Liverpool are bracing themselves for a battle to keep hold of forward Mohamed Salah after a report emerged suggesting Barcelona had set their sights on the Egyptian, and that he is keen on the move.
Barcelona are looking to rebuild their entire squad this summer after a bitterly disappointing 2019/20 season which saw them surrender the league title and crash out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion.
Having managed to keep hold of Lionel Messi for at least one more season, Barcelona are now looking to build an updated squad around the Argentine, and a close friend of manager Ronald Koeman told DAZN (via Voetbalzone.nl) that Salah is in the Dutchman's sights.
“I know Koeman wants him – and I know Salah would like to go," said former Dutch international and agent Sjaak Swart. "I am not going into any more details, but just believe me that I know.”
Swart represents new Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek.
Liverpool will feel confident of keeping Salah at Anfield as Barcelona aren't exactly blessed with a huge transfer budget this summer. Talks to sign Inter's Lautaro Martínez have stalled over an asking price of around £83m, and Liverpool would likely require more than that to even consider offloading their talisman.
Salah, who bagged a hat-trick in Liverpool's season opener against Leeds, still has three years left on his contract, so Jürgen Klopp will feel under no immediate pressure to sell.
However, given Salah is already 28 years old, the chance to cash in on a big offer and bring in some younger players might have its appeal to Liverpool.
The two sides are already understood to be communicating over a possible deal for Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who is thought to be at the top of Koeman's wish list of summer targets.
Barcelona are expected to offload a large part of their squad this summer, with nearly every member of the first team being made available for transfer.