Liverpool receive January transfer incentive as Sadio Mane and Mo Salah fear emerges

Klopp details Gerrard chat after Liverpool beat Aston Villa

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp might choose to enter the January transfer market now that the African Cup of Nations is reportedly set to begin a week earlier than planned. AFCON was initially scheduled to take place from January 9 to February 6. 

Klopp is set to lose star forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for a month while they compete at the tournament. Midfielder Naby Keita is also set to travel.  

The Reds’ lack of wide options outside of Mane and Salah has prompted suggestions that Klopp may look to find replacements for the pair.  

Mane and Salah have scored a combined 30 goals this season across all competitions and there are few strike partnerships in European football that are more prolific.  

Salah alone has bagged 21 this term and is the Premier League’s top scorer. 

The Egyptian has scored 14 times in 16 top-flight games, including the winner in Saturday’s narrow 1-0 against Reds legend Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.  

But Klopp could now lose the pair a week earlier than initially expected, according to reports.  

The Mirror claim that Egyptian club Al-Ahly have asked the Confederation of African Football to bring the tournament forward to January 3. 

And that could prompt the Liverpool head coach to make transfers in January. 

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Klopp is unlikely to find anyone who offers quite the same impact as Mane and Salah, but his Premier League title hopes could be dashed due to his absence of other options.  

Divock Origi has performed well as a substitute in recent weeks but does not often score as frequently when he starts.  

The Belgian bagged a last-minute winner against Wolves a fortnight ago.  

Klopp had previously suggested that he would not be busy in the winter window. The 54-year-old has a reputation for making few signings in January.  

Indeed, his only summer addition was the £36m transfer of former RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate. 

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But after Takumi Minamino scored during Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Arsenal in November, Klopp suggested that the Japanese had suddenly become a more prominent, versatile option.  

“You can’t imagine how happy I am with Taki (Minamino), He’s in an incredible moment and today he was actually our solution for four positions, I think,” he said.

“Five positions actually because he could have played both eight positions and all three upfront. He’s in a really good moment and you see that. 

“I’m pretty sure he played really well for Japan in the international games. Now he’s here and very important for us.”
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