Soccer

Four players who could be Liverpool’s Haaland after Man City confirm transfer

While the battle for this season's Premier League title remains on a knife edge, already Manchester City and Liverpool are assembling their artillery for next term.

The Reds added the electric Luis Diaz in January and he's been a crucial factor in the team's push for an unprecedented quadruple. City didn't respond mid-season, although it was confirmed on Tuesday that they will have a goalscoring force of nature to call on in Erling Haaland.

The Borussia Dortmund striker is rated as one of the best young players in world football, having scored an incredible 85 goals in 88 appearances for the Bundesliga side since joining from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020.

The Norwegian's acquisition will fill the one main void City have in their squad, as Guardiola's side have surged to the top of the table this season despite not having a recognised no. 9.

Even with their attacking riches considered, some Liverpool fans will want to see a response from their club and Jurgen Klopp in the summer window, especially with uncertainty over the futures of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Here are four players who could add a fresh dimension to what is already a world-class stable of forward options.

Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain

Perhaps the best way to match City's signing of Haaland would be to go out and secure the services of world football's other golden boy – Kylian Mbappe.

There's a strong chance the Frenchman will be available this summer too, as he is yet to sign fresh terms with Paris Saint-Germain on a contract that runs out at the end of the campaign. It means he could feasibly be available on a free transfer, although a player of his calibre would likely cost an extortionate amount in terms of wages and signing-on fees.

Liverpool have been tentatively linked with Mbappe and it would be easy to him thriving in Klopp's dynamic attacking setup.

However, Real Madrid still look favourites to secure his services. The prospect of Mbappe linking up with international team-mate Karim Benzema at club level is an ominous one for the rest of Europe.

Do Liverpool need to spend big to match City this summer? Let us know in the comments section below!

Lautaro Martinez, Inter

Martinez has had an up-and-down season in Serie A, but there is no denying the talent the Inter man possesses.

The Argentina international has shouldered the attacking burden at San Siro this season following the sale of Romelu Lukaku and in recent weeks he's started to thrive, with the Serie A title on the line.

He has 19 goals in the Italian top flight this term and has already shown Liverpool what he can do in the Champions League with a stunning goal in the Nerazzurri's 1-0 win over the Reds at Anfield.

Technically sound, hard-working and slick in his movement, he would potentially be a fine long-term replacement for Firmino on Merseyside.

Darwin Nunez, Benfica

Another player Liverpool have seen first-hand in the Champions League is Darwin Nunez, who appears on course for a big move this summer.

The 22-year-old Uruguayan has enjoyed a breakthrough season, scoring 32 goals in 38 appearances across the European Cup and the Portuguese top flight. Benfica were beaten by Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final, but Nunez scored in both legs.

Nunez is another forward who looks tailor made for Premier League football, as he possesses an excellent all-round skill set. In and out of possession he is a vibrant presence at the point of the attack and as his goal record illustrates, when he does get into optimal positions he is lethal.

Liverpool are one of a number of teams that have been linked with the striker and it has been reported £70 million may be needed to prise him away from the Lisbon giants.

Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich

With his contract expiring at the end of next season, there have been recent rumours about Sadio Mane joining Bayern Munich. It's also been suggested Serge Gnabry could go the other way as part of any deal.

Unlike Martinez and Nunez, the German international is not a classic centre-forward. However, for his country Gnabry has led the line with distinction, while his ability to play in any position across the front line would surely appeal to Klopp, who likes to rotate the position of his forwards.

Gnabry struggled when he was in the Premier League with both Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion, although it would be intriguing to track his development if he did return. The 26-year-old has made huge strides in Munich and has long been one of the most feared forwards in the Bundesliga.

However, Bayern would surely be at loath to lose such an important player, just as Liverpool will now surely do what they can to keep Mane around beyond next season.

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