Mohamed Salah has put pressure on Liverpool to accept his contract demands by insisting is not asking for “crazy stuff” – but he does want a salary increase to reflect his achievements at Anfield.
The Egypt forward, 29, has won the Champions League and Premier League during five seasons on Merseyside. His current deal expires next year and there has been no agreement over an extension.
As England’s highest scorer since his £34 million move from Roma, his current market value should see him among those players commanding over £400,000 a week.
“I want to stay, but it’s not in my hands. It’s in their hands,” Salah told GQ Global Sports Issue. “They know what I want. I’m not asking for crazy stuff.
“The thing is when you ask for something and then they show you they can give you something because they appreciate what you did for the club. I’ve been here for my fifth year now. I know the club very well. I love the fans. The fans love me. But with the administration, they have [been] told the situation. It’s in their hands.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has recently suggested there is confidence over a new contract being agreed, saying it is “not a thing you do meeting for a cup of tea in the afternoon”. The club are relaxed about Salah’s contract situation, according to sources.
Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owners, must weigh up the value of handing a lucrative contract to a player who turns 30 at the end of the current campaign. They will also be aware that the usual options in the transfer market for a high-profile player have changed in recent windows.
Salah has previously spoken to Spanish outlet Marca about his future, although Real Madrid appear focused on Kylian Mbappe as their next marquee signing and Barcelona have suffered financial problems that saw Lionel Messi leave last summer. Paris St-Germain would be one of the only other realistic alternative outside England.
Salah is among a clutch of players whose deals expire in 2023, meaning in one year they will be able to speak to clubs about a pre-contract to move as a free agent. Raheem Sterling at Manchester City is in the same position.
Salah is currently away on duty with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations and has made the three-man shortlist, along with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and PSG’s Lionel Messi, for Fifa’s Best Men’s Player of 2021.
“If you asked me if this was a drive for me to be here? Yeah, of course,” he said, when asked about his ambition to win the Ballon D’Or. “I can’t really lie and say honestly I didn’t think about it. No, I think about it. I want to be the best player in the world. But I will have a good life even if I don’t win. My life is OK, everything is fine.”
Last season he declared he would like to stay at Liverpool for the rest of his career and again stated his future “depends on the club”.
“If you ask me, I would love to stay until the last day of my football career, but I can’t say much about that – it’s not in my hands. It depends on what the club want, not on me,” Salah said to Sky Sports in October.
“At the moment I can’t see myself ever playing against Liverpool. That would make me sad. It’s hard, I don’t want to talk about it, but it would make me really sad.
“At the moment I don’t see myself playing against Liverpool but let’s see what will happen in the future.”
The GQ Global Sports Issue is available on newsstands and via digital download on Jan 25