Liverpool 2.0: Contract Renewal Plan Explained

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Deal or No Deal

I wrote recently about the immediate requirements of an incoming Sporting Director, in the hope that one would be appointed to his new Anfield role this calendar year. Max Eberl is the current name in the frame, after being relinquished of his RB Leipzig duties before his contract was due to expire. The fact that the German club were willing to part ways with such an elite Sporting CEO before time (end of 2023), was more a reflection of self-preservation and the fear he may start to leverage RBL players towards his next potential post. Talks have almost certainly taken place between the unemployed 50-year-old, as someone that is coveted for self-preservation elite level credentials. One of the biggest challenges for any incoming Director of Football is to oversee and coordinate the number of playing contracts under his watch. Whether to renew or sell is something that has hindered the reds’ ability to spend since the departure of Michael Edwards, therefore, a new and improved method must be undertaken, which does not bow to the sentiment of our German manager. Below are the contracts that are due to expire in the next 20 months, with some notes on how each individual case should be handled.

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Thiago Alcântara

Contract expires June 30, 2024

The Spanish magician, that has now mastered his own disappearing act. The current contract of the former Bayern star sees the club pay him approximately £10m per year, which is not currently showing any value for money. The reds have a crucial season ahead, as they regenerate the squad to create Liverpool 2.0. Jürgen Klopp has two more seasons remaining (after this one) and only he will decide whether his managerial stay will be prolonged beyond that point. For the remainder of his tenure, I would not be at all surprised if he requested his Spanish midfielder be gifted that same length of contract, given his brilliance and influence on those younger and emerging assets in the squad. Last season saw the former Barca playmaker be played into the injury-plagued red zone, which saw his body inevitably breaking under the strain. Once we get this man back to full fitness, I have no doubt that a bespoke playing schedule would be designed to elicit the absolute best of his game, which is still of a world-class level. With two years added to his existing deal, the contractual outlay would be protected by the Saudi Pro League, who would happily pay over £20m to sign the legendary player.

Verdict – Two-year extension, sold in 2025.

Joël Matip

Contract expires June 30, 2024

The former Cameroonian international is having a renaissance moment and turning back the years with a very strong season, thus far anyway. The surprise emergence of Jarell Quansah and relative youth of both Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konaté, can see Matip play that one game per week that his body can allow. This transitional year is being undertaken without the pressure of Champions League fixtures, which has created a rotation policy that we have never really witnessed under Klopp. As the squad grows in depth and quality, the support can be hopeful that a return to Europe’s elite competition will avail itself next season, which should allow the manager to have some steady form of rotation in place. In that situation, to retain the former Schalke central defender would be a smart move, with two years pinned onto his current deal, before a sale is sanctioned to the Saudi Pro League.

Verdict – Two-year extension, sold in 2025.

Conor Bradley

Contract expires June 30, 2024

An unfortunate August injury will likely not see the Northern Irishman play this calendar year, after sustaining a stress fracture in his back. The gifted right-back is well thought of at the Axa Training Centre, as his emergence allowed Calvin Ramsay to leave the club on loan. Bradley’s ill-timed injury has left the team a little short in that position, with Stefan Bajčetić seeing some of his early season playing time spent as the club’s Europa League hybrid. Long term, Conor is someone that will either offer a great first team squad option or be sold on for good value. In either instance, a new long-term deal should be offered to secure his future at the club.

Verdict – 3/4-year extension, loaned in 2024.

Adrián

Contract expires June 30, 2024

The popular Spaniard is evidently someone that our world-class first-choice stopper, Alisson Becker, is keen to have alongside him. The goalkeeping group is at times a closed-off fraternity that is close-knit and supportive of one another, which is why Liverpool have continually awarded a very low bar player (Adrián) a rolling contract. My main concern is that to keep the former West Ham man content, a non-homegrown slot and some potential first-team starts may ensue. This eventuality is not what is required for Liverpool 2.0, therefore a one-year deal without guaranteed playing time is the maximum that should be afforded.

Verdict – Released, ideally. However, if Ali needs him to remain, then a coaching role could be awarded.

Mohamed Salah

Contract expires June 30, 2025

The most fascinating transfer saga of all time is whether our Egyptian king will be awarded a new deal, that puts him in the time to re-initiate talks regarding a new deal. Salah is 31 and his physicality and hunger for the game is unrivalled. Therefore, I would offer a two-year extension that takes him up to his 36th birthday. The terms of the deal would also place him in the upper echelons of the Reds’ pay structure, something that he has undoubtedly earned. The new contract would also ensure that he retires at the club or is sold for significant money in 2026.

Verdict – Two-year extension, sold in 2026.

Andrew Robertson

Contract expires June 30, 2025

The no-nonsense Scot is in his prime and is the Reds’ next club captain. Therefore, I would offer a three-year extension, that would take him up to his 33rd birthday. This deal would ensure that he retires at the club or is sold for decent money in 2027. Robbo is world-class and a leader among others, therefore his influence in the changing room is invaluable. His standards never drop and his consistency is exceptional, therefore he is a player that you can build a team around.

Verdict – Three-year extension, sold in 2027.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Contract expires June 30, 2025

Our local hero is world-class and a one-club man. Therefore, I would offer a four-year extension, that would take him up to his 30th birthday. This deal would ensure that he retires at the club or is sold for huge money in 2028. Trent is a genius and the heartbeat of our team, therefore his presence on the pitch helps us exert dominance in any game. His standards are exceptional and his ability to lead by example is second to none. Therefore, he is a player that you can build a team around for the next decade.

Verdict – Four-year extension, retires at the club.

This is a player that has been let down by the club, through no fault of his own. His ability is world-class and his desire to win matches is unrivalled. Therefore, a new contract is essential to ensure that his peak years are spent at Anfield. His current deal does not reflect his importance to the team, therefore a significant pay rise is essential. The club must do whatever it takes to keep him, as he is irreplaceable. If that means selling other first-team players, then so be it. This is a no-brainer, sign him up!

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