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Salah future, Sesko Chelsea, Gabriel Arsenal deal

Written by on April 29, 2024

This article was originally published on Fabrizio Romano’s Daily Briefing, a subscription service. If you would like to receive Fabrizio Romano’s exclusive transfer news via email ahead of publication on caughtoffside.com, please sign-up for the service here: thedailybriefing.io

April has been a really poor month for Liverpool, and there was a major incident on the pitch yesterday in the 2-2 draw with West Ham. Liverpool have collapsed recently, going out of the FA Cup, the Europa League, and also losing some key games in the Premier League.

It’s also not been the best moment for Mohamed Salah in particular, with the Egyptian forward scoring just two goals across March and April in the Premier League, one in March and one in April, so not what you’d expect from a player of his quality, and at the worst possible time for Jurgen Klopp as it looks like being an unhappy end to his time as manager at Liverpool.

So, what happened between Salah and Klopp at West Ham yesterday? Salah was on the touch-line ready to enter for the final minutes of the game, then he had an altercation with Klopp, the situation was quite tense, and Darwin Nunez tried to calm things down. Then after the game, Klopp said the case was closed after being discussed in the dressing room, and when asked if it was the same for Salah, Klopp said yes, that was his feeling.

But then Salah himself, as he was leaving the stadium and asked by journalists in the mixed zone, said: “If I speak today, there will be fire.”

So, a strong message from Salah as he was leaving the stadium. Obviously Klopp and Salah will now talk about this again in the next days, but it’s clearly a tense situation. Remember as well that Salah had transfer interest from Saudi clubs a year ago, and they could return again in the summer, so let’s see what will happen and what he will decide to do. Last summer he was very professional, Liverpool didn’t want to sell him and he decided to accept that, but now he has to decide with new directors and under new manager Arne Slot.

I wasn’t there so I can’t give much more information than that. I’m just sad to see two legends of the club having an argument on touchline, but sometimes it can happen when results are not positive. Salah’s future will be decided at the end of the season, not now; for Liverpool it was crucial to prepare new project and they have now new manager, new directors, all set.

Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp came to blows during West Ham vs Liverpool

As I reported yesterday, it’s a ‘here we go’ for Slot to Liverpool – he will be coming to Liverpool and he is already receiving all the information about Liverpool players, the status of the squad, and what’s going to be needed for the summer transfer window. So, Slot has already started the process to become the new Liverpool manager, though I’m still checking some details about the length of his contract, and I’m told it will not be super long, so I wouldn’t expect something like a five-year contract. From what I’m hearing it could start off as a short contract and then of course they would have the chance to extend it. Slot has already agreed on his salary, on his backroom staff, so that’s all in place as he prepares to become Liverpool manager.

To clarify something on compensation to Feyenoord – it’s true that Liverpool are going to spend €9m plus €2m in add-ons on Slot, but also for the entire backroom staff, what I’m hearing is that Liverpool are investing something like €13-15m. It’s almost guaranteed to be something like €13.5m and could go up to €15m with some add-ons. I’m also hearing that Liverpool will pay that in one year, and these payment terms made a difference to get a deal accepted by Feyenoord.

So everything is in place, documents are being prepared to finalise the deal, and Liverpool are also already preparing for the summer transfer window. At the moment it’s just about scouting before deciding the specific names they want to sign, but for sure a centre-back will be a priority and they are already discussing internally about some targets.

There have been reports of Gabriel Magalhaes possibly being set to be offered a new Arsenal contract after another superb season from the Brazilian centre-back at the Emirates Stadium.

He’s certainly a fantastic defender who’s had a fantastic season, but for now I’m not aware of anything advanced or concrete at this stage, it’s still early; it’s something that Arsenal will discuss in the future months, nothing imminent or urgent as Gabriel has three years left on his contract and there’s no urgency.

Of course, Gabriel is happy at Arsenal, they love him, and it will be discussed at the right moment.

Bernardo Silva’s name keeps coming up in the transfer rumours in the press, with some outlets saying he’s already decided to leave Manchester City in the summer. My understanding remains that the possibility for the player to leave Man City is realistic, yes; but no communication arrived yet to the club as Bernardo wants to focus on the final games.

Barcelona love Bernardo, they already tried for years to bring him to the club; let’s see if they will insist again based also on Financial Fair Play. But also Bernardo himself will not make a formal decision until the end of the season.

City have important games coming up in the title race, and of course also the FA Cup final, so Bernardo’s focus will be on finishing the season as strongly as possible before deciding on his future.

Julen Lopetegui – Despite reports, there is nothing close or advanced for Julen Lopetegui to become the new West Ham manager. Lopetegui is giving his priority to AC Milan, so let’s see how talks will continue between them. West Ham are taking their time to prepare candidates shortlist and then we will see. Paulo Fonseca is another name who’s been linked with the Hammers, but he’s also on the list at Marseille, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens, with nothing close or advanced at the moment.

Benjamin Sesko – It was another superb performance from RB Leipzig’s strikers yesterday, with Benjamin Sesko one to watch for this summer, 100%. At this point Sesko is more likely than Lois Openda to leave Leipzig, also because interest in Sesko is already very strong; let’s see if will become concrete in terms of proposals. But for sure both are doing great.

Florian Wirtz – All top clubs like Florian Wirtz, obviously; he’s one of the best talents in the world. But there was never a negotiation or concrete talk this year as Wirtz is staying at Bayer Leverkusen, the decision has been already made as a key part of keeping Xabi Alonso as manager. In 2025 there will be interest from top clubs from Spain, England and Bayern too for sure. But I’m not able to predict what happens in one year, so let’s wait and see which specific teams will step up their interest.

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