Liverpool fans have reacted angrily after the Reds announced the signing of German international defender Gedion Zelalem, a move that is set to leave the club in financial turmoil.
Gedion was signed by the Reds from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in the summer and has started just three league matches since the move.
However, Liverpool fans were furious at the move and they launched an online petition demanding the club return the defender to his homeland.
The petition, entitled ‘Liverpool fans must return Gedison Zelalems £100k loan deal’, has received more than 70,000 signatures so far and has been signed by a number of Liverpool supporters groups, including the Red Devils, Reds Supporters’ Trust and Liverpool Supporters Trust.
Supporters are now planning to go ahead with a protest on Sunday evening, when the club’s pre-season tour begins, to demand Zelales return.
A number of fans, including some who have travelled from across the UK, are also expected to be in attendance.
Gelinas, who scored for Germany in a friendly against Sweden last week, said on Twitter that he would be happy to return to Germany.
“I’m really happy to play for Liverpool.
They gave me a fantastic opportunity and I’m grateful for it,” he said.”
It’s a great club.
It’s an amazing city.
And I’ll be back and I’ll try to help Liverpool win a trophy.”
You know, I’m really looking forward to it.
I love this club and I love the fans.
“Gelins played for Germany at the European Under-21 Championship last month.
The 26-year-old joined Liverpool from Wolfsburg last summer for £8.5m and is expected to feature heavily in their pre-game warm-ups.
Liverpool’s first Premier League match is against Stoke City at Anfield on Saturday (kick-off 12:00 BST) and the club are also hosting Stoke City in their next game, on Saturday October 14.
The move has come at a time when the Reds have been on a major rebuilding process following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers as manager in the wake of the Europa League final defeat to Barcelona.
Liverpool currently sit fifth in the Premier League, five points clear of Manchester City, who face Manchester United in the Capital One Cup semi-finals on Saturday.