Advertisement

Richard Hughes has two more Liverpool contract dilemmas coming that no one is talking about

Richard Hughes has more big Liverpool contract decisions coming.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


On Friday, Liverpool fans saw the first glimpse of the club's new sporting director, Richard Hughes, who spoke very confidently during a press conference alongside Arne Slot. It's the first time someone in that role has undertaken media duties in that way, but the former Bournemouth transfer chief impressed.

While Slot was the main attraction as the new head coach, he will work closely with Hughes and the pair already have a good working relationship. They are in contact daily about the big decisions that are coming up and there are certainly plenty of those this summer, with major transfer and contract calls looming.

In 2025, as things stand, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all set to be out of contract. Clearly, Liverpool cannot afford to lose any of the trio for nothing let alone all three. There is no reason to panic yet, but the crunch time is approaching and negotiations will need to take place.

READ MORE: Ibrahima Konate responds to Liverpool fan account calling out William Saliba
READ MORE: Gary Lineker spits cold hard facts about Trent Alexander-Arnold after Liverpool star's interview

"I don’t think it would be fair for me to talk about it," Hughes said during the press conference, cleverly side-stepping the question about the three key players and their contract situations. "These are private matters between the club and the players. The only concern me and Arne have is about the total commitment from the players, and we are absolutely convinced that is the case."

As was already expected, that was further confirmed that Liverpool is not going to lose any of Salah, Van Dijk or Alexander-Arnold this summer no matter how contract negotiations pan out (assuming, as it is surely safe to, that they happen). But talks will need to take place soon; usually when the final 12 months of deals arrives, that isn't a good sign, though that simply can't be the case here.

Normally, it is with a couple of seasons left that plans take place for an extension to be penned. But because of the more pressing contract situations, the Liverpool players whose deals run until 2026 — two years from now — have not yet been mentioned. It won't be long, though, until Hughes has to think about those too.

Richard Hughes during Friday's press conference.
New Liverpool sporting director Richard Hughes. -Credit:Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

According to Transfermarkt, they include, chiefly, Ibrahima Konate and Andy Robertson. There is also Caoimhin Kelleher, Sepp van den Berg and Rhys Williams.

By the summer of 2026, Robertson will have turned 32. A new deal is possible for the Scotland captain, of course, but Liverpool would have to think carefully about that given the age he will be. There is already a precedent for players to be moved on at that point in their careers. Van den Berg and Williams will likely be out of the door and Kelleher might want to go elsewhere in search of more minutes.

Konate, however, could be more of a conundrum. The French outlet PSG Inside has linked Konate with a transfer move to the Ligue 1 giant and the player himself has admitted that he has connections in Paris before. While there is no suggestion that he will leave Liverpool this summer, his injury record is a legitimate concern.

Unless a huge offer arrives on the table for Konate, who arrived from RB Leipzig for a fee of around $46m (£36m/€42m) in 2021, losing him shouldn't be considered. But it won't be long before a contract decision will need to be made. Salah, Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold will take priority, but the new deal decisions certainly don't end there.