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Should Liverpool break their wage structure for Salah?

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Mohamed Salah has been nothing short of world-class since signing for Liverpool in 2017, his 134 goals in 212 appearances are a testament to that. But how far should the Reds go in contract talks?

There is no secret of the desire to keep the Egyptian at Liverpool for as long as possible, with the 29-year-old consistently quietening all who cast a ‘one season wonder’ tag over him.

And he does his talking on the pitch, which currently sees him widely regarded as the world’s best as records continue to topple in his presence.

But despite seeing the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Fabinho pen new deals, no new contract has yet to be signed by Salah.

The sticking point is well reported to be over wage demands, with Salah eager to see his value reflected in his contract beyond his current earnings of a reported £200,000 a week.

Liverpool have held tightly to their wage structure under FSG, to ensure it does not spiral out of control and set a new precedence for future deals.

But should the Reds allow for an exception over their world-class talent who still has many years left at the top? We asked five Reds for their opinions and here’s what they had to say.

 

‘Allowing the saga to rumble will only heighten concern’

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 18, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Salah’s early-season exploits have doubled down on the man’s genius at just the right time from a contractual point of view.

Currently operating at the peak of his powers and kiboshing any notion that the 30-curse could strike, Liverpool and FSG more importantly must break all shackles to tie down the Egyptian King.

Whilst the limitations in place has kept the whole squad on an even keel, without any standalone player in terms of salary, Salah is the biggest attraction in town right now and deserves to be rewarded accordingly.

Clearly not a distraction to the player, allowing this saga to rumble on for much longer will only heighten speculation and concern amongst the fanbase – something that benefits nobody.

From a financial perspective, allowing Salah to leave makes little sense due to the amount it would cost in fees and wages to replace a world-class operator.

Ultimately, if the club doesn’t agree to pay his perceived worth, there are a host of clubs in world football that would be happy to do so – now including one in the North East.

Having seemingly gone off task to tie down a 31-year-old Jordan Henderson, I’m confident Salah’s new deal is forthcoming.

Dan Clubbe (@dan_clubbe)

 

‘If there’s going to be one exception…’

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

You can understand Liverpool’s reservations having seen the damage a spiralling wage structure can cause, but if there is going to be one exception for the club it has to be Salah.

Put simply, the man is a genius and if anyone had forgotten that fact he provided a stunning reminder against Man City, simultaneously staking his claim for the current title of the world’s best.

A direct replacement would be near impossible to find, and who is to say they wouldn’t demand similar wages, and while he is 29, there is no sign of him slowing down such is the level of care he takes with his fitness and looking after himself.

There can be no questioning the importance of Salah to Liverpool and the investment, while astronomical, would be considerably more tolerable than seeing him leave before his time.

A total of 134 goals in 212 games and the promise of so many more. Liverpool, just sign him up. Whatever it takes.

Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_)

 

‘With success, come change’

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 14, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool Football Club have evolved over the past five years into the well-oiled machine they are today.

With success, comes change. Targets are loftier, the facilities are in line with the best in the country as is the backroom set up. It’s time to ramp up the wage structure to that level.

It can be argued that the frugality of FSG is the main reason for Liverpool’s success; a meritocracy in which FSG have a clear value on which they clearly have a set value they are not often to stray too far from. Bonuses included. But it is hard to argue that Salah is not worth the £380,000 a week he asks for. The best player in the league and the world.

Again, it is understandable that we do not know what a 33-year-old Salah looks like but the new facilities on offer alongside what we already know about Salah — a freak of fitness — suggest we ought not to worry.

Salah needs to be a Liverpool player for the next four to five years. It wouldn’t even necessarily be breaking the wage structure, as Salah is in the league of his own. The squad and the world can see it.

Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021)

 

‘Find the money, no matter what’

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: No hat-trick for Liverpool's Mohamed Salah as the two goal hero is substituted by manager Jürgen Klopp during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

You have to admire the way that Liverpool as a club hasn’t lost itself to paying players over the odds down the years with the belief that no one player is bigger than the club.

This is still a sentiment that I believe in, but given the strength of this squad Klopp has assembled and the success he’s brought in recent years, there needs to be some sort of flexing of this mantra.

In Alisson, Van Dijk, Trent, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago and, of course, Salah, Liverpool have some of the world’s best players in their arsenal – with Salah arguably the best player on the planet at the moment.

It’s true that if he was playing for an oil-state owned club of which there are a few, Salah would be earning near Messi levels each week, but he’s at Liverpool and that means more. But it can only account for so much.

There needs to be an understanding from both sides that Liverpool will never pay Salah that level, but that Salah is well within his rights to ask for a considerable amount of money given his stature and importance to the side.

And that final point is the most important. Should Salah leave Liverpool, it’d be an astronomical blow and one that I’m sure would have equally big financial ramifications as well as proving a huge hindrance on the pitch, too.

So if I were to give a message to the club it’d be to find the money, no matter what, as I firmly believe that with Klopp in charge and Salah doing the business, more major trophies are inevitable for this Liverpool side; and success is money in modern football.

Scott Groom (@ScottCGroom)

 

‘He can perform until way into his mid-30s’

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 18, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Salah is playing like he’s the best player in the world. Since he joined LFC in the 2017/18 season he has played a remarkable 212 matches and consistently been the attacking inspiration for the side.

He is Liverpool’s best player, Liverpool’s biggest star and one of the world’s biggest football stars. He lives his life right, is in exceptional physical shape, a doting family man, a genuine person, a playful spirit when off the pitch with an absolute winner’s mentality on the pitch.

He is a football player who would start for every single team in the world. Yet he’s still just 29 and with his level of fitness, ability and intelligence could continue to perform until way into his mid-30s.

Clubs do have a need to manage wage bills – Liverpool were recently reported to have the second-highest wage bill in the league at £326m, owing in part to bonuses from the title-winning season and other success.

The way to keep wages in check is to manage the contracts and wages of players who are underperforming, fringe, declining or unavailable due to injury issues. Salah deserves to be paid in line with the highest earners in the league like Kevin de Bruyne and Cristiano Ronaldo.

There are reports that in Salah’s case there are intricacies to a new contract around image rights and the makeup of base salary vs bonuses. But one way or another Liverpool must sign up their best player for the foreseeable future, and I expect that we indeed will.

Red (@TaintlessRed)




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