Jurgen Klopp is feeling positive about Mohamed Salah’s contract renewal; Egypt forward has 18 months to go on his deal, but has publicly stated his desire to stay at Anfield; watch Tottenham vs Liverpool live on Super Sunday on Sky Sports Premier League from 4.15pm; kick-off 4.30pm
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are having “really good conversations” with Mohamed Salah over extending his contract.
Salah, who has 18 months left on his deal, told Sky Sports in October that he never wants to leave Anfield, but that his future is dependent on the club.
Liverpool have tied down a number of senior players to new deals this season, but fans are still waiting for their star forward to put pen to paper on a new contract.
Manager Klopp, though, is not worried about the pace of negotiations.
No player has scored more league goals than Salah in Europe this season, with Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic the only one to have matched his tally of 15 goals. He also has nine assists.
Speaking ahead the 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford, Salah told Sky Sports: “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.
“At the moment I can’t see myself ever playing against Liverpool. That would make me sad. It’s hard, I don’t want to talk about it, but it would make me really sad.
“At the moment I don’t see myself playing against Liverpool but let’s see what will happen in the future.”
What are the key factors at play in Salah negotiations?
Salah is in contract negotiations with Liverpool, with just 18 months left on his current deal.
What are the key factors at play from the perspective of the club and the player? And what needs to be done for the extension to happen?
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor, who covers the club closely, explains the situation…
Salah is still ambitious
First and foremost, this is not just about money. Salah is still ambitious, with his hunger to win undiminished.
At some point, this is a Liverpool squad that will need refreshing. Roberto Firmino is now 30 years of age, Sadio Mane is 29, Jordan Henderson is 31, Thiago Alcantara is 30, Virgil van Dijk is 30, and Fabinho is 28.
Salah will want to see that there’s a continued commitment from the club to add quality to what they have got, with the intention of maintaining Liverpool’s ability to challenge for titles.
Salah is now an all-time Liverpool great as a Premier League and Champions League winner. His goal against AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday night took his tally to 20 goals in 21 games in all competitions this season.
So, in terms of the wage he can command, his market value is as high as it has ever been.
He’s been labelled as the best player in the world on current form, yet currently, he’s reportedly the fifth highest-paid footballer globally.
Salah wants to stay
He has a strong relationship with Jurgen Klopp and he’s settled in the Liverpool dressing room.
Even when linked with Barcelona, while flattered, he said he’s happy at Liverpool and at the moment prefers to stay in the Premier League as it is the strongest league in the world.
But there was a broad hint in that Sky Sports interview he needs to feel the love from the Liverpool hierarchy and he followed that up again this week.
In an interview with Egypt’s MBC Masr, Salah reiterated while he wants to extend his Anfield contract, Liverpool’s owners have an issue to solve.
“Your financial value shows how much the club appreciates you and that they are ready to do anything for you to stay,” he said.
There is goodwill on both sides to reach an agreement on a new contract.
Ideally, Liverpool would like to get this done before it gets to the stage where Salah goes into the final year of his current deal without securing his future beyond that.
Finding the right figure
From the club’s perspective, they need to find the magic figure that confirms Salah’s status among the elite of world football, while being mindful of their wage structure and not upsetting that.
They are also operating in a transfer market where the financial clout of Real Madrid and Barcelona has been drastically reduced, which, in turn, reduces the chances of pushing up a potential transfer fee as high as possible if it looks as though an agreement is not going to be reached.
At the same time, with Salah’s contract running down, there is potential in the future for clubs to better the wage offer coming from Liverpool if it gets to the stage where he’s likely to be available on a free transfer.
Klopp says players not vaccinated against Covid-19 pose a health risk and Liverpool are unlikely to sign players who refuse to be jabbed.
Six of this weekend’s Premier League matches have been postponed due to outbreaks among players and staff at many clubs in the last week
Klopp, outspoken in his support of the vaccination programme, has said he does not see the benefit of stopping the Premier League but talks are to be held among clubs on Monday.
Asked whether a player’s vaccination status would affect transfer policy, Klopp said: “We are not close to signing a player but I thought about it and yes, it will be influential, definitely.
“If a player is not vaccinated at all, he is a constant threat for all of us… From an organisational point of view, it gets really messy. If you really want to follow the protocols, it is really difficult to do it.
“If one (player) gets Covid, and others are around him, they are in isolation… So of course it will be influential. We are not going to create a building for unvaccinated players. Hopefully, it will not be necessary.”