Shay Given believes Liverpool will already be planning for Philippe Coutinho’s departure from the club.
Coutinho has told Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp he won’t play for the club again, even if it costs him his World Cup place, as he tries to engineer a move to Barcelona.
The Spanish club are keen to sign Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembele, but the Newcastle United goalkeeper insists Liverpool will be well prepared should the Brazilian move to the Nou Camp.
“They’ll have a lot of money to spend (if Coutinho leaves) and other clubs will know that as well,” Given told Sky Sports.
“I’m sure behind-the-scenes Liverpool will have a Plan B. They’ll have a plan in place, knowing roughly how much they are going to get if they sell Coutinho.
“They’ll be targeting players – if not in in this country but in Europe and across the world.
“They’ll need somebody to replace him. They’ll definitely need another forward thinking player.”
Given also discussed Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk’s future, with the Dutchman keen to move on to bigger challenges.
The 26-year-old is wanted by both Liverpool and Chelsea, but Given believes van Dijk would prefer a move to Anfield.
“Van Dijk has been tapped up or whatever (they are saying) he spoke to Liverpool behind the scenes and he wants to go,” Given added.
“He wants to join Liverpool football club and they’re a bigger club.
“Don’t get me wrong, Southampton are a big club as well and the history they have. It’s a very similar situation.
“A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Jason McAteer and Robbie Fowler and they were saying keep Coutinho and sign Van Dijk and we’ve got a real chance of winning the league.
“He (Van Dijk) might not come and Coutinho could be off to Barcelona.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen and it’s all up in the air and no-one really knows what the future holds for either of them.”