Mohamed Salah’s new Liverpool contract has made him the highest-paid player in the club’s history, but the forward insists it is the quest for trophies which drives him on.
The Egypt international had entered the final year of his existing contract after negotiations over extending his stay dragged on for most of last season, with the 30-year-old’s salary the stumbling block.
However, Salah committed himself to the club for three more years after a delegation from the club, led by new sporting director Julian Ward, flew out to finalise a deal with the player, who is still currently on holiday.
“It takes a little bit of time, I think, to renew, but now everything is done so we just need to focus on what’s next,” Salah, who joined for £37million from Roma in 2017, told liverpoolfc.com.
“If I look back to that time when I came, the club were not winning many things, but I think I told you I had come to win trophies.
“I think we have won good trophies together and I think we can do it again.
“I have enjoyed my football here at the club and hopefully I will continue to enjoy it and win many trophies.”
A long-standing commitment of both parties to reach an agreement meant a deal could be done quickly.
The PA news agency understands Salah had made it clear to the club early in negotiations he would not countenance being sold, but if his preference to renew could not be met he would leave on a free transfer next summer.
There were face-to-face talks between Ward and Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon and his agent in Miami around the turn of the year, which thrashed out the broad structure of the deal.
The contract is understood to be worth in the region of £350,000-a-week, less than the £400,000 the player was reportedly asking for, which protects the club’s wage structure while also rewarding individual performance.
Liverpool accepted Salah was worthy of a deal commensurate with his world-class status, but by adding performance bonuses they have protected the club while rewarding the player for goals and assists.
A three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, the Egyptian has scored 156 goals in 254 appearances, with only Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne providing more league assists since the start of the 2017-18 season, and has helped the club win the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
The fact Salah has accepted the performance-related aspect of his new contract is testament to the player’s confidence he can continue reproducing the numbers he has been doing.
Manager Jurgen Klopp, who also recently signed a contract extension to 2026, has no qualms his star player will deliver.
“I have no doubt Mo’s best years are still to come – and that’s saying something, because the first five seasons here have been the stuff of legend,” he said.
“Fitness-wise, he’s a machine – in the most incredible shape. He works hard on it and he gets his rewards.
“His ability and his skill level gets higher each season, and his decision-making has gone to another level also.
“He is adored by his team-mates. As coaches we know we work with someone special. And the supporters have crowned him a king. So, very cool.
“It is just great news. It makes me smile thinking about it. He stays with us for longer and it means we can achieve more together.
“It’s the best decision for us and best decision for him. He belongs with us I think. This is his club now.”
Salah’s extension is further good news following the summer signings of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez for a potential club-record £85million fee, and teenagers Fabio Carvalho (from Fulham) and Calvin Ramsay (from Aberdeen).
It also means the evolution of the forward line will not have to be so dramatic after the departure of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich and with Roberto Firmino, 31 in October, entering the final year of his contract.
“I think everybody now has started to reach their peak after 30 or something. I am so excited for the next (few) years,” said Salah, who needs just two goals to overtake Michael Owen’s club tally and only 16 to move into seventh in the all-time list ahead of Sir Kenny Dalglish.
“I am ready to go again.”