Let’s get one thing straight. If Mo Salah has no interest in going to Saudi Arabia, there’s no conversation to be had.
Jurgen Klopp does not want to sell his star player. The message from Liverpool has always been clear: Salah is not for sale. The only way Salah leaves is if he says he wants to go.
And yet here we are. Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad still want to sign him. Their transfer window doesn’t close until Thursday. The noises aren’t going away.
If I were Salah, someone who knows how loved and revered he is at Liverpool, and I wanted to stay, I’d want to come out and put it all to bed. But, as yet, we’ve heard nothing from Salah.
No matter what, Salah will be remembered as one of Liverpool’s all-time greats. If he stays, he will only enhance that reputation.
Mohamed Salah only has two years left on his contract but is one of Liverpool’s most important players
Jurgen Klopp has been outspoken against the fact that the Saudi Arabian transfer window does not close until Thursday
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If he does leave, Liverpool will be worse off. They can kiss goodbye to the Premier League title because they won’t surpass Man City without him. It’s hard enough to compete with City even with Salah running down the wing.
And yet from a business point of view, it makes sense to take the money. £150million for a player with less than two years left on his contract. If Salah wants to go, I’d take it. What incredible funds to invest in January or next season. There’s a bigger picture to see.
Even if it means Liverpool can’t win the title this season, I still think they can finish in the top four without Salah.
Klopp will be disappointed if Salah leaves. He’s human, he has known Mo for a long time and he won’t want to keep a player against his will. And now he won’t have a chance to replace him. But he also has a group of young, creative players who will only get better with more game-time.
Luis Diaz is an electric player, he has been like a new signing. Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota can play off the right. And I think we’re about to see the best from Darwin Nunez. He’s going to be a superstar. Give him time.
If Salah does leave, it’s not the end. It never is. Ian Rush left as a legend but was replaced by John Aldridge. Kevin Keegan went but Kenny Dalglish came in his place. Liverpool won the Premier League title after Steven Gerrard left, who’d have ever thought that would happen. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up top became Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Clubs evolve.
And when huge characters leave, other players grow into the space they leave behind. Gerrard departed but Jordan Henderson grew into a great leader. Salah is a god-like figure at Liverpool. When the time comes for him to leave, there will be others who’ll show it’s their turn to be worshipped.
Cody Gakpo (pictured) is one of a number of Liverpool players capable of playing off the right