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Liverpool are enjoying a real purple patch at the moment – and things got even better for Reds fans on Thursday afternoon with news that Jurgen Klopp has signed a new contract.
Klopp was already tied down until June 2024, but has now penned a deal until June 2026. The 54-year-old German arrived in October 2015 and has been a huge success on Merseyside, helping the club win five trophies, including the Premier League and Champions League.
With Liverpool in pursuit of a quadruple this season, Klopp feels optimistic about the next four years at the club. Liverpool now have certainty over the managerial situation – but what will the playing squad look like in 2026?
The club have made a concerted effort to secure their most important players on long contracts recently, meaning many of their current crop may still be there. But a team like Liverpool cannot afford to stand still. New players are a certainty in the coming transfer windows. Who could they sign? Daily Star Sport looks into a crystal ball to have a stab at predicting the future.
Between the posts has been a position of certainty for Liverpool ever since they signed Alisson Becker from Roma for around £67million in July 2018. That transfer fee raised eyebrows at the time, but now looks like a good investment, with the Brazilian goalkeeper potentially giving them 10 years of service, having arrived aged 25.
Liverpool’s certainty is shown by the fact that Alisson is 29 years old and under contract until June 2027, having signed an extension at the start of the season. Barring a dramatic drop in form, he’s going nowhere. Caoimhin Kelleher has shown plenty of promise as Alisson’s deputy and is undoubtedly a favourite of Klopp. At 23 – and with another four years on his contract – he has plenty of road left in front of him.
Once again, Liverpool’s forward-planning is evident at the back, where the current incarnation could conceivably still be lining up alongside each other come 2026. Certainly, Trent Alexander-Arnold (23), Ibrahima Konate (22) and Andy Robertson (28) should still be wearing Liverpool red in four years’ time.
The second centre-back spot is an area of potential change, however, with Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip both currently 30 years old. It is possible that Van Dijk could still be performing well aged 34, but in the coming years Liverpool will be on the lookout for young replacements, like Konate himself.
This is where it becomes difficult, because the Reds are perhaps not yet in the market for a centre-back. They therefore might be shopping for the stars of the future. In that regard, there are plenty to choose from: Ajax duo Perr Schurrs (22) and Jurrien Timber (20) have been catching the eye, while RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol (20) and Lille’s Sven Botman (22) are likely to move clubs in the coming years.
The further you go up the pitch, the more change there will be at Liverpool. Jordan Henderson (31) and Thiago Alcantara (31) are unlikely to still be at their best come 2026, while James Milner (36) is edging closer to retirement. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is unlikely to still be at the club, while Naby Keita will have to produce an upturn in form to get an extension beyond June 2023.
Of the current crop, Fabinho (28), Curtis Jones (21) and Harvey Elliott (19) are good bets for longevity, but fresh faces are needed. The most obvious possible arrival is Jude Bellingham, who is one of the most exciting young players in the world. The 18-year-old has developed quickly with Borussia Dortmund and a move back to the Premier League looks likely. If they do go for him, Liverpool will face plenty of competition.
Another possibility is Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, who is on the shopping lists of Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid according to reports. The 22-year-old is definitely a star of the future and a win in the Champions League this season could convince the Frenchman that Liverpool is the place for him.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Who would you like Liverpool to sign for the future? Comment below.
The famous trio of Mohamed Salah (29), Sadio Mane (30) and Roberto Firmino (30) will not last until 2026 unfortunately. All three are out of contract in June 2023 as things stand and keeping a squad packed full of talent happy is tough. Liverpool have already given consideration to this by signing Luis Diaz (25) and Diogo Jota (25) in recent years, and by moving for Fulham youngster Fabio Carvalho (19). More attacking players are needed though, with Divock Origi poised to move on this summer and Takumi Minamino unsure of his status in the squad.
PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo (22) has emerged as the most promising young forward in Europe this season and would be a perfect fit for Liverpool’s 4-3-3 formation. Meanwhile, West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen (25) is similarly versatile, has Premier League experience and has been consistently linked with Liverpool. It will be interesting to see who they go for.
Liverpool’s possible starting XI in 2026: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Timber, Robertson; Fabinho, Bellingham, Tchouameni; Gakpo, Diaz, Jota.
- Liverpool FC
- Jurgen Klopp
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