Taiwo Awoniyi nears Belgium return as striker misses out on Liverpool’s US tour
On the back of a solid 2017-18 season, the striker penned a contract extension with the Reds and will be shipped out for the fourth time, very soon.
Taiwo Awoniyi was not part of Liverpool travelling squad to the United States, with the striker gearing up for a return to Belgium.
The Reds named a 29-man squad for their tour of US as they are set to take part in the International Champions Cup and alongside Danny Ings, the Nigerian striker will miss out on the trip.
Goal had reported that the former U17 international had secured his US visa in time to be ready for a pre-season with the Reds, despite the certainty of spending next season away from the Merseyside.
But in a turn of event, the forward whose successful 2017-18 season at Royal Excel Mouscron earned him a new five-year deal, plus increased wages, was excluded from the squad that travelled to North Carolina on Saturday morning.
Liverpool have made known their desire to have the striker play at the top level in the upcoming season and he is set to end up with one of Anderlecht, Standard Liege or last season’s Belgian top-flight champions Club Brugge, Goal understands.
However, with Liege and Gent kicking off the 2018-19 campaign on Friday [the former and Brugge trade tackles in the season-opening Belgian Super Cup on Sunday], the striker will have to join his new team sooner rather than later.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have the services of new entrant Naby Keita and the returning duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane after their involvement at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia with Egpyt and Senegal respectively.
The African trio are set to play a huge part in the eight-day trip where they touch down at Charlotte [vs. Borussia Dortmund on Sunday], East Rutherford [vs. Manchester City on Wednesday] and Ann Arbor [vs. Manchester United on Saturday] for their ICC schedules in the United States.
Additional reporting from Goal’s Liverpool correspondent Neil Jones