Premier League • England

Exclusive: Mo Salah exit takes shape as Liverpool cult hero tips 90-goal attacker to fill the void in style

Liverpool icon Mo Salah remains a target for Al-Ittihad

Liverpool icon Mo Salah remains a target for Al-Ittihad

Ronnie Rosenthal has revealed why he believes it is only a matter of time before Mohamed Salah moves to Saudi Arabia and says it “makes sense” for Liverpool to sell the forward with plans to sign a huge replacement now taking shape.

Al-Ittihad were reportedly lining up a £225m bid for Salah before the summer transfer window closed after having an offer worth up to £150m rejected. With their proposals arriving late in the window, Liverpool made it clear that his sale made no sense with his exit derailing their plans for the upcoming season. As a result, Jurgen Klopp made it clear to FSG that his sale should be blocked at all costs and any offers for his services, no matter the money, must be rejected.

However, Salah’s contract at Anfield, signed in July 2022, is due to expire on 1 July 2025, meaning he will have just 12 months left on his arrangement come the summer window.

As a result, there is a growing school of thought that Liverpool will have no option but to sell Salah if Al-Ittihad come back with a fresh proposal. To that end, Klopp has been told the brutal realities he faces in trying to retain Salah’s services into the 2024/25 season.

As a result, former Liverpool striker Rosenthal thinks it is inevitable the 31-year-old fans’ favourite will leave Anfield in the not-too-distant future. 

“I think Salah would have been allowed to leave if the club had found a player with the right profile to replace him,” cult Anfield hero Rosenthal told TEAMtalk.

“They will be already be working on a replacement, knowing the importance of planning as the interest from Saudi Arabia will not be going away. 

“They will be wanting someone who can give at least 70 per cent of what Salah brings and clearly they didn’t find the right man before the last window closed. “

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Darwin Nunez tipped to help fill Mo Salah void

Rosenthal continued: “I expect Mo will go to Saudi and I believe it makes sense to sell when a big offer comes in, with just under two years remaining on his contract at the age of 31.

“For Saudi, he will be seen as a huge part of their project and if he stays fit, then he could play on for another three or four years.”

While Rosenthal feels Liverpool will make a new signing – and Leroy Sane of Bayern Munich has once again been linked with a move to Anfield – he also feels Darwin Nunez is more than capable of taking on the void as Reds talisman.

The Uruguayan has scored three goals in as many games and the former Israel international believes the best is yet to come from the 24-year-old, who already boasts a career record of 90 goals in .

“Nunez was a good signing, he definitely has what it takes to score goals consistently,” Rosenthal added.

“It’s not easy adapting to a first season in England, but you could see he was dangerous with his speed and strength. 

“He’s a player I’d watched before he went to Benfica and you could see he was going to be a very good player.”

Despite a high-profile open goal miss for Liverpool recently – something Rosenthal can definitely relate to – Nunez’s record for the Reds reads a solid 22 goals in 56 appearances; definite room for growth and improvement.

Liverpool title chances dismissed

Klopp’s side are fourth in the Premier League table, three points behind leaders Tottenham ahead of a trip to Luton on Sunday. 

Rosenthal, however, does not expect the Reds to win the title, though would be surprised if they are not back in the Champions League next season.

After finishing fifth last season – their worst finish during a full season under Klopp’s command – Liverpool dropped into the Europa League.

However, Rosenthal is adamant the squad is big enough to cope with the Thursday-Sunday demands that come with operating in UEFA’s tier two competition.

Moreover, Rosenthal thinks the Liverpool recruitment was good over the summer with £145.2m spent on acquiring the services of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch and Waturu Endo giving their midfield a fresh new outlook.

He added: “I like the balance in the team this season and the recruitment has been very good.  

“I think Manchester City will be difficult to stop, but I think Liverpool should achieve a top-four finish and I’ll be happy to see that.” 

Rosenthal was speaking to Pete Thompson for TEAMtalk

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