Liverpool close in on record deal for Mohamed Salah
Liverpool are hopeful of completing their second transfer of the summer this week in what may prove to be a club record fee for Roma’s Mohamed Salah.
Salah is close to finalising his move to Anfield for a price which is likely to go beyond £35 million, making him the most expensive signing in Liverpool history.
It would be a case of second time lucky for the Merseyside club in their pursuit of the Egyptian, who they first tried to recruit three years ago under the stewardship of Brendan Rodgers.
In 2014 Liverpool were outflanked by Chelsea when Salah moved to Stamford Bridge from Basel in a £12 million deal. Now Liverpool will at least match their transfer record to sign the 24-year-old. With add-ons, the fee is expected to eventually eclipse the value of the current Anfield transfer record set when Andy Carroll moved to Liverpool from Newcastle for £35 million in January 2011.
Negotiations between Liverpool and Roma were stepped up last week. The Italians rejected a formal bid of £28m but Liverpool are determined to get their man.
Salah is keen to make the move and discussions will continue over the next few days.
Personal terms will not be an issue because the attacking midfielder would earn around £90,000 a week at Anfield – double his current salary.
Liverpool were disappointed when they missed out on Salah three years ago as he had been extensively scouted by their recruitment team. Although he was unable to shine at Stamford Bridge during his brief spell in London, his progress in Italy where he scored 15 goals and had 18 assists in his 31 Serie A games last season underlined his pedigree.
Manager Jürgen Klopp sees Salah as the ideal fit for his system as he adds pace, goals and creativity from a wide attacking area. Liverpool desperately needed such a player when they were missing Sadio Mané last season – although it will not go unnoticed that both Mané and Salah could be notable absentees for Liverpool when the next Africa Cup of Nations is held in January 2019.
Salah will become the second recruit since the end of the season after Liverpool announced the imminent capture of youngster Dominic Solanke once his Chelsea contract expires at the end of this month.
Although Salah may put pen to paper as a club record signing, that honour is highly unlikely to remain his for long.
Liverpool remain keen on several players who, if bought, would be more expensive. They remain hopeful of signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, who would cost a minimum of £50 million, and know they would have to bid big to lure Naby Keita from Red Bull Leipzig as the German side are adamant they will not sell their much coveted midfielder.
Leipzig’s Sporting Director Ralf Rangnick has reasserted his club’s position. “We won’t sell one of the players. There are no pain limits. We keep the team together,” he said.