The Mirror claims that Mohamed Salah will consider his Liverpool future in 2020. On top of that, they say Salah has turned down Real Madrid and Juventus this summer already.
In truth, there’s little to trust here. The Mirror is rarely on the money with Liverpool and this does feel like a ‘traditional’ transfer window story.
But it does raise an interesting question: what would the club do if Salah did ask to leave?
The immediate reaction is ‘tell him no’, of course. He’s the star player and what would Liverpool gain from selling? Lots of money, sure, but replacing him is nigh-on impossible. The reported £150m fee wouldn’t actually be worth that much if there’s no one to spend it on.
Salah will be 28 years old in a year’s time, though. Realistically, it’s the final year that he’d command an astronomical fee – and that provides a test of the club.
Unfortunately, Liverpool have been in the business of selling their stars under the current owners. Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling, and Philippe Coutinho all left for fees that were, at the time, huge.
Now, the club was in a different position there, of course. But they’ve still taken the big-money every time it’s there, up to this point. They’ve been business decisions, rather than football decisions – every fan wanted to keep the players and you’d imagine the coaches did, too.
Perhaps things have changed with the Champions League win and Jurgen Klopp’s success – but we don’t actually know yet.
Salah could provide the first true test if he really does consider his future in 2020. If Liverpool say no, they officially pass up on ever getting a massive profit in order to get a few more years from him – that’s a football decision, not a business decision.
And one day soon, a player may test the club on what’s more important.