Manchester City pounced upon a release clause to seal a deal for Erling Haaland and it is a trick Liverpool could repeat next summer if Mo Salah decides to leave
Liverpool could copy the template for Manchester City’s blockbuster deal for Erling Haaland in their search for a replacement for Mo Salah.
The Reds have responded to the Premier League champions move for the Borussia Dortmund goal machine with a potential club-record deal for Darwin Nunez. The in-demand Benfica forward has arrived at Anfield with Sadio Mane leaving for Bayern Munich after six successful seasons at Anfield.
Nunez’s arrival follows the January deal for Luis Diaz as Jurgen Klopp looks to regenerate his side over the coming seasons. Mane’s exit has broken up the Reds’ so-called famous front three, with Roberto Firmino and Salah also facing uncertain futures.
Both attackers are about to enter the final year of their current contracts, and Firmino has outlined his desire to extend his deal. Negotiations with Salah appear to have reached an impasse however, with reports suggesting the Egypt superstar could complete a shock move to a Premier League rival next summer.
Having narrowly missed out on an unprecedented quadruple last term, Klopp must now continue the tough task of evolving his squad while keeping the Reds competitive. The Liverpool boss will undoubtedly be desperate for the Premier League Golden Boot winner to agree a new deal, but he could be tempted to consider following the transfer example of his long-time rival Pep Guardiola.
City have been in the market for a number nine for several seasons now, and failed in their pursuit of England captain Harry Kane last summer. Guardiola’s side lifted their fourth Premier League title in five seasons in the interim, and have now seemingly been rewarded for their patience with a deal for one of world football’s rising stars.
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Haaland scored almost a goal a game during his time at Dortmund, and City saw off their rivals to pounce upon a release clause of £ 51 million. The Norway international has reportedly been made one of the club’s top earners, but it is considered a relative bargain given the striker’s current market value of £ 135m on website TransferMarkt.
It is a maneuver which Liverpool could feasibly replicate following the news of Christopher Nkunku’s contract extension at RB Leipzig. The prolific forward has agreed a new deal until 2026 on the back of a prolific campaign where he registered 35 goals and 19 assists in all competitions.
Nkunku told the club’s website: “I’m pleased to continue wearing the RB Leipzig shirt. After our great achievement in winning the DFB Cup, it remained clear that my story here isn’t over yet – we want more.
“RB Leipzig have made a name for themselves on the international stage in recent years and have shown time and again that we can compete for titles. We want to build on that going forward and go one step further.”
Nkunku’s red-hot form earned him his first senior cap for France in March, and led to him being linked to a host of Europe’s elite clubs this summer. Chelsea and Manchester United were among Liverpool’s domestic rivals credited with an interest, while Paris Saint-Germain were also said to be considering a move.
Interested clubs were reportedly quoted a staggering £ 100m price tag for Nkunku in this window, but news of the contract extension has actually opened the door to a cut-price exit next summer. Reports from Germany claim the new deal includes a release clause of £ 51.6m which becomes next active next summer.
The parallels to City’s swoop for Haaland are impossible to ignore, and Nkunku is a target said to already be on Liverpool’s radar. Regardless of whether Liverpool manage to agree new contract with Salah, the release clause will surely make it a tantalizing deal for Klopp to consider over the course of the season.