Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has admitted that club legend Mohamed Salah could depart Anfield next summer, with the Saudi Pro League determined to recruit the Egyptian forward.
Liverpool have come under siege from the Middle Eastern nation, which has been relentless in their quest to gobble up top European stars, and Salah’s name emerged on their radar in the latter stages of the transfer window.
Although Liverpool have unequivocally declared that their headline performer is not for sale, the Saudis are reluctant to take no for an answer and continue to explore the possibility of a deal before their transfer window closes.
Liverpool have already rejected a £150 million proposal from Al Ittihad, but reports have it the Jeddah-based club are willing to raise their offer to an eye-watering £200m to get a potential deal over the line.
The Merseysiders are extremely unlikely to sanction Salah’s exit for whatever price, with the player’s camp also confirming he has no desire to leave the club this summer.
However, with Salah turning 32 next year, Carragher believes there is a growing feeling among fans that Liverpool may be more receptive to offers for the former Roma forward starting from next summer.
Liverpool may need to formulate a plan to replace Salah next year. With that in mind, we have identified a couple of players who could step in as his successors if he decides to cut ties with the Reds.
Since departing Manchester City three years ago, Leroy Sane’s career at Bayern Munich has been a mixed bag.
Nevertheless, the German international has unquestionably evolved into a more mature winger during his time at the Allianz Arena.
While Sane has faced the odd struggle for consistency, he has achieved double-digit figures for goals and assists in each of the last two seasons with the perennial Bundesliga champions.
This season, he looks to be heading in a similar trajectory under Thomas Tuchel’s leadership, having picked up three goals in the opening three games of the campaign.
The 27-year-old enters the final year of his contract with the Bavarians next summer, and could potentially be a sensational replacement for Salah.
However, persuading Bayern to sanction his exit might prove to be a challenging task.
Aston Villa’s decision to smash their transfer record to secure the services of Moussa Diaby during the summer was a clear statement of intent.
Three games into the 2023/24 Premier League campaign, the Frenchman’s £43m price tag is turning out to be a bargain for the Villans.
Diaby has been nothing short of electric for the Birmingham-based club thus far, with two goals and one assist in his first four Premier League appearances.
The former Bayer Leverkusen man has already created three big chances for the Villans and is also averaging an impressive average of 2.3 shots per match, with 1.3 finding the target, as well as 1.8 key passes per 90 minutes.
Should he continue delivering impressive performances, it would come as no surprise if he catches Liverpool’s attention as a possible Salah replacement.
However, it is safe to assume that Villa will be extremely reluctant to part ways with Diaby after just 12 months, even if he is open to the possibility of a move.
One of Real Madrid’s unsung heroes over the years, Rodrygo could be another potential target for Liverpool should Salah cut ties with the Anfield outfit next summer.
Despite breaking into the limelight as a left winger, the Brazilian has been forced to settle for a role on the right flank due to the presence of his compatriot, Vinicius Junior.
However, his versatility extends to being able to function as a centre-forward when required, and he consistently delivers top-notch performances in a Los Blancos shirt.
Rodrygo registered 19 goals and 11 assists in 57 appearances across all competitions last term and has already opened his goalscoring account for the 2023/24 season.
Needless to say, the record European champions will be in no mood to entertain offers for their Brazilian jewel, but that hinges on the terms Liverpool bring to the negotiating table.
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