Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah could be set to miss the majority of the 2020/21 pre-season preparations after Egypt Under-23s boss Shawky Gharib has claimed that Salah will be in the Pharaohs upcoming squad for the Olympics.
The 2020 games will be staged in Tokyo, with the men’s competition starting on July 23 and the gold medal match set to be contested on August 8 with the opening day of the Premier League scheduled on the same day as the final.
Each competing nation is allowed just three players over the age of 23, with Salah ideally Gharib’s first-choice.
Salah, 27, has reportedly not been involved in the process, meaning he himself will have to decide on whether to take part in the tournament in Tokyo or instead opt to feature for Liverpool in pre-season.
“Out of the three senior players we’ll call-up, Salah is the only one we’re settled on so far because he’s simply one of the top three players in the world,” Gharib told ON Sport.
“I haven’t talked to Salah at all about him joining the U-23 squad for the Olympics, but in all honesty, his participation in the Olympics will need a little effort from him as well.”
If Salah chooses to represent his home country in the upcoming summer games, it will rule the Egypt international out of Jurgen Klopp’s pre-season plans entirely.
Speaking in regards to the Ballon d’Or nominee’s potential involvement last month, Klopp said: “The Olympics is a wonderful thing but it would not be too cool.
“No decision has been made yet. What I have to say I will say it to Mo, so that is all. Neither side has made a decision.
“I wish we could have whole squad together for pre-season but that is not possible for different reasons.”
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A huge setback regarding Liverpool’s preparations for the 2020/21 pre-season.
With the destination over the summer tour still yet to be decided, Liverpool may have to already make plans without the team’s top-scorer this season.
Salah alongside fellow teammates Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are all also expected to miss a sustained period next season after the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 tournament in Cameroon was brought back to take place during January of next year meaning Liverpool’s African trio could miss up to six matches.