Liverpool have a big decision on their hands when it comes to Mohamed Salah’s future at the club and previous moves by their rivals will certainly be on their mind. The Reds have been tied in negotiations with Salah over a new contract for several months now.
It’s clear that Liverpool want to keep the Egypt international at the club for the foreseeable future and the feeling is mutual, according to recent comments from Salah himself.
Speaking back in October, Salah admitted that he would love to finish his career with Liverpool, but he hinted that they are yet to meet his demands.
He said: “If you ask me, I would love to stay until the last day of my football career, but I can’t say much about that – it’s not in my hands. It depends on what the club want, not on me.”
Those demands are said to be a contract worth around £400,000-a-week which would make him one of the highest paid players in the Premier League.
It would also smash Liverpool’s current wage structure at the club, where the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and Salah are currently the top earners all on similar terms.
Salah will be 31 by the time his contract runs out in 2023 and Liverpool will be desperate to avoid that happening.
But equally, it’s been suggested that they’re not prepared to smash the wage structure at the club which has worked so well under Jurgen Klopp.
To keep a superstar such as Salah though, who has played his part in an incredible 32 goals in just 26 games this season, Liverpool will need to stump up big money.
Even more of an issue would be trying to sign someone capable of replacing Salah if an agreement can’t be reached.
Arsenal have had similar issues in the past with their superstar players – both of which haven’t gone to plan.
Both Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were awarded with mega-money contracts as their old deals were coming to an end.
And the pair of them suffered a drastic fall from grace in the aftermath, with Aubameyang now seemingly heading for the exit door at Arsenal after a fallout with Mikel Arteta.
But it goes the other way too.
Kevin De Bruyne was in a similar situation to Salah with his old contract set to expire in 2023.
There was never any real inclination the Belgian midfielder was looking to leave and City made sure of that with a monster contract worth £400,000-a-week until 2025.
By that point, De Bruyne will be 33 years of age and he’s already proven pivotal once again this season in helping Pep Guardiola’s side increase their lead at the top of the table.
Salah arguably fits in the bracket closer to De Bruyne than Ozil and Aubameyang for his superstar status in world football.
But the dip in performance from the former Arsenal team-mates will be of some concern to Liverpool’s transfer officials.
Salah has proven himself to be a consummate professional and has arguably stepped up his game even more this season to show exactly what he means to the club.
Recent reports have suggested that Salah will eventually sign on the dotted line to extend his contract at Liverpool.
What that deal looks like in comparison to the demands Salah had originally made will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows among his team-mates.
The last thing Liverpool will want is to disrupt the squad harmony Klopp has spent the past six years building up, but the conundrum for club officials is how can they manage to keep everyone happy? It’s big decision for a club with lofty ambitions to continue challenging at the top of the table.