Mohamed Salah says he doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to agree a new contract at Liverpool, stressing that the negotiations are not just about money.
The Premier League’s top scorer is currently spearheading the Reds’ quest for an unprecedented quadruple, and sat down with FourFourTwo to talk extensively about five hugely successful years since his arrival from Roma in 2017.
Salah has been in negotiations with Liverpool for some time now over a new contract, but a resolution has not yet been found, with his existing deal due to expire next summer – and the Egyptian insisted that the current sticking point isn’t purely financial.
Asked whether he was confident about remaining at Anfield for many years to come, Salah told FFT: “I don’t know, I have one year left. I think the fans know what I want, but in the contract it’s not everything about the money at all. So I don’t know, I can’t tell you exactly. I have one year left and the fans know what I want.”
The 29-year-old confirmed that his desire has always been to remain at Liverpool. “Yeah,” he said. “This club means a lot to me – I’ve enjoyed my football here more than anywhere, I gave the club everything and everybody saw that. I’ve had a lot of unbelievable moments here, winning trophies, individual goals, individual trophies. It’s like a family here.”
Salah also insisted that he’s not concerned about going into the last 12 months of his current deal without a resolution. “I’m not worried, I don’t let myself worry about something,” he said. “The season didn’t finish yet, so let’s finish it in the best possible way – that’s the most important thing. Then in the last year, we’re going to see what’s going to happen.”
Asked about newspaper links with a move away from the club as early as this summer if a new deal can’t be agreed, Salah was clear that he’s fully expecting to be at Liverpool next season, regardless of what happens with the negotiations. “Yeah. Er, I think so?” he said, sounding surprised that it had even been speculated about. “But if they want me to go, that’s something different!" he joked. Liverpool have always made it clear that they want Salah to stay.
The Egyptian turns 30 in June, and is among the favourites for this year’s Ballon d’Or. The previous four winners have been Cristiano Ronaldo at 32, Luka Modric at 33, then Lionel Messi at 32 and 34. Robert Lewandowski is still going as strong as ever at 33, while a 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic has still been netting in Serie A. Salah was adamant in telling FFT that his age is inconsequential.
“I didn’t think about the fact I’m going to turn 30,” he said. “I ask some players and they say it’s a different feeling when you turn 30, but I don’t know, I’m feeling fine. I’m enjoying life, I’m enjoying football – it doesn’t matter how old you are now.
“Now you can see that with players – all of them extend their careers. You can see the top, top players always after 32, 33, you can see a lot of them – Lewandowski, Benzema, Messi, Ronaldo, Zlatan, a lot of players; also [Edin] Dzeko in Italy, [Olivier] Giroud. All of them perform really well after 30, so I’m not concerned about that.”
His Anfield exit could be many years away – but whenever it happens, the winger is sure that it will be deeply emotional. “Of course,” he says. “To play in that atmosphere and to see the fans always behind me… I have banners in the stadium, two or three, and they’re always singing my song. It’s going to be a really sad moment.”
Salah’s desire to stay at Liverpool for several more years is illustrated by the fact that he’s ambitious to one day challenge Ian Rush’s club record of 346 goals. He is currently on 155, ninth in the list of Liverpool’s all-time top scorers. “Hopefully before I go, I will be the first one,” he said. “More than 300, it’s quite tough to get. But let’s see…”
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Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from 20 countries, in places as varied as Jerusalem and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering Euro 2020 and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.
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