David Ornstein has warned Liverpool fans to be braced for ‘fireworks’ regarding the rumours linking Mo Salah with an exit from Anfield.
The 31-year-old has been linked with a move to Saudi Pro League champions Al-Ittihad, who are reportedly willing to offer him a gargantuan weekly wage of £1.5m to lure him to the Middle East (Dharmesh Sheth).
The Reds have been steadfast in their insistence that the Egyptian is staying put, but clubs from the Gulf could have an advantage in that their transfer window remains open for a week longer than its English equivalent.
Speaking on The Athletic Football Podcast, Ornstein revealed that he was told to prepare for ‘fireworks’ when it comes to the possibility of Salah leaving Liverpool.
The journalist said: “A lot of this will depend on Salah now. If he does kick up a fuss and the offer comes in, Salah would need to show some unhappiness.
“His agent this month said he wouldn’t have signed the new contract a year ago if they didn’t want to say but clearly something has changed. It’s not as easy as just walking off in a strop at Stamford Bridge.
“I’ve given up predicting, but the view on Merseyside at Anfield is that he’s not going anywhere, but do they truly know? Someone said to me ‘just prepare yourself for some fireworks in this last 24 hours around the Mo Salah situation’.”
Ornstein wouldn’t be the first reporter to warn Liverpool fans over the firm possibility of Salah leaving in the next few days, but as one of the most authoritative journalists in the business, some Reds may now be fearful over the future of their number 11.
Given the sudden nature of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson’s moves to Saudi Arabia during the summer, along with the plethora of marquee names who’ve moved to the Middle East, the prospect of the Egyptian following suit can’t be dismissed.
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Thankfully, there’s been nothing in the 31-year-old’s performances at the start of the season which’d suggest that he’s yearning to get out of Anfield.
He’s already found the net once in the Premier League, while among his two assists was the sublime pass to Darwin Nunez for Liverpool’s last-gasp winner away to Newcastle last weekend (Sofascore), so he certainly can’t be accused of downing tools amid the ongoing Saudi links.
The tension will remain until such time that the transfer window in the Middle East slams shut, so the Anfield hierarchy need to stand firm on the 31-year-old while also doing all they can to persuade him to stay put if they sense any inkling of a desire to jump ship.