Despite Jurgen Klopp insisting that Mo Salah is not for sale, Liverpool have reportedly identified two Barcelona stars as potential replacements for him.
Saudi club Al Ittihad are pushing hard to sign the 31-year-old this summer and are willing to put a huge bid on the table to tempt the Reds into letting him go.
As reported by TEAMtalk, Salah is now ‘likely’ to leave Liverpool, with Al Ittihad set to offer £129m (including add-ons), with a guaranteed payment of £89m.
It would be a huge loss if Liverpool do sell Salah so close to the end of the transfer window. Al Ittihad have three weeks to negotiate the deal, too, with the Saudi transfer window closing on September 20.
The winger is the Reds’ all-time leading Premier League goal scorer. He has shown no signs of slowing down, either, netting 30 goals and making 16 assists in all competitions last season.
Nevertheless, Liverpool have started drawing up potential replacements for Salah in case they do sell him.
Liverpool ‘ask about’ two Barca stars
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Liverpool have ‘asked’ Barcelona about attacking duo Ansu Fati and Abde Ezzalzouli as they prepare for Salah’s departure.
The Catalans will most likely sell several players before the end of the transfer window as they continue to grapple with financial issues.
Fati is one player that is highly rated by Xavi, but has been linked with a departure. Tottenham and Chelsea both reportedly hold an interest in the 20-year-old, for example.
The winger made his first appearance for Barca aged just 16 and he has always been tipped to become a superstar in the future.
Fati has made 111 appearances for the Spanish giants in total, scoring 29 goals and making 10 assists in the process. He is only expected to improve, too, so could prove to be an excellent long-term replacement for Salah.
Ezzalzouli, on the other hand, is less well known but is also considered to have huge potential. The 21-year-old winger spent last season on loan with Osasuna, where he scored six goals and made two assists in 34 appearances.
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery is thought to be a big fan of Ezzalzouli, though, so Liverpool face competition for his signature.
The Reds would only sign one of the duo, so it will be interesting to see if they make a concrete bid for Fati or Ezzalzouli in the next couple of days.