The stunning summer transfer deals that Liverpool already have in the pipeline

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Liverpool have been linked with a host of players ahead of the summer transfer window - but which deals have the ring of truth?

This will be a summer of upheaval at Anfield, with long-serving manager Jürgen Klopp leaving while the potential departure of Mohamed Salah hangs over the club’s head. Whoever Liverpool’s next head coach turns out to be, they will no doubt want to ring some changes, while replacing Salah will be an incredibly challenging task if the Egyptian does move on.

With so many unknowns, the rumours surrounding Liverpool’s likely summer signings have, inevitably, been all over the place. After all, the club don’t know what their next manager will need yet and don’t know if they will have a hole to fill up front – or the money with which to completely re-equip the squad, which they will likely have if they do sell Salah.

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So where it’s possible to discern patterns from scanning media reports for most Premier League clubs and figure out their likely direction of travel in the transfer window, with Liverpool the best we can do is build up a broader picture of their scouting work and the positions they’re prioritising.

It certainly looks likely that Liverpool want to reinforce the front line at the bare minimum, even if Salah stays, and there have been numerous reports linking them with a central striker – but none have gained any consistent traction. Viktor Gyökeres has been mentioned a lot in recent weeks, but Arsenal seem to be pursuing the Swedish striker with more vigour.

Some more consistent reports have, however, emerged around wide forwards. Federico Chiesa is a name that has started cropping up again after some suggestions of a bid in January, with Caught Offside among the outlets referencing the chance of a swoop for the Juventus wide forward. His deal in Turin expires in just over a year, meaning Juve will likely be happy to move him on for a reasonable fee.

Michael Olise’s name has also come up a considerable amount, with Manchester United and Arsenal also reported to be interested. The Athletic have suggested that he will only move for Champions League football, while Arsenal have bigger priorities than providing competition for Bukayo Saka, so Liverpool are perhaps the most likely to make a move – but his arrival may well be dependent on Salah’s departure.

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The final name that has come up quite a bit is Real Madrid’s Rodrygo. There is a belief in some quarters that the Brazilian forward could seek a move after the likely arrival of Kylian Mbappé, which would force him down the pecking order at the Bernabeu – but he would still be expected to cost €100m (£86m), at least according to Spanish outlet Sport. This is almost certainly a deal that only gets off the ground if Salah goes. Reports linking Liverpool with a move for Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala, meanwhile, seem optimistic at best.

Further back, it looks as though Liverpool want to sign at least one midfielder, ideally someone who can provide defensive cover to free Alexis Mac Allister up to play a more advanced role.

Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde has been mentioned by a recent rumour in Spain which suggests that Liverpool have already made a £129m bid for him – but that seems fanciful at best given Liverpool’s track record of looking for lower-cost signings. A link which seems more tangible is the one with Porto’s Alan Varela.

Apparently the combative midfielder would cost around €70m (£60m) and The Daily Mirror are among the outlets who believe Liverpool have an interest. We don’t think that interest has gone past the due diligence stage yet, but it at least seems like a perfectly plausible story and Liverpool scouts have been spotted at Porto games.

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It also seems likely that Liverpool will add at least one defender in the off-season. Gonçalo Inácio of Sporting has been mentioned a few times, but Caught Offside recently reported that Liverpool had only been scouting him and had not formalised interest in any way – the same seems to be true with Leny Yoro, the talented young Lille defender.

Another recent link ties Liverpool to Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back Rayan Aït-Nouri. The story, which has only recently cropped up, is plausible enough in its own right, but again there’s nothing solid as yet – a report from Spanish outlet Todo Fichajes claiming that a €45m (£38.7m) deal has been agreed should probably be discarded, as the source is less than reliable. If you see Fichajes’ name attached to a rumour, it’s usually not worth setting too much stock by.

The one other rumour worth addressing is that Liverpool will look to add a back-up goalkeeper to their roster, presumably pre-empting the departure of Caoimhín Kelleher. Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson, 23, has been mentioned by several outlets, although Sports Illustrated also claim that Arsenal, Chelsea and Nottingham Forest are all interested too, while other reports claim that Celtic are taking a look – and may themselves bid for Kelleher.

Ultimately, Liverpool have almost certainly not made any formal approaches for players yet and want to decide on their next managerial appointment first. There are a lot of players whose names have come up enough to make it eminently believable that the club are tracking them, but this transfer window could go in any number of directions, and the media as a whole don’t have a full picture of their summer transfer targets as yet.

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There will be changes, probably right up and down the field – but Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have been wary of splashing the cash too extravagantly in recent years and it seems unlikely that they will suddenly start firing £100m-plus transfer fees around. Liverpool will likely be patient and look for relative bargains, and the precise targets will only be determined once a manager is appointed.

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