By Noel Whelan

26th Mar, 2022 | 2:30pm

Liverpool must pay '£90m' to sign 'world-class' Mohamed Salah replacement after source's update - pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed Liverpool would have to pay £90million to sign Bukayo Saka from Arsenal this summer.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Reds would be keeping close tabs on the 20-year-old amid the uncertainty surrounding Mo Salah’s contract situation.

A source close to Liverpool told Football Insider today (26 March), that club chiefs are confident Salah will drop his £500,000-a-week demands and sign a “huge” deal.

Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all out of contract next summer.

As reported by ESPN in February, Liverpool are considering launching a summer bid for Saka if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Whelan suggested it would take a mega-money deal to prise the winger from the Gunners.

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Discussing Saka as a potential Salah replacement, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I don’t think any big club in the world will stop watching world-class players. That is a guarantee.

“Whether they’re available is another thing. He’s under contract. I think everything all depends on the resistance of Arsenal and Mikel Arteta.

“If they don’t get in the Champions League then there’s a threat there that they may lose a player of that quality. Everybody wants to play in the Champions League. They want to be playing at the top level in the top competitions.

“They want to be challenging up there for Premier League titles. I think the Champions League will be the only stumbling block for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal.

“Come the end of the season, if they’ve not made the Champions League, I’m sure there’ll be discussions.

“There will be a hefty price. They’re not suddenly going to let him go for absolutely nothing just because they’re not in the Champions League.

“Look at the staggering amounts of money paid these days to players. You’re going to be talking, roughly, around the £90million mark to take away Saka.

“Look at his age, his quality, the way he has progressed very quickly over three seasons and the way he has performed for England as well. It would not be a cheap deal for him.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has revealed Liverpool have rejected an offer worth at least “£20million-plus”.