Former Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham joined The Football Show to debate Mohamed Salah's contract.
Joe Molloy believes that Liverpool should break the bank to keep Mohamed Salah.
Molloy, like most Liverpool fans, believe that Salah is worth the huge money he's demanding. That money is better suited to be in Salah's pocket rather than resting in John Henry's account. Liverpool need Salah. Diogo Jota is a great player. He was a great signing. Luis Diaz looks like he fits into the team perfectly too.
But without Salah Liverpool would be a completely different team. Without Salah, the piercing arrow at the top of their attack is suddenly significantly less sharp. Liverpool will still have a great attack without him, but they'd only maintain their quality if they signed a Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland.
If they're not going to pay Salah, they can't afford an Mbappe or Haaland either.
Salah is 29 years of age. He's no longer young. And although he keeps himself in great shape, a five-year deal would likely become a negative commodity over its final two years. That's one concern, but it's not the main one according to Kenny Cunningham.
"Liverpool have gone as far as they can," Cunningham said.
"I think Liverpool are pushing as much as they can. This isn't a situation which you have with other clubs, where the club is trying to get him on the cheap. Give him peanuts. Take advantage like a lot of clubs generally do. I think everybody agrees that's not the case with Mo Salah.
"They want to keep him. They're desperate to keep him."
Cunningham believes that Liverpool have offered Salah the most they can offer him. They've put him at the top of their wage structure, they'd make him their highest current player and they'd make him their highest ever player. Since there is no deal agreed to, we can assume their highest offer does not meet Salah's evaluation of his worth.
Salah has every right to view the deal that way, but Cunningham believes Salah should concede some ground on his demands.
"I feel as if it's for Mo Salah now to reach towards Liverpool. And to give a little bit. Mo Salah has been an absolutely unbelievable signing for Liverpool football club. He's been absolutely fantastic. Give him credit, he's improved as a player. His numbers we've spoken about, he's absolutely outstanding and a big part of Liverpool's success over recent years.
"But Liverpool in just as equal measure have been good for Mo Salah.
"Liverpool have an argument to say 'We've made him a world class player' because they've constructed a world class team around him. And elevated him into that position. He needs to recognize that and tip his cap to Liverpool. And he does that by signing this contract."
Cunningham believes that Liverpool have given Salah everything he needs to succeed and he believes the fan reaction to him is a factor. Salah would likely argue that any of the big teams across the world would do the same for him and those fanbases would love him just as much.
Since Salah's contract is running down, he holds the leverage. If he wants to leave Liverpool or if he can't get the money he thinks he's worth, he will find it elsewhere. He can replace Mbappe at PSG or he can join him at Real Madrid or wherever he winds up.
Ultimately, Salah will have more options than Liverpool will have to replace him. But breaking the news of his departure to Jurgen Klopp won't be fun. Especially since Liverpool have seen the impact of Georginio Wijnaldum's departure on a smaller scale this season.
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