Wednesday 22 November 2017

Liverpool edge closer to signing Mohamed Salah as Roma winger flies to England

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool’s pursuit of Mohamed Salah, the Roma winger, finally appears to be heading for a successful conclusion as the winger is expected to head to England today to finalise the deal.

Salah is flying to the country from Cairo and it is anticipated he will have a medical in the next few days as Liverpool prepare to make him their record signing.

Salah is likely to move to Anfield in a deal worth more than the £35 million the Merseysiders paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll in 2011. The complete package for the African star is thought to be closer to £39 million with add-ons although that remains to be confirmed.

Liverpool made their initial bid of £28 million for the player several weeks ago and then indicated they would go higher in an effort to close talks, but Roma were seeking well in excess of even £35 million at one stage as negotiations continued.

It represents significant profit for the Italian side for Salah, who moved to Roma from Chelsea for just £13 million.

Three years ago Liverpool were outbid by Chelsea when Salah left Swiss side Basel for £11 million, but they have continued to admire the player who has improved significantly since then and is seen as the ideal fit into Jürgen Klopp’s system.

Despite the circumstances surrounding the Virgil Van Dijk episode, Liverpool have retained confidence they can secure all of Klopp’s first choice summer targets and Salah will be the second significant addition following the recruitment of youngster Dominic Solanke.

Liverpool are still hopeful of luring midfielder Naby Keita from Red Bull Leipzig in a deal which will cost at least £50 million.

And although there was a public statement withdrawing interest in Van Dijk and that is still the club’s position, it remains to be seen how the player himself interpreted events and whether the saga of his next move has run its course.

The chances of Liverpool entering the bidding for one of the numerous high profile strikers on the market look slim. There is no interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the recent links to Monaco’s Kylian Mbappé were based largely on tentative enquiries going back 12 months. Liverpool were warned by Monaco last summer they had no chance of signing the player and with the likes of Real Madrid launching bids in excess of £100 million that is a different ball park to where the Merseyside club is currently operating.

Klopp sees Roberto Firmino as his main striker and Salah will add much needed attacking support joining Sadio Mané, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana.

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