Liverpool legend names the one player whose departure would be a 'bigger blow' than Salah

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes the club should prioritise keeping Virgil van Dijk over Mohamed Salah as exit links continue to swirl over the superstar pair. 

Van Dijk appeared to lay recent rumours to rest following the Premier League victory over Tottenham on Sunday, stating that he would be a ‘part’ of the transition to come this summer

The 32-year-old is out of contract in 2025 and has been linked with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Al-Qadsiah in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. 

No new talks have taken place over a new deal and if the Reds want to cash in then this summer represents the final chance to do so for a player who turns 33 in the off-season. 

Danny Murphy / Mohamed Salah

Similarly, 31-year-old Salah is out of contract next year and has been linked with a high-profile exit this summer with Al-Ittihad of the Saudi Pro League seemingly intending to make another bid. 

While the club circulated that they don’t envisage Salah leaving this summer, incoming sporting director Richard Hughes will have a big decision to make on Salah as well as Van Dijk. 

Signing the duo to new deals won’t come cheap with Salah on a reported weekly salary of £350,000 and Van Dijk on £220,000 and, given their respective ages, there might be the temptation to recoup some of their costs. 

Murphy, who played for Liverpool from 1997 to 2004, understands why the Reds might be keen to listen to bids for the Egyptian striker, acknowledging he would be ‘nearly impossible’ to replace, but adds that retaining Van Dijk is far more important. 

When asked on talkSPORT whether Liverpool would have to keep Salah this summer, he replied: “I don't think they have to, it depends on the amount that comes in for him because if it's a ridiculous amount, the age he's at and you put that up against what you'd have to pay to keep him, then it becomes a difficult decision. 

Murphy: Losing Van Dijk would be a 'bigger blow' than Salah

“What is obvious is that if he leaves this summer then replacing him and his numbers is pretty much impossible from that position. 

“It’s very difficult to find someone who can play off the right-hand side and get the amount of goals he does, in fact nearly impossible, so that would be a blow. 

Virgil van Dijk

Premier League Nottingham Forest v Liverpool Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates his side s goal to make it 0-1 during the Premier League match Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool at City Ground, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2nd March 2024 Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images Nottingham City Ground Nottinghamshire United Kingdom Copyright: xGarethxEvans/NewsxImagesx

“But if you're talking about £100 million plus at this time in his career then I think they'll seriously consider it. It's a difficult one because any new manager is going to want him, of course they are. 

“I actually think the more important signing to keep is Van Dijk.

“I know that sounds a bit silly because of Salah’s goals but Liverpool don't struggle to make chances. They have obviously in the recent four to six weeks struggled converting them, of course we know that. 

“But they don't struggle to make chances. I think Van Dijk going would be a bigger blow than Salah in my opinion.”

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