If it really needed confirming, ongoing rumours linking Liverpool with Kylian Mbappe will continue to be just that, as wage demands for his next club prove.
Ever since their failed bid to sign Mbappe from Monaco in 2017, the Reds have been touted with renewed moves for a player who never appears happy at PSG.
The 25-year-old, who is undoubtedly one of the best forwards in world football, seems to be involved in a saga over his future every transfer window.
Liverpool are always pitched into the running along with Real Madrid, but Mbappe has invariably stayed in Paris, and most recently signed a new contract with PSG last year.
That deal is set to expire this summer, with the player therefore able to agree pre-contract terms over a free transfer as early as this month.
But while French journalist Julien Laurens told BBC Radio 5 Live this week that Mbappe “really likes” Liverpool, and L’Equipe claimed their efforts to sign him years ago were “never forgotten,” a move to Anfield is not on the cards.
According to the Telegraph‘s Jason Burt, sources close to Mbappe claim he “expects a salary of £64.5 million a year after tax.”
“That equates to £1.24 million a week,” Burt explains, therefore underlining why Liverpool won’t be in the running.
Mohamed Salah is currently Liverpool’s highest earner on £350,000 per week, which is almost four times less than Mbappe is reportedly demanding.
But wages are typically reported as pre-tax figures, and therefore Salah’s take-home pay would be considerably less than £350,000 a week.
According to Burt, Mbappe holds “genuine affection” for Liverpool due to his mother and agent, Fayza Lamari, being an ardent supporter of the club.
“But if there was any chance of a deal it would take an awful lot of working parts to connect and probably, not least, the departure of Mohamed Salah to Saudi Arabia to help finance it,” he adds.
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Burt concludes: “So there is no indication, at present, that any club beyond PSG or Real Madrid will sign Mbappe.
“His next contract, given his age, will clearly be his most significant one and hopefully we will know soon which way this saga will end.”
Case closed? Let’s hope so, it’s a tiring one.