The Premier league champions are set to hand contract extensions to six more stars after Trent Alexander-Arnold signed a new deal – but there are two glaring omissions
Transfer update: Liverpool plan more exits plus van de Beek news
Liverpool’s next contract priorities have emerged after Trent Alexander-Arnold signed a long-term deal – but the plans pose a problem over two key players.
Alexander-Arnold had committed to the Reds until 2025, with his bumper new contract believed to place him in the same wage bracket as top earners Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
The four-year deal is reward for the 22-year-old’s meteoric rise under Jurgen Klopp, with the England international regarded as one of the world’s best attacking full-backs.
Van Dijk, Salah and Mane are next in line for extensions, along with Alisson, Fabinho and Andy Robertson, according to The Athletic.
Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
But there are two glaring omissions from that list of nailed-on first-team stars who helped the Reds to Champions League and Premier League glory in successive seasons.
Skipper Jordan Henderson and striker Firmino have entered the final two years of their contracts – meaning both players could be vulnerable to either being poached by rivals, or leaving for free when their current deals expire in the summer of 2023.
By that time, Henderson will be turning 33 and Firmino will be 31 – but in these days of rapid advances in sports science and nutrition, both will likely still be eminently capable of doing a job for a top side.
Klopp is understood to have wanted to keep Georginio Wijnaldum, another first-team star who was crucial to Liverpool’s rise to the top of world football.
But the 30-year-old was allowed to leave on a free to join Paris Saint-Germain – who have also been linked with Henderson after the captain’s contract talks stalled.
It is inevitable that Salah, Mane and Firmino will all be replaced at some point, with all three forwards now 29 and contracted until the summer of 2023.
Should Firmino and Henderson be priorities for new deals? Have your say in the comments below
Liverpool Echo/Colin Lane)
Klopp of course has already begun the process, having last year signed Diogo Jota from Wolves, which had the effect of placing Firmino’s position under threat after the 24-year-old made a blistering start to his Anfield career.
But Liverpool fans will not want to see either Henderson or Firmino follow in Wijnaldum’s footsteps and leave on a free – or on the cheap – boosting a rivals’ prospects in the process.
Other players are also nearing the ends of their contracts with Klopp facing the challenge of continuing to rejuvenate his squad following the signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig this summer.
Pool via REUTERS)
As things stand, James Milner, Divock Origi and Ben Woodburn will be out of contract at the end of next season.
Van Dijk and Fabinho have two years left on their deals, although both will be expected to sign extensions.
Also contracted until 2023 are centre-halves Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Sheyi Ojo.
And Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Thiago and Takumi Minamino join Alisson and Robertson as players who currently under contract until 2024.
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