The 'free' transfer of Kylian Mbappe this summer would cost Liverpool a Premier League record amount in salary and a massive signing-on bonus, according to a report.
The French superstar is now into the final six months of his Paris Saint-Germain contract and free to discuss terms with foreign suitors ahead of a summer move, should he wish.
Real Madrid and Liverpool are regularly touted as possible destinations for Mbappe, if he decides to up sticks for a new challenge after seven seasons in the French capital. However, PSG remain hopeful he will sign a contract extension.
Reporting on Mbappe's future remains mixed, with the forward – at least publicly– insisting he is yet to make a decision on his next move.
While he can technically move on a 'free transfer' this summer, the deal to sign Mbappe would actually be an incredibly expensive one for any prospective suitor – Liverpool included.
The Telegraph sensationally claims that Mbappe "expects" a post-tax salary of €75m (£64.5 m) a year – over £1.2m a week. This would make him, comfortably, the highest-paid player in Premier League history.
For comparison, Liverpool's all-time top earner Mohamed Salah earns around £350k a week in pre-tax basic pay.
In addition, Mbappe would also require "a significant signing-on fee", equivalent to the "tens and tens of millions of euros" he has opted to forgo in loyalty bonuses if he leaves PSG this year.
Those salary expectations differ quite dramatically from ESPN, where it was recently claimed the France captain would, in fact, be willing to take a pay cut with his next club.
Meanwhile, Marca in Spain suggested that Real Madrid had previously made an offer of €35m (£30m) a year in salary, plus a €130m signing bonus – an astronomical amount, but still substantially less than reported by the Telegraph.
Where will Mbappe end up?
The Telegraph's piece adds that PSG remain “calm and relaxed” over their star asset's future and have “insulated themselves” in sporting and financial terms in the event of his exit.
Other recent reports say Real Madrid have cooled their interest in Mbappe and are now even exploring other options, including Manchester City's Erling Haaland.
As for Liverpool, Mbappe's mother and advisor, Fayza Lamari, is said to be a fan of the club, while the player himself has traded positive public comments with the Reds over the years.
Anfield Watch understands that Liverpool would only entertain a move for Mbappe this summer in the even of Salah's exit, given the enormous financial outlay involved.
With the Egyptian leaning towards extending his contract at Anfield, the idea of a complex and expensive Mbappe deal looks increasingly remote.
"I lost the spontaneity"
Meanwhile, on a documentary set to air on French television next week, Mbappe has discussed the issues with his super-stardom, claiming he's lost the ability to do normal everyday activities.
In an excerpt from 'Envoyé Spécial', Mbappe admits that it has been years since he has gone to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread.
He said: "I’d pay so much money now to be able to this kind of thing, which is normal for most people.
"I’ve lost spontaneity, the spontaneity of being a human being."
Asked what he would do if he could become invisible for 48 hours, Mbappe answered: "I'd spend my two days outside, that's for sure! I can say that without thinking.
"Go eat quietly in a brasserie, go out, go with friends, party quietly, without anyone to come see me. The next morning, a nice brunch in the sun on a terrace, there you have it. Simple things in life."
Whether Mbappe would be able to regain some fragment of normality in Liverpool, compared to Madrid or Paris, remains to be seen.