Premier League • England

Arne Slot to build around six Liverpool stars after huge Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah transfer decisions

Liverpool forwards Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah

Liverpool forwards Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah

Liverpool have officially confirmed Arne Slot has succeeded Jurgen Klopp as their manager, and various reports have detailed who the Dutchman will build around after firm updates on the futures of six stars including Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez.

Klopp brought his nine-year stint at Anfield to an emotional close on Sunday. The German will forever be a legend on Merseyside, though the club he guided to Premier League and Champions League titles must reluctantly move on.

45-year-old Arne Slot is the man Liverpool chiefs Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes turned to to fill the void.

The Dutchman lifted both the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup (Dutch FA Cup) with Feyenoord and received the seal of approval from Klopp during his farewell speech on Sunday.

Now, official confirmation of the move has come by way of Liverpool’s website. They stated Slot will begin work in his new career at Anfield on June 1, with the deal subject to a work permit being granted.

Slot has signed a three-year deal with the Reds and has already brought forward his first week of pre-season training by seven days.

The first round of pre-season training sessions is now due to take place in the first week of July. Liverpool stars representing their respective countries at the Copa America and European Championships will link up with their new manager at later dates.

In any case, of more pressing concern to Liverpool fans will be who Slot intends to buy and sell, along with who of the current squad he’ll put his faith in.

Decisions on Salah, Nunez and four more

According to fresh reports, Slot will build his new Liverpool side around six existing stars – three of which are guaranteed starters and the other three of which lost their way in the final weeks of the season.

Liverpool fully intend to retain the services of superstar trio Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

The threesome are all out of contract at the end of the 2024/25 season, though Liverpool have zero intention of cashing in on any of them.

Instead, contract talks with the trio are viewed as a priority. In fact, thrashing out a new deal for Alexander-Arnold in particular has emerged as the No 1 focus and the assist king is primed to break a club record when penning fresh terms.

Liverpool have waved goodbye to plenty of experienced stars over recent times. The likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Fabinho departed last summer, while Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara are leaving as free agents.

As such, the Reds are keen to strike the right balance between youth and experience and accordingly, have no plans to let Van Dijk and Salah leave any time soon.

Elsewhere, Slot has also made it his mission to bring the best out of three younger stars who tumbled down the pecking order down the stretch.

Slot’s Konate, Szoboszlai and Darwin missions

Slot has been tasked by Liverpool chiefs with improving the performances of Ibrahima Konate, Dominik Szoboszlai and Darwin Nunez.

Some within the media – such as Jamie Carragher – have called upon Liverpool to cut Nunez loose following another frustrating season in front of goal.

Nunez lost his place to Cody Gakpo in the final stages of the season. Konate was usurped by Jarell Quansah, while Harvey Elliott was regularly selected ahead of Szoboszlai.

However, all three of Konate, Szoboszlai and Nunez are viewed as key figures in Slot’s Liverpool moving forwards and suggestions any will be axed are wide of the mark.

His ability to rapidly improve players was one of many reasons Liverpool’s decision-makers chose Slot.

The Dutchman will have his hands full at Anfield, though if he can unlock the vast potential in Nunez, Liverpool will have a striker capable of matching Erling Haaland’s numbers.

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