Liverpool must consider Mohamed Salah sale if it means they can sign this £213m superstar

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Liverpool have once again been linked with a potential move for a World Cup winning icon.

When the end inevitably comes and the world is engulfed by some form of apocalyptic fireball or other, there will be just three things left in the barren aftermath; cockroaches, Twinkies, and transfer speculation linking Liverpool with Kylian Mbappe. There he goes, wandering the wastelands in a studded leather jacket - sawed-off shotgun in one hand, Jurgen Klopp's jar-preserved head in the other - desperately seeking mutants to nutmeg in an effort to justify his exorbitant price tag.

At this stage, stating that the Reds are interested in the Frenchman is a little like announcing Garfield is interested in lasagne. We know, we get it. But much like the orange tabby and his obsession with bechamel-soaked carbs, there has been a feeling up until now that Mbappe is an extravagance Liverpool could ill-afford. (Are you listening, Arbuckle? You're killing that cat. His arteries must be like the eye of a needle. He's a pet, for crying out loud. Stop feeding him pasta, you irresponsible half-wit!)

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Circumstances, however, have a habit of changing, and to that end, Liverpool may finally have found a way of landing their man. I'll warn you now though, Kopites - you might not like it all that much. According to TEAMtalk, the Reds could make their move for Mbappe next summer, but only if they sell Mohamed Salah first.

The winger has been touted for high-profile exits before; just a few short months ago, Liverpool faced an anxiety-ridden fortnight as various Saudi Pro League clubs decided whether or not to scrape around down the back of the sofa for a world record transfer fee that almost certainly would have lured Salah away from Anfield. It was the most nervy wait involving an Egyptian monarch since Howard Carter found Tutankhamun's tomb on his very last season of excavating the Valley of the Kings.

Before now, the prospect of Salah leaving has been met with dread and derision, predominantly because it was not particularly obvious as to how Liverpool would ever replace an attacking presence of his peerless magnitude. In 323 outings for the Reds, he has registered 198 goals and 84 assists; without him, who knows whether Klopp's side would have had anywhere near the level of success that they have in recent years. You suspect they would not.

There will eventually come a time, however, when Salah's dominance begins to wane, and at 31, it may not be too far away, relatively speaking. Realistically, how much longer can he continue to hold Premier League defences to ransom in the manner that he does? Three years, perhaps? Four, maybe? As such, even if it is not a pressing concern right now, Liverpool must have at least one eye on potential successors. And no acquisition would represent a more serious statement of intent than Mbappe.

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Here we have a player who, at 24, has established himself as one of the most fearsome talents in global football. He is a former world champion, a scorer of World Cup final hat-tricks, a jet-heeled idol with 229 goals and 100 assists in 277 matches for Paris Saint-Germain and 46 strikes in 75 caps for France. He is the golden boy turned golden man who is as likely as anybody to herald the true end of the Messi/Ronaldo epoch. He is a superstar. He is, after all, Kylian Mbappe.

And if there is any way that Liverpool could somehow lure him to Anfield next summer, then they would surely have to consider pulling the trigger, even if that meant sacrificing another couple of seasons with Salah.

Nobody would want to see the Egyptian bid farewell to Merseyside, but sometimes clubs have to put business before sentimentality, and if (and only if, by the way) the opportunity to sign Mbappe does arise, then it might well make sense to offload their talisman while his stock is still high so that they can ensure he is usurped by a properly worthy replacement for the next decade to come.

Is it likely to happen? In truth, probably not, especially while Real Madrid continue to sniff around for any sign of discontent in Mbappe's general demeanour. But there is still a slight chance, and while there is a slight chance, Liverpool would be foolish not to ponder it.

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