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Mohamed Salah NOT going to Olympics – double boost for Liverpool

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Mohamed Salah and Ibrahima Konate are set to play a full part in pre-season for Liverpool after being blocked from participating in this summer’s Olympics.

Egypt hoped to call on Salah as one of three over-age players in their under-23 squad for the Tokyo Games, which are will be held between July 21 and August 7.

New signing Konate, meanwhile, was part of the France squad that secured qualification for the tournament by reaching the semi-finals of the U21 Euros in 2019.

However, This Is Anfield understands that neither player will head to Japan this summer after Liverpool refused requests from their respective national football governing bodies.

The Reds are scheduled to return for pre-season training on July 12, meaning Olympic involvement for any member of their squad would severely disrupt preparations for the new season.

And, with the tournament not officially recognised by FIFA, clubs are within their rights to block their players from taking part.

2D64T6B France U21's Ibrahima Konate

Consequently, Liverpool expect Salah and Konate to report for pre-season as normal.

Speaking on Wednesday, Egypt FA president Ahmed Megahed underlined his intention to make one final plea to Liverpool for the release his country’s star man.

“I do not want to say that it is impossible for Salah to participate in the Olympics, but it is difficult,” he told ONTimeSport.

“Salah agreed to lead the Olympic team during the last camp of the Egyptian team.

“We contacted Liverpool to allow Salah to join the Olympic team, and they said they were waiting for the approval of the technical staff.

“But in the end, Liverpool refused the request because they do not want to lose the player at the beginning of the season, as well as next January with the Africa Cup of Nations, which will keep him from participating in the English Premier League matches.”

Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Egypt and Zimbabwe at Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 21 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix ( Samuel Shivambu/Sports Inc/PA Images)

But Megahed will be under no illusions that his calls will fall on deaf ears with Liverpool having outlined a consistent position on the matter since the possibility arose.

The Reds have held regular talks with national FAs in recent months in order to head off a potential club vs. country row.

The value of this amicable approach was evident in Takumi Minamino‘s subtle withdrawal from contention having been previously touted as a potential call-up for Japan.

As such, Jurgen Klopp has never doubted that his preparations for the new campaign will face no disruption as a result of the Olympics.

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