Liverpool's Erling Haaland blow softened as Jurgen Klopp handed reminder vs Southampton

Though Liverpool have been dealt a blow with reports that Erling Haaland would prefer a move to Real Madrid, their thrashing of Southampton provides hope that his snub can be softened. The Reds closed the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea to just one point on Saturday with a 4-0 hammering of the Saints.

Jurgen Klopp is set to target attacking options in the January transfer window, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane heading to the African Cup of Nations.

One man thought to be on their shopping list is Haaland, who has become one of the best strikers in Europe since joining Borussia Dortmund.

The Norwegian made a goalscoring return from injury on Saturday to secure a 3-1 win for Dortmund over Wolfsburg.

He is set to be the subject of a major transfer battle in both January and next summer, with the leading clubs in Europe all interested in signing him.

It is understood that a release clause in his contract will be activated at the end of the season, though he could move earlier than that.

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Jota is the first-choice striker for Liverpool with Roberto Firmino out injured and continued his fine run of performances against Southampton.

The Portuguese attacker scored two of his side’s four goals as they claimed a dominant win over the Saints.

He broke the deadlock after just two minutes with a tap-in from Andy Robertson’s cross, before scoring from Salah’s pass just after the half-hour mark.

Those were his seventh and eighth goals in all competitions so far this term, an impressive return form 16 appearances.

His dominance on proceedings at Anfield was shown by the fact that he had as many shots individually as Southampton’s team had combined.

While his goals return is not on Haaland’s otherworldly level, Jota has proven to be a reliable goalscorer.

His connection with fellow forwards Salah and Mane has also proven crucial to Liverpool restoring their attack to the level of previous years after a downturn last season.

All of which means that Haaland’s desire to join Madrid over the Reds may not be the blow it appears to be.

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