Liverpool can repeat Luis Diaz plan to ease Mohamed Salah fears amid Barcelona interest


Liverpool face an anxious wait to find out whether Mohamed Salah will renew his contract with the club, but their recent decision to bring in Luis Diaz suggests the Reds have no reason to panic

Mohamed Salah's contract will soon enter its final 12 months
Mohamed Salah’s contract will soon enter its final 12 months

The prospect of losing Mohamed Salah to Barcelona on a free transfer in 15 months’ time is almost too painful for Liverpool fans to even contemplate. But the club’s recent acquisition of Luis Diaz can paint a more positive image about what the future holds under Jurgen Klopp.

According to reports in Catalonia, the La Liga giants are making ambitious plans for the summer as Xavi Hernandez looks to bolster his squad. At the top of his shopping list is another top forward, with Salah, Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski reportedly targeted by the La Liga giants.

Talks over Salah’s new deal are yet to resume since stalling in December, with the player’s agent Ramy Abbas unwilling to return to the negotiating table until an improved offer is made. But with Liverpool reluctant to alter their wage structure to meet Salah’s demands, a game of brinkmanship has begun.

Salah currently earns £200,000-a-week at Anfield but, if he left on a free transfer in 2023, he would likely be able to double his weekly earnings. He will be acutely aware of the idea that, that in the view of other clubs, he would be worth every penny due to his incredible record of scoring and creating goals.

The Egyptian superstar is far and away the Premier League ’s top goalscorer this season with 20 goals and another 10 assists for his team-mates. Overall, he has struck 153 goals in 239 appearances since his £38m move from Roma in 2017.

But with their star attacker turning 30 in June, Liverpool have a responsibility to look towards the future, as they did when signing long-term successors to Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. And few would argue that the players signed, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, have proved to be just as effective in attack.






Luis Diaz has become an instant fans’ favourite at Liverpool

Have Your Say! Should Liverpool cash in on Mohamed Salah this summer if he refuses to sign a new deal? Comment below.

Finding a player that could match Firmino’s work rate off the ball and contribute goals and assists would be no easy task. But with thorough scouting, ex-sporting director Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp identified Jota as a suitable fit after securing a £41m deal.

The Portuguese’s pace, stamina, work ethic and professional attitude aligned with the club’s ideal profile. And when he signed in October 2020, Jota was still only 23 — suggesting he had the best years of his career ahead of him.

His versatility means he can play anywhere across the front three, but his surprisingly impressive aerial ability makes him a perfect player to use through the middle. Learning from Firmino while he got to grips with his new club allowed him to reach the next level in his development — and 32 goals in two-and-a-half seasons at the club shows an obvious improvement from his Wolves days.

The Merseyside outfit had laid out similar plans to bring in Luis Diaz from Porto in the summer transfer window to shadow Mane, before Tottenham ’s bid in January forced them to arrange a £49m transfer for the Colombian five months ahead of schedule. But the impact of Diaz on the Liverpool fans and squad has been significant, not only adding quality but challenging Mane to step up his own game.

It has made some fans ponder whether Liverpool would be better off showing Salah the door this summer. But at this moment, that plan would only be detrimental to their fortunes on the pitch as they do not have a replacement readily available. If the club can find one this summer, it would improve their leverage in their crunch talks with Salah. Names such as Leeds star Raphinha and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka have been mentioned, while Barcelona ’s Ousmane Dembele has a concerning injury record.

Liverpool’s scouting network pulled off one of the bargains of the decade in signing Salah five years ago. And the supporters can rest easy knowing that if he decides to leave, Diaz and Jota’s successful arrivals have proved they will get it right once again.

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