With Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stating that Mohamed Salah is the ‘Messi of Africa’ to On Time Sports via the Mirror, speculation surrounding the Liverpool superstar’s future has been reignited…
Rummenigge expressed that it would be an ‘honour’ to sign the 28-year-old but admitted that a marquee swoop is not the ‘plan’ at this ‘moment’ in time.
This comes seven weeks after Salah himself refused to rule out a possible exit from Liverpool, with the particular focus on potential transfers to mammoth sides Real Madrid and Barcelona.
With Bayern now emerging as contenders for the Egyptian following Rummenigge’s comments, here are five possible replacements we think Liverpool could recruit should Salah leave in the near future…
1. Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona
As Salah is firmly established as one of the best in world football, there’s a certain calibre of player that would need to be looked towards if the ace ever left, with Ousmane Dembele potentially being ideal.
Dembele has battled back from years of troubles with Barcelona after his marquee move from Borussia Dortmund to become a key player once again, with the star also overcoming constant injury troubles.
Sport report that Liverpool are alongside rivals Manchester United with interest in the tricky attacker, who may be available sooner rather than later – or for free – with no talks of a renewal on a deal that expires in the summer of 2022 at this moment in time.
2. Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain
It wouldn’t be a list regarding potential attacking recruits for Liverpool if it didn’t include Kylian Mbappe.
Le Parisien cite the Reds as having serious interest in Mbappe, who is the biggest superstar in the world that’s at a crossroads regarding his future, as a deal with 18 months left has not been renewed yet.
A move for the 22-year-old would require some serious financial backing from the club’s owners, though with Salah tied down to a long-term contract, the Reds could reinvest funds from the Egyptian here.
Mbappe has long been linked with the Anfield outfit, something that will never go away considering Jurgen Klopp’s flattering comments on the forward in the past.
It’s fair to say that the France international is the best player on the list, he’s perhaps the only one that belongs in the same bracket of prolific performers alongside Salah.
The potential mammoth fees that Salah and Mbappe would command would likely not be far off each other, but the Reds would also having to sign off on a contract for the Frenchman, whose in line for a hefty pay increase to his already lucrative contract whenever and wherever he puts pen to paper next.
3. Jadon Sancho, Borussia Dortmund
Jadon Sancho seems to have missed out on a career-changing move to one of the world’s biggest clubs (no disrespect to the classy Dortmund) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sancho was heavily linked with a transfer to Manchester United during the summer, at some points it seemed like a deal was a formality the attention was that fierce, but the Red Devils ultimately backed off.
The Independent reported that United’s reluctance to splash the cash on the skilful attacker has seen Liverpool become a more likely destination for the 20-year-old.
Sancho is similar to Dembele in the sense that both are extremely skilful players who dazzle opponents with trickery, the Londoner is still resigned to leaving Dortmund for a massive club – but it likely may be for a lesser transfer fee than was discussed last year, which would of course be helpful to the Reds.
Sancho is the youngest on this list and would represent an attacker that Liverpool could call on for the long-term should Salah leave, plus Trent Alexander-Arnold admitted he’s his ‘best friend’ at England.
4. Raphinha, Leeds
The fourth name on this list is one of the more surprising ones, though the inclusion of Raphinha has been decided upon as the Brazilian has emerged as a target in the past few days via Football Insider.
Raphinha was signed by Leeds in the summer for an initial fee of £17m, per BBC Sport, and has made a brilliant start to life in the Premier League.
The attacker left his boyhood club Avai as a youngster to embark on a professional career in Europe as he left for Vitoria Guimaraes and then featured for Portuguese powerhouses Sporting for a year.
Raphinha has moved around quite a lot, the tricky attacking midfielder left Sporting for Rennes and spent just a year in Ligue 1 before Leeds came calling.
Despite all that moving around, Raphinha has not struggled to settle at all, he offers incredible flair and quality to Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who are otherwise famed for their relentless running and pressing.
Raphinha has contributed four goals and four assists in just 17 Premier League outings to date, whilst he’s also showcased phenomenal trickery, as former England star Gary Cahill found out the hard way.
The 24-year-old is not as established as the other names in the list, but he’s someone who has quickly become a Premier League star, which is bound to have the division’s top clubs calling soon.
Former Leeds star Noel Whelan also told Football Insider that the ‘incredible’ ace is worth at least £34m, a price tag that will no doubt start to rise much higher given Raphinha’s recent performances.
5. Heung-Min Son, Tottenham Hotspur
Heung-Min Son is arguably the most audacious potential option for Liverpool to look to as the South Korean has never been in a situation that has deemed an exit from Tottenham as likely.
Son is contracted until the summer of 2023, but Spurs are waiting on the Covid-19 pandemic to ease – with no clear end to these difficult times for all as mutations appear, with the UK suffering from these.
Mourinho told the press after Spurs’ win against West Brom, per the Evening Standard, that it isn’t the ‘right time’ to discuss a new contract for the superstar.
Those circumstances, of which Spurs’ difficult financial position are certainly a factor, could open the door for any top club to swoop for Son.
Talk of a new deal for the relentless forward, who has proved he’s world-class and one of the Premier League’s best players, first arose when Spurs were being seen as title contenders…
Jose Mourinho’s side are now 8th and face an incredibly difficult task to break back into a Champions League spot, perhaps them missing out on the world’s most elite club competition may lead to Son reevaluating his plans for the future.
Anything can happen in football, Son may be committed to the north London outfit right now, but depending on results and other factors – like who their manager will be next season – an exit can’t be ruled out. We’ve seen more shocking exits in the past.
It would be incredibly difficult for Liverpool to replace Salah should he be sold whilst he’s still in the prime stages of his career, there really aren’t any like-for-like replacement for the prolific star at all.