Liverpool are braced for another big bid for Mohamed Salah from The Saudi Pro League with Al-Ittihad pushing for a deal to sign the winger.
The Saudi side are reportedly prepared to make a world-record offer of around £215m for Salah, an extraordinary sum that will leave Liverpool with much to contemplate.
Salah has been Liverpool’s leading scorer in six straight seasons and remains a world-class talent, but can the Reds afford to turn down such a bid for the 31-year-old, one that would provide a mammoth cash injection to kickstart the next phase of Jurgen Klopp’s rebuild?
Liverpool would not be able to replace Salah until January at the earliest, but we’ve profiled five players who could emerge as transfer targets should the Saudi riches prove persuasive.
Five players Liverpool could target to replace Mohamed Salah:
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)
Liverpool are said to have held a long-standing interest in Jarrod Bowen, who has began the new season in excellent form with three goals and an assist in four Premier League appearances.
Bowen has been a brilliant asset to West Ham since signing for the Irons from Hull in 2020, scoring 43 goals and providing a further 32 assists in 162 appearances.
The 26-year-old was one of just three players – alongside Salah – to provide 10+ goals and 10+ assists in the Premier League in 2021/22, before scoring the winning goal as West Ham won the Europa Conference League last season.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 1, 2023
Finding a replacement who can match Salah’s goal output appears difficult for Liverpool, but Bowen would provide a suitable stylistic successor given his high energy and preference to make inverted runs from the right wing.
West Ham are under no pressure to sell the four-cap England international, who could aid Liverpool’s need to increase their homegrown quota after the departures of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nat Phillips.
Another name who has been regularly linked with Liverpool in recent transfer windows, Federico Chiesa has shown signs of getting back to his best level this season after an injury-hit 2022/23.
Chiesa has scored twice in three league appearances for Juventus during the early weeks of the new campaign, having missed much of last two seasons with an ACL issue.
It gets better every time you watch it 😅
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) September 4, 2023
Liverpool will want a longer look at the Euro 2020 winner back at full fitness before deciding on a move, but pre-injury the winger appeared to have all the attributes Jurgen Klopp demands of a forward.
Direct, tenacious and quick, Chiesa could be the ideal option to fill Liverpool’s right-hand side, while he has also operated at centre-forward for Juventus this season.
Bryan Mbeumo has spent much of his time at Brentford as a support act to the club’s leading centre-forward, but the winger has shone in the spotlight since Ivan Toney’s suspension earlier this year.
Mbeumo has scored four goals in four appearances for the Bees so far this season, with the Cameroon international part of a group of players trying to keep pace with Manchester City’s Erling Haaland at the top of the Premier League’s scorers list.
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) September 3, 2023
The 24-year-old has shown signs of improved decision making in Thomas Frank’s side, while his preference for a position on the right wing – where he can cut inside to shoot on his left foot – adds to his appeal.
Mbeumo has room (and time) to develop should he make the step up to a big six side and Klopp has had success, most notably in signing Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson, in signing players from the division’s smaller sides and moulding them into world-class talents at Anfield.
Mbeumo has eight goals and three assists in his last 10 Premier League appearances, dating back to last season’s run-in.
Should Liverpool receive a massive windfall for Salah and search for a star name replacement, the Reds could do worse than make a bid for Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Kvaratskhelia was arguably the breakthrough star in European football last season, having had a starring role in Napoli’s first league title success since 1990. The Georgian won a host of individual accolades following that title triumph, including the Serie A Most Valuable Player award after leading the division for assists.
🤤 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has completed at least four more successful dribbles (21) than any other player in Euro 2024 qualifying so far pic.twitter.com/B7H8axGNhH
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 7, 2023
Signed for just €10m from Dinamo Batumi last summer, Napoli now value the winger in excess of ten times that figure. Deceptively strong, fleet-footed and direct, the 22-year-old also claimed the Champions League’s Young Player of the Season award as Napoli reached the competition’s quarter-finals for the first time.
His preference for a position on the left means Kvaratskhelia is not an obvious replacement for Salah, particularly given Liverpool’s current options are predominantly left-sided, but his arrival would be a statement signing in Klopp’s rebuild.
Karou Mitoma is another whose preference is to play from the left but is sure to attract considerable interest from sides in search of wide talent.
The 25-year-old was sensational as Brighton secured a top-six finish in the Premier League last season, as Roberto De Zerbi’s side qualified for European football for the first time.
Mitoma is a master of unbalancing opposition full-backs, with the jet-heeled Japan international often box-office viewing at Brighton. He currently leads the Premier League for assists, with three in four games for the Seagulls this season.
Most Open Play Assists: Kaoru Mitoma (3)
Most Open Play Chances Created: Kaoru Mitoma (14)
Highest Open Play Expected Assists Total: Kaoru Mitoma (1.83)
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) September 3, 2023
Manchester City are said to have considered an approach before turning focus to Jeremy Doku during the summer, while Tottenham have also been linked.
Most expect Mitoma, alongside Evan Ferguson, to be the next Seagulls stars that rival clubs break the bank for.