Liverpool might have given a Mohamed Salah future hint after £85m transfer switch

Liverpool might be set to conclude their incomings for this summer when they confirm the arrival of Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen, but there remains work to be done before their to-do list is fully ticked off.

Away from the transfer market, they need to think about a plan for Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian is under contract, of course, for another season.

He has already confirmed that he will be at Liverpool next season, but beyond that, things are unclear. As it stands, he will leave on a free transfer next year — with his camp having put pressure on the Reds by hinting at a move to another Premier League side.

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Salah has never managed to replicate the 44-goal heights of his first season at Anfield (though he is a much better player overall now than he was then), but has hit 27, 23 and then back-to-back campaigns with 31 strikes in each since.

In total, he has scored 156 goals in 254 appearances for Liverpool and those goals, should he depart — a very real possibility given the lack of progress on his contract to this point — will need to be replaced.

The arrival of Darwin Núñez is, at least in the short-term, to succeed the departing Sadio Mané, who is expected to seal a move to Bayern Munich shortly.

But beyond this season — and Núñez has signed a six-year deal — there is a chance that Liverpool’s focus in attack is shifting.

Núñez is expected to provide more goals from the center of the pitch. He netted 34 times last season for Benfica, and while it might be hard to replicate those numbers straight away in England, that will be the expectation eventually.

Having spent a potentially club-record fee on a number nine, Liverpool will expect to get full value from their investment — and that means goals in abundance.

Replicating the numbers that Salah has scored from the right is almost impossible, but this could be the first sign that Liverpool are preparing for life beyond the Egyptian.

The best-case scenario, clearly, remains that Salah signs up for an extension on the terms that Liverpool deem to be reasonable. But should the worst case play out and Salah leave in 2023, Núñez will be primed to fill a significant portion of the void.

Replacing Salah directly might be almost impossible, but Liverpool will back themselves to do so in other ways. Núñez could well end up being one of them.

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