Mohamed Salah will not be going to the Olympics after Liverpool prevented him from being selected in Egypt’s squad for Tokyo.
National team boss Hossam El Badry had wanted the 29-year-old as one of his overage players, but the Reds put a block on Salah’s hopes.
The Olympics run from July 22 until August 7, a week before the start of the Premier League campaign, and with Salah set to miss matches in January because of the African Nations Cup Liverpool did not view it as being in their best interests to allow Salah to attend.
Despite trying to exert some pressure El Badry has admitted defeat and omitted Salah from the squad he named on Friday.
Under FIFA rules clubs are under no obligation to release their players for the Olympics and sporting director Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp wanted a full pre-season for Salah.
“I do not want to say that it is impossible for Salah to participate in the Olympics. But it is difficult,” he told Egyptian broadcaster ONTimeSport.
“Salah agreed to lead the Olympic team during the last camp of the Egyptian team.
“In the end, Liverpool refused the request because they do not want to lose the player at the beginning of the season, as well as next January with the Africa Cup of Nations, which will keep him from participating in the English Premier League matches.
“We spoke with Salah again. And he told us that he will make a new attempt with the technical staff of his team, to resolve the matter, and within the next two days he will find a way.”
However, Salah has not managed to persuade Liverpool to release him for the tournament which is is recognised by FIFA as a youth tournament.
Van Dijk boost
In another boost to Klopp’s plans Virgil Van Dijk has declared himself “pre-season ready” in a post on Twitter.
The Holland captain missed virtually all last season after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage in his right knee in October’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park
Pre-season ready ⏳ pic.twitter.com/qirIGaNfcS
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) July 2, 2021
Van Dijk posted a minute long video of him training at the club’s training ground at Kirkby.
Van Dijk has been out of action since October with an ACL injury. He made good progress in his recovery but the Euros came too soon for him. And he ruled himself out of contention in May.
Van Dijk said: “With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season.
“So, the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal.
“So I am looking forward to that.”