Jurgen Klopp will have the headache of Mo Salah missing part of Liverpool’s season due to the Africa Cup of Nations in January, and it mightn’t be the only time in 2024 that international commitments deprive the Reds of their superstar winger.
Rogerio Micale, the coach of Egypt’s under-23 side, has said that he’s spoken to the 31-year-old regarding the possibility of participating in next summer’s Olympic Games in Paris, with the Anfield winger potentially being one of the Pharaohs’ allotted three overage players at the tournament.
Speaking to Brazilian radio station Jovem Pan, the 54-year-old said: “I want to count on Salah [for the Olympics]. It is a conversation we have already started, but it depends on several factors, such as Liverpool’s release.
“If everything goes well, I want to be able to count on him. It is a strong reinforcement and that can give us more hope to win a medal.”
If Salah is selected in the Egypt squad for next year’s Olympics, it’d heavily disrupt his pre-season plans in terms of his Liverpool involvement.
The tournament is scheduled to take place between 24 July and 10 August, which’d effectively rule him out of the build-up to the club campaign and, depending on the Premier League’s start date, potentially the Reds’ opening top-flight match as well.
It’s certainly a headache that Klopp could do without, especially with the 31-year-old already set to be away for AFCON in six months’ time and the probability of several other Anfield players partaking in international competitions next summer.
Salah has played at the Olympics before, representing Egypt at the 2012 Games in London, but Paris 2024 may represent his last realistic chance of playing in the tournament, so he may find a call-up difficult to turn down.
From a Liverpool perspective, it’d obviously be preferable if he wasn’t selected by Micale next July, but the final decision will ultimately rest with the winger.