Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has given the Reds some slightly surprising advice over the Mohamed Salah situation.
Salah has been a world class performer for Liverpool and fans will be sweating over his future at the moment, with the Egypt international yet to sign a new contract at Anfield, with his current deal due to expire in 2023.
Johnson, speaking to Ladbrokes ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, seems confident that Liverpool will end up keeping hold of Salah, however, and even insisted that the Merseyside giants should stay strong and not break their current wage structure to meet their star player’s demands.
While no player is bigger than the club, this still seems like a slightly risky approach that Johnson is recommending, as there’ll surely be plenty of top teams in world football ready to pay Salah whatever he likes.
Liverpool will understandably have reservations about paying over the odds and disrupting the harmony in their dressing room, but Salah is surely a player worth making exceptions for.
“Liverpool have obviously got to try and keep hold of Mo Salah, he’s one of the best players in the world. But at the same time, you can’t be held to ransom as a football club,” Johnson said.
“The board have to remain strong but also stay flexible in order to do as much as they can to keep him at the club. They won’t want to break those parameters which they refer to when bringing players in in the first place.
“It’s a tough one but, look, I don’t think he wants to leave and obviously Liverpool want him to stay. If that’s the case then it should be an easy deal to do.”
The former England international added that LFC will need to replace Salah if he does leave, even if Luis Diaz only recently joined the club from Porto.
“If Salah does leave, though, then the club definitely need to replace him,” Johnson added.
“We’ve been saying for years that they’ve relied heavily on Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, whereas now they’ve got Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz – but given the amount of competitions they’re constantly going deep in, they would absolutely need to bring in a replacement for Salah and not just rely on those four names – just to keep that depth in the squad.”
Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick also discussed Salah’s future this week, telling CaughtOffside what he thought the chances were of a shock move to Old Trafford.