LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp congratulates hat-trick hero Mohamed Salah after the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp insists contract talk won’t “distract” Mohamed Salah

Jurgen Klopp does not believe scrutiny over Mohamed Salah‘s contract, which runs until 2023, will “distract” the striker as speculation continues over his future.

Salah stands as Liverpool’s top scorer this season, with 17 goals in 27 appearances, and also sits at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with 13.

But despite his ongoing key role at Anfield, there have been persistent rumours over the Egyptian’s long-term place with the Reds – particularly following his positive COVID-19 test after attending his brother’s wedding in Cairo.

The No. 11 has given two interviews addressing his future, firstly with Spanish publication AS and then with Norwegian outlet TV2, in which he stressed both times that the decision is “in the hands of the club.”

Salah told TV2 “I want to stay here as long as I can,” but that has not quelled speculation over a possible summer exit to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

It has also been mooted that Salah’s comments are designed to spark renewed contract talks with Liverpool – which are likely within the next year either way – as he bids for an improved deal.

This could prove a distraction, but Klopp does not believe that to be the case – particular as the question was posed directly to the 28-year-old by TV2, rather than him bringing the subject of his future up himself.

“That’s a normal thing in the world of football,” Klopp told reporters.

“It’s not that we go out and talk about things that we think are important. It’s pretty rare that that happens.

“We get asked questions and we answer, that’s end of story, and it always seems like we started the conversation.

“But in Mo’s case, it’s not like that. So no, I don’t think it will distract the season.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 27, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Bromwich Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Salah was omitted from the starting lineup for Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Burnley, which deprived him of another possible outing as captain, having previously expressed his frustration at Trent Alexander-Arnold being handed the armband ahead of him earlier in the season.

But he will return to the side for Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round clash with Man United at Old Trafford, in which he will be entrusted as one of Klopp’s leaders.

“It makes it absolutely likely that Mo will start,” the manager said of Salah’s omission in midweek.

“I don’t think that is a massive secret.”

Salah has not scored in any of his last five league games, including drawing a blank against United on January 17, but he did find the back of the net in the previous FA Cup tie at Aston Villa.

With Liverpool enduring a miserable run of form of late, Klopp will be hoping his No. 11 can help fire the Reds back to winning ways this Sunday.