Star Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has a chance to etch his name to another piece of history in a Reds uniform tonight when Jürgen Klopp's Premier League runners-up clash with Spanish royalty and La Liga holders Real Madrid at the Stade de France, but the future remains an uncertain one for the Egyptian icon.
Salah has committed to being a Liverpool player for the 2022-23 campaign in which the club hopes he will lead the Anfield outfit in their attempts to outstrip an already improved Manchester City under Pep Guardiola fresh off deals for Erling Haaland and Julián Álvarez, but it remains unclear whether the former AS Roma standout will remain at the club after his current deal reaches its completion.
There is still time for both parties to come to the table and agree to amicable terms which would see Salah nailed down for the foreseeable future, but that would undoubtedly come at a heavy price for Liverpool, who have been lauded for the way that they do business on the financial front while avoiding decisions that are more akin to the likes of City, Chelsea, and bitter rivals Manchester United.
For former England international and Liverpool shot-stopper David James, the club should not abandon its brick and mortar foundations, even if it means parting ways with their mercurial star man.
When speaking with Goal (in quotes sourced by Football365), James warned his former club against breaking "their model," even if Salah helps guide the club to a treble-winning season tonight after Liverpool secured both domestic cups in England with his assistance.
"As a Liverpool fan, you want them to stay. You want your best players to stay and they have proved themselves as two of Liverpool’s best players. I would suggest that the Liverpool model and recruitment strategy is that they anticipate the players being there at the same time as anticipating them not being there. With the latter, they will anticipate the next acquisition – like [Luis] Diaz coming in during January. They will already have something in place, then you have to look at the individuals."
"I think the fact that Salah hasn’t signed the contract that has been offered, I don’t think he should or would get a better offer because Liverpool will have that as part of their model. Then it is down to the player. Of the two, I think Mane is more suitable to go, having achieved everything. He has won all the domestic trophies with Liverpool, he’s won the Africa Cup of Nations. His stock as an individual is – he could win the Champions League this weekend – I don’t think his stock can get any higher. You can’t begrudge any player for taking advantage of that."
Though Liverpool were always going to face the prospect of their two headline attacking players potentially leaving the club at some stage, the way the Reds continue to plan for the future deserves immense credit.
The deal for Luis Díaz has been justifiably heralded as a masterstroke by the club as the Colombian international has won the hearts and minds of the Anfield faithful already, while the summer move for Portuguese starlet Fabio Carvalho signals another view into the future along with current club asset Harvey Elliott. Diogo Jota, meanwhile, is still only 25 and firing on all cylinders.
Should Salah bid farewell to Liverpool after next season, he would do so with his head held high - and hopefully - while remaining in the good graces of an adoring Anfield faithful.