Mohamed Salah is not with the Egypt squad for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia, but it is not tied to his future at Liverpool.
Salah was one of nine foreign-based players called up by Rui Vitoria for Egypt’s clashes with Ethiopia and Tunisia this month, joining a 26-man squad.
But as his country prepares for the visit of Ethiopia to Cairo, the Liverpool forward is not training with his team-mates.
Instead, Salah appears to have been spotted with his family at Legoland in Windsor earlier this week, following the Reds’ 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.
This comes as the 31-year-old was rested for the meeting with Ethiopia because Egypt are already qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations as Group D leaders.
The Egypt FA confirmed the decision on Saturday, with Salah then due to join his team-mates for the friendly against Tunisia on September 12.
While his omission could be considered worrying given it aligns with the final days of the transfer window in the Saudi Pro League, at face value it is a positive.
Salah was not required for a dead-rubber against Ethiopia and has been permitted to recharge before a more high-profile game next week.
Fears will not be fully allayed, of course, until the Saudi deadline passes on Thursday, with Al-Ittihad claimed to be preparing a new offer for the No. 11.
The i were among those to report an incoming bid worth £200 million on Tuesday, with “Saudi sources” of the belief that “Salah would at least want to hear Al-Ittihad out.”
Liverpool stance remains, according to the Liverpool Echo, that their fifth-highest goalscorer of all time is not for sale at any price.
Whether a world-record fee would change the situation remains to be seen, but given the transfer window is already closed for the Premier League and signing a replacement is out of the question, it seems unlikely.
More likely is that Salah is simply enjoying the sights with his family during much-needed downtime, before linking up with Egypt later this week.