Mohamed Salah has handed Liverpool an enormous boost in the build-up to the Champions League final by underlining his desire to stay with the Reds – for next season at least.
Talks over the Egyptian star’s new deal have dominated off-field matters at Liverpool this season. Salah’s deal is due to expire in summer 2023 and talks over an extension have failed to see an agreement reached. Now with just over 13 months left, the situation is far from ideal for Liverpool.
The Reds and their owners FSG are, understandably, determined to retain the services of their star player. And while they are prepared to make him the best-paid player in their history, there is a ceiling to what they will pay him.
As such, talk that Salah is seeking £500,000 a week has not gone down too well with club officials. As recently as March, it was reported talks had broken down, leaving Liverpool with little option but to sell him this summer.
And while relations between club and player remain amicable, the saga has prompted a very strong warning from Jamie Carragher.
Recently, though, reports have emerged that an agreement is now close after a softening of Salah’s demands.
And with hopes growing that an agreement may soon be reached, Salah himself has dropped a major hint on his future.
In a press conference to preview Saturday’s Champions League final, Salah insists he will still be a LFC player next season.
Mohamed Salah future pledge
Quizzed on his new deal, Salah said: “I don’t want to talk about that. I just want to see Hendo [Jordan Henderson] with the trophy in his hands and hopefully he will then give it to me!
“I am staying next season for sure.”
He added: “I’m very motivated, motivated through the roof, after what happened last time [v Real Madrid] and Sunday, everyone is motivated for this. We fight for this and everyone is excited.”
Carragher urges Liverpool to be stubborn with Salah
Jamie Carragher has urged Liverpool to be stubborn with Mo Salah and his new contract
Asked for his reflections on that 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real, Salah is clearly out for revenge.
Indeed, he still hurts from his early withdrawal in the game, having suffered a shoulder injury after a heavy challenge from Sergio Ramos.
“I remember when I went off it was the worst moment in my career,” he said. “I was really down at that time. Had a good season and reached the Champions League final. [Going off was the] Worst thing to happen for a player. I knew the result from hospital. We couldn’t lose that way.”
Star outlines Luis Diaz impact
One man who has been a difference maker for Liverpool this season is Luis Diaz.
The Colombian, a January signing from FC Porto, has settled into life at Anfield quickly, scoring six times and creating four more for the Reds.
Perhaps his best game was in coming off the bench in the semi-final second-leg win at Villarreal.
Asked how he has settled in, Salah had nothing but praise.
“He is a great player. Villarreal away…we have a lot of players who speak Spanish and Portuguese to him and he’s doing well.”
Asked about the two trophies Liverpool have won since returning from his AFCON disappointment, Salah had a diplomatic answer.
“I’ve had time to think [about Egypt results]. I came back and was right in training. I felt at that time there were three or four others to win so I just give it a try. We’ve been unlucky but City are a great team. I just try to be realistic.”