The Telegraph claim that Liverpool have the ‘ultimate ambition’ of signing Kylian Mbappe – but that won’t be for Jurgen Klopp.
The report suggests that Liverpool, while interested in Jadon Sancho, really want Mbappe. They may see him as overly expensive – even prohibitively as he’s surely cost a world-record fee – but he’s the dream.
The Telegraph’s suggestion that it would be part of a plan to recruit players excited at the prospect of working with Klopp may be wide of the mark, though.
In fact, that may not be the plan at all. Mbappe may, instead, be a target for a post-Klopp Liverpool.
Reports have been around for months that Klopp may take a sabbatical at the end of his contract in 2022. That’s only two-and-a-half more seasons, of course – it’s likely time to plan for the future.
It’ll be the end of an era, regardless. Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah will all be pushing 30 and beyond by then.
And so Liverpool are in a situation where they may lose their manager and need a squad overhaul in a couple of years. Not just the star players but the great figure it is all built around.
Thus, there’s little doubt that Klopp’s exit would represent a decline – who on earth do you replace him with?
If you accept that any coach will be a downgrade, you could offset it by building in a different way. There isn’t a better choice than Mbappe to do that, in truth.
He’s the world’s most exciting young player and one who could very well dominate football for a while. If Liverpool can get him, Mbappe would be the foundation of the next era.
So the suggestion that Mbappe would arrive so he could work with Klopp isn’t strictly true. Liverpool would target him regardless, and possibly with the main intention of replacing their coach as the club’s leading figure.