Basel winger Mohamed Salah is expected to sign for Liverpool in the January transfer window, according to his former teammate Mohamed Zika.
The Egyptian international was strongly linked with a move to Liverpool last week in the press after Brendan Rodgers was spotted in Germany watching Basel’s 2-0 defeat to Schalke in the Champions League.
The 21-year-old much-hyped midfielder could be set for a £12 million switch to Anfield to bolster Rodgers’ attacking options.
The English-language Egyptian football website King Fut picked up on the television interview with Salah’s former teammate Mohamed Zika telling Kora Kol Yoam that Salah is “99%” certain to join Liverpool.
King Fut translate Zika’s words in response to being asked whether Salah will move to Liverpool as, “Basically, yes. Inshallah (if God wills).
“He makes us and all of Egypt proud. Everyone talks about Mohamed Salah now. And aside from that he’s my friend, so I’m even happier for him.”
Zika and Salah played together between 2010-2012, before Salah’s move to Europe at an Egyptian Premier League club now re-branded as Arab Contractors SC.
Salah has been described as the ‘Egyptian Messi’ and has won lots of praise since moving to Basel in Switzerland last year.
Salah has already won 27 caps for his country, scoring 17 goals in those appearances.
Salah wedding was 2 days ago he s in Egypt now, a close friend also ex teammate [Mohamed Zika] appeared in TV just a day before wedding
— Mootaz (@Mootaz_LFC) December 19, 2013
Mohamed Salah – Exciting 21 year old attacker who has the potential to become top class in my opinion. The fact that he has been ..
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) December 19, 2013
Liverpool fans may be surprised by the strong transfer speculation linking Liverpool to an attacking midfielder, with uncertaintiies seemingly appearing to lie at full-back and in central defence.
On Thursday, Rodgers reiterated his desire to bring in proven first-team players in the January transfer window, rather than simply bringing more players to his squad.
He told reporters at his press conference at Melwood, with quotes picked up by the club’s official website, “The squad we have at the moment is still relatively small, we have got a few players out,” the manager told reporters at Melwood on Thursday.
“But I’ll always look from within, like I have done whenever we have had injuries, when young Jon Flanagan came into the team or Raheem Sterling came into the team.
“Of course, we would want to reinforce the group, but it has to be players that are clearly better than what we have that can come in and help the group.
“[In terms of] players going out, we don’t have to move anyone out. If players aren’t in the team, then they need to fight to get back in the team. That’s the beauty of the squad.”