MOHAMED SALAH 'ASTRONOMICAL' TRANSFER UPDATE, CONTRACT WORRY AND LIVERPOOL REPLACEMENT PLAN

As Euro 2024 and the Copa America enter their final stages, the transfer merry-go-round is only going to get faster. Summer business has been slow across the board with many of the world's top players in action, but it hasn't stopped the rumours circulating - and many of those rumours have featured Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool fans were desperate for starman Salah to sign a new deal in the summer of 2022, and their wishes were answered as the Egyptian signed a three-year contract reported to be worth around £350,000 per week.

In August 2023, Salah was heavily linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad, who put forward a generous offer of £150m on the eve of the summer transfer window deadline. The move never materialised, but with the 32-year-old now in the final year of his contract, concerns over his future haven't gone away.

With the door still ajar for clubs in the Gulf state to make a move, we've rounded up the latest transfer talk around the Egyptian star and his future at Anfield.

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‘Astronomical bid’

Saudi sports minister Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud has been speaking about Al-Ittihad’s pursuit of the Liverpool legend, confirming the huge offer put forward in a bid to lure Salah to the Middle East.

"Al-Ittihad requested Salah, and the package was astronomical," he said via Ben Jacobs. “He was under contract and we were not in direct negotiations so we had enquired Liverpool and they said they had no desire to sell and so we ended the matter decisively.”

Contract worry

If you cast your mind back to the summer of 2022, you may remember a video of Salah settling down by a pool in an idyllic setting. He scrolled through social media posts from Liverpool fans on his phone, before pulling on a Reds jersey and turning to the camera to announce: "Salah stays!"

The announcement came after a fine season where the forward netted 31 times in all competitions. Two years on, and with one year left on his contract, Liverpool may feel the time is now if they are to command a fee for the player.

Despite ageing two years since last negotiating a contract Salah has continued to find the net, with 25 goals in all competitions last year to add to 14 assists. There's no doubt that many Liverpool fans would love to see a repeat of that poolside video this summer.

Who could replace him?

If Salah were to leave, this would open the door for new blood in Liverpool’s forward line.

Potential replacements on the wing include Napoli forward Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. After a historic UEFA Euro 2024 campaign, which saw the 23-year-old lead Georgia to the knockout stage in their first-ever international tournament, he could be an option for Arne Slot. However, he will not come cheap.

Another option is Federico Chiesa. The Italian was an impressive part of his country's Euro 2020 winning squad, and while he's struggled to maintain fitness at times since, he did manage 33 Serie A games for Juventus last term. Chiesa's value is thought to be around £30-35m, a cheaper option than Kvaratskhelia, but the risk of injuries would be a worry for the Reds.

Anthony Gordon has been fiercely linked with a switch from Newcastle United this summer and is another who could step into Salah's shoes - though it's not impossible that the boyhood Reds fan could join Salah at Anfield this summer, rather than replace him.

On the cheaper end of the scale is Bryan Mbeumo of Brentford. The Cameroon international joined the Bees in 2019 and offers experience in the Premier League, netting 22 goals in 98 appearances while also registering 21 assists. The player is thought to be valued at around £35m but provides less of a risk than Chiesa and Kvaratskhelia, and would arguably be a better tactical fit as a left-footed right-winger.

2024-07-09T17:43:59Z dg43tfdfdgfd