Another consequence of Liverpool losing Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season is that they will definitely miss out on the signing of Kylian Mbappe, a reporter has revealed – but it could have been different had the manager stayed.
Mbappe is due to become a free agent at the end of the season, when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires. He is in line to make one of the most high-profile free transfer of all time.
It seems almost a foregone conclusion now that his destination will be Real Madrid, but links with Liverpool might not have been as far-fetched as they sometimes seemed.
According to Bild expert Christian Falk, Mbappe would have still given serious thought to joining Liverpool if it hadn’t been announced that Klopp would be stepping down as manager at the end of the season.
Mbappe believed he could have improved even more upon his already world-class levels by working under Klopp, but that will not be happening.
“Bitter for Liverpool: Kylian Mbappe is said to have seriously considered a move to Liverpool,” Falk wrote for Caught Offside.
“I heard that working with Jurgen Klopp is said to have appealed to the star from France. His thought: Klopp would have made him an even better player.
“With Klopp’s departure, this argument no longer exists. Liverpool should now definitely be out of the race.”
Even if Mbappe had been open to joining Liverpool, whether or not they could have met his wage demands would be up for question.
He is already one of the highest-paid players in the world and that is likely to remain the case when he signs his next deal.
What will Liverpool attack actually look like next season?
In theory, Liverpool might only have been able to afford Mbappe by letting go of their own world-class forward, Mohamed Salah.
Salah is approaching the final year of his contract at Anfield, which is the most valuable anyone has ever earned in the club’s history.
The Saudi Pro League has been working on bringing in Salah, but – if satisfied with the choice of next manager – he could yet renew his commitment to Liverpool, where he is one of the top five goalscorers of all time.
Klopp’s successor will have to work out Liverpool’s best formula in attack. At the height of the German’s time in charge, the frontline of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane picked itself.
Now, Liverpool have a range of useful options like Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota, but it would be fair to say that none of them have quite nailed down a regular, undroppable role in the way their predecessors did.
Had Mbappe arrived, he would have been an instant starter, but Liverpool can wave those dreams goodbye.
In all likelihood, an exciting new challenge could be awaiting Mbappe in Madrid, where he will get the chance to work under another elite manager after Carlo Ancelotti committed for the long-term with Los Blancos.