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Kylian Mbappe wage reveal gives FSG and Liverpool transfer breathing space – Liverpool Echo

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That’s that, then.

A transfer dream that was rooted in fantasy rather than reality has been kicked into the long grass now that the wages that would be required to make such a move happen – and that’s before we even talk about a transfer fee – have become known.

When wage demands are enough to potentially scare off Manchester City then you know that the likelihood is your efforts are doomed to fail, no matter how many kind words are exchanged back and forth.

Every big club in Europe would want Kylian Mbappe on their team. He’s a generational talent and set to dominate the top of the sport for years to come.

He’s also tremendosuly marketable and in an age where monetising the business of football has never been greater, he is a boon to whoever boast him in their ranks.

Reports of £600,000 per week in wages have been doing the rounds this week, a figure likely to not be too far from the truth given Mbappe’s employers Paris Saint Germain recently tied the Frenchman’s strike partner Neymark Jnr to a longer deal worth a reported £500,000 per week.

These are crazy numbers, numbers which pretty much narrow the scope for transfer to about two clubs; Manchester City and PSG.

City flirted with the idea of Lionel Messi last year before his Barcelona rift was healed and they realised that even the most creative of financial fair play arrangements may not be enough to get it over the line.

City, like Liverpool, have been linked with Mbappe. At a time when clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid are actually having to watch the pennies the transfer market has been opened up to those who can dig deeper.

But that has never been the Fenway Sports Group way. There has never been major spend that hasn’t been underpinned by considerable money recouped through player sales.

In some respects it seemed like the stars were aligning. The Nike kit deal, the strong LeBron James connections through their Nike marketing strategy as ‘The Chosen Two’.

Two things that would have worked in Liverpool’s favour you would have thought.

What doesn’t work in Liverpool’s favour is the fact that spending money like that in normal times would have been deemed out of the question by FSG, and during a pandemic where future revenue streams remain unpredictable it doesn’t even appear to be a question.

In fairness, most Liverpool fans would have realised that the reality of bringing Kylian Mbappe to Anfield was something that had little chance of getting off the ground.

His wage demands, the fee that would have been needed to prize him from PSG and the prospect of not even being able to offer European football next season all point to a big no. Entirely expected.

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What it has done is removed the question and possibly even taken the spotlight off the idea.

The transfer market is set to be soft this summer and some of the usual major players will be sitting it out as they continue to count the cost of the enormous impact of coronavirus on their balance sheet.

Uncertainty is prevalent across the top echelons of European football, hence the desire to get some kind of reform to the Champions League that will allow them to be afforded some greater financial security further down the line.

But while any expectation that they were to go out and try and lure an Mbappe or an Erling Haaland to Anfield may have passed the point remains that this summer will need investment as the Reds approach a new cycle and the prospect of losing some longer serving squad members.

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When the money was spent on Virgil van Dijk and Alisson it was exactly the investment that was needed at the right time and for the right players.

It was, though, underpinned by the phenomenal mark up on Philippe Coutinho that they made in selling an £8m acquisition for a £134m profit.

That kind of lotto win won’t be at their disposal this summer but there will likely be a concerted effort to move on some of their players on the fringes, although with the transfer market likely to be weaker the hopes of Dominic Solanke and Rhian Brewster style sums for players on the periphery seems more in hope than anything.

Liverpool will be coping better than most through the financial implications of the pandemic, but that is largely down to the way that FSG have run the club as a profitable business with many different strands, and also how they have managed to recoup their transfer spend and then some in three of the past five seasons.

FSG are unlikely to be pressured into spending but they will likely have to give Klopp some ammunition to try and make some kind of noise, especially given the fact that none of their rivals will abate in the market this summer.

Everton will continue to spend to bridge the gap and Leicester City will spend to make sure they continue to spoil the Champions League party.

As for Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, they won’t be standing still either and could all have the assurance of the Champions League money pot behind them.

The Mbappe dream may have been just that, but the need to address the flaws this summer is still very much a reality.

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