Klopp takes clever tact and lays down challenge for ‘insane’ Mohamed Salah

Date published: Saturday 21st August 2021 7:32 - James Marshment

Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the 2021-2022 season English Premier League first round match between Norwich City and Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has issued Mohamed Salah with a challenge over his goals record after indicating talks are progressing well with the Egyptian over a new Liverpool contract.

Egypt striker Salah, 29, has been a phenomena since arriving from Roma in a bargain £36.9m deal in summer 2017. He now has two seasons left on an improved five-year contract he signed in July 2018.

Liverpool, who have agreed new deals with Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson and Fabinho this summer. Captain Jordan Henderson is expected to be next after a key intervention from Klopp.

Liverpool hope Salah will soon follow after. That’s despite a cryptic tweet from his agent seemingly muddying the water.

Klopp though has hinted that things are pressing well with Salah, though is refusing to go into details.

“We don’t really speak about these things,” Klopp said. “We changed that a little bit with Hendo. But it doesn’t mean we will talk from now on about each little step we make in every negotiation and stuff like this.

“Two things: Mo is in a really good moment football-wise, mood-wise, how he behaves. That’s from the first day when he came back, absolutely great.

“So we are all adults, all professionals and when there are talks, there are talks. Then, when there’s a decision, we will tell you.

“Until then it’s unimportant how the parties work together in these things. We don’t have to talk about people in the background.

“With two years left you can imagine that there are talks, that’s it.”

Salah became the third fastest player to score 100 goals for Liverpool in October 2020. He also set a new milestone in last week’s win at Norwich. That’s after he became the first player to score in the opening game of a Premier League season for five successive years.

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Klopp wants Salah to keep breaking records

Klopp expects Salah to keep climbing the club’s all-time scoring chart, but said only time will tell if he can join the likes of Ian Rush, Roger Hunt, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler as an all-time great.

“Breaking records is great and the records he’s broken already is absolutely insane,” Klopp said.

“I didn’t know last week when he scored the goal that he is now the first person in the history of the Premier League to score in the first game of five consecutive seasons.

“There’s a reason why nobody did it. It’s really difficult. He did it and if there are any records out there he will know about them.”

Using a clever tactic, Klopp added: “But I never told him he could be ‘the’ or one of the three biggest Liverpool legends ever because that’s nothing you go for.

“Records, yes, but becoming a legend – people will judge you like that after your career probably and that’s fine.”

Salah, 11th on Liverpool’s all-time scorers list, is aiming for his 127th goal in 205 appearances in all competitions in the Premier League’s lunchtime kick-off at Burnley on Saturday.

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