Liverpool’s contract conundrum and the Brendan Rodgers mistake Jurgen Klopp must avoid

Van Dijk nutmegs Gomez as Liverpool train in Austria

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As Liverpool prepare to get their Premier League season underway, talk of potential new arrivals continues to dominate the agenda. The Reds have already got one deal over the line in the summer transfer window, having recruited RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, and supporters are patiently waiting for further players to be announced.

But Liverpool may have to prioritise a bigger issue that is facing the club and begin the process of extending the deals of key players.

It’s understood that the Reds are currently in talks with Alisson and Fabinho over their long-term futures, but Klopp will soon be faced with the prospect of a number of go-to stars edging closer and closer to the exit doors.

Liverpool learned the hard way with Gini Wijnaldum the damage a situation like this can cause, with the club losing the Dutchman on a free transfer having failed to reach an agreement.

To avoid a repeat of this, the futures of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino must now be secured.

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Each player has two years remaining on their contract, set to end in 2023, and will need to enter negotiations rather promptly to avoid a mass exodus.

Tying down first-team stars was a theme of the 2018/19 season as Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Salah and Mane committed to the club.

One of the players whose long-term future has already been thrown into doubt is captain of the side, Henderson.

Also out of contract in 2023, the Athletic have claimed that the Reds’ skipper has been in talks with the club but is yet to make any progress regarding a new deal.

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The report adds that the possibility of Henderson heading for the exit doors has emerged as a result of this, which would come as a surprise to supporters of the club.

The Reds experienced a similar situation with club legend Steven Gerrard in 2015, having allowed the talented midfielder to join LA Galaxy after a lifetime association with Liverpool.

It’s believed that Gerrard was not happy with the role he was being offered by manager at the time Brendan Rodgers.

The former England international was informed by Rodgers that his game time was to be reduced and would be asked to take a pay cut.

This marked a sad way for a club legend to bid farewell, and Liverpool must not make this same mistake again.

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