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Luis Díaz transfer agreed and Mohamed Salah risk - Liverpool summer in wildcard scenario imagined

Jürgen Klopp and Luis Díaz embrace after the Colombian was substituted during Liverpool vs Wolves.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)


Liverpool has some intriguing decisions to make this summer. With Arne Slot replacing Jürgen Klopp, it would be wise not to make too many huge alterations aside from the manager/head coach but there will be refinements made within the squad.

And there are often surprises in the market, too. Who, for instance, could have foreseen Jordan Henderson deciding to move to Saudi Arabia last summer? Liverpool sanctioned a move to the Saudi Pro League for both the former Reds captain and Fabinho in 2023 when few would have thought either deal — bringing in a total of $66m (£52m/€61m) — was likely.

What should we expect this summer? Liverpool needs to bring in a center-back with Joël Matip leaving as a free agent and Ibrahima Konaté's injury history far from perfect. Ideally, another midfielder and an additional forward would be brought in as well.

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There are some more 'wildcard' decisions that Liverpool could make, though none are as strange as seeing Henderson move to the Middle East. The speculation around Luis Díaz, for one thing, is seemingly not going away.

Barcelona, AS has reported, is especially keen to buy Díaz this summer, though it would need to offload Raphinha first to fund a move. Sporting director Deco has supposedly already made contact with the 27-year-old Colombian's representatives and Díaz's father has previously made no secret of how much he would like to see his son play in Spain.

Díaz, for his part, has already stated publicly that he is 'happy and content' at Anfield but there is clearly a level of interest in him from Barcelona. Last month, The Telegraph reported that Liverpool would demand $95m (£75m/€88m) to let him leave.

Given the expanded Champions League format next season and the fact that a return to UEFA's top competition for Liverpool will mean a lot more frequent difficult and intense matches, losing a forward this summer would be a wildcard move. If anything, the Reds need more depth in that department rather than contemplating cashing in.

Luis Diaz runs during a Liverpool training session
Luis Díaz has been linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer -Credit:Getty Images

It would be possible to buy two forwards if Díaz was sold, of course, but that would be a lot of change in the space of one window. It would also put more pressure on those players to settle in and hit the ground running quickly.

Sticking with the forward line, a decision must be made on the contract of Mohamed Salah. The 31-year-old Egyptian will be able to leave Anfield on a free next summer as things stand (Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk fall into the same category, but agreements with that duo seem, from the outside, to be more straightforward).

Salah has already confirmed that he will be at Liverpool for Slot's first campaign but losing him for nothing at the end of his contract shouldn't be something that the Reds think about. He is still good enough to have a few good seasons at the top level so he should be tied down to an extension. Even if he was to leave next year, Liverpool would surely need to get a fee to reinvest in the transfer market given the level of talent he is and the amount of interest in him there would be.

The wildcard move would be to let Salah move into next season without an agreement over a contract extension being agreed. Hopefully, something can be sorted out in advance of that happening to avoid the rumor mill going into overdrive, though if the last negotiation with Salah's representatives are anything to go by, it won't be a swift process.

Aside from that, there are not many obvious places where a surprise could be sprung — but then again, no one saw the Henderson exit coming so nothing can be ruled out entirely. Liverpool has often described the transfer market as a fluid and ever-changing landscape in the past, and the summer of 2024 is likely to be no different.