Mohamed Salah claims there are “many things people don’t know” about his contract renewal talks with Liverpool and says he “can’t say yes or no” whether he will put pen to paper.
But the Anfield icon admits he is unconcerned about negotiations dragging on – and insists he will not allow it to affect his performance as the Reds chase an historic quadruple.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Salah argued that it would be “selfish” to think about himself and his position now, with the club in the midst of an unprecedented pursuit of honours. Liverpool face Manchester City on Sunday afternoon in a game that’s being billed as the defining moment of the Premier League title race.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are just one point ahead of Pep Guardiola’s champions and can’t afford to lose if they want to keep their quadruple dreams alive. The Reds have already won the EFL Cup and are still in the hunt for the FA Cup and Champions League.
Salah has just 14 months remaining on his existing deal but, as exclusively revealed by Mirror Football last weekend, he is close to signing a new contract which will keep him at Anfield until the end of his career. The former Chelsea star turns 30 in June.
“I can’t say yes I can’t say no,” said Salah when asked by Sky Sports. “I’ve said a million times before about what I want, but I can’t go deep into the contract now – I can’t go into the news about my contract now, because the team needs to win.
“There is not much I can say, honestly what can I – say there are many things people don’t know about it. I can’t be selfish. We are in the most important period for the team. So I just have to talk about the team, focus on what’s important for the team. Hopefully we are going to be more optimistic and see what will happen [with the contract].”
Salah’s form has dipped in recent weeks, and there is even talk that he will be dropped for the weekend visit to Manchester City, with Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota in sparkling form.
But he insisted he is ready for the challenge, and argued that all the focus on his contract will not deflect him from what is far more important to himself, and to his team-mates: winning those three remaining trophies this season.
“It doesn’t affect me at all,” he said of the fevered speculation surrounding his contract negotiations. “I know my job very well, I know what I am doing, and I know the situation the club is in, so I am not bothered about that [contract]. I am just focusing on the team, and giving everything I have for the club.”
Manager Klopp also spoke about Salah in his press conference ahead of the City clash – and he hinted that the striker will play, despite some speculation about him being rested.
Speaking about his forward and the knowledge he has gained in winning trophies in recent seasons, he said there is no substitute for big game experience… and that offered the biggest hint he will keep faith in Salah.
The Liverpool icon has been struggling for form of late, and produced perhaps his worst display of the season in the Champions League win against Benfica, where he was dragged off after an hour.
Salah’s dramatic dip in form has prompted a huge debate over whether he should start against Manchester City in the title decider at the weekend.
But when asked if experience counts for anything in such a massive showdown, he replied: “Yes, big game experience helps, definitely. It is not the only important thing you consider when you make a line-up but it’s one of these. That’s it.”