Rio Ferdinand believes that Liverpool can still convince Kylian Mbappe to move to Anfield, even if they miss out on next season’s Champions League.
Sunday’s defeat to Fulham left Liverpool‘s chances of qualifying via the domestic route in peril.
The 1-0 loss was their sixth on the spin on home turf, extending a recently-set home record.
Speaking before Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 second leg tie with RB Leipzig, however, Ferdinand insisted that the Reds could still tempt the world’s best players if they miss out.
Pressed on Liverpool’s form, the pundit told BT Sport (March 10, 7.12pm): “I think it’s a blip. His biggest challenge will be to pick these players up and rebuild them.
“It took them three or four years to build this confidence.”
Gary Lineker then quoted Sir Alex Ferguson, who once said that teams play in cycles of four years, with regeneration key after each cycle.
“I think that would have happened with recruitment and refreshing it in some areas,” Ferdinand said. “Don’t forget, in the last window they bought Thiago, who was a Champions League winner, and [Diogo] Jota for £40million.
“It wasn’t like they were hanging back, but injuries play their part. They’ve been decimated by injuries, but I think the biggest thing is the mental side of it.”
Ferdinand admitted that teams are now “swaggering” into Anfield, with the likes of Burnley and Brighton also taking three points at the stadium.
However, the pundit added that manager Jurgen Klopp and the players his fully-fit squad has at its disposal would still tempt Mbappe or Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
Ferdinand backs Liverpool, Mbappe deal
“After building such fear in opponents to now teams swaggering into Anfield, I think, given the last couple of years, they’ve had two Champions League finals back-to-back, I think people will still go there with the mindset that they can get back,” he added.
Asked about Mbappe or Haaland he said: “I think they would, yeah.
“Someone like Mbappe looks at the way Liverpool play and the manager. You look at the quality of players they’ve got there and the manager.
“Is that the type of manager you’d want to play for? Klopp still is, yeah.”