Premier League • England

End of an era at Liverpool, as Van Dijk drops exit bombshell and Salah, Alexander-Arnold fears grow

Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Virgil van Dijk has refused to commit his future to Liverpool, though isn't the only high profile star who could follow Jurgen Klopp out

Virgil van Dijk has talked up following Jurgen Klopp out of Liverpool in a stunning interview, while fears the exodus could include Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah are growing.

Klopp broke the news he’ll walk away from Liverpool at the end of the current campaign on Friday. Xabi Alonso is the current frontrunner to replace the legendary German and according to Spanish football expert, Guillem Balague, Bayer Leverkusen will not stand in Alonso’s way.

However, whether the appointment of Alonso would be enough to prevent a crippling player exodus is a question Liverpool fans will want answering.

The Reds currently boast a team capable of challenging for the game’s top honours. However, three of their very best – Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Salah – have less than 18 months remaining on their respective contracts (all expire in 2025).

HITC recently reported Liverpool have opened talks with Alexander-Arnold over a new and improved deal. The homegrown superstar would be placed among Liverpool’s top earners if penning fresh terms.

However, one ex-Reds star has tipped Alexander-Arnold to seek a fresh challenge away from a post-Klopp Liverpool. Furthermore, talkSPORT also speculated Liverpool’s creative force could call time on his Anfield career.

Now, alarming comments made by Virgil van Dijk have only served to heighten fears of an exodus.

In quotes carried by the Guardian, Liverpool’s No 1 centre-half refused to commit his long-term future to the Reds in the wake of Klopp’s announcement.

Van Dijk rings exit alarm bells

Asked whether he sees himself being a part of the new era, Van Dijk replied: “That’s a big question. Well, I don’t know.”

When it was put to Van Dijk that a decision will need to be made soon amid entering the final 18 months of his contract, Van Dijk did little to settle Liverpool fans’ nerves.

“That is correct – good maths,” added Van Dijk. “Listen, I don’t know. The club will have a big job on their hands, that is well known.

“To replace the manager and replace not only the manager, the staff is leaving, and there are so many things that will change.

“So the club has a big job on its hands and I am very curious which direction that will go in. But when that will be announced we will see our situation, I can’t say now.”

Van Dijk’s comments appeared to suggest a decision on whether to sign a new deal at Anfield may hinge on who succeeds Klopp in the dugout.

When going on to stress Klopp’s exit shouldn’t divert the focus from Liverpool’s aims this season, the veteran defender further alluded to his future being linked to who replaces Klopp.

New manager key to Van Dijk decision

“Obviously it will be the end of Jurgen Klopp’s era. I am very glad that I am still part of it,” Van Dijk said.

“That is why I don’t like to speak about it. I am still part of it. That is my main focus now and we will see at the end of the season hopefully we have the success that we all dream of and fight for each and every day.

“By then there will probably be more clarification about what the club wants for the future and then we will see.”

Aside from Alexander-Arnold and Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah’s future will also come to a head in the off-season.

Liverpool rejected a verbal offer worth £150m from Al-Ittihad last summer. Further Saudi bids are on the horizon next summer and with Klopp leaving, the Egyptian may decide the time is right to move to the middle east.

The growing expectation had been Salah would stay with Liverpool and potentially even sign a new contract. That was the view put forward by David Ornstein as well as Ben Jacobs.

But with Klopp leaving, all bets on the futures of Liverpool’s biggest names are now off.

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