Premier League • England

Liverpool expert confirms Klopp plan for Salah replacement, but two concerns emerge over world-class arrival

Leroy Sane and Kylian Mbappe, Bayern vs PSG

Leroy Sane tackles Kylian Mbappe during Bayern vs PSG

Liverpool are already looking at forwards who can replace Mo Salah on the right flank, though there are two reasons why Bayern star Leroy Sane might not be the right signing, according to Reds journalist Neil Jones.

Although Salah has pledged his future to Liverpool by signing a contract which runs until June 2025, he could still leave at the end of the campaign. Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad are determined to make him the latest big name to swap Europe for the Middle East, following the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Neymar and Sadio Mane.

In the summer, Al Ittihad launched a colossal £150million bid to try and force Liverpool into selling their star attacker. However, this proposal was knocked back as Salah remains an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s team.

But Al Ittihad have money to burn as they are owned by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, and this means they are likely to return with another huge offer in summer 2024.

Al Ittihad’s pursuit of the Egyptian has resulted in growing reports Liverpool will attempt to replace him with a world-class winger next year.

On October 15, it emerged that Bayern’s Sane could return to the Premier League to become Salah’s successor. Manchester City will be keeping tabs on the situation, as they included a 10 per cent sell-on clause when allowing the 27-year-old to move to Bayern in July 2020.

READ MORE: Klopp in dreamland as Man Utd rip up plans to sign top Liverpool target, with Anfield move now beckoning

Sane is not the only Bayern ace Liverpool are interested in, as they are also pursuing his attacking team-mate Jamal Musiala. He is in talks with Bayern over a new contract, but an exit from Bayern could take place as he is frustrated with Thomas Tuchel over his lack of game time. City have joined Liverpool in keeping tabs on the situation.

In an interview with CaughtOffside, Liverpool insider Jones has confirmed that club chiefs will be on the lookout for right wingers who have the ability to replace Salah. But Sane might not be the best option due to his goalscoring record not quite being up to Salah’s standards, while his age could also come into play.

Liverpool fans told to be ‘wary’ of Leroy Sane rumours

“The topic of Mo Salah and Saudi Arabia is not going to go away. We know that,” Jones said. “Liverpool were able to stand firm (and rightly so) in the summer, but the noises will start up again before the January window opens, and with the Egyptian now heading towards the final year of his contract, it will be harder and harder for the Reds to resist big money.

“I would be amazed if Liverpool haven’t already begun earmarking players who can potentially come in if Salah leaves, whether in January, next summer or (less likely) as a free agent in 2025, but it surprises me that Leroy Sane’s name continues to be linked with the club.

“The Germany international is a fine player, no doubt, but he will be 28 in January, and only twice in his career has he hit double figures in terms of league goals in a season. Both of those were at Manchester City, before his progress was checked by a serious knee injury.

“Clearly, finding another Salah is going to be nigh-on impossible, but if we look at Liverpool’s previous transfer dealings, you can see a clear pattern in terms of the type of profile they would look for; 22-25 years old, 150+ top-level games under their belt, versatility in terms of position, experience in European competition and both a proven level of output, but with the room (and the attitude) to develop quickly and significantly under a coach like Klopp.”

Jones continued: “Who that might be, that’s another matter entirely, but someone like Sane would represent a shift away from that policy in my opinion. I’d be wary of those links.”

Sane is clearly a fantastic player, but it seems Liverpool will go after a younger alternative when they have to find Salah’s replacement. Nico Williams, Johan Bakayoko and Michael Olise are some possible options.

Meanwhile, TEAMtalk understands Liverpool and Manchester United have both been impressed by the form of a Real Sociedad star.