After news of Liverpool’s acquisition of Darwin Núñez sparked excitement throughout Merseyside, FSG were quick to follow up with the addition of Calvin Ramsay. But it was soon suggested that the Scot would be the club’s last signing of the summer. That left opinions split between fans, with Manchester City’s continued business providing reason for concern over June.
Pep Guardiola is now reported to be close to landing Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, and while that’s not a signing that Liverpool would be too concerned about, the £42m move is a reminder of the difference in financial power that the two Premier League title contenders have at their disposal.
But FSG surely wouldn’t have made the decision to close the transfer window early without confidence in the resolution of a contract situation that has circled around Jürgen Klopp over the last season.
Clarity over the future of Mohamed Salah is something that Liverpool need more than ever after Sadio Mané’s switch to Bayern Munich. Klopp’s evolution of the forward line is quickly taking shape, and with no signing planned despite 19-year-old Harvey Elliott being second-in-line to Salah, FSG must be confident of getting a deal over the line for the Egypt international.
It seems as though the Reds had made it clear this summer that if they were going to sign a midfielder, it was only going to be Aurélien Tchouaméni or Jude Bellingham. There is no denying the excitement those prospective signings bring, but there can be no guarantees of Bellingham’s future being pre-written in red. Meanwhile, Tchouaméni is bound for Real Madrid. Should Liverpool deliver on securing a midfielder next summer, that would still do little to solve a glaring gap on the right wing for Klopp.
That indicates that FSG aren’t looking to replace Salah next season, with talks set to continue over a new deal in the coming weeks. Previously, replacements have typically been signed well in advance: Diogo Jota came in ahead of time with a view to ultimately inheriting a front-three berth, while Ibrahima Konaté is currently serving an apprenticeship of sorts. A scramble for a right-winger next summer would be uncharacteristic.
Salah has been a crucial star in Klopp’s side since he arrived, and a deal that would make him the highest-paid player in the squad would be deserved — though a compromise must be reached over a figure that does not impact the wage structure severely. FSG and Liverpool are said to have reached their ceiling in terms of the offer extended to the 30-year-old, but perhaps they are confident of his stance softening.
Salah’s value to the club is indispensable, despite some suggesting that a player’s importance to a club is only reflected through the size of the salary offer. A new deal what would see him propelled to a status as one of the leaders in the team would remind him of the appreciation which he wouldn’t be guaranteed elsewhere.
As potential cover options in Raphinha and Antony continue to be linked with Arsenal and Manchester United respectively, it looks as though FSG are unflustered by other team’s moves in the transfer market — a sign that they think Salah will sign renew his terms at Anfield. And with Roberto Firmino also in the final 12 months of his contract, there is no better way to secure the future of the club than by securing a deal for Salah before the season starts, locking in a player who has become one of the most iconic pieces of Klopp’s era.