One football agent has said that Liverpool will find it ‘harder’ to keep hold of Mo Salah in 2024, having resisted Saudi Arabian attempts to lure him from Anfield in recent weeks.
An eye-watering £150m offer was presented to the Reds by Al-Ittihad at the beginning of September, but LFC chiefs were unflinching in their stance that the 31-year-old isn’t for sale and duly rejected the bid.
However, in a survey of multiple agents conducted by The Athletic, the Egyptian moving to the Middle East was cited as the joint-most frequent response when they were asked which deal they expect to happen in January.
One of those surveyed stated: “He’ll have six months less on his contract (in January) and it becomes harder for Liverpool to turn down the money the Saudis will be offering.”
Everyone associated with Liverpool was just glad to get to last Thursday’s Saudi Pro League transfer deadline with Salah still a Reds player, considering how persistent Al-Ittihad had reportedly been in their pursuit of the forward.
However, following a summer which saw a plethora of high-profile players flocking from Europe to the Middle East, it’d be naive to think that the interest in the Egypt superstar will go away just because clubs can’t make any new signings until 2024.
The 31-year-old was reportedly being offered a gargantuan £1.5m per week to team up with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side (Sky Sports), which even for someone earning £350,000 every seven days (Capology) must be highly tempting.
By January, Salah will have 18 months left on his contract at Liverpool, and a pragmatic outlook would determine that accepting a nine-figure offer for someone who turns 32 next June and would have just a year left on his deal makes perfect sense.
However, that’d ignore the reality that the Egyptian is no ordinary footballer. You don’t let one of the world’s best players slip through the exit door without being 100% convinced that the time is right to cash in and that you can replace him adequately (or already have).
The rumours may well persist throughout the autumn and winter, but at least in the meantime we can still enjoy our iconic number 11 banging in the goals at Anfield, just as he’s done so consistently ever since his arrival in 2017.