Liverpool must stand up to Mohamed Salah and be willing to see him go if he demands too much from a new contract, a pundit believes.
The Reds put much of their summer transfer focus into tying their key stars down to new contracts. In fact, six of Jurgen Klopp’s most important players have committed their futures to the Anfield club. Full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have extended, while Fabinho has done the same in midfield.
However, up front is one area which Liverpool have not yet got round to resolving.
Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino’s contracts all expire in 2023. However, Salah’s future is most in the spotlight following admissions last season that he could move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Reports earlier this month claimed that the Egyptian wants £500,000 per week in his new deal. According to Steve McManaman, though, Liverpool must be willing to let him go if that is true.
“If he wants too much money and Liverpool can’t afford it, they’ll have to let him go,” the former Liverpool man told The Independent.
“If he wants half a million a week, that won’t happen at Liverpool, but you would hope he wants something the club can afford and if that’s the case, then I’d expect him to stay.
“You can’t go ballistic paying wages to try and compete with PSG or Man City because they are in a different world financially.”
Liverpool have done well to tie down a large chunk of their Premier League and Champions League-winning team.
Salah’s extension would prove a real coup, though. He has scored 127 goals in 206 games for the Reds, including 31 in 51 last season amid a slump across the board at the club.
Still, decisions have yet to be made on the likes of Mane and Firmino. McManaman warned that a chaotic situation could arise if Liverpool break their wage structure for Salah.
Liverpool warned about Salah contract
“Someone else will be up next [for contract talks] and we’ve seen situations where one player gets a huge pay rise and then the next star player is upset and wants the same. It causes chaos in the team. You have to try and keep lid on it somewhere,” McManaman said.
“We have just come out of a pandemic and every big club has lost well over £100million and you can’t just go mad like that.
“Yes, pay him what he’s worth, I have no problem with that. He is a brilliant player, pay him what he’s worth.
“But if he wants double his wages, you can’t do that. You have to be sensible, especially in these difficult financial times.”
Salah has started the current season in strong form, scoring two goals and assisting two others in three Premier League games.