Even without Champions League football in 2021-22, Liverpool could pursue Jadon Sancho, according to Markus Babbel, who claims that the Borussia Dortmund winger is “not blind” to the potential that still exists at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp is expected to join Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea in a long-running battle to entice the England international back to his homeland from the Bundesliga.
Although the Reds may struggle to compete for players of that caliber if they fail to finish in the top four this season, Babbel believes the club’s obvious appeal remains, and he remains quietly confident that Liverpool will be among Europe’s elite next season.
On the Sancho rumours, Babbel told Goal in association with Euro 2020 betting platform Unikrn:
“He’s a player who has to play in the Champions League.” He aspires to be a part of the Champions League. Many teams in Europe are unable to afford Jadon Sancho. It is dependent on what he desires.
“Liverpool would definitely come back into the Champions League spot next year. If this season is not working, then next season they will come again. They are too strong, they have injured players coming back. They are a fantastic side and a great team. If all the players are back, they are very strong. Jadon Sancho is not blind, he will see that.
“How big is the chance of Liverpool getting him if they are not in the Champions League? There are two games to go, if they can take six points then I’m sure that will be enough. If you see this season from Liverpool, everything is possible.
“Before I said about this year that it will not happen with the Champions League because there have been too many struggles, too many players are injured and important players are not in form like the last two years. But the game with that goal [from Alisson] in the 95th minute, now I start thinking that if a club can do it, it’s only Liverpool that can because this is not a normal club.”
Salah to stay at Anfield ?
Sancho has sparked interest amid ongoing speculation about Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s futures, with the former hinting at a move to Spain at some point and the latter cutting a frustrated figure of late.
Babbel believes both will be kept, along with Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino, because the funds aren’t there for rivals to tempt the Reds into selling.
“I think the chance is quite big to keep them all,” the German said of possible outgoings.
The pandemic has evolved significantly. If this had not occurred, I would have speculated that “perhaps they want a new challenge to travel to a different country – Real Madrid, Barcelona.” They are massive clubs and maybe they would look for a new challenge, but with the pandemic I’m not sure again.
“All clubs have financial problems. They can’t pay these big salaries like two or three years ago. If you read all the stories about Barcelona, Real Madrid, they have lost so much money and they wanted to come in the Super League because they needed it to survive – if it’s true what they are saying.
“I’m not sure if this is the biggest target now for this kind of player. They can say ‘I play for a fantastic club, if all players are back – [Virgil] van Dijk, [Joel] Matip, [Joe] Gomez, [Jordan] Henderson – if they are back then we are a very strong side and next year we have a good chance to play for the Champions League title and to win the league again’. It is up to the boys now to decide what they want. I can’t believe that they will go.”