Liverpool were recently dealt a huge setback after it was confirmed that the Africa Cup of Nations for 2021 has been moved to take place from January 2021 which would rule out trio Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita.

Despite the 2019 tournament taking place last summer, the 2021 edition has will be played just after the already hectic festive period meaning Liverpool could lose their African triumvirate for up to six matches.

Following concerns over weather conditions, it was decided that the host country Cameroon would instead stage the tournament in January.

With two of Liverpool’s top-scorers this season guaranteed to miss a small chunk of next season, could Jurgen Klopp mastermind a couple of summer transfers to ease the burden of the Reds’ irreplaceable attacking duo?

RTK have identified out a few potential options

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Monaco (ASM) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco on January 15, 2020. (Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP) (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe

The player on every Reds fan’s lips yet is the transfer that is the least likely to happen. The Paris Saint Germain player has been heavily touted with a move to Merseyside with Klopp making a previous attempt to sign Mbappe from Monaco back in 2017.

The World Cup-winning forward is one of the deadliest attackers in world football and has already taken the footballing globe by storm despite only being 21-years of age. Mbappe has been tipped as a certainty to claim the Ballon d’Or once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo hang up their boots.

However, Klopp has suggested in the past that the Frenchman is just too expensive. Arguably the most exciting prospect of his generation, Liverpool would be looking at negotiating a fee that would likely surpass £200 million.

MARBELLA, SPAIN – JANUARY 11: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund looks on during a friendly match between Borussia Dortmund and Feyenoord Rotterdam on January 11, 2020 in Marbella, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Jadon Sancho

Another young forward who has consistently been linked to Anfield. Borrusia Dortmund teenager Sancho is the most in-demand attacker in Europe right now.

 

With it seemingly likely the former Manchester City star will end his three-year spell in Germany at the end of the season, Liverpool could make an approach for the England international.

However, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah still in the peak years of their career, Sancho would most likely have to make his impact from the bench. Considering the player will cost in excess of £100 million it does seems a transfer that is unlikely to materialise this summer.

DORTMUND, GERMANY – DECEMBER 17: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Timo Werner of Leipzig looks on during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig at Signal Iduna Park on December 17, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Timo Werner

The man who is taking the Bundesliga by storm this season. RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner is enjoying his finest campaign yet in the top flight – with 23 goals and 10 assists in just 25 appearances already this season.

Werner, 23, has attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest hitters – including Manchester United – and with a release clause of just £27 million, it’s no surprise that the former Stuttgart striker will have a large number of suitors this summer.

The Germany international predominantly plays down the middle which could provide Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino with some much-needed cover with the Brazilian (28) entering the latter of his peak years.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 27: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League group F match between FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund at Camp Nou on November 27, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Ousmane Dembele

Another young player who continues to dominate transfer speculation following a topsy-turvy start to his Barcelona tenure. A curious player nonetheless who has so far failed to live up to the demeanour of £135.5m price tag since trading Dortmund for the Nou Camp.

However, at just 22, Klopp has proven he can be more patient than most when it comes to young talents. Despite being linked with an exit from the La Liga champions, injuries have played a toll in the Frenchman as of yet finding his feet in Spain.

An option for Liverpool who can play on either flank, Dembele could be someone who could thrive learning under the tutelage of Salah and Mane.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Emiliano Buendia of Norwich City reacts during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Crystal Palace at Carrow Road on January 01, 2020 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Emiliano Buendia

Perhaps a potential target that has caught Klopp’s attention the most this season. Norwich’s Buendia has created more chances in the Premier League than any other player that isn’t named Kevin de Bruyne.

The Argentine has been one of the shining lights in a team that is routed to the bottom of the league table. Alongside, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki the trio have proved quite the formidable force following their promotion from the Championship in 2019.

With seven assists already to his name, Buendia – similarly to Xherdan Shaqiri – could provide even more squad depth to Liverpool’s world-conquering squad and, should the Canaries face the drop, Klopp could potentially snap up the former Getafe playmaker for small change.

 

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