing end to the 2014/15 Premier League campaign that saw his position come under severe scrutiny, Brendan Rodgers has wasted little time in adding five new faces to his squad this summer with the high-profile £29m ($45.6m) signing of Brazilian international Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim coming after Danny Ings, James Milner, Adam Bogdan and Joe Gomez had already agreed to join.
Sterling's future, meanwhile, remains unresolved with no sign of any significant progress being made in a contract saga that was brought into the public domain in April, after the player denied he was a "money-grabber" during an interview with BBC Sport. At the time he confirmed he had rejected an offer that would have seen his weekly wage rise dramatically to around £100,000-per-week.
The 20-year-old's current deal at Anfield is not due to expire until June 2017, but expectations that Liverpool would soon seek to offload their most valuable asset were heightened after the London Evening Standard attributed a series of startling quotes to agent Aidy Ward that made it unmistakably clear that his client does not intend to sign an extension regardless of the financial incentives.
While it is perhaps true to stay that none of the additions made by Rodgers so far can be considered as a direct replacement for Sterling, Evans does not believe his former club would have been quite as proactive in their pursuit of new arrivals unless they were aware that the England international's departure was now almost inevitable.
"If you look at the transfer market, and the way it has been with the amount of players Liverpool have bought, [Raheem Sterling's sale] must be in the equation," he told Talksport.
"I don't think they would be spending the amount of money they have if they didn't think Raheem Sterling was already a done deal to somewhere."
While a number of Europe's most reputable clubs were mentioned in connection with Sterling towards the end of last season, Manchester City have now emerged as his most credible suitors.
Having already seen two initial offers rejected, the Echo reported on 23 June that City were preparing a third bid for his services with Liverpool said to be unwilling to budge on their £50m ($78.7m) valuation.