LONDON: Liverpool are demonstrating their faith in the work of Jurgen Klopp and his trophy-winning potential by preparing to splash what could reach a club record £39m on Roma winger Mohamed Salah.
The deal would also benefit Chelsea – off the pitch if not on it – because the Premier League champions would receive £2.7m under the terms of the Egyptian’s original departure from Stamford Bridge.
Salah has agreed a four-year contract worth £90,000-a-week with an option for a further 12 months.
The transfer has been in the offing for two weeks after Roma originally rejected a £28m offer from Anfield. Under the increased offer he will become Liverpool’s most expensive signing, exceeding the £35m they paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll in 2011.
For manager Klopp the significance of Salah’s arrival will be reduce the team’s dependence on Sadio Mane which was exposed this past season when the Senegalese was absent at the African Cup of Nations. The irony is that, in two years’ time, both players could be absent together at the African national teams’ championship.
Salah made only six Premier starts with Chelsea after arriving from in January 2014 but has contributed 17 assists for Roma in the past two Serie A seasons. Chelsea negotiated a sell-on clause worth 10pc of Roma’s profit on Salah when they sold him for £12m last summer after his loans to both Fiorentina and Roma. Having made a £1m profit then the Blues will now cash in again.
Liverpool’s transfer campaign has already seen the arrival of England’s World Under-20-winning forward Dominic Solanke from Chelsea. They continue to pursue a new leftback and have been linked with RB Leipzig’s Guinea midfielder Naby Keïta.