Salah contract talks overshadow Liverpool clash with Milan

Champions League: Klopp to rotate players as crowded fixture list requires ‘right decisions’

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah needs one goal to reach 20 for the season in all competitions. Photograph: Getty

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah needs one goal to reach 20 for the season in all competitions. Photograph: Getty

 

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool need time to finalise new contract terms with Mohamed Salah and the current impasse is “completely normal” for a player of his stature.

Salah reiterated his desire to extend his Liverpool contract beyond 2023 in an interview with Egypt’s MBC Masr TV last week. But he also said it was up to the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, to “solve this issue”. The 29-year-old added: “Your financial value shows how much the club appreciates you and that they are ready to do anything for you to stay.”

Liverpool have extended the contracts of several first-team players in recent months and know they will have to make Salah the highest-paid player in the club’s history for him to commit long-term.

Klopp said: “You know exactly what it is about. We are talking and extending a contract with a player like Mo is not something where you meet for a cup of tea in the afternoon and find an agreement. That’s completely normal.

“He speaks about it and I can only say a few things because all the rest is not for the public. I’m not sure if he gave the interview in English or if it was translated from Arabic into English and that is a message issue. A lot of things can happen when someone tries to do that.

“Mo is fine, I am fine. What we all want is clear and things like this need time.”

Salah could set a record for the most goals scored by a Liverpool player in the group stage of a European competition – seven – should he register against Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. He needs one goal to reach 20 for the season in all competitions but with the group won with five consecutive victories Klopp will rotate on his first visit to the San Siro.

“The medical department would smash me if I played the line-up again, so we will make changes,” he said “We’ve had five games in the last 14 or 15 days and, after the Milan game, it’s pretty much the same number of games in the same number of days. So we have to make the right decisions and we will.”

Divock Origi is expected to start against the Serie A leaders after his match-winning substitute’s appearance at Wolves on Saturday. “If you are not a starter for Liverpool you can still be a world-class player,” said Klopp of the Belgium forward.

“I know people see it slightly different from time to time but it’s possible. And in specific moments Div is absolutely outstanding and everybody was overly happy when he scored the goal. It’s a nice story and let’s carry on from here.” – Guardian

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