Liverpool close in on their first signing of the summer as John Aldridge picks out a key area to strengthen
Liverpool are closing in on their first major signing of the summer, but reports that they have already agreed a £35m deal for Roma’s Mohamed Salah are wide of the mark according to the latest reports from Italy.
Egyptian winger Salah struggled to make an impact during one-year spell in English football with Chelsea that ended when he was loaned to Fiorentina during the 2015 January transfer window.
Yet the 24-year-old was in impressive form for Roma last season, scoring 15 Serie A goals and being credited with 11 assists as he helped his club finish second in the Italian title race.
Now his sparkling form looks set to secure his return to the Premier League, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp moving early in this transfer window to try and secure Salah’s services.
Liverpool’s squad was cruelly exposed when they lost Sadio Mane to injury at the back end of last season, with the lack of strength in depth in Klopp’s set-up also highlighted when injures affected skipper Jordan Henderson, midfielder Adam Lallana and treatment room season ticket holder Daniel Sturridge.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge hopes Salah is the first of a succession of big name arrivals at the club this summer, as he suggests a central striker should be Klopp’s priority.
“Liverpool would be wise to strengthen at the centre of their defence, the full-back position, in the heart of midfield and in wide positions ahead of a campaign that will hopefully include plenty of Champions League football,” Aldridge told the Sunday World.
“Yet for me, the big player he needs to target is a 20-goal a season striker who can take an already promising team team to the next level.
“Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi simply cannot be relied upon to be fit and on form for long enough over the course of a tiring season, so I want to see a proven marksman arrive and let’s hope he is snapped up quickly.
“The Liverpool manager needs to push to get his new players signed early in this transfer window as the Champions League qualifier in mid-August will roll around very quickly.”
Liverpool are set to pay a fee that will eclipse the sum they paid to sign both Andy Carroll in January 2011 and Mane last summer to recruit Salah, with the Anfield club looking to finally sign a player who turned them down when he moved to Chelsea in January 2014.
The Reds believed they had a deal in place to sign Salah until he opted to join Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea instead.