Liverpool reportedly face a battle to retain Mohamed Salah’s services after Ronald Koeman made the Egyptian his No 1 target at Barcelona.
The path from Anfield to the Nou Camp has been a familiar path for plenty of stars in recent years. Luis Suarez, Javier Mascherano and Philippe Coutinho all having left for Barcelona over the last decade.
Koeman has also been hot on the trail of Gini Wijnaldum.
The Dutchman has entered the final year of his Anfield deal, but there has yet to be a development over his future.
As is stands, the midfielder will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club in January. Indeed, Barcelona boss Koeman is a strong admirer of the Reds star.
There is relief though for Liverpool fans. Jurgen Klopp’s intervention appears to have done the trick and Wijnaldum now looks set to stay.
Prior to Koeman’s arrival, the Barcelona board has also been long keen on a move for Sadio Mane.
The Senegal frontman has impressed over the last three seasons and caught the eye of Barcelona’s money men.
However, it seems it is not Mane at the top of Koeman’s wishlist, but Salah.
With Lionel Messi threatening to quit Barca – a threat which has since been negated – Koeman asked them to sign Salah as a would-be successor.
And even with Messi staying put, Koeman remains keen to bring him to Catalonia.
That’s according to Sjaak Swart, a former Holland international who is Ajax’s record appearance holder.
He has told website voetbalzone.nl: “I know Koeman wants him – and I know Salah would like to go.”
When pressed to reveal the source of his information, Swart added: “I can’t.
“I am not going into any more details, but just believe me that I know.”
Prising Salah from Anfield won’t be an easy task, however.
Liverpool can effectively name their price for the player were he to push to leave, but even that scenario appears unlikely.
Salah discusses Leeds game
Salah made the perfect start to the new season, scoring a hat-trick in Liverpool’s incredible 4-3 win over Leeds.
Discussing the victory after the game and how Marcelo Bielsa’s side had pushed Leeds close, Salah admits he felt relief.
Salah told Sky Sports: “It was at times so tough to play, especially here at Anfield without the fans.
“They pressed well and their intensity was really high. We had a good game.
“We shouldn’t have conceded three but overall we did a good job
“They’re a tough team and they reacted really well. They scored three goals against us so we have to keep improving.”