Paul Merson has said that Mohamed Salah is the one player Jurgen Klopp cannot afford to lose this summer should Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Salah, 28, has a contract at Anfield until 2023, although his future has been cast into doubt on a number of occasions this season.
According to The Athletic, Liverpool internally are unsure as to whether the Egyptian is bargaining for improved terms on Merseyside or seeking a way out of the club.
The report adds that there have been concerns at the club regarding the behaviour of Salah’s agent, Ramy Abbas, who greeted Klopp’s decision to sub his client during the defeat to Chelsea by posting a cryptic message on Twitter.
Despite the inconvenience of the player’s agent, Salah still remains a constant professional and his manager has no worries in regards to his commitment to Liverpool.
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Klopp, too, chose recently to overlook Salah’s decision to grant an interview to Spanish publication AS in December, where he described described Real Madrid and Barcelona as “top clubs” before adding that “my future is in Liverpool’s hands”.
Still, Liverpool will not feel they could be rushed into making a decision on Salah’s future this summer, both in light of the pandemic and the possibility of a year without Champions League football.
Salah, who Klopp has labelled as ‘world class‘ on a number of occasions, after all, has clocked up an impressive 25 goals this season and Merson believes he is the one player Liverpool cannot afford to lose this summer.
Merson on Salah
“The one player Liverpool can’t afford to lose is Salah,” Merson said, per Sky Sports.
“If you want to kick on again, I know it’s not been a great season, but it could be if they win the Champions League.
“We’re talking about a player who plays out wide on the right who is the top-scorer in the Premier League this season – and he’s missed chances.
“These players do not come around often. For me, he’s the one you do not sell.”
What RTK has to say
Merson is right. Liverpool cannot afford to risk losing Salah anytime soon.
Luckily for Liverpool, though, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see who can actually afford the Reds forward in the midst of a global pandemic.
Real Madrid is the obvious choice, but according to reports in Spain, Los Blancos aren’t currently in a financial position to land a player of Salah’s calibre.
Barcelona, too, are also in a rebuild with limited funding, meaning already Salah’s two best suitors are already struggling to put themselves in the running.
So, who else has the financial muscle and stature to attract a player of Salah’s quality? Paris Saint German maybe, but they are more likely to focus their attention on retaining the services of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Bayern Munich also would very-much welcome the possibility of Salah, although it is difficult to see Hansi Flick being given excess of £100 million to bring in another forward option this summer.
They already have Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, after all.
We’re also confident that Serie A doesn’t warrant any serious threat of prizing Salah away from Anfield.
Realistically, then, the only other team in the picture who could actually land Salah is Manchester City.
It’s certainly an unthinkable proposition for Pep Guardiola to be the man to lure Liverpool’s Egyptian king away from Merseyside.
Rest easy Kopites, it’s becoming increasingly likely that Salah will remain a Liverpool player for at least another season.