Liverpool news: Transfer chief Richard Hughes has three issues to sort out immediately | Football | Sport

Richard Hughes is expected to set about sorting three vital contract renewals when he starts work at Liverpool this summer. The former Scottish international midfielder was unveiled as the Reds’ newly-appointed sporting director on Wednesday, with his work scheduled to start in June.

Playing a prominent role in the hunt for Jurgen Klopp’s successor, alongside CEO of Football Michael Edwards, will also be high on Hughes’ priority list when he settles in at Anfield.

Liverpool are months away from beginning a daunting period of transition without their long-serving manager, and Klopp’s exit has sparked fears that several senior stars could be tempted to seek out challenges elsewhere.

Making matters even more precarious is the fact that Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk will each have just one year remaining on their contracts by the time Klopp bids farewell to Merseyside.

Salah has been Liverpool’s leading attacker since he signed from AS Roma seven seasons ago, scoring 207 goals in 337 games. Long-running links to the Saudi Pro League are sure to spring up again this summer if a contract extension cannot be agreed between now and then.

Van Dijk, meanwhile, sat on the fence when first asked whether he would stay at Liverpool for the post-Klopp era. The Dutchman later clarified that he is ‘fully committed’ to the club he has played for since 2018, but a contract agreement does not appear to be imminent.

Xabi Alonso is the obvious candidate, with the former Liverpool midfielder currently leading an unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen side towards their first ever Bundesliga title after fewer than 18 months at the helm.

New sporting director Hughes reportedly tried to appoint Roberto De Zerbi during his previous role as technical director of Bournemouth, and the Brighton boss is also believed to be on Liverpool’s shortlist, along with the likes of Julian Nagelsmann and Ruben Amorim.

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