Liverpool have already made their first signing of the summer, and Paul Connor writes how The Reds could yet go big on a Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland…
KYLIAN Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
The two names that have been arguably the hottest in world football for the past 18 months or so.
Setting Europe alight within their domestic leagues and, more noticeably, the Champions League, they need no introduction.
Tipped to become the next Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, there is no doubting the quality of these two forwards with 18 goals and five assists combined in Europe’s premier competition this season.
With the substantial surge of popularity of the Frenchman and Norwegian, the ears of Europe have perked up – with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United reported to be interested in the two forwards.
Liverpool has also appeared alongside these clubs, but how likely are we to sign one (or dare I say both?) of them?
Haaland netted a first half hat trick to kick off his top tier European career in the 2019-20 group stages, and has scored a further 21 goals with seven assists in the competition since. He has also more or less guaranteed a goal a game in the domestic leagues of Austria and Germany since relocating to mainland Europe.
Absolutely phenomenal statistics for a 20-year-old.
Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, was seen alongside Haaland’s father, ex-Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City man Alf-Inge Haaland, at Barcelona and also the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport to reportedly meet with the two Spanish giants.
The financial side of things may scupper any potential deals for either player though, with Erling’s value alone being upwards of 150 million Euros and data experts CIES pricing Mbappe as a potential 140 million.
Even Man City, the team that Haaland supported as a child, look as if they can’t even keep up. Pep Guardiola said “not possible – with these prices we cannot afford it,” when asked about the prospect of a move to Manchester.
United have also been linked with a move for the Norwegian, although a reunion with former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is up in the air. Solskjaer has previously praised the striker and has also claimed that he ‘speaks with him’, though that could be expected of a former player and manager.
It is also worth pointing out that Haaland has a release clause of 75 million Euros, though this doesn’t come into effect until summer 2022.
Kylian Mbappe, on the other hand, has allegedly rejected an extension on his contract past 2022 with Paris Saint-Germain. This, as you would expect, could well lure the vultures in.
“It’s something we’re used to,” said PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino on continuing speculation. “When we talk about top clubs and top players like Kylian Mbappe who is at international level, there will always be rumours.”
“Both club and player are trying to come to an agreement that will see Kylian stay with us for a long time. It’s the desire of the club and we are working on everything.”
The Reds have especially been linked with the PSG forward for a good while now – you’re most likely familiar with the #Mbappe2021 craze if you’re on Twitter, with interactions between Jurgen Klopp, Kylian Mbappe and stakeholder Lebron James fuelling the rumours further.
The Frenchman is also a known admirer of Liverpool, with French news outlet L’Equipe previously claiming that Klopp and the club have been in regular contact with the forward.
We’ve seen Klopp and Michael Edwards perform magic before in the transfer market – so can they do it again this summer?
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