Liverpool ‘had Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah plan drawn up’ before star stayed at PSG
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Liverpool supposedly viewed Kylian Mbappe as the perfect partner in crime for Mohamed Salah, rather than his replacement. Fans were fearful that the Egyptian would be moved on this summer as he approaches the final year of his contract, but the Reds have stood firm and look set to try their luck with an extension next season.
Mbappe’s prospective move to Real Madrid was viewed by many as the worst-kept secret in football. Last summer, Los Blancos had a mammoth bid rejected on deadline day, but a free transfer in 2022 was viewed as a mere formality.
Not many foresaw the dramatic U-turn that would see the electric Frenchman put pen to paper on a lucrative new deal at Paris Saint-Germain. Once his extension was set in stone, it emerged that Liverpool had also discussed a possible move with the player, albeit briefly.
“We talked a little bit, but not too much,” Mbappe told The Telegraph. “I talked to Liverpool because it’s the favourite club of my mum, my mum loves Liverpool.”
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But Fabrizio Romano, via Anfield Watch, claims that Liverpool’s February enquiry into Mbappe’s future was with a view to partnering him with Salah, rather than replacing him. Jurgen Klopp was evidently keen to put together a front three for the ages with Sadio Mane completing the trio.
And it surely would have been something to behold. Last season, Mbappe finished as Ligue 1’s top scorer and assister, with a staggering 45 goal involvements in just 28 matches. At just 23-years-old he has already notched 135 top-flight goals, which is more than the likes of Robbie Keane or Dwight Yorke managed in their whole Premier League careers.
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Mbappe also admitted that, although talks with Liverpool did take place, his final decision was only between Real Madrid and PSG. With huge figures thrown around, becoming one of the highest-paid athletes on the planet seemingly swayed him away from the Spanish capital, which has traditionally had tremendous pulling power over the continent’s top talent.
Los Blancos would offset their near-miss by powering to Champions League glory over Liverpool on Saturday night. Their 1-0 victory, courtesy of a Vinicius Jr tap-in, rounded off a miraculous campaign which saw them emerge victorious from breathless ties against Manchester City, Chelsea and Mbappe’s PSG.
Liverpool, meanwhile, not only missed out on Mbappe but now face the prospect of losing Mane. Bayern Munich are heavily linked, and Robert Lewandowski’s imminent exit leaves the door open for a blockbuster summer move.
Salah won’t get to partner Mbappe next season, but he will at least be sticking around. Approaching the final year of his contract, some expected the Reds to cash in, but the player has already announced his intention to stay which buys Liverpool extra time to get an extension signed.
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