Premier League • England

Mo Salah: Liverpool exit fears ramp up amid Arne Slot revelation as Rio Ferdinand makes ‘disrespected’ claim

Mo Salah has been told he won't be Arne Slot's top priority when it comes to handing out new deals at Liverpool

Mo Salah has been told he won't be Arne Slot's top priority when it comes to handing out new deals at Liverpool

Reports that Mo Salah could leave Liverpool continue to do the rounds and the speculation appears to have gathered more pace amid claims the player will not be Arne Slot’s first priority when it comes to handing out new deals at Anfield this summer.

The Egyptian star has proved an absolute bargain signing for the Reds since Michael Edwards convinced the club to shell out the £36.9m fee needed to bring him back to the Premier League from AS Roma. Now in his seventh season at Anfield, Salah has blasted his way to 211 goals in just 347 appearances  – a phenomenal record for a wide player.

However, with his deal coming to an end in summer 2025, speculation has risen of late that a parting of ways could be on the cards for Liverpool and the 31-year-old at the end of the current campaign.

The Reds rejected a club-record £150m offer for the player last summer and their efforts in bringing him to the Gulf State have never faded. To that end, a new report on Sunday suggested Al-Ittihad had submitted a new offer for Salah, worth a nine-figure sum, had been left on the table.

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To that end, there is a growing school of thought that suggests Salah’s time will soon be up, especially given the Merseysiders will have a new man in the dug-out next season having agreed a compensation package with Feyenoord to install Slot as Klopp’s successor.

With a new manager comes new ideas and speculation has risen lately around how Salah will fit in under the Dutchman.

Danny Murphy claims Salah will not be Slot’s No 1 priority

And while respected journalists such as Paul Joyce of The Times and The Athletic’s David Ornstein claim at this point Salah looks likely to stay, reports that Liverpool could yet change their mind and decide to cash in refuse to go away.

Furthermore, former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy insists that while, in an ideal world Slot will surely want to keep Salah, the Dutchman’s focus will be on tying down both Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold to new deals first and foremost.

“In an ideal world, he will not leave. His reliability in front of goal is obvious and although he would bring in a big fee, replacing him and finding someone who guarantees the same numbers would be nigh on impossible,” Murphy told the BBC about Salah.

“And as amazing as Salah is, I still think the number one priority for the new manager will be to secure Virgil van Dijk’s future.

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“Like Salah, Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold are out of contract in the summer of 2025. I don’t think getting Trent signed up will be a problem because he is a local lad who loves Liverpool, but predicting Van Dijk’s next move is a lot harder.

“Although the club is always bigger than any individual and there is always someone new to come in or come through, Van Dijk’s presence and ability means he is the one player they would miss more than any other.

“Any manager coming in would be really excited at the prospect of working with young talent like that, but the balance of what you need around them on the pitch is epitomised by what Van Dijk brings to the team.”

Mo Salah: Rio Ferdinand claims star has been disrespected

Murphy continued: “In Van Dijk’s time at Anfield, so many players have benefited from his presence and that effect will continue as long as he stays there.

“That is what makes him even more important than Salah, and a new contract is crucial. Once that’s done, it gives you wonderful foundations for other players because you know he will guide and improve those coming in.”

With Salah’s future a hot topic of debate, the player served a timely reminder of his abilities on Sunday as Tottenham were beaten 4-2 at Anfield.

Indeed, while some observers claim Salah’s standards have dropped off this season, the winger has still managed to score 25 goals in 42 appearances across all competitions.

As a result, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has launched a stern defence of his importance to the Reds, claiming the Egyptian has been “disrespected” and in light of former midfielder Graeme Souness labelling him as “the most selfish player he had ever seen”.

Ferdinand began: “Can I just say something about Mo Salah – I think he’s been disrespected recently,’ Ferdinand said on Vibe With Five.

“I’ve seen a lot of comments about him, I’ve seen people talking about him, caning him.

“I don’t think there’s been a debate that Mo Salah has been world class for a number of years.

“Maybe this season he’s tailed off but in his pomp years at Liverpool, absolutely world class.

“Real Madrid only win that Champions League final [in 2018] because he came off injured. Up until that moment he came off injured Liverpool were on the front foot, as soon as he came off everything changed.”

No doubting Liverpool star is in ‘world class’ bracket

“His numbers are off the charts, I don’t understand it, it’s unbelievable. Mo Salah I think has been so disrespected,” Ferdinand added.

“I saw Graeme Souness, Troy Deeney and Simon Jordan, I couldn’t believe the disrespect I was seeing about him, I couldn’t believe it, they were talking about him like he’s just any guy.

“I think he’s been absolutely world class, you can’t do those numbers. They’ll sit there and say, ‘Harry Kane’s world class over the years’. Mo Salah’s numbers will be similar around Harry Kane over the last six or seven years but Mo Salah has been winning things, he’s won a league, Champions League, trophies across the board while doing that.”

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In conclusion, Ferdinand summed up the Egyptian’s importance to the Reds, not just right now, but down the years.

“I don’t know how you can debate if Mo Salah has been world class at any point in his career at Liverpool, it’s off the scale to even question him, I don’t care, it’s mad, he’s won trophies, he’s the player who decides games for them consistently and he has done it at the top level.”