Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen says he would be surprised if the Reds make a move for Erling Haaland next summer.
Fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand had claimed that the Norwegian international would be much better suited to Jurgen Klopp’s side than Manchester City but Owen took the opposite view:
“When Liverpool are at their best they leave a hole up front in the centre. Firmino or Jota will come off [for] those runs inside. I’m not sure Salah would get as many goals if Haaland was in the team. It’s an unbelievable prospect but I would’ve thought that Manchester City would be the likeliest [destination].”
“I’m not sure if there is a bit of bad blood between Haaland, his agent, obviously his dad [Alf-Inge] playing against Roy Keane at Manchester United. I’m not sure Manchester United would fit. [Romelu] Lukaku has just gone to Chelsea and I’m not sure if would fit at Liverpool. Personally, I think Man City.”
Owen is right to point out that Liverpool have rarely played with an out and out number nine since Klopp’s arrival at the club six years ago. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are able to cut into more central areas because of the space that the likes of Firmino leave by playing deeper.
However, the purchase of Diogo Jota last year has changed the dynamic slightly. The Portuguese international does play further up the pitch when he plays through the centre, and there is nothing to say that Haaland couldn’t be deployed in a similar fashion.
The main issue, though, is the money that would be required to secure the 21-year-old’s signature. Combined with the £63m transfer fee, it is thought that wages and agent fees could lead to the striker costing as much as £265m.