FSG facing biggest dilemma of 11-year Liverpool tenure when it comes to Mohamed Salah’s future

The Reds have made some crucial decisions in the past such as selling Coutinho but there’s seismic pressure on this one.

The Mo Salah contract question. It just won't go away.

Every goal the Egyptian scores, every assist that he registers, the topic is a pertinent one.

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After Salah's awe-inspiring solo goal in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Manchester City, it's now even more glaring.

The winger slalomed and shimmied past three sky blue shirts with the utmost ease before arrowing home a thunderous effort with his unfavoured right boot from a tight angle.

Many Kopites concurred it was the best of the 134 goals he's bagged for Liverpool. That takes some beating given his highlight reel.

But because of his situation, each moment of ingenious is unhappily married up with Salah's precarious future.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool scores to make it 2-1 during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on October 03, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

It might be 20 months until his deal officially expires but it needs solving imminently. Potential suitors will already be circling.

Leave it too long and Salah could be snapped up at the end of the season for a cut price - or for nothing in the summer of 2023.

Negotiations

After the City game, Jurgen Klopp stated Salah is world-class and if Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo had have scored the goal he did then it would be lauded.

The Liverpool boss isn't wrong. Salah is world-class. He's in the same league as those two, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and the rest.

But to keep world-class players, you've got to reward them with contracts that match such a moniker.

After tying down the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Alisson Becker in the summer, the Reds have yet to persuade Salah to commit his future.

Undoubtedly, Liverpool would have held negotiations with Salah and his representatives hoping to coax him into putting pen to paper.

Still, an impasse remains between the two parties.

The big dilemma

In truth, owners Fenway Sports Group have the biggest dilemma on their hands of their 11-year tenure - and there is seismic pressure to get it right.

What is reportedly the main stalemate is Salah's wage demands.

The latest claim from The Independent is that the former Chelsea forward wants between £300,000 to £380,000 per week to extend his stay at Anfield.

The top end of that would put him on similar money to Man City's Kevin De Bruyne.

Kevin De Bruyne scores against Liverpool. Credit: Getty.

When juxtaposing the pair, you can see why Salah - who is said to currently be on £200,000 per week - wants wages akin to De Bruyne.

Both lay claim to being the best player in the Premier League and both are their respective clubs' talisman.

Salah’s impact

While Liverpool were knocking on the door to rejoin the European elite, Salah's 2017 arrival from Roma proved the catalyst.

In his first season on Merseyside, Klopp's men reached the Champions League final. The following year, the Reds claimed their sixth European Cup.

And in 2020, Liverpool clinched what supporters most coveted - a first top-flight title for 30 years.

Aged 29, Salah's at the zenith of his career.

He's scarcely been injured during his time at Anfield and Messi and Ronaldo are proving the elite, consummate professionals are remaining at their apogee for longer than previous.

Footballers of their ilk are no longer starting to decline when they hit their mid-30s like in the past.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still representing AC Milan having just turned 40.

Upsetting structure

To hand Salah such money would upset Liverpool's wage structure they've steadfastly stuck to under FSG.

Not having substantial gulfs in wages between players creates harmony in the dressing room and eradicates selfishness. It's been the bedrock to the Reds recent glory. All for one and that.

Van Dijk, it is thought, is currently Liverpool's top earner on £220,000 after he penned fresh terms.

FSG will be pondering how, if Salah is all of a sudden pocketing significantly more than his team-mates, it would shift the dynamic of the squad.

What's more, how will affect discussions with the likes of Sadio Mane, whose contract also concludes in 2023, about a new deal? The Senegalese could want to be given around the same.

Potential recruits, too, might hold Liverpool to ransom when discussing wages.

Then, all of a sudden, the wage bill rockets and the Reds' self-sustainable approach would deteriorate.

All of those facets have to be considered.

Sadio Mane celebrates his goal in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Burnley. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

Previous bold decisions

It's not like FSG haven't been presented with quandaries in the past.

Phillippe Coutinho was the Reds' talisman before and even after Salah arrived.

After rebuffing interest from Barca once, FSG rubberstamped the sale of the Brazilian for £142 million in January 2018. Those funds paid for van Dijk and Alisson.

They also allowed Gini Wijnaldum to depart for nothing at the end of the season. That's despite the Dutchman being the lynchpin of Klopp's side.

However, Salah's future surpasses all the past major decisions. This is someone who's been at the fulcrum of Klopp’s Liverpool transformation.

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