Robbie Fowler has weighed in on Mo Salah’s Liverpool contract situation as the Egyptian King enters the final year of his current deal.
There’s yet to be an agreement between the 30-year-old and the club over a new deal but ex-Red Fowler has suggested that the Reds will be weighing up their options before meeting the winger’s wage demands and offering him a fresh contract.
Another of Liverpool’s main men, Sadio Mane, left the club for Bayern Munich recently as he too only had one year remaining on his Anfield deal, but Salah has already confirmed that he will be remaining on Merseyside next term.
“I won’t pretend to know what’s going on with his contract, but clearly the answer is: nothing much. And that leaves so many questions unanswered,” Fowler wrote in his column for the Mirror (via Liverpool Echo).
“One thing is obvious, the club has done some very clear, precise and unemotional calculations with Mane. He’s 31 in April, has a huge amount of running in his legs, and wanted a huge contract as one of the best players in the world.
“I don’t blame him for that. Mane is the equal of virtually every world class star at the moment, and rightly wanted that recognition with the going rate for the last big contract of his career. What Liverpool so obviously did though, was run their analytics – which to their credit they do so well – and decided selling him to buy Darwin Nunez and keep their wage structure in place was the right thing for the club. It begs the question, what calculations have they run on Salah?
“Again, I don’t know all the answers, but what screams out to me so clearly, is they won’t be breaking their wage structure to keep him. If they were prepared to do that, it would have happened by now. But look, I can’t blame Salah for wanting the going rate, just like Mane did. He’s the Premier League Golden Boot winner, he’s the Footballer of the Year and in with a great shout of the Ballon d’Or top three.
“What salary does a player in the top three in the world command? He obviously believes it’s more than Liverpool are offering. But if my old club are running complex calculations, then so too is Salah – and it can never be a precise science. I think him saying no matter what happens with his contract, he’ll be at Anfield next year was clearly a threat.”
If Salah’s contract situation is not resolved in the near future, he will be allowed to leave the club for free at the end of next season.
That’s a worrying prospect, especially when you consider that the former AS Roma man has become recognised as one of the best players in the world in recent years.
Fowler has claimed that the club are biding their time with contract negotiations to ensure that they make the correct decision.
“His calculation is that if he gets to leave Liverpool next summer on a free, with his salary and with a big bonus because there’s no fee, he’ll get that level of wages,” Fowler added.
“That can work, often does. But there’s another calculation, which I’m inclined to believe Liverpool are currently running. Will he still be the same player next summer? Look, he’s been one of the best in the world for a long time now. But since the turn of the year, he’s been – by his standards – pretty average.
“Look at his goals record. Six from open play in the whole of 2022, a lot of missed chances, some heartache in the Champions League final when he could have won it – and probably the Ballon d’Or along with it. So he and Liverpool must ask: is that temporary because of the punishing schedule and his exertions for Egypt? Or is time catching up with him? That’s the question other potential suitors must ask too, if and when he becomes available. Can he stay at the summit of world football well into his 30s, or will he begin to fade?
“I have to confess that I’m beginning to believe Liverpool are concerned it will be the latter, otherwise they’d have done more over a new deal. And maybe they’re waiting now to see how he starts next season.”
Jurgen Klopp has strengthened his attacking options with the signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica and Fabio Carvalho from Fulham – Luis Diaz also arrived from FC Porto in January meaning it’s fair to say that the future is looking bright in the attacking department.
Salah is Liverpool’s main man, however, and after winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot award once again last season, Reds fans will be wanting a new deal secured for the No. 11 sooner rather than later.
It remains to be seen what will happen on the contract front, but let’s hope Mo can perform to his usual high standards once again next season to fire us towards more silverware.