It looks to be another summer of frustration at Liverpool when it comes to the transfer market. Having come within touching distance of a famous quadruple, the Reds will want to go the full way next season, but require further investment to cope with the demands of an intense season.
They played every game physically possible in the 2021-22 campaign and stretched their squad to within an inch of its life — not helped by covid cases and injuries either. But before anyone can be signed Liverpool have to deal with the potential loss of Sadio Mané, who looks bound for Bayern Munich.
After six years in Merseyside and winning every trophy available, the 30-year-old wants a new challenge and despite Bayern favourites for most matches in the football odds today, a change of scenery appears to interest Mané, who only has a year left on his deal. While an initial bid has reportedly been rejected, you’d expect the German giants to come back for more especially with Robert Lewandowski’s imminent departure, meaning replacements need to be identified.
In terms of recruitment,AurélienTchouaméniseems to have eluded them, leaving any plans for the summer in disarray, and the Senegal international’s exit only exacerbates Jürgen Klopp’s struggles. A forward surely has to be added before the midfield can be strengthened but replacing Mané is no easy task. Read on, as we look at three players than could end up donning Liverpool’s number 10 next season.
If the Reds are in search of a more recognised striker, they should look no further than Darwin Núñez, who impressed when his Benfica side came to Anfield in the Champions League quarter finals. The Uruguayan is a more physical presence and while he might lack the pace to play the demanding role of a false nine, he could offer a new dimension to Klopp’s system, with DiogoJota able to deputise on the wing.
At 22 years old, he gives Liverpool longevity, but consequently would demand a high price tag, rumoured to be upwards of £60 million for his services. Núñez is far from the finished model, and his passing stats suggest some integration will be needed to improve his link up play, but his knack for finding the back of the net could be a long-term solution for continued success.
The resurgence of Serge Gnabry has been an impressive one. From a failed wing-back at West Bromwich Albion, to a regular in the Bayern treble-winning side, if Mané is to go to Bavaria, Liverpool could try and include the 26-year-old as part of a swap deal or try and green light their own move for Gnabry on a permanent basis. The German has seen his gametime plummet under Julian Nagelsmannand his form suffered as a by-product.
He did manage 14 Bundesliga goals, most of which arrived at the start of the season, demonstrating his ability to create chances, and his versatility could be a real asset to the Liverpool front three, predominantly used as a winger but capable of dropping deep and playing between the lines or on the shoulder of the last man.
Certainly, the most ambitious transfer of the summer, if Liverpool do manage to convince Harry Kane to leave Tottenham Hotspur it certainly won’t come cheap, but the intangible qualities he’ll bring the Reds far outweigh the issues caused by negotiating his signature. Had it not been for the tight grasp of Daniel Levy’s purse strings, Kane would probably be a Manchester City player, with bids of over £100 million rejected last summer.
But the striker, who turns 29 in July, would be arriving at Anfield in the peak of his powers, bringing both proficiency and creativity to the Liverpool attack. After demonstrating how hard he can work off the ball under Antonio Conte, Kane can press effectively and his eye for goal would surely make his dynamic with Mohamed Salah just as deadly as the one he has with Heung-Min Son in north London at the moment.