The £103m-rated Kylian Mbappe alternative Liverpool must explore next summer

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Liverpool will likely have some big transfer decisions to make next summer.

Liverpool’s focus over the last few months has been rebuilding their midfield after five senior players were either sold or released from Anfield. The Reds brought in a strong quartet of new recruits, including Dominik Szoboszlai, who has quickly become a fan favourite already.

Ryan Gravenberch and Alexis Mac Allister are also settling in nicely but Wataru Endō, Fabinho’s direct replacement, is not yet on the same trajectory as his fellow new arrivals. The Japanese international arrived at the club after Liverpool massively fumbled their attempts to land former Southampton star Roméo Lavia. Jurgen Klopp and co had kept tabs on him for weeks, if not months, and Anfield seemed the only destination fit for the midfielder.

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Then, after their attempted hijack of the Moisés Caicedo to Chelsea deal, things completely unravelled. Not only did the Ecuadorian snub the Reds for his favoured move to Chelsea, but Lavia also decided he wanted Stamford Bridge instead. It was quite the awkward encounter, especially as Liverpool offered up a record £111 million for Caicedo out of nowhere, which is hugely out of character for the often cautious Reds.

As the January window approaches, Liverpool remain linked to new defensive midfielders, as filling the No.6 position hasn’t gone as planned so far. A centre-back is also reportedly on the radar and Klopp could be assessing his full-back situation, as Trent Alexander-Arnold is the only natural right-back on the roster, and Andy Robertson’s injury has been a big blow to the left.

January will likely see Liverpool recruit who they need, rather than who they want. But the months towards the summer could well present Reds fans with some real eye-popping links. One transfer rumour that had supporters refreshing their feeds was the reignited connection between the Merseyside club and Kylian Mbappé. A few years ago, Liverpool were heavily-linked with the French superstar, and while talks have been a little more diluted this time round, there were still stories to consider.

According to numerous reports, the Reds had quite a decent foothold into talks with Mbappé, but ultimately, the 24-year-old has his sights set on Real Madrid.

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It’s unlikely Liverpool will splash out on a nine-figure transfer fee for an attacker in January but the summer will probably be a different story. After Saudi Arabia made it their main mission to snap up Mohamed Salah during the summer, more offers can be expected from Al-Ittihad and the Pro League in general. Reds fans have made peace with the fact Salah will probably leave the club next summer to become the biggest star in Saudi Arabia, but Klopp will need to bring in a replacement, and fast.

The amount of right-wingers who could join Liverpool and immediately start peforming at Salah’s level are few. Klopp has rarely strayed from his typical 4-3-3 formation but if landing a direct replacement for the Egyptian king proves too tricky, the boss could consider his choice of set-up.

The Reds were already linked with Mbappé and they also find themselves monitoring Victor Osimhen, who is another exciting and devastating goal-scorer. Despite battling a couple of different injuries last season, the Nigeria international scored an astonishing 31 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions. So far this Serie A campaign, he has also netted six goals in eight games.

Liverpool have been interested in Osimhen for some time but while some reports have claimed the two parties have held internal talks, Fabrizio Romano has provided a new update debunking that things are that far down the line and the player has not made any agreement with Liverpool. Some positive news though is that he is also yet to agree anything new with Napoli either.

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PSG talisman Kylian Mbappe looks destined for a move to Real Madrid in the summer. PSG talisman Kylian Mbappe looks destined for a move to Real Madrid in the summer.
PSG talisman Kylian Mbappe looks destined for a move to Real Madrid in the summer. | AFP via Getty Images

“There’s no agreement on the contract extension. Napoli made a really important proposal to Osimhen in terms of contract — very important salary, the biggest in Napoli history is on the table for Osimhen. But he has not decided and he has not agreed anything with any club,” Romano said on his YouTube channel.

“So, Osimhen will take his time. Reports of an agreement with Liverpool are not true. For sure, Liverpool and many other clubs are keeping an eye on the situation of many strikers in Europe. But at the moment for Osimhen, nothing is agreed and nothing is decided, he is going to take his time.”

Romano did sign off by saying the Osimhen saga is one to watch, though, so this summer could well produce fireworks.

Osimhen’s current contract runs until 2025 but rumours of him leaving early have been swirling due to some issues behind the scenes. The striker’s agent recently threatened to take legal action against Napoli after the club posted a video seemingly mocking him for missing a penalty on TikTok, so waters are choppy to say the least right now.

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Once next summer comes around, Osimhen will have entered the final year of his deal and he could well be open to moving away. The 24-year-old has been with the Italian outfit since 2020 and his Transfermarkt value has rocketed to a huge €120 million (£103m). It’s likely he will go for much cheaper than that though, especially if a contract extension continues to prove difficult because Napoli and Osimhen.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen looks set to be one of Europe’s most in demand strikers, should he decide to leave the Serie A side. Napoli’s Victor Osimhen looks set to be one of Europe’s most in demand strikers, should he decide to leave the Serie A side.
Napoli’s Victor Osimhen looks set to be one of Europe’s most in demand strikers, should he decide to leave the Serie A side. | Getty Images

Liverpool could well land a goal machine for a respectable amount and in the grand scheme of things, he could be purchased completely from any money they get for Salah. Al-Ittihad offered an eye-watering £150 million for the 31-year-old during the summer and were reportedly willing to surpass the £200 million mark to get the deal over the line.

A 2024 bid from the Saudi Pro League may be significantly less than the record figure floating about two months ago, as Salah will have also entered the last 12 months of his contract. However, they are determined to bring the Egyptian in, so big money will likely still be offered for his services and that figure could potentially pay for most, if not all of the transfer fee for Osimhen.

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