Exclusive: Liverpool deeply unhappy with Mohamed Salah's openness to joining rival Premier League club

Graeme provides the latest on Sadio Mane's future along with the club's view of reports of Mohamed Salah being open to a move to a Premier League club.
Exclusive: Liverpool deeply unhappy with Mohamed Salah's openness to joining rival Premier League club

Liverpool supporters may do well to remember that no one player, or in this case, no two players are bigger than the club.

Some Reds fans will undoubtedly have been shocked by the stance of both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but as I have wrote before on Anfield Watch – the club are on top of both situations.

Now when Liverpool found out about Mane's firm decision to leave a couple of weeks ago, there is no getting away from the fact they were taken aback. They had planned talks for a contract extension this summer and up until very recently, the plan was still to talk to the Senegalese international and his entourage.

Mane has told Liverpool he wants to leave - or indeed demanded it - and he has made it clear that he does not want to sign a new contract or even consider one at this point – although his people are likely to still be in touch with the club’s hierarchy.

One point on Mane that should be emphasised is that yes - Bayern Munich are one of the clubs interested in him - but it is understood that both Paris Saint Germain and Atletico Madrid are also keen, and to suggest that a deal is agreed with the German giants is way off.

Liverpool have found it almost ‘laughable’ to suggest that Mane could be available for less than £30m – a deal over £40m is the real minimum the club will be looking for if they are to allow him to leave in this transfer window.

Whilst Mane has attracted headlines in recent days and weeks, there still remains the contract impasse between Liverpool and Salah.

It was hugely interesting to see the Egyptian categorically insist he was staying at Liverpool next season. Good news? Yes, but some could also see this as somewhat of a threat – confirming that his plan might very well be to leave on a free transfer next summer.

Reports now claim that Salah is considering a possible move to a Premier League club next summer – even though we know a move to Spain is something he also desires and likely prefers.

This is a clear tactic from Salah and his influential agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, to let Liverpool’s owners know that the options at his disposal go beyond just Real Madrid or Barcelona.

I do know that this suggestion has not gone down well with Anfield officials and the club hierarchy hasn't responded well to these reports.

Salah’s representatives have barely talked to Fenway Sports Group this year over agreeing to a new deal, but they have let it be known that a short-term deal - three - possibly even two years - could be agreed upon – but FSG are adamant about not breaking their wage structure to such an extent that Salah could earn double that of current top-earner Virgil van Dijk.

Salah turns 30 this year and the question remains whether he can still keep producing. Yes - no doubt - would be the answer after claiming the Premier League Golden Boot again, but FSG firmly believes there has to be life after their African superstars.

Jurgen Klopp’s January signing of Luis Diaz showed that he can spot players - and the same applies to Diogo Jota’s arrival from Wolves. After all, who really thought the former would become a regular starter whilst Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino were still plying their trade at the club?

As it stands, both Mane and Salah won’t be with Liverpool in 12 months' time, but Liverpool are built on solid ground and their biggest deal in the last few years was the new contract for Klopp. With Klopp at the helm and in charge of refreshing the squad, there really is no need to panic.

Whilst I'm not yet aware who the next big signing will be, I am told, and I believe it – that Klopp already knows who he wants to come in if, and when, Mane leaves this summer.

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