Mohamed Salah‘s agent has heaped pressure on Liverpool amid scrutiny over their contract talks, with Fabrizio Romano claiming they have rejected an offer.
Following Jurgen Klopp‘s update on Salah’s future in his pre-Brighton press conference on Friday, the winger’s agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, took to Twitter in a thinly veiled response.
— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) March 11, 2022
The agent posted a series of laughing emojis, which was a clear reaction to Klopp’s assertion that “the club did what the club can do” with regards to negotiations and that it was “Mo’s decision.”
Klopp insisted that there had been “no signing or rejection” and that he felt it was “exactly like it should be at this moment in time.”
That was certainly dubious in any case, and contradicted Salah’s own words from back in November, when he told GQ: “It’s not in my hands. It’s in their hands…They know what I want. I’m not asking for crazy stuff.”
A power play appears to be in effect, and now Abbas has looked to employ football’s most notorious transfer merchant, Romano, to strengthen his client’s hand.
Friday evening saw Romano take to Twitter to claim an ‘exclusive’:
Excl: Salah and his agent have no intention to accept current new contract bid from Liverpool. Talks have broken down since December, as things stand ??? #LFC
Mo’s priority is to stay – but not at current conditions. Let’s see Liverpool next move.
More: https://t.co/QGTdcXpa79 pic.twitter.com/2cAY6KmmkV
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 11, 2022
“Salah and his agent have no intention to accept [the] current new contract bid from Liverpool,” Romano wrote.
“Talks have broken down since December, as things stand. Mo’s priority is to stay – but not at [the] current conditions. Let’s see Liverpool’s next move.”
In a YouTube video in which he waffled and repeated himself for over six minutes, Romano added that Liverpool were unwilling to break their wage structure and their offer was “not enough” for Salah.
He claims the likelihood of Salah staying is “not so high” and that “it depends on Liverpool,” though he is “not desperate to leave this summer.”
It is suggested that the No. 11 could see out his contract and depart on a free transfer in 2023, but that “it doesn’t mean that he would go to another country or another league.”
That raises the prospect of moving to a Premier League rival – though few could match his wage demands, perhaps only Man City, Man United and Newcastle – though Romano concluded: “He wants to stay at Liverpool, but with the best conditions.”
This is a clear and, frankly, embarrassing attempt from Salah’s agent to manipulate the situation, with Romano used as a mouthpiece for their agenda as they look to force Liverpool’s hand.
It is a sad situation, but one the club are familiar with having dealt with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho in recent years.
The hope is, at the very least, that Salah is able to get his head down and continue to perform at the world-class standard he has maintained at Liverpool, as they chase three more trophies this season.
But the question can certainly be raised over his judgement – and perhaps even his intentions – as he aligns himself with an agent that undermines his image so frequently.