Liverpool will reportedly allow any of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino or Mohamed Salah to leave in the summer of 2021 if they receive a bid matching their valuation for each forward. The triumvirate have been vital to Liverpool’s success in recent seasons, mustering a combined 220 goals and 105 assists across all competitions since Salah’s Anfield arrival in the summer of 2017.
Such productivity has helped Liverpool to reach back-to-back Champions League finals, losing to Real Madrid in Kiev in 2018 before bouncing back to defeat Tottenham the following year in Madrid.
And the trio have also helped the Reds twice break the club’s Premier League points record, racking up 97 in addition to their Champions League triumph in 2018-19 although they missed out on the title to Manchester City.
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Yet Mane, Firmino and Salah finally led Jurgen Klopp’s charges to the Merseyside outfit’s first top-flight title in 30 years last season as they notched 99 points to finish 18 clear of City.
Despite their star quality, with Salah starting the new Premier League season with an opening-day hat-trick against Leeds United on Saturday, the trio all turn 29 this season and Liverpool will have to draw up a succession plan.
Jadon Sancho and Kylian Mbappe are among those mentioned as potential long-term replacements, particularly for Salah or Mane, who are both under contract on Merseyside until 2023.
And The Times claim that Mbappe, who has regularly spoken of his admiration for the Premier League champions, wants out of Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.
The France international, 21, has established himself as one of the world’s most exciting attackers but would command a massive fee.
PSG want Mbappe to sign a new contract with his current deal set to run out in 2022 but he is reportedly set on departing Ligue 1 at the end of this season.
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If he does not sign a new deal, PSG may not be able to demand a fee quite as substantial as they might in normal circumstances knowing they would risk losing him for free 12 months later down the line.
And that could allow Liverpool to enter the equation for his signature with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City other clubs who might try to sign the World Cup-winning forward.
Mbappe said of Liverpool earlier this year: “This season, Liverpool have been a machine in the Premier League. They have made winning look easy but the truth is that it is never easy.
“Performances like they have been having don’t just happen. To be as ruthless as they have been would come from lots of hard work in training and from having a very good manager.”
Yet given they are so cash-strapped in the current window given their self-sustaining model, Liverpool would surely have to sell players if they wanted to bring in Mbappe.
And The Times say that if a club such as Real Madrid or Barca were to match their valuations of Mane, Firmino or Salah, then they would be allowed to leave Liverpool despite their consistently-devastating form for the club.
It is not stated what the Reds’ asking price for any of the three are, though they would surely want in excess of £150m for either Mane or Salah given their outstanding contributions to Klopp’s side.
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ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens, however, insists that while Liverpool are of interest to Mbappe, it is the player’s “ultimate dream” to play for La Liga champions Real Madrid.
“At some point he will want to leave, for sure,” Laurens said. “Let’s remember, his contract ends in 2022, so that’s quite soon.
“PSG are hoping he’ll extend that deal but he hasn’t yet. I think then if he goes to Real Madrid, it would be his ultimate dream.
“That’s where he’s always wanted to play, that’s where he went as an 11-year-old because they invited him to train with their youth team. He was that good that they wanted to sign him then.
“There’s no doubt at some point he’ll want to go to the Bernabeu and play there. However, there will be other clubs he’ll be keen on.
“Liverpool is a club and a project right now that he’s in awe of, and he’s said that before. That could be something that is very interesting to him.
“I’m sure there will be other clubs in England and Italy, maybe Juventus for example, that would appeal to him.
“But, really, Real Madrid are the ones that he’s dreamed to play for one day, so they’d be the ideal destination for him.”
Liverpool boss Klopp said of Mbappe, who cost £166m when he joined PSG from Monaco, back in November 2019: “Buying this calibre of player is difficult. I don’t see any club at the moment who can buy Kylian Mbappe from PSG.
“I don’t see any club, that is how it is. And we are involved in the clubs that cannot do it. It is as easy as that.
“OK, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him. What a player he is.
“But it is about the money of course. No chance. Absolutely no chance. Sorry for killing that story!”
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