Premier League • England

Ornstein claims major Liverpool transfer plan is underway amid monumental double exit fear

Mo Salah, Luis Diaz are two Liverpool stars whose futures are under the spotlight

Mo Salah, Luis Diaz are two Liverpool stars whose futures are under the spotlight

Liverpool chief Michael Edwards is putting the feelers out to bring in a new top-quality wideman this summer after trusted reporter David Ornstein hinted at major doubts in the Anfield camp over the long-term futures of both Mo Salah AND Luis Diaz.

The Merseysiders have enjoyed one of the most-successful periods in their history under the management of Jurgen Klopp, who has won seven trophies during his eight-and-a-half year spell at Anfield and having also guided Liverpool to four major European finals. While many see the double arrival of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk as the moment Liverpool turned from a good side into a great one, Klopp has also benefited down the years from a rich array of attacking talent at his disposal.

Indeed, with their famed front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah helping the Reds win both the Champions League and the Premier League in an 13-month stretch between June 2019 and July 2020, Klopp has always understood the motion that he has needed to further improve his squad with his lauded attacking triumverate ultimately needing to be replaced.

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To that end, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and most recently, Cody Gakpo, have all arrived to further supplement the Reds’ options in recent years; moves that were much needed with Mane – initially via Bayern Munich – and Firmino both ending up in the Saudi Pro League.

However, with Klopp’s reign due to end now in just 18 days’ time after the final Premier League game of the season at home to Wolves on May 19, there remains a degree of uncertainty around both Salah and Diaz in the build-up for what is sure to be a significant summer window at Anfield.

Diaz and Salah transfer speculation

Salah’s situation is well documented, with the winger a long-term target of super-rich Saudi Pro-League side Al-Ittihad who have promised to make Salah the best-paid sportsman in the world on wages of £1.5m per week.

And while it is claimed that incoming new boss Arne Slot has made clear he would love to work with Salah next season, his high-profile touchline dispute with Klopp at West Ham over the weekend has only raised the possibility that an exit could be on the cards.

To further that claim, one controversial pundit has made clear why the time is right for Liverpool to cash in on Salah with the player branded a “diver” and now “past his best”.

As far as Diaz is concerned, the Colombian star has found himself linked with a lucrative move to PSG this summer with the Ligue 1 giants seeking a replacement for the departing Kylian Mbappe.

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And with Barcelona also reportedly keen, the player’s father has lit the blue touch paper by recently claiming his son has ambitions of signing for Real Madrid, saying they had “not given up hope” of the transfer one day materialising.

Diaz currently has three years remaining on his Anfield deal, but amid claims he only earns £55,000 a week, many feel it is surprising that the Reds have not looked to both extend his stay and reward the 88-goal star with a payrise.

Ornstein reveals Liverpool are making move for new winger

Now, speaking on The Athletic FC podcast, trusted reporter Ornstein claims the Reds are in the market for a replacement amid uncertainty over the pair.

“I’ve already heard from multiple contacts they’re [Liverpool] looking for a wide player. I don’t know if that’s to add to what they’ve already got,” Ornstein said

“Is it because there’s been speculation around the future of Luis Diaz, who’s yet to sign a new contract, which is quite unusual for a player who’s done so well. He’s been linked with moves elsewhere; let’s wait and see on that…”

Ornstein also insists Saudi interest in Salah has never faded away, claiming his arrival would spark scenes of jubilation in the Gulf State.

“[Salah would] be the jewel in the crown if [the Saudi Pro League] managed to land him, for so many reasons,” Ornstein added.

“I’ve already heard through the game of sponsorship deals that have been lined up and that are being worked on, whether or not he comes, but it would just be the centerpiece and to many of us, the crowning glory.

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“But let’s put some perspective on this, when they went for him so aggressively in the summer of 2023, that was largely because that specific team that wanted to sign him, Al-Ittihad, had on the horizon the Club World Cup in December of 2023.

“They were in the same competition as the likes of Manchester City, they wanted Salah as part of their roster to go and attack that competition and that produced some urgency that isn’t there this time around.”

Salah has scored 210 goals in his 346 Liverpool appearances  – a notch every 1.65 appearances; Diaz, meanwhile, has 24 strikes in 95 games for the Reds – an average of a goal every 3.9 games.