Mohamed Salah will sign a new Liverpool contract and it is “entirely normal” that negotiations are dragging on, according to Michael Owen.
The Egyptian winger has proved a sensational signing for Jurgen Klopp following his 2017 move from Roma. He recently hit his 150th Reds goal and also became the fifth-fastest player to 100 Premier League goals in September.
Indeed, Salah has enjoyed consistent form in front of goal for almost five full seasons and is now seeing the numerical reward.
However, speculation is continuing over the numbers involved in his prospective new Liverpool deal.
The 29-year-old wants to become the highest-paid player at Anfield, overtaking Virgil van Dijk. However, Liverpool do not want to stray too far from their wage structure.
Reds boss Klopp has insisted that, with one of the best players in the world playing at the peak of his career, Salah’s potential new contract requires lengthy discussions.
Speaking to BBC Sport, former Liverpool striker Owen insisted that Klopp’s side will strike a deal. He added that a shock move to Manchester City is the only viable exit route for Salah.
“I’d be very surprised if Mo Salah didn’t sign with Liverpool. What are the options at the moment?” the pundit said.
“You are only going either sideways to Manchester City or down anywhere else because there is no-one else as good as these two teams in the world at the moment.
“Let’s give everyone time because these things don’t happen overnight.
“You are talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world and one of the biggest players in the world and that player is about to sign the biggest contract of his life.
“I think it’s entirely normal that negotiations can drag on a little bit.”
Liverpool must not give in – Owen
Owen added that Liverpool must stick to their principles and not simply give Salah what he wants.
“You can’t give players what they want. The whole game would be a disaster if that was the case,” the 42-year-old said.
“Liverpool have got to run it as a business. They can’t, of course, give any player what they want because if you do then there are lots of other players in the squad that could be knocking on Jurgen Klopp’s door saying, ‘well, hang on a minute, if he’s on this then I should be on that’. Then the whole structure they’ve built so well over the years would fall apart.
“I’m sure Liverpool are very sensible, I’m sure Mo Salah and his representatives are all very sensible and understand that. It’s just a case of them finding the middle ground and, hopefully, everybody will find that quite soon.
“Mo Salah has got to be thinking about the chances of success in the future – if he’s thinking along those lines then Liverpool ticks that box. It’s just a question of whether they tick the box financially as well.”
Salah exit links continue to emerge
But, as the wait for a concrete Liverpool update either way goes on, exit links for Salah continue to emerge.
The Egypt international has long had links with a move to La Liga. Barcelona reportedly held discussions over a transfer for the player in 2018.
And despite the Blaugrana ultimately never doing a deal, Salah supposedly gave the Camp Nou club tempting signs.
More recently, though, a move to Juventus has emerged as another possibility for Salah.
While the player left Roma for Liverpool, he also starred at Fiorentina and so would have no problems finding his feet back in Italy.
For now, though, his sole focus is on the Reds’ charge for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.