PSG target Mo Salah as Kylian Mbappe replacement, Barcelona ready to sell two defenders
Paris Saint-Germain want Liverpool striker Mo Salah if Kylian Mbappe departs this summer, Barcelona are ready to sell Junior Firpo and Samuel Umtiti, Harvey Elliott does not want to go back on loan away from Liverpool next year, and Manchester United are keen on former goalkeeper Sam Johnstone of West Brom.
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool reacts during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Anfield on April 14, 2021 in Liverpool, England.
Paris Saint-Germain are keen on bringing Mo Salah to the club if they are unable to keep hold of Kylian Mbappe. The 22-year-old French international has been linked with Real Madrid, according to the Sun, and Mauricio Pochettino thinks Salah, 28, would be an excellent replacement for the striker. The Egyptian has a contract that run out in a little over two years.
Paper Round’s view: Salah is closing in on his thirties and while there is nothing in his lifestyle or fitness that suggests he is going to have a problem continuing at the highest level, the temptation for Liverpool must be to cash in now and re-invest in the squad. For PSG they would get a ruthless player who would offer an almost equal replacement to Mbappe as they chase titles once again.
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Barca ready to sell two defenders
Barcelona are weighing up their options in defence, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, and they could be ready to sell two players. First up is Samuel Umtiti, whose huge wages mean that Barca would accept just 10 million euros for the 27-year-old French international, and Junior Firpo could also be let go, with the 24-year-old Spanish-Dominican failing to kick on at the Camp Nou.
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona’s squad management has been a mess, and the injuries for Umtiti have complicated matters. If he could be relied upon to stay fit then he would probably be first choice, but his injury problems have stopped him being a consistent performer. It is hard to see which club would be willing to risk a big contract on a player who could miss big chunks of the season.
Liverpool’s 18-year-old midfielder Harvey Elliott does not want to be moved on by his parent club this summer. The playmaker has been getting first team action with Blackburn Rovers, but now wants to make his mark at Anfield. He told the Mirror that he is "100% confident" he can challenge for a first team place, meaning he is unlikely to want to go out on loan again next campaign.
Paper Round’s view: Elliott is coming good at the right time, for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and his own career. The front three at Liverpool have grown stale and his introduction on the wings could freshen things up, while there may also be a spot for him should Georginio Wijnaldum move on in the summer as expected. He could also ease the exit of Xherdan Shaqiri, who now struggles for appearances.
Manchester United are in the running to sign West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone. The 28-year-old goalkeeper has been called up into Gareth Southgate’s squad but faced relegation with his club. That could see him move on for £18 million in the summer to provide competition for Dean Henderson, though both Spurs and West Ham are also keen on the player.
Paper Round’s view: Johnstone is a reliable enough player and presumably counts as a homegrown member of the squad, which is always handy when considering a player who will probably not need to feature much over the course of the season. For United it is important they get David de Gea off their wage books, or they could be stuck with him in the reserves and prevent a suitable replacement coming in.