Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano clarifies Liverpool links to Real Madrid man with huge exit clause as Klopp promises star more game-time

Real Madrid star Rodrygo and, inset, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Real Madrid star Rodrygo and, inset, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool have been told to forget any chance of signing Real Madrid star Rodrygo this summer amid claims Michael Edwards was considering a move for the Brazilian as a potential heir to Mo Salah at Anfield.

The Egyptian star continues to be linked with a lucrative move away from Anfield this summer with his deal on Merseyside due to expire in June 2025. And while Salah continues to prove Liverpool‘s most influential player, owners FSG will not want to run the risk of losing him as a free agent if he does not commit to a new contract.

As a result, speculation that Salah could move to Saudi Arabia at the end of the season continues to gather pace. They saw a £150m offer for the 31-year-old rejected last summer, but sources have indicated to TEAMtalk that Al-Ittihad remain very much on his trail and now have a confidence they can lure him to the Gulf State at the season’s end and in wake of their reported offer of a deal worth around £1.5m per week.

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The exit of Salah, however, would leave Liverpool with a significant hole in their side to fill. He has scored a remarkable 209 goals in 340 appearances for the Reds and sits third on their all-time top goalscorers list.

Now the man who brought him to Anfield – Edwards – is back in a glitzy new CEO of football role and while his first priority remains finding a successor to Jurgen Klopp at the Liverpool helm, thoughts about whom can replace the Egyptian are also very much in the forefront of his mind.

To that end, Liverpool have been linked with a plethora of high-level replacements for their star man.

Liverpool told to forget any chance of Rodrygo swoop on Real Madrid

Of those, it is perhaps Federico Chiesa and Leroy Sane who have been most commonly linked.

In recent days, though, Real Madrid star Rodrygo has been touted as a possible option, with his position at the Bernabeu potentially coming under some threat amid claims Kylian Mbappe is poised to seal a free-transfer swoop to the Spanish capital.

Those rumours have gathered pace amid a recent revelation from the 23-year-old over a 2017 approach from the Merseysiders.

However, transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano has emphatically shut down those rumours, insisting speculation over the 22-times capped Brazil attacker should be immediately forgotten.

“Rodrygo also spoke about having the opportunity to join Liverpool earlier in his career, but there’s nothing more to say about interest from the Reds now – Rodrygo is obviously well known by everyone these days as he’s a superstar scoring goals,” Romano told Caught Offside.

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“I’m sure probably all the clubs in the world would like to sign him, but there’s zero happening on that front at this stage.

“His full focus on Real Madrid, with a new deal signed a few months ago which includes a €1bn release clause.”

That deal always appeared fanciful at best and he was probably never really deemed a serious target for Liverpool to go after this summer.

Klopp promises €40m star more minutes

Liverpool’s immediate focus is on Thursday night’s Europa League quarter-final first leg against Atalanta at Anfield, with the Reds looking to take an advantage to Bergamo ahead of next week’s second leg.

The Merseysiders are favourites to win the competition and ensure Klopp’s time in charge ends in the best party imaginable in Dublin on Wednesday May 22 – less than six weeks time.

Thankfully for Klopp, his chances of doing so are aided by the easing of some injury issues at Anfield, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota and Alisson Becker soon expected to return to training.

All three could play a part in the run-in, while another man expected to get more minutes is summer signing Ryan Gravenberch.

He has made 33 appearances across all competitions this season since a €40m move from Bayern Munich, but has probably had the least impact of the Reds’ four midfield signings last summer.

However, Klopp admits he likes what he sees in the 21-year-old Dutchman and plans to offer him more minutes in the closing stages of the season.

“Ryan played super important games for us. [But he] got injured in bad moments where he could get some rhythm,” Klopp said.

The Liverpool boss added: “Little injuries here and there. Incredible talent, crazy first touch, movement [and] acceleration, all fantastic. But we have a really good midfield together.

“He will get minutes more and more, 100 per cent. He’s an incredibly talented player and I really think he’s in the right place.”

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