GLEN JOHNSON fears that Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah will follow Jurgen Klopp out of Liverpool if the club’s new boss struggles next season.
Manager Klopp announced he will leave his job at the end of this campaign.
Alexander-Arnold and Salah have less than 18 months left on their contracts.
And former Kop defender Johnson is concerned that if Klopp’s successor does not hit the ground running, then the nightmare scenario of a big-name exodus will follow.
Defender TAA and superstar forward Salah would be able to talk to foreign clubs next January if they do not agree new deals.
Johnson, who made 200 appearances in all competitions for the club between 2009 and 2015, said: “Let’s be real, who’s not going to take Trent Alexander-Arnold or Mo Salah on the cheap?
“I don’t believe we’ll see a big exodus at Liverpool this summer if the contract situations don’t get sorted now — which they won’t do because the players are going to want to know what’s going on.
“If they have a bad start to next season, then a year from now we will be discussing about them having six months left on their contracts. If that happens, Liverpool will be in trouble because Trent and Mo can attract interest from any club they want.
“They don’t have to take a risk and, if Liverpool have a bad season following Jurgen’s departure, then we could potentially see an exodus.”
Klopp’s shock announcement that he will depart Anfield after nine years at the helm could also have a huge impact on Liverpool’s recruitment plans during the close season.
Johnson told Betfred: “If Liverpool try and sign a top player in the summer, they will want to know who is replacing Jurgen?
“Jurgen pulls people in and Jose Mourinho did the same thing.
“They’re examples of managers that top players want to play for.
“You need to excite the players to encourage them to move to Liverpool. The club is a huge draw for players in its own right. But knowing who the manager is, is also very important.”
Anfield legend Xabi Alonso is red-hot favourite to take over, and former England right-back Johnson said: “It would certainly be a good choice.
“He’s doing a fantastic job at Bayer Leverkusen and he has got the minerals for it. But the right choice is something that nobody knows right now.
“Whichever manager comes next is going to be in for a super-hard job and they’re going to need time. Any manager that goes in next is essentially putting their head in a guillotine.
“Being a legend of the club and a fans’ favourite will mean that Xabi’s given time — which doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be successful.
“But the fans will have more patience with him and give him more leeway than they would with a manager that doesn’t already have an affiliation with the club.”
Meanwhile, fit-again defender Andy Robertson revealed he suffered in silence during his three-month layoff from shoulder surgery.
The left-back, 29, said: “In the difficult times I suffered alone or in the house.
“I didn’t want that to come across to the other lads. I tried not to change but there were difficult times where I was maybe in the training ground on my own and frustrated.”