More big reds bids to come?

Mohamed Salah's signing could potentially kick-start a Reds spending spree, as Klopp plans to add a holding midfielder and a central defender.
Mohamed Salah's signing could potentially kick-start a Reds spending spree, as Klopp plans to add a holding midfielder and a central defender.PHOTO: REUTERS

After club-record signing Salah, Liverpool eyeing two major deals to boost squad depth

LONDON • Liverpool are reportedly planning to make two more record signings after completing a deal for Mohamed Salah from Roma on Thursday.

The Italian Serie A outfit claimed that the Merseyside club had paid a club-record £36.9 million (S$65.2 million) for Salah - who signed a five-year contract worth £90,000 a week - and that his eventual fee could reach almost £44 million, depending on the progress of the Egypt winger.

Liverpool's previous club-record fee was the £35 million they paid Newcastle United for striker Andy Carroll in 2011.

Salah will wear the No. 11 shirt after Roberto Firmino agreed to switch to No. 9.

According to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is also keen to sign a holding midfielder and a central defender, and each of those deals could surpass the sum spent on Salah.

The German has eyes on two 22-year-olds - Naby Keita, the Guinean from RB Leipzig, and Schalke's Leon Goretzka - for the midfielder role.

But Keita is expected to cost more than £50 million, while Goretzka has also attracted strong interest from Bayern Munich.

After failing to sign Southampton's Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk, Klopp is reportedly out to snare Kalidou Koulibaly from Italian club Napoli. However, the 26-year-old Senegalese will command a £50 million-plus fee, similar to van Dijk.

Still, the Liverpool manager achieved a major success on Thursday as the 25-year-old Salah had been a long-time Reds target.

Liverpool had missed out on the Egyptian's signature three years ago, when he joined London rivals Chelsea but had an underwhelming spell in the Premier League.

However, after impressing in the Serie A with 29 goals in 65 appearances for Roma, Klopp believes that the winger has developed a more rounded game, and his "incredible" pace will add depth to a squad which will be tested with the challenge of a Champions League campaign in the coming season.

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Salah said: "I'm very excited to be here. I'm very happy. I will give 100 per cent and give everything for the club. I really want to win something for this club."

Klopp said of his new signing: "(Salah) has the perfect mix of experience and potential - this is a really exciting signing for us. He knows the Premier League, he has pedigree in the Champions League and he is one of the most important players for his country.

"His record in Italy has been outstanding and he possesses qualities that will enhance our team and squad. His pace is incredible, he gives us more attacking threat."

While Salah is the second arrival of the summer at Anfield after England national Under-20 side forward Dominic Solanke, Liverpool have turned down an £11 million bid for the out-of-favour left-back Alberto Moreno from Napoli.

The Italian side are expected to return with an improved offer but face competition from two Premier League clubs and Moreno's former club Sevilla.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2017, with the headline 'More big reds bids to come?'. Print Edition | Subscribe