In Focus: Is there Mo magic to come from Salah at Liverpool?
Mohamed Salah is one of Europe’s most feared forwards — but how much longer will the Liverpool star remain on Merseyside?
The Egyptian, 29, has two years to run on his current deal but reports linking him with a move away continue to rear their head on a regular basis.
Ahead of Liverpool’s pre-season friendly with Hertha Berlin tonight, we consider whether an Anfield exit is on the cards in the near future and ponder how much longer the club's lynchpin can keep producing the goods.
A mark of consistency
Registering 95 goals in 145 Premier League games for Liverpool, Salah’s strike rate across the last four campaigns is nothing short of extraordinary.
Arriving for a now modest £36.5million from Roma in the summer of 2017, the former Chelsea man took little time to produce the goods in England’s top tier.
He was unrecognisable from a spell that saw him register only two goals in 19 appearances for the Blues between 2013 and 2015.
Salah was the driving force behind Liverpool’s Champions League triumph in 2018-19, as well as their historic first Premier League success the following season, and has already established himself as a bona fide club legend.
But there is no doubt feelings of unease have arisen for both player and club recently.
No new contract
As Salah entered the final two years of his contract, it was far from surprising that questions regarding an extension began to arise.
But when the player finally had his say on affairs in May, the response was not one that would have filled Liverpool supporters with confidence.
Asked about a potential new deal, he said: "No one is talking to me about that, so I can't say much.
"No one in the club is talking to me about anything so I do not know."
Although similar comments have not been made since then, there is still no sign of a new contract offer.
Time to sell?
From a Liverpool perspective, there may never be a better time to cash in on Salah.
Having turned 29 last month, the forward should technically be at the peak of his powers and any fee the Reds fetch this summer is unlikely to be bettered down the line.
Cult hero John Aldridge, who won the league and FA Cup with the Reds in the late 1980s, believes the onus is on Liverpool to take action in the coming weeks.
Aldridge, 62, said: "You can let it go to a year [left] on his contract, which is what they did with Gini Wijnaldum and he saw it out.
"Manchester United have done it with Paul Pogba. And if I'm Pogba, I don't sign a contract now.
"They've left it too late. You see it out and walk away for nothing. He will get £70m in his back pocket — it is not rocket science!
"From a football perspective and a fan perspective, Liverpool have to do something [with Salah].
"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."
More in the locker
The circumstances of other clubs may actually take any decision out of Liverpool’s hands this summer — and that could prove a blessing in disguise.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are both suffering financial difficulties and appear to have other targets ahead of Salah.
Considering his bond with the Anfield faithful, it seems unlikely the Egyptian would ever leave for another premier League club, while big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are well stocked in the forward department.
But when you take their current predicament into account, can Liverpool really afford to lose one of their key players?
Despite their limp defence of the title, murmurs of discontent and a supposed loss of form, Salah still finished just one goal shy of a third Premier League Golden Boot in 2020-21.
If Liverpool are serious about regaining their Premier League crown this season, Salah's future may have to stay on the backburner.