David Ornstein of The Athletic has been speaking to Sky Sports about Liverpool’s contract situation. There are no concrete updates, but it’s mixed news for Liverpool fans.
Mixed messages about key contracts
Salah’s contract conundrum has somewhat taken the focus from his attacking colleagues. But Firmino and Mane have been just as crucial to Liverpool’s success in recent years. Their failure to extend terms is also a worry.
It is disappointing then, that Ornstein says he isn’t convinced that they’ll stay at the club. “I’m not sure Firmino is going to be renewed, I’m not sure Mane is going to be renewed,” he said. Tough to hear, but it was followed with something more reassuring.
“I do think they’ll make offers to them and then it’ll be down to the players to decide if they want to accept them.”
That certainly sounds more encouraging. The pair haven’t hit anywhere close to top form for a little while now. But they still have 17 goals between them this season. Mane in particular has been better than last season and until his recent goal-drought was finding the net frequently.
Form aside, they are both bonafide legends of the club. It feels as though they have earnt the right to have a dip in form and still be valued by the decision makers.
Final decision in the players hands
It is interesting that Ornstein says it will be up to the players to decide. Unless the offer from Liverpool is a low one, it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t want to extend. Firmino has always looked settled at the club and Mane is still one of the first names on the teamsheet.
Of course Salah’s situation could come into their thinking. If the Egyptian signs a new deal it will surely make him the highest paid player in Liverpool’s history. It is impossible that either Mane or Firmino will be offered anything like what their striker partner is asking for.
Mane in particular has a something of a professional rivalry with Salah. It may be that he takes offence to his teammate being more coveted and decides to see out his career elsewhere.
Liverpool won’t panic
What is clear is that Liverpool won’t be rushed into a decision. “Liverpool think very deeply and clearly about these things especially when players get to a certain age,” says Ornstein.
Let’s hope for some more positive updates soon.