Liverpool double-contract deal can make Jürgen Klopp’s summer as Julian Ward’s job continues

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One less, there are still four left. Liverpool have ‘solved’ the issue of needing to extend Sadio Mane’s contract by selling him (or at least will soon, with an agreement now in place for him to leave).

Mané is set to move to Bayern Munich with his replacement, Darwin Núñez, on significantly lower wages. This means that another name has ticked off the contract list of those whose contracts expire in 2023, even if losing the player is not the outcome that can happen for everyone.

James Milner is now on the list after signing a one-year extension, but four others have been there for much longer: Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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Let’s start with the easiest. Oxlade-Chamberlain could leave this summer if a club matches their valuation, or next summer on a free transfer if not.

Roberto Firmino would be happy to stay at Anfield if offered a new contract but if liverpool deciding which is best for them remains to be seen. It could still depend on how his body fares next season after an injury-riddled campaign last year.

But then things are harder to predict. It seems logical to sign Keïta up for an extension after spending £52million to sign him. If only to preserve its value, that would seem logical.

Keïta has yet to reach the heights expected of him at Liverpool, but is in the best shape of his time at the club and began answering questions about his fitness record in the second half of the season.

With Salah, the issue is apparently a question of money. Liverpool won’t give in to his demands, and so far they haven’t shown any signs of doing so from their perspective either. This deadlock is far from a conclusion.

Joe Gomez is another contract to think about. The defender, whose current contract runs until 2024, is someone Liverpool would like to tie down for longer, but he may have other ideas given his lack of playing time recently.

Gomez, however, alongside Ibrahima Konaté, is Liverpool’s future at centre-back. Signing him up for an extension should be a priority if possible – with the assurance of an expanded role.

Salah and Gomez, and particularly the former, signing new contracts would be huge news for Liverpool, with both players capable of becoming an integral part of the team over the next few seasons. Keïta and Firmino could then be evaluated next season with a view to extending as a lower priority.

The signings of Núñez, Fábio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay could have put Liverpool in a strong position this summer. But the real success of the window could hinge on securing deals on the line for the players they already have.

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