Mohamed Salah is said to be “concerned” at Liverpool’s “lack of urgency” over his contract situation, with the decision to speak to Spanish press motivated by this.
Salah is in his fourth season with the Reds, and has already produced his second-best goal tally, having scored 28 times in his 43 appearances so far.
The Egyptian sits 13th in the club’s all-time goalscoring charts, and could feasibly move into the top 10 before the end of the current campaign, with nine more required from a minimum of eight games.
It is remarkable considering Salah is not even a traditional centre-forward, like the majority of those around him in the list, and this highlights how invaluable he is to Liverpool.
Having signed a new five-year deal with the club in 2018, the winger is tied to Anfield until 2023, by which point he will be 31.
This makes the summer ahead – when he will enter the final two years of his contract – a pivotal one, with Liverpool facing a big decision over whether to hand their No. 11 an extension or possibly sell him on.
According to The Athletic‘s Simon Hughes, Salah is “not determined to push through a move to another club,” but is “concerned by early indications from Liverpool that suggest they might see the future differently.”
Hughes suggests that the club “might be reluctant to offer leading wages” to the 28-year-old in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, largely due to his age.
But he quotes a source close to Salah in saying “he’s got another four or five top-end years in him easily,” arguing that “he rarely gets injured” and is “trying to improve himself all of the time.”
The inference would be that Salah could follow the trajectory of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, still operating at the top level in their mid-30s, due to his sheer talent, commitment and impeccable fitness.
Wijnaldum is 30, but looks like he could play at the top level for years to come, though Liverpool seem reluctant to hand the Dutchman a lengthy new contract, likely leading to a free transfer this summer.
To compare Wijnaldum and Salah in terms of their impact on Liverpool would be foolish, though, as the former Chelsea forward is undoubtedly one of the most important players in the modern history of the club.
Hughes’ piece assesses the delicate landscape set to the backdrop of Salah’s advisor and lawyer, Ramy Abbas Issa, with the Colombian agent sanctioning interviews with Spanish publications AS and Marca this season due to a “lack of urgency” from the Reds regarding the player’s future.
It seems, though, that Salah’s approach is more designed to engineer a longer and certainly more lucrative stay on Merseyside, rather than a high-profile switch to elsewhere.