Liverpool start talks with Sporting CP for winger Gelson Martins as Mohamed Salah alternative

Liverpool start talks with Sporting CP for winger Gelson Martins as Mohamed Salah alternative

Liverpool could pursue Sporting CP winger Gelson Martins as an alternative wide option to Roma's Mohamed Salah having reportedly opened talks with the Portuguese outfit over a potential deal.

Charlie Malam

Liverpool are reportedly in talks with Sporting CP winger Gelson Martins as an alternative to AS Roma's Mohamed Salah

The Reds' negotiations with the Italian club are said to have stalled after a £28 million bid for Salah was rejected, with Roma pushing for a fee well in excess of £35 million.

That has led Liverpool to review to other options in case a compromise cannot be struck for the Egyptian, with 22-year-old Sporting wide-man Martins having emerged as their next best option.

The Portugal international made 44 appearances across all competitions for the Primeira Liga outfit last term, scoring seven goals and providing 14 assists.

Reports earlier this week had suggested that the Merseyside outfit were closing in on an agreement for Salah, but more recently it has been suggested the two clubs have not been in contact since the first bid was rejected.

That has led Liverpool to consider right-sided winger Martins, who can also play on the left or as a second striker, as another player to inject more pace in the front-line alongside Sadio Mané.

Martins emerges as Salah alternative though he could cost a similar price

Martins is thought to have a release clause of over £50 million but having failed to qualify for next season's Champions League, the Portuguese club could be forced to do business for less.

Other alternative targets who Liverpool have scouted at length are Bayern Munich's Douglas Costa and Keita Baldé Diao of Lazio.

There is the possibility that Liverpool's leaked interest in Martins is a smokescreen for Salah, given the Merseyside outfit were confident of completing a deal just recently.

The former Chelsea attacker is thought to remain Jürgen Klopp's first choice option, Salah having nearly signed for Liverpool from Basel before moving to Stamford Bridge in 2013.

But Liverpool are seemingly at least preparing themselves for the event that a deal with Roma for Salah proves too difficult to negotiate.

Klopp's list of targets seems to suggest a desire to find a wide player with pace, technique and a strong goals and assists output - similar to Player of the Season Mané, the German's most successful signing for the club so far.