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Sunday 18 August 2019

Graeme Souness fears Liverpool may lose their top stars to Spanish giants

Reds legend says Barcelona and Real Madrid will rebuild by attempting Anfield raid

Liverpool players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Champions League final at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid last Saturday. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Liverpool players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Champions League final at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid last Saturday. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Graeme Souness fears Real Madrid and Barcelona will 'try to poach' Liverpool's Champions League winning heroes, as he suspects Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be transfer targets for Spain's top two sides.

While Salah and Mane turned in below par performances as Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in Saturday's Champions League final in Madrid, the duo played a central role the club's run to a sixth European crown and Virgin Media Sport analyst Souness fears they will be tempted to move away from Anfield sooner rather than later.

"Real Madrid and Barcelona will be sniffing round Salah and Mane and I think one of them will be targeted this summer," Souness told Independent.ie

"Both of those clubs are in the process of rebuilding and they tend to tempt any player when they go after them.

"Liverpool are a massive football club and they have proved they are back on top after reaching the Champions League final for two years in succession, but a lot of players find it hard to say no when Real Madrid and Barcelona go after you.

"We saw that in the past with Luiz Suarez and Philippe Coutinho and even though they enjoyed playing for Liverpool, their heads were turned when Barcelona wanted them. That will happen again now with Salah and Mane."

Graeme Souness. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Graeme Souness. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Mane has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in recent months and has always insisted he is in no rush to leave Liverpool.

"I respect the Spanish league, it's a good league and they have great players, but I am already in a great league and I'm happy to be here," stated Mane. "It is always nice to be linked with big teams, but there is no reason to leave Liverpool."

Despite his concerns over the long-term futures of Salah and Mane, Souness has suggested Liverpool are 'in great shape' after their Champions League victory as he suggested their win in Madrid could be the start of a new era of success under manager Jurgen Klopp.

"Liverpool are in fantastic shape for the next few years," he added. "You look at the goalkeeper, the back four, Joel Matip or Joe Gomes that's a back five that can play together for eight or ten years, barring injury.

"Trent Alexander is going to be a fantastic player, he's got a wicked right foot, Andy Robertson can be there for a long time. They can add to the squad they have now and improve the depth, but they have the basis of a team there that can go on for many years.

"The worry for Liverpool going forward is not Man City having all that firepower to spend but someone coming in for Salah, which I think they will to, Mane too, they will be high on the list of Real Madrid. Liverpool are in great shape, I wouldn't be worried about them."

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