Ex-Reds hitman John Aldridge believes Liverpool may be forced to consider the sale of star man Mohamed Salah in this summer’s transfer window, unless they can convince him to sign a new contract.
Salah has two years left on his current Liverpool deal and has been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Indeed, a report in mid-July revealed new Real boss Carlo Ancelotti had demanded the club target the Egyptian amid talk of a fractured bond with Jurgen Klopp.
While further talks with Salah and his adviser over a contract extension are planned in the coming weeks, Aldridge has told sundayworld.com that Liverpool will not allow the 29-year-old to run his contract down and leave on a free transfer.
Georginio Wijnaldum did just that as he sealed a lucrative move from Liverpool to Paris Saint-Germain this summer. And Aldridge believes the club’s owners will not let an asset of Salah’s value leave for nothing.
“You can let it go to a year (left) on his contract, which is what they did with Wijnaldum and he saw it out,” said Aldridge.
“Man United have done it with Pogba and if I’m Pogba, I don’t sign a contract. Of course you don’t. They’ve left it too late. You see it out and walk away for nothing. He will get £70million in his back pocket. It’s not rocket science.
“United have left the door open for him to do that and from a Liverpool point of view, I hope he does!
“From a football perspective and a fan perspective, Liverpool have to do something (with Salah this summer). It’s a game of cards and the players hold all the aces. If you let them get into the position with one year left, you are only going to get beaten in the card game.
“Liverpool need to keep all the best players and he is one of them. He is on big money, probably the highest paid player. Whatever he wants, they have to work it out between them.
“I wonder how much money footballers want at the end of their careers? I wonder how much cash people need to be happy and it borders on greed at times, but some players are very, very greedy.”
Aldridge calls for immediate Salah resolution
Another Reds player in a similar position to Salah is club captain, Jordan Henderson.
The 31-year-old also has two years remaining on his contract and little progress on extending his deal has been made.
Allowing players to run their contracts down shifts the balance of power away from the club and towards the player.
As such, Aldridge is insistent that a speedy resolution with Salah must be made to prevent a “big decision” becoming a necessity.
“Liverpool need to sort Salah’s future out in the next few weeks, and if he isn’t going to sign a new deal, then a big decision has to be made on what happens next,” concluded Aldridge.
Liverpool have made one big signing so far this summer with the capture of defender Ibrahima Konate. But sources close to the club have suggested any new arrivals will depend on how much cash is generated from the sale of fringe players this summer.