Premier League • England

Mo Salah transfer talk explodes in wake of Liverpool row with Klopp as Alan Shearer picks a side

Alan Shearer has sided with Mo Salah in his Liverpool row with Jurgen Klopp

Alan Shearer has sided with Mo Salah in his Liverpool row with Jurgen Klopp

Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer has sprung to the defence of Mo Salah in the wake of the bizarre touchline row with Jurgen Klopp which threatens to overshadow the final weeks of the German’s time at Anfield and could yet also lead to the exit of the Egyptian superstar too.

Klopp has done many great things during his near-nine year reign on Anfield, which has seen the Reds win seven major honours and reach four European finals, one of which led to Liverpool winning the Champions League for a sixth time in their history when they defeated Tottenham 2-0 in the 2019 final.

However, it is has now been all plain sailing for Klopp during his time at Liverpool and now a high-profile touchline spat with Salah during Saturday’s 2-2 draw against West Ham at the London Stadium has put a serious dampner on his final days as the Reds manager.

The Egyptian superstar is widely regarded as Liverpool’s best and most influential player, sitting third on their all-time top scorers list and having blasted his way to an astonishing 210 goals in 346 games for the Merseysiders since a bargain £36.9m move from Roma in 2017.

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As a result, and with Liverpool needing nothing less than a win at West Ham to keep alive their faint hopes of ending Klopp’s reign with a Premier League title success, it came as a surprise when the German decided to leave Salah out of his starting line-up for the Saturday lunchtime match at West Ham.

But when Klopp called on Salah’s services when stepping off the bench as a 79th-minute substitute for Luis Diaz, the Egyptian let his frustrations boil over.

Alan Shearer has his say on Mo Salah, Jurgen Klopp touchline row

The German was then seen saying something to Salah, which in turn provoked an angry reaction, leading to Salah remonstrating with his manager by constantly pointing to both the pitch and his manager.

There are plenty in the game who feel a manager’s say should always be final and players should not question their managers, particularly in public.

However, BBC Sport pundit Shearer, who had himself experienced similar when dropped by Ruud Gullit while at Newcastle, insists he has every sympathy with Salah in this situation.

“We don’t know what Klopp has said to him there. He’s said something that’s riled him,” he said on Match of the Day.

“He’s obviously got the right hump with being left out and probably rightly so, even though hasn’t hit the heights that Mo Salah has done over the years. He’s been an unbelievable player.

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“He ignores Jurgen, he gives the Liverpool fans a little round of applause and goes straight down the tunnel.

“But we’re guessing as to what Jurgen said to him. I understand that if Mo has the right hump because the amount of times he’s been Liverpool’s superstar and their saviour.

“He’s got 17 goals in 25 league starts. Anyone else you’d look at that and think ‘unbelievable’. It’s a shame it’s going to end like that because of what Klopp’s done and what Salah’s done.”

Liverpool’s next game comes at home to Tottenham next Sunday – Klopp’s penultimate home match in charge – and he will likely do his best to play down the spat in the build-up to the game.

Salah transfer talk ignites after Klopp row

That disagreement spilled over after the game with new footage showing Salah and Klopp visibly snubbing a handshake with one another after the game.

And while Klopp will be replaced by Arne Slot at Anfield this summer, there appears a growing possibility that the Dutchman will never get to coach the Egyptian superstar amid heightening claims that his feud will only escalate his prospects of sealing a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia this summer.

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As a result, Sky Sports pundit Tim Sherwood feels that Saturday’s row feels like the beginning of the end of Salah’s time on Merseyside.

“Salah’s come back, he’s been hot and cold. But that can happen,” Sherwood said.

“The guy’s been incredible. We want him in the Premier League. But I think you’re seeing the beginning of the end for Mo Salah at Liverpool, I really do.”

Discussing a potential sale and whether the timing is now right, Sherwood continued: “They’ve obviously got a new manager coming in. I think they need to cash in now.

“I think you can only go one way. He’s still a sensational player and he’s been brilliant for the Premier League, we’ve enjoyed watching him.

“In the financial times as it is now, if they want to spend money and they want to recruit, and they want to build again for their new manager, which looks like it’s going to be Arne Slot, I think they’re going to have to sell Mo Salah and I think now is the time.”