Liverpool can use ‘dangerous’ contract dilemmas to plot long-term transfer deals

As Liverpool highlighted last season, for the majority of teams the January transfer window is predominantly focused on fixing immediate problems.

The Reds brought in Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies to help lessen their centre-back crisis, following injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, and Joe Gomez.

However, despite being considered a time for a quick-fix, Liverpool may be able to use January to look towards potential deals for the long-term.

Though there has been a lot of discussion surrounding Mohamed Salah’s ongoing contract talks, with his deal set to expire in 2023, there are plenty of other high-quality players in similar situations.

With 18 months left on their contracts, here’s a list of players Liverpool may look to target in the coming months as clubs consider cashing in on their star assets.

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Youri Tielemans

The Leicester City man has been linked with a move to Liverpool in the past and as his contract runs down, those rumours are likely to continue.

Tielemans arrived in the Premier League with a considerable reputation as a 22-year-old, following his performances for Monaco and Anderlecht, and his stock has only grown since joining Leicester.

The dynamic midfielder has scored five goals and registered two assists across 14 league games so far this season.

Asked about his contract talks with Leicester in September, the Belgian international said he wished to “keep as many options as I can open”.

Dusan Vlahovic

Another player whose recent performances have seen him linked with the Reds, Vlahovic has quickly become one of the hottest properties in European football.

The Fiorentina striker has continued his prolific form from last season by netting 16 goals in 19 games in Serie A, placing him joint-top scorer with Mohamed Salah and Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick across Europe’s top five leagues.

As a 21-year-old, his goals have seen him linked with several clubs across the continent and Fiorentina may look to cash in this summer, if they are unable to agree a new deal.

Despite supposedly facing tough competition for his signature, if Jurgen Klopp is planning to rejuvenate his forward options, the Serbian looks to be a long-term fit.

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Ryan Gravenberch

Similar to Tielemans, Gravenberch is another midfielder who gained a formidable reputation from an early age.

The Ajax man made his first-team debut in 2018, aged 16, and has been a regular in the side for the last two seasons.

Having been bemoaned in some quarters for not signing a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, Liverpool could eventually find their man through his international teammate.

Previously linked midfield targets Yves Bissouma of Brighton and Barcelona’s Gavi will also have one year remaining on their deal, should they not sign a new contract before the end of the season.

Ronald Araujo

The Barcelona defender has been a familiar name on the Liverpool rumour mill in recent weeks after allegedly stalling over a new contract.

The Uruguayan centre-back has been a regular in Barca’s team for the last two seasons, but will have a year left on his deal, if no new contract can be agreed by the summer.

It means the Catalan club could look to cash in on the 22-year-old, with head coach Xavi having admitted this month that player departures were a priority to allow Barcelona to register new players.

Though Liverpool are well-stocked in that area, Araujo could be an interesting option if the German coach wishes to refresh his squad.

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Marcus Thuram

Possibly the most intriguing name on this list, Thuram’s growing reputation has been somewhat stunted so far this season.

The France international registered 33 combined goals and assists over his first two seasons in the Bundesliga, having joined Borussia Monchengladbach from Guingamp.

However, the 24-year-old winger has been impacted by a knee injury this season, which has seen him limited to just over 400 minutes of league action.

Able to play on the left or as a striker, Thuram could provide the Reds with adequate cover for Sadio Mane.

Also within the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund’s prodigious 17-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko has 18 months left on his contract. In 2020, he became the youngest-ever player in both Bundesliga and Champions League history could be a tempting proposition for the Reds.

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