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One of football’s most high-profile contract sagas took another twist this week when The Athletic published a report detailing Mohamed Salah’s willingness to join one of Liverpool’s main Premier League rivals.
Discussions about a new deal between the Reds and their Egyptian star over a new deal have so far reached an impasse and if a compromise cannot be reached before next summer, Salah could walk for free.
The latest reports have indicated that Salah would prefer to stay in England ahead of pursuing a move abroad and that could in turn lead to a nightmarish scenario for Liverpool supporters, who face the prospect of a Kop cult hero lining up against them in the Premier League.
With Sadio Mane already pushing for an Anfield exit this summer, the prospect of losing Salah from the opposite flank won’t sit well with a club just beaten to both the Premier and Champions League titles, though letting one of their most valuable assets slip away for nothing would magnify the blow.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a sparkling time on Merseyside since his move there from Roma in 2017 and Salah’s 150+ goals have fired the Reds to glory and silverware both domestically and on the continent.
Salah is one of the game’s most lethal match-winners and a cross-Premier League switch in 2023 would send shockwaves through the division. Potential destinations for Salah in England are limited, however, there is a handful of clubs with the clout to make a deal happen.
Possible Premier League destinations for Salah
Chelsea – back to the Blues?
On 23 January 2014, Chelsea announced that a deal had been reached with Swiss club Basel for the transfer of a relatively unknown winger named Mohamed Salah.
The fee – which was believed to be in the region of £11m – allowed the Blues to nab the 21-year-old from under the noses of several other suitors, though Salah would go on to make just six Premier League starts for the Londoners under an unimpressed Jose Mourinho and he eventually left again a little over a year later to join Fiorentina on loan.
Fast-forward eight years and Salah has made a mockery of Chelsea’s decision to cut him loose. Following productive spells with La Viola, Roma and finally Liverpool, Salah established himself as a genuine world-class performer and the Blues would love to arrange a reunion.
In Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have a savvy tactician who could hand Salah a role on the right side of his attack to replace underperforming misfit Hakim Ziyech and the Liverpool star might warm to the idea of returning to part of the world he is already familiar with.
From a financial perspective, all the pieces fit. Roman Abramovich’s bottomless pit is gone, though Chelsea should have enough clout under their new owners to pay the kind of seismic salary that Salah demands.
Manchester City – Salah to join Liverpool’s main title rivals?
Manchester City pipped Liverpool to the 2021/22 Premier League title after an intense scramble for top spot and clubs have been wrestling for domestic dominance since 2018.
The ruthless Cityzens could tighten their stranglehold on English football by snatching one of their rival’s best players away for nothing next year and if a deal for Salah is possible, the Manchester giants won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
City used their financial muscle to prise Raheem Sterling from a resurgent Liverpool in 2015 and they pushed hard to bring Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo to the club before the Portuguese all-timer eventually agreed to don red instead of blue last year.
Pep Guardiola also had a sit down with out-of-contract United midfielder Paul Pogba in a bid to put noses out of joint at Old Trafford again more recently and City’s track record suggests a move for Salah from another direct rival could be in the offing.
As one of the world’s richest clubs, the champions would have little trouble putting together a financial package that would satisfy all of Salah’s requirements, while the chance to line up alongside Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne among others is certain to appeal to the sporting side of the Egyptian’s aspirations.
Newcastle – Magpies to pursue statement signature?
It might be a little early to mention Newcastle in the same breath as Chelsea and Manchester City, however, by the time the summer of the 2023 rolls around, the Magpies might be ready to make their move.
Backed by Saudi Arabia’s billions, Newcastle are expected to make the transition from also-rans into genuine European powerhouses in rapid time and should next season go to plan, Eddie Howe’s United could be among the best-placed clubs to make a major move for Mohammed Salah.
Newcastle offered a glimpse of more lavish spending to come when they sanctioned over £100m of deals in January and with new faces on board, the Magpies won more Premier League points after the turn of the year than all but three Premier League clubs (Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham).
With limitless riches to dip into, another monumental transfer window is on the cards in the north east this summer and a Newcastle outfit further strengthened by big-money recruits could make an outside dash for European qualification places in 2022/23.
A jump in performance and position will undoubtedly turn heads and more and more of the game’s biggest names will see Newcastle as a desirable destination.
The signing of Mohammed Salah would confirm Newcastle’s arrival as football’s next super club and the Magpies have the cash to convince him to join.