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Liverpool's transfer jigsaw starting to crystalise ahead of a crucial summer

Jurgen Klopp celebrates in front of the Liverpool fans (Paul Ellis/PA)

Jurgen Klopp celebrates in front of the Liverpool fans (Paul Ellis/PA)

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool's transfer wheels are starting to turn, yet the level of funding set to be handed to boss Jurgen Klopp remains unclear.

After signing central defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in May, Liverpool set the tone for the transfer business they are targeting.

At 22, Konate is one for the present and the future, with the Frenchman bolstering an ageing defensive line that includes injury-prone Joel Matip, 30 next month, and Virgil van Dijk, who has already turned 30.

With James Milner (35), Jordan Henderson (31) and Thiago Alcantara (30) joined by 29-year-olds Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, the club have set about reducing the average age of their squad.

Liverpool's owners have always based their business model on having a first team squad that has some sell-on value.

Liverpool do not need to sell or buy star names on a regular basis but the owners like to have an insurance policy if a star name such as Salah tdoes not extend a contract that expires in the summer of 2023.

Liverpool are keen to keep Salah and yet reports perisist that the Egyptian is eager to take on a new challenge.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-German have been strongly linked with the attacking star, a key man on the pitch and with huge marketing potential off it.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and star man Mohamed Salah (Paul Ellis/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and star man Mohamed Salah (Paul Ellis/PA)

Talks are planned with Salah's advisers to asses whether they will commit to the club and those talks will be crucial to Liverpool's transfer plans.

If Salah stays, the club may need to rework their wage structure and offer their star man a deal that will take him beyond the £200,000-a-week top salary he is earning.

Salah could be offered a contract extension on the same terms, which many believe led to Gini Wijnaldum's decision to leave Liverpool in May.

The Dutch midfielder has signed a £315,000-a-week deal with Paris Saint-Germain after running down his contract with Liverpool.

If Salah were to depart, Liverpool would use the cash to reshape their squad, with an injection of youth at the heart of it.

Leicester's Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans is a potential target, with the silky passer ready to take his career to the next level after celebrating his 24th birthday in May.

Reports in Belgium suggest Tielemans and his advisers are actively pursing a move to Liverpool.

Youri Tielemans is on Liverpool’s radar.

Youri Tielemans is on Liverpool’s radar.

While Anfield sources suggest he is not on their wanted list, they offered the same denials about Thiago last summer before he eventually arrived at the club.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez is another strongly linked with a move to Liverpool, with well-sourced reports in Spain suggesting firm enquiries have been made for the 26-year-old.

Lille's Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches (right) is another being mentioned, despite the 22-year-old struggling to make his mark in English football during a spell at Swansea in the 2017/18 season.

Several Liverpool players are available for transfer and their new arrivals may be impacted by the amount of cash that comes in.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi are among the players believed to be on the way out.

The cash collected from player sales will be crucial to Klopp's hopes of reviving a squad that lost their way badly last season after injuries to key defenders.

"It was clear for a lot of last season that Liverpool needed some new faces in that team," former Reds defender John Arne Riise told the Sunday World.

"The problem Liverpool have is they cannot compete with Chelsea or the Manchester clubs and that is not going to change.

"Klopp did something incredible to bring the Champions League and Premier League to Liverpool without spending so much money, or just using the money they got in from player sales.

"Now we have seen that it is hard to sustain that success if you don't have the money.

"I would love to see Liverpool try and sign Erling Haaland, who comes from my country and is the best young striker in the world, but it will never happen because that kind of money is not there."

Klopp's first team squad are due to report for pre-season training tomorrow, with players who have been in international tournaments given additional time off from club duties.

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