Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has urged the Reds to avoid paying over the odds to keep Mohamed Salah at the club, highlighting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s struggles at Arsenal since penning a long-term deal last year. Salah, who will be out of contract in the summer of 2023, is said to be in talks with Liverpool’s hierarchy over the possibility of an extension.
He is arguably the club’s best player and is enjoying a strong start to the new season with four goals in all competitions.
However, Liverpool could be pressured into selling the Egyptian forward at the end of the season if he decides against signing fresh terms.
Next summer’s window could represent their last chance to cash in on Salah, who will be able to negotiate a free transfer to a foreign club from January 2023 as things stand.
Although talks over a new deal are said to be underway, it remains to be seen whether Liverpool can convince Salah to commit on a long-term basis.
He is reportedly demanding a salary of £500,000 per week to become the club’s highest earner by a considerable margin.
It seems likely that a resolution to suit all parties will eventually be found, but Owen has urged Liverpool chiefs to consider the potential issues that could arise from offering Salah an unprecedented wage.
“I’m guessing his deal is more complicated than the others, as he’s the main goal scorer and the big earner,” the one-time Ballon d’Or winner told BT Sport.
“I imagine his is the most complicated as it will probably be his last big contract. From the club’s point of view, I know everyone says: ‘Give him what he wants’.
“But fans don’t actually want that. You need structure. If you give Salah double what [Virgil] van Dijk’s on, suddenly there could be a problem in the camp.
“We’ve seen lots of instances like that over the years, at Arsenal in the main. Aubameyang was just given what he wanted and now look.
“It’s his last big contract, he’s not going to move and he’s on whatever he’s on a week. It’s not as easy as that.
“I think you’ve got to keep a bit of respect and parity within the club. He’ll probably become Liverpool’s top earner because I think they’ll find a way.
“There’s no word coming out that they’re miles apart, so I think it will get done, but I do think Liverpool are right to make it as reasonable as possible.”
Liverpool diverted most of their resources into tying down key players over the summer, with Ibrahima Konate their only new signing of the window.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, Fabinho and Van Dijk are just some of the players to have signed long-term extensions in recent months, with Salah understood to be next on the club’s agenda.
Jurgen Klopp recently suggested that his prized asset could play into his mid-thirties as a result of his strong mental outlook and world-class credentials.
“There is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to do that,” Klopp told reporters earlier this week.
“It is about attitude, obviously, you want it. I am pretty sure a couple of players finished their careers because they couldn’t be that motivated.
“They say: ‘I want this or I want that but I am not the same as I was a few years ago’. That is why people finish their careers [but] I can’t see that with Mo.”