Sadio Mane’s inevitable departure from Liverpool this summer has worryingly reminded the Anfield faithful that their stars won’t be at the club forever.

After Champions League and Premier League success with this squad over the last few years, many supporters could be forgiven for wondering what happens when this current squad is done.

Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Roberto Firmino, Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Fabinho and Andy Robertson are all 28 years old or older.

Whilst many of them – goalkeeper Alisson, in particular – will continue to play at the top level for a few more years, the Premier League side need to start looking at the future.

But, as always, Liverpool seem to be well prepared.

When you initially look at the squad, you look at the players above and worry that it might be a struggle to replace them.

However, looking more closely, there are plenty of youngsters ready to come in – which is mainly down to good planning from the club.

New signing Darwin Nunez is just one of the players who is 25 or younger and is ready to be a part of Jurgen Klopp’s new wave of stars.

DEAL ADS UP Leeds eyeing £20million swoop for Wolves speedster Adama Traore as Barcelona cannot afford permanent transfer

BUSY Leeds are eyeing Adama Traore to replace Raphinha.

And Sheffield United’s Sander Berge is on the Whites’ radar with Manchester City set to swoop for midfield lynchpin Kalvin Phillips.

Spain winger Adam Traore is being targeted by Leeds as Barcelona don’t believe they can sign the loan star from Wolves permanently

Leeds could need to replace Raphinha as Barca, Spurs and Arsenal are all interested in the Brazil wideman

Brazilian winger Raphinha looks set to leave Elland Road this summer with Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona circling.

And Traore has emerged as an affordable target at £20million.

Leeds’ transfer chief Victor Orta signed the Spaniard, 26, for Middlesbrough from Aston Villa in 2016 and remains a fan.

Traore spent the second half of last season on loan at Barcelona.

Kento Momota – the left-handed ace flopped at the Tokyo Olympics and has lost in the first round of four of the five singles tournaments he has entered this year

Tokyo, June 17, 2022 (AFP): Japan’s Kento Momota was once badminton’s undisputed king but his career has gone into free fall ever since a car crash more than two years ago which left him badly hurt.

There are now severe doubts that the 27-year-old former two-times world champion — who was embroiled in a gambling scandal earlier in his career — will ever reach the top again.

Momota’s world was turned upside down in January 2020 when the vehicle taking him to Kuala Lumpur airport crashed hours after he won the Malaysia Masters, killing the driver and leaving the player with a fractured eye socket.

He was out of action for a year and is now a shadow of his former self — the left-handed ace flopped at the Tokyo Olympics and has lost in the first round of four of the five singles tournaments he has entered this year.

“His defence is still a bit dubious, his net game isn’t as strong as it used to be and then of course his self-confidence must have taken a big, big hit,” former Danish national team coach Steen Schleicher Pedersen told AFP.

“Maybe even his life values, after being in a crash like that where the driver died. Maybe he doesn’t have that hunger any more, maybe he doesn’t care, maybe it’s changed him,” added Pedersen, now a badminton commentator.

Pedersen said it looked like Momota’s vision was affecting his play last year, especially his defence.

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic ‘flies to the UK to get Sadio Mane deal over the line – with German giants set to make an improved bid close to Liverpool’s £42.5m asking price’ after two rejections

Bayern Munich have reportedly sent a handful of representatives, including Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic, over to England to negotiate a deal for Sadio Mane.

The German champions have had two bids for the Senegalese forward rejected and are said to be eager to push a deal over the line sooner rather than later.



Mane has just a year left on his contract at Anfield, putting pressure on Liverpool to sell him this summer to avoid losing him for nothing next year.

However, the Premier League giants attached a £42million price-tag on his head  – which Bayern are not willing to match.

Bayern have already had two bids for the Senegalese forward rejected but hope to reach an agreement with the Merseyside club in the coming days.

According to The Mirror, Salihamidzic will meet with Ward today and look to present the Assistant Sporting Director with a deal that is mutually beneficial.

It is believed that deal will include several target-based bonuses that will suit the Premier League giants and the Bundesliga side.

Salihamidzic is also said to have held meetings with the player’s agent Bjorn Bezem and Sky Sports are reporting that Mane is on the verge of confirming his move.

The Senegal star arrived at Anfield from Southampton in 2016 for £34m and has gone on to play a key role in the Reds’ success alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in recent seasons.

His first trophy came in 2019 with the Champions League and the Premier League title followed a season later.

He completed his English trophy set by winning the League Cup and FA Cup this year, while he was also part of the side which won the 2019 UEFA Super Cup and 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.

Mane played an important role in Liverpool’s 2021-2022 campaign as they battled it out with Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Mane excelled in the second half of the season, having scored 13 of his 23 goals after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal at the start of the year.

He also thrived his new role in the No 9 position, with Luis Diaz’s January arrival from Porto reshuffling the usual front three deployed by Klopp.

Mane will be a big loss for Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp has done well to replace the Senegalese forward with the £85million signing of Benfica forward Darwin Nunez.

Nunez, who has been handed the No 27 shirt, has agreed to a six-year deal on £140,000-a-week at Anfield and passed a medical on Merseyside earlier this week.

Speaking about his deal, Nunez said: ‘I’m really happy and delighted to be here at Liverpool. It’s a massive club. I’d like to thank my partner and my parents and my son, who is a real source of pride for me.

‘They’ve been really important to me in the stages in my career. I’m really proud of them, and for the work we do, me and my partner, as a team and I’m grateful to her that I’m here.


Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia celebrates after defeating Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew during their men’s singles quarter-final match at Indonesia Open badminton tournament at Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, June 17, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Top Malaysian singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia beat his childhood rival Loh Kean Yew to advance to the semi-finals of the Indonesia Open in Jakarta.

The sixth seeded Malaysian prevailed 21-18, 16-21, 22-20 in 65 minutes against the reigning world champion from Singapore in a tight quarter-final clash at Istora Senayan Stadium on Friday (June 17).

World No. 5 Zii Jia, who is looking to make up for his quarter-final exit from last week’s Indonesia Masters, will meet either Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen or Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting in the semi-finals tomorrow.

Men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are also through to the semi-finals after edging Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob of Indonesia 14-21, 21-12, 22-20.

Malaysia’s challenge in the mixed doubles ended with Hoo Pang Ron-Toh Ee Wei losing 16-21, 17-21 to South Korea’s Chae Yu-jung-Seo Seung-jae.

Chen Tang Jie-Valeree Siow also went down 12-21, 14-21 to China’s Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping.