Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has responded to transfer speculation linking the runaway Premier League leaders with money-spinning moves for highly-rated pair Jadon Sancho and Kylian Mbappe.
A report published at the end of last month claimed the charismatic German coach had called Mbappe’s father in a bid to persuade the 21-year-old to move to Anfield from French champions Paris St. Germain, while Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has also been touted as a possible summer signing.
When quizzed about the recent transfer gossip in an interview with beIN Sports, Klopp was understandably coy, saying: “Sadio Mane is young enough and Mo Salah is young enough to be in that group for the next few years.
“I am completely happy with the boys that I have, but I never thought about the others.
“When I am at a club then I work with the players I have, I don’t dream about other players. If we can get one of them in the future, we will see, but we will make the best of the situation we have.”
However, when pushed a little further on the stories and links, Klopp revealed more, saying: “Look, I cannot answer those kinds of questions without creating headlines the next day, I know that’s what I don’t want to do. I love them all and there’s a few more players out there.
“They are all exceptional players. The players they are now because of their own attitude, because of their skills and all that stuff and I love watching them but I have no problem that I never trained one of them.”
“Mbappe has the biggest future. We can speak about Jadon Sancho as well, so they’re all coming up.”
Why are Liverpool targeting attackers?
While Liverpool seem to be already armed with one of the most feared attacking triumvirates in world football, their desire to retool in the final third suggests that Jurgen Klopp is anticipating a regression in the output from his three-pronged frontline.
Links with Kylian Mbappe have been lingering since last year, while a long-standing interest in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner is also expected to be firmed up when the transfer window opens later this year.
Noise about a possible swoop for England starlet Jadon Sancho seems less boisterous than talk of moves for the other two, with Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Manchester United a more probable destination, though it looks as though the Merseysiders are targeting at least one major summer acquisition up top.
Who might lose their place?
As the least prolific member of the team’s first-choice front three, Brazilian linkman Roberto Firmino’s place seems most at risk should Liverpool dip into the market over the summer.
The 28-year old’s off the ball work and subtlety of touch are greatly appreciated by Jurgen Klopp, though his return of just eight Premier League goals in 29 top-flight appearances this term is a little underwhelming for a player who features so often in Liverpool’s free-scoring side.
While Kylian Mbappe and Timo Werner are both very different players to both Firmino and to each other, the French and German hotshots both carry a significantly greater goal threat than the man they could end up replacing.
24-year-old Werner, who has spoken in glowing terms about Klopp, notched an incredible 21 goals in 25 Bundesliga appearances before the 2019/20 campaign was interrupted by the COVID-19 crisis, while 21-year-old Kylian Mbappe rattled the net 18 times in 20 Ligue 1 outings, and five times in just four Champions League starts before the club football hiatus.
Jadon Sancho meanwhile, contributed a whopping 14 goals and 15 assists to Borussia Dortmund’s cause in 23 Bundesliga matches before the enforced break.
When you analyse those numbers, it becomes easier to understand why Jurgen Klopp might risk disrupting the harmonious flow of his current front three by sanctioning what could prove a record-breaking summer outlay this year.
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