The start of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament has been hit with controversy. Several players based in Europe have been recalled from international duty by their parent clubs during the COVID pandemic. During this time, it is easy to forget one of the world’s best soccer players is nearing the end of his club contract. Mohamed Salah has been Liverpool’s top scorer as the English club has won the Premier League, UEFA Champion’s League, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
If Liverpool and Salah do not reach an agreement over his contract, the Egyptian can begin negotiating with other teams in the next few months. The contract stalemate has been highlighted by Salah’s worried coach, Jurgen Klopp, over the last two months. The Liverpool coach remained jovial as the contract talks stalled, but worry has been easy to identify in his latest press conferences.
Mo Salah’s value has skyrocketed since an ill-fated spell at London’s Chelsea. Under the leadership of Chelsea coach, Jose Mourinho, Salah was loaned and then sold to the Italian team, Roma. The Egyptian relaunched his career in Italy and is valued at eight times the $16.5 million Liverpool paid Roma to secure his services.
Liverpool’s owners, the Fenway Sports Group have been quiet since the backlash over the proposed European Super League project was ridiculed by fans. The American ownership group was stung by the criticism of their role in the European Super League and risk angering fans further with their stance over Salah’s future.
Salah recently explained his demands were not unrealistic, with his role as the team’s talisman already reflected in a $300,000 per week salary. Salah’s dream is to be recognized as the world’s top soccer player at the annual Ballon d’Or event. Salah finished seventh in the 2021 voting behind Lionel Messi. Liverpool coach, Klopp, threw his weight behind Salah as the best player in the world following the announcement.
The most pressing concern for Klopp and Liverpool’s executives is to find common ground over a new contract for Salah. The current season has seen Salah score 16 goals in 20 Premier League games and seven goals in six Champion’s League matches. Salah believes his contract should reflect his importance to Liverpool and his role as a beloved member of the local community.