There is a time for Liverpool to contemplate selling Mohamed Salah – this isn’t it


Share post:

The message from Jurgen Klopp was clear: nothing to see here.

No bumper bid from Al Ittihad, no indication from Mohamed Salah that he’s unsettled and wants to end his six-year stay at Liverpool.

“One hundred per cent,” said Klopp was asked if he felt the Egyptian attacker was still fully committed to the club.

If only it was that easy to draw a line under the idea and move on. The reality is that this is just the start, rather than the end, of the story.

Liverpool have long since known the Saudi Pro League (SPL) is desperate to add Salah, the most famous Arab player in world football, to its growing stable of global superstars. They also know that when faced with resistance, the Saudis simply return to the negotiating table with the promise of even greater riches in an attempt to win over their target.


Al Ittihad interested in Salah move; Klopp: He’s ‘100%’ committed

“If we considered leaving LFC this year, we wouldn’t have renewed the contract last summer. Mohamed remains committed to LFC,” the player’s agent, Ramy Abbas, posted on social media on August 7.

That was in response to Al Ittihad’s initial pursuit of Salah.

A fortnight later, and with the Saudis intensifying their interest, there is silence from both the player and his representative.

They could have dismissed growing speculation in the Gulf that Salah wants to leave Anfield after being offered a lucrative contract in Saudi worth a reported £1.5million ($1.9m) per week, but have so far chosen not to.

Liverpool know from the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to the SPL earlier this summer that the Saudis only open talks with a club over a transfer fee when an agreement is in place with the player.



Tapping up: What is it and does it still exist?

GettyImages 1599408479 scaled

Jordan Henderson, right, has moved to Saudi club Al Ettifaq (Ali Alhaji/AFP via Getty Images)

So what happens if, in the coming days, Salah demands a move and Al Ittihad back that up with a bid in the region of £100million ($126m)?

Liverpool insist it would be instantly rejected. Their position is that Salah, under contract to the summer of 2025, is simply not for sale; and rightly so, given the timing.

If this scenario was unfolding in June or July, there would be a sensible debate to be had over the best way forward.

There is certainly a business case for suggesting that banking £100million for a 31-year-old with two years left on his deal, someone who has already given you six remarkable seasons of trophy-winning service, would make sense. For a club with a self-sustaining business model, it would be some windfall to reinvest in the squad.

But not now, with barely a week to go until the Premier League transfer window shuts for four months. There simply isn’t enough time to recruit a suitable alternative.

Henderson and Fabinho were granted the moves they wanted because it was mid-July and they were replaceable. They were past their best as players and their influence on Klopp’s side had waned dramatically.



Fabinho exit is a curveball for Liverpool – but it makes perfect sense

That’s not the case with Salah.

For all the talk about him not being at his dazzling best last season, he still managed 30 goals and 16 assists across all competitions. Those are the kind of numbers most of the game’s elite attackers can only dream of. For context, new signing Darwin Nunez was Liverpool’s second-highest scorer for 2022-23 with 15, while Andy Robertson was next-best in terms of assists on 11.

Even now he is rewriting the Anfield record books, with his goal in the victory over Bournemouth last weekend taking him past Steven Gerrard into fifth place outright on the club’s all-time list of goalscorers on 187.

Physically too, Salah is showing no signs of slowing down, missing a total of four league games over the past three seasons.

Goals, creativity and durability are guaranteed with him. Klopp was not exaggerating when he said today that Salah “is essential, was and will be.”

The void left by him leaving now would be vast.

GettyImages 1625338707 scaled

(George Wood/Getty Images)

Liverpool have previous for standing firm in such situations.

Rewind to the summer of 2017 and Philippe Coutinho infamously trying to force a move to Barcelona late in the window by submitting a transfer request. It was rejected and he ended up staying put. He was sold six months later, on Liverpool’s terms, with the £142million fee effectively paying for the transformational acquisitions of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson.

Yet there is no doubting the possible allure of a move to Saudi for Salah.

As well as potentially quadrupling his current £350,000 a week salary, there’s also the appeal of living in a Muslim country again.



Saudi Arabia, football and faith’s role in a revolution

At Al Ittihad, he would be quickly reunited with Fabinho, while Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante would also be team-mates. The Jeddah-based Saudi champions will be competing in the Club World Cup on home turf in December and want Salah on board for it.

Of course, their interest coincides with Liverpool coming to terms with life outside the Champions League this season for the first time since 2016-17, Klopp’s first full season in charge.

When they missed out on a top-four finish by four points in May, Salah declared himself “totally devastated” and insisted there was “absolutely no excuse” and that he and his colleagues had “let themselves down”.

And he certainly cut a frustrated figure when substituted with 13 minutes to go and the scores level away to Chelsea on the opening weekend of the new campaign — although he’s never been one to take being hooked early well.

Klopp is banking on Salah to help fire Liverpool back into Europe’s elite over the next 10 months. He added him to the club’s leadership group last month because he sees him as such an inspirational figure, especially for the younger players.

The Saudis aren’t going away. They will keep coming back for Salah.

Next summer, a deal might just make sense for all parties, but selling him in this window is unthinkable.

(Top photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Source link

Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

Recent posts

Related articles

How will Deion Sanders, Colorado respond to Oregon blowout? ‘This is the worst we gonna be’

EUGENE, Ore. — All September, Colorado has leaned into being America’s most loved, hated, watched and talked-about...

Trotter: It was a statement game. Oregon made it to Deion Sanders, Colorado and the nation

It was as bad a beating as a proud man and his program could imagine. Actually, that’s...

Michigan win over Rutgers wasn’t a work of art, but Jim Harbaugh’s return made it jubilant

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If someone had wandered into Michigan’s postgame news conference knowing nothing about what...

Canucks training camp scrimmage: 3 players who helped themselves and 3 who didn’t

VICTORIA, B.C. — The Vancouver Canucks have held an idiosyncratic, systems-work-heavy training camp at the Save-on-Foods Memorial...

Manchester United’s win at Burnley analysed: Fernandes lifts the gloom for Erik ten Hag’s side

Having lost three times in five matches to register their worst start to a Premier League season,...

Oregon shuts out Colorado with dominant first half: What went wrong for Buffaloes

The Oregon Ducks lead 35-0 against the Colorado Buffaloes at home Saturday. Here’s what you need to...

Jim Harbaugh returns: 4 thoughts on Michigan football win over Rutgers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Rutgers hung around for a while, but Michigan turned on the jets in...

Bubba Wallace scores pole for NASCAR playoff race at Texas: What are his chances to win Sunday?

FORT WORTH, Texas — Bubba Wallace won the pole position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at...