Premier League • England

Liverpool in disarray with absolutely vital star ‘rather tempted’ to secure Saudi reunion with Sadio Mane

Liverpool players Darwin Nunez and Alisson Becker

Liverpool players Darwin Nunez and Alisson Becker

Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr want to sign a new goalkeeper and have identified Alisson Becker from Liverpool as an ideal target, according to a report.

Al-Nassr kickstarted a new era of high-profile players moving to Saudi Arabia earlier this year when they picked up Cristiano Ronaldo after his release by Manchester United. Their squad now also includes Sadio Mane after his move to Bayern Munich from Liverpool last year did not go to plan.

Now, according to Foot Mercato, Al-Nassr have set their sights on Alisson. They are ‘very interested’ in adding him as an upgrade to Nawaf Al-Aqidi after their loss to Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson’s Al-Ettifaq on Monday.

In fact, they are said to be ‘convinced’ that they need a new number one – and there are few in circulation better than Alisson, who was one of very few Liverpool players to maintain their individual standards last season.

Despite having a contract at Anfield until 2027, Alisson is supposedly ‘rather tempted by this new challenge’, in the words of the report from Foot Mercato.

The departure of Alisson after the Premier League season has already started would leave Liverpool in a state of disarray. That said, they still have Caoimhin Kelleher as their backup option and Jurgen Klopp trusts him.

But it would be a major blow to lose someone as proven and reliable as Alisson, especially after the likes of Henderson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino have also signed for Saudi Pro League clubs this summer.

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The report from Foot Mercato is fairly brief and does not mention any details of what kind of price Al-Nassr would have to pay to prise Alisson away from Liverpool.

Since joining Liverpool from Roma in 2018 for a fee that was briefly a world record for a goalkeeper, Alisson has made 232 appearances for the club, keeping 103 clean sheets.

An integral part of their success in the Klopp era and one of the missing pieces of the puzzle that enabled them to win various trophies, it would be the end of an era if Alisson left the club.

Could Kelleher or Maignan replace Alisson?

It might just be the opportunity Kelleher has been waiting for, but there would be pressure on the Irish shot-stopper to step up immediately, unless Liverpool were able to sign a high-calibre replacement quickly.

Over the weekend, reports in Italy suggested Liverpool might be interested in AC Milan goalkeeper, Mike Maignan.

The links seemed strange at the time, since there was no news about Alisson leaving, but perhaps it was not a coincidence after all.

Back in 2019, when he was still at Lille, Maignan openly admitted he was a Liverpool fan since childhood and would be open to one day playing for them.

The report from Calciomercatoweb claimed Milan would ask for between €90m and €100m (£77.2m to £85.8m) for Maignan, but the move would be pencilled in for next summer anyway.

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