Liverpool have a problem with Mohamed Salah, but it’s one that most clubs would be happy to have. They arguably have the best player in the world right now and he lives up to that billing by scoring in virtually every game he plays. The only downside for Liverpool is that they have yet to sign a new contract, with their tenure expiring in 2023, and each outstanding performance increases the pressure on the club’s negotiating team.
The big question now is whether Salah is tightening the screw so hard that it puts Liverpool’s US owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) in an impossible situation. Salah would become Liverpool’s highest paid player if he accepts a new contract at Anfield, with defender Virgil van Dijk in the post at the moment after signing a new deal in August worth £ 300,000 a week.
But as sources told ESPN this week when revealing that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will demand more than £ 500,000 a week salary to sign for one of the many clubs desperate to acquire his services. next summer the cost of having one of the best players in the world on your squad is now starting to skyrocket and Salah unquestionably deserves to be placed in the same category as Haaland, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Every time Salah scores a big goal or makes a winning contribution to Jurgen Klopp’s side, he makes himself even more valuable to the club, but also strengthens his own position in these contract talks.
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Had football not been hit hard by the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a good chance Liverpool would have accepted an offer for Salah at the end of last season. The Egypt international has, for a long time, done little to curb speculation linking him to a move to Spain’s La Liga and the FSG’s successful business model at Anfield has seen them sign players for relatively low fees and move them for a profit. at the optimal time. . With two years left on his contract, the opportunity to raise a huge sum by moving Salah last summer may have been too tempting for Liverpool to turn it down.
When Philippe Coutinho moved to Barcelona for a £ 142million transfer fee in January 2018, Liverpool allowed their best player to leave, but cleverly reinvested every penny of those fees to sign Van Dijk (£ 75million from Southampton) and goalkeeper Alisson (£ 67million from AS Roma). This decision ultimately proved to be decisive for the club winning the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League a year later.
Liverpool could have gone the same route with Salah but the harsh financial realities of the pandemic have destroyed the transfer market and neither club have been able to increase the transfer fees needed to take the 29-year-old away from Anfield. In 2022 it might be another story, especially if he continues to seemingly score at will, but Liverpool would be making a huge mistake if they prioritize making profit over the cost of keeping them.
Ronaldo is the highest-paid player in the Premier League following his transfer from Juventus to Manchester United in August, sources telling ESPN that the 36-year-old earns £ 480,000 a week at Old Trafford. Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne had briefly risen to the top of the paying league by signing a £ 385,000-a-week contract in April, but Salah and his advisers will have every right to argue that he deserves to eclipse both Ronaldo and De Bruyne. earnings.
As Klopp has said this season, there is no one better in world football than Salah right now, so it would be a risky decision for Liverpool to tell the player that despite being billed as a star, he doesn’t. is not worthy of a salary agreement to live up to this status.
However, a salary of £ 30million per year for the next four or five years does not match the FSG’s previous approach to contracts and recruiting. For FSG the player must have some sort of value at the end of his contract, and they wouldn’t see much on a 34-year-old who just cost them between £ 120m and £ 150m.
But they have to ask themselves who could replace Salah and how much would it cost?
Steve Nicol says Man United cannot afford to lose two goals against Liverpool like they did against Atalanta.
Tottenham wanted £ 150million from clubs wishing to sign forward Harry Kane this summer and Man City refused to pay him, but if that’s what it would take to land Kane then Salah is worth a bit more for a number of factors.
Salah (102) has more Premier League goals in the past five years than Kane (89), more assists (37v23), and his fitness record is another crucial factor. Salah have only missed three Liverpool games with injury or illness since joining Roma in 2017, while in the same span Kane has missed 42 Tottenham games – more than an entire season in total. The Egyptian has also become one of the biggest business names in football, and that is largely down to playing for a club of world stature Liverpool, so his potential value is huge.
Quite simply, Liverpool couldn’t find a comparable replacement for Salah without spending much more than it would cost to keep him. Sign him up for £ 500,000 a week for five years and it would still cost Liverpool less than the £ 150million Tottenham want for Kane without even considering the England captain’s salary and the fact that he’s 28 himself years. Even though these numbers make the FSG cry, Salah’s background, physical form, low-key lifestyle and professionalism suggest he will still be a world-class player five years from now.
Ronaldo is still producing as his 37th birthday approaches in February and PSG’s Messi, at 34, is also far from nearing the final curtain. So the only movement that makes football and The financial sense for Liverpool is to make Salah the highest paid player in the Premier League. He proves he’s worth it every time he sets foot on the pitch.