Liverpool are facing up to the prospect of being without Mohamed Salah for a number of weeks at the start of next season amid claims he will be called up by Egypt for the Olympic Games.
The 28-year-old is currently the Premier League’s top goalscorer with 17 goals in 25 appearances for the Reds this season.
But with the Olympics due to run from July 23 to August 8, Liverpool may have to rule the star out of the start of next season. Participating countries will largely have squads based on their U23s. However, each is allowed to call upon three senior stars for the event.
And Egypt’s under-23 coach Shawky Gharib has made it clear Salah would be one of those he will count on.
That means Salah would miss Liverpool’s pre-season programme as well as the opening week or two of the new season.
“Egypt U23 team’s preliminary squad will be led by Mohamed Salah and Mohamed El-Shennawy alongside another goalkeeper,” Gharib told the Ahram Online.
“Salah is currently one of the most important players in the world and it’s normal to call him for Egypt’s Olympic squad.
“We will start the official talks with Liverpool after the international break next March.”
Calderon claims Real want Salah
Meanwhile, former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says Salah is “wanted” at the Bernabeu. However, he concedes the LaLiga giants will struggle to finance a deal.
“He is a great player and a goalscorer. He helped Liverpool by giving his best, but I don’t think they will let him go,” said Calderon.
“It is expected that, if they were to think about it, they would only let him go for a lot of money.
“Salah is wanted, of course, by Real Madrid, but Liverpool would ask for a lot of money. If that deal were to be completed, it would be crucial.
“Salah is a great player with fantastic potential, and any club wishes to acquire such talents. But for Real Madrid I do not think they have the financial means to sign Salah.”