How Divock Origi’s exit helped Liverpool agree new Mo Salah contract

Liverpool have made Mohamed Salah their highest-ever earner with a new three-year contract, with the loss of Divock Origi‘s relatively large salary aiding them.

Salah ended months of speculation and concern over his future on Friday when he announced he had put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with Liverpool.

The Egyptian has committed for another three years, taking him beyond his 33rd birthday in 2025, after a long and difficult negotiation process between club officials and his representative, Ramy Abbas Issa.

A heavily incentivised package sees Salah’s wage rise to around £350,000 a week, and potentially higher if he achieves a series of targets, which makes him the best-paid player in the club’s history.

It is a significant deal that changes the balance of Liverpool’s wage structure, with the 30-year-old believed to be earning over £100,000 a week more than any other.

The next-highest earners are Virgil van Dijk and Thiago, with Alisson – who signed a new six-year contract this time last year – in a similar region in terms of pay.

There is little denying that Salah deserves to be acknowledged with a top-level salary, though there had long been concerns over whether the club could afford to sanction such a deal.

However, as noted by the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe, shedding the wages of both Origi and Sadio Mane in a short space of time will undoubtedly have helped Fenway Sports Group in rubberstamping the agreement reached by sporting director Julian Ward.

Bascombe notes that Origi, who officially left Liverpool after a successful eight years on Friday, was earning around £100,000 a week.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 23, 2022: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (R) celebrates with team-mate Divock Origi after scoring the fifth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 6-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Meanwhile, Mane’s PR agent Bacary Cisse insisted at the end of June that his client had been paid “much higher” at Liverpool than the £100,000-a-week wage suggested in some sections of the media.

The Reds have effectively allocated most of the funds freed up by the departures of Origi and Mane towards Salah’s three-year contract, while Darwin Nunez, who is believed to earn around £140,000 a week, has also arrived to bolster the attack.

It seems to be a smart move by Liverpool, who were arguably overpaying for Origi given his minimal game time within Jurgen Klopp‘s squad.

That has often been the case with squad players shuffled through the Anfield exit in recent years, such as in the summer of 2020 when the club rid themselves of £300,000 a week in wages as Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne all moved on.

Liverpool face a difficult balancing act with Salah’s extension, of course, but he now stands as the prime example to the rest of the squad that elite wages are on offer to those who consistently perform at an elite standard.