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Rumour Mongering: Liverpool on Mbappé Shortlist

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The French striker is looking to go where the trophies are.

Liverpool v Paris Saint Germain - Champions League Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Typically, Liverpool have been in the business of making superstars, not buying them.

As such, the greatest Liverpool players have historically been either developed by the club outright, or have moved to the club as high-quality players, taking the step into world-class territory while playing in Red.

This is a common argument against the idea that Jürgen Klopp and his recruitment team would be interested in signing Kylian Mbappé.

However, in recent years, the Reds have shown a willingness to splurge when they assess that the player is worth it; that not signing the player in question would be more costly than ponying up their transfer fees. The deals for Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, both ready-made stars and world-record signings for their position group fall into this category.

The French striker has 18 months left on his deal with PSG, and despite confident noises from the club regarding his willingness to sign a new deal, behind the scenes, the 21-year old has been widely tipped to leave, either for a reduced — but still exorbitant — fee this summer, or in 2022, on a free transfer.

The Venn diagram of clubs that can afford Mbappé’s wages — currently reported around £315k per week, and expected to double or thereabouts the next time round — and also offers a sporting environment that gives the World Cup champion a legitimate chance at the biggest prize in club football, the Champions League, in the short span of a footballer’s prime, is vanishingly short.

Real Madrid have been widely tipped to lead the pack for the Frenchman’s signature, but, although they did eke out qualification from the group stages last night, the Spaniards are in the middle of a transition period, and even though they are flush with cash, they are not considered among the top five clubs in the world at the moment, nor do they appear on track to change that in the very near future.

Manchester United also have the money, but are even less competitive on the pitch- Their blue rivals, City, can offer both, but appear hellbent on adding Lionel Messi in the summer. Barcelona are ninth in La Liga, and will need to rebuild nearly an entire squad.

Which leaves what are probably the two best clubs in the world at the moment, and the ones furthest away from meeting Mbappé’s wages, Bayern Munich and Liverpool. Luckily for these clubs, the striker is, according to Le Parisien, looking for a place to fulfil his sporting ambitions first, rather than simply going where the money is, and, if The Mail is to be believed, the player has mentioned Liverpool by name.

Mbappé has praised Jürgen Klopp and the Reds in the past, and although any reasonable deal would demolish the club’s wage structure — the case for any club, in truth — it is difficult to see how signing a player who has consistently averaged 1.3 goals and assists per game since he was 17 would fail to net his new club a profit through trophy haul alone.

Are the Reds interested in signing the best striker on the planet? Undoubtedly. Can they afford him? Possibly, assuming a continued willingness to break the bank for elite talent. Is Mbappé keen? It appears quite likely, and securing a title or two this season could go a long way towards convincing the Frenchman that his best shot at glory lies on Merseyside.