Having boasted of their intent to invest significant financial capital into the club’s playing staff during the off-season transfer window, Liverpool’s protracted efforts to sign 24-year-old winger Mohamed Salah have left many Reds supporters braced in anticipation of another frustrating summer of failed efforts to secure key targets.
Premier League rivals Manchester City have already shown an aggressive willingness to open the cheque-book in the pursuit of adding quality to their ranks, and bigfreebet.com odds suggest more signings are set to follow. Liverpool on the other hand have thus far faltered in their attempts to strengthen their threadbare squad.
Salah’s agent Ramy Abbas had tantalised the Anfield faithful into believing that a deal may be in the offing – first following the Liverpool FC official Twitter account and then posting an image of his boarding pass for a flight to London on his Instagram account – but appears to have cooled the links between his client and the club following frustrated negotiations, stating: “sometimes good things come to those who don’t wait too long”.
The collapsed move for centre back Virgil van Dijk that resulted from an official complaint being made by Southampton concerning the Merseyside club’s alleged misconduct has already left swathes of the Liverpool fan base agitated with regards to the club’s apparent inability to capture any key transfer targets – the drawn-out nature of the negotiations for Mohamed Salah will only serve to fan the growing flames of discontent.
Part of this dissatisfaction will undoubtedly have arisen from the fear of missing out on a player that appears to be a perfect fit for the aggressive forward-thinking style of play that delivered many of Liverpool’s best results during the 2016-17 campaign.
Although Monday evening’s unconfirmed reports from the Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport have claimed that Liverpool had agreed a €40m fee for the player, contradictory claims from Salah’s homeland suggest that Roma are still intent on holding out for a price tag nearer to €50m.
Liverpool have been linked to alternative attacking options in the past week, including Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins and Southampton’s Dušan Tadić – suggesting that the extent of their interest in the Roma winger is not indefinite.
Since his unsuccessful term at Chelsea – who notoriously beat Liverpool in the race to sign the midfielder in the January of 2014 – Salah has come to earn his stripes in Italy’s Serie A, initially on a loan spell at Fiorentina and subsequently with AS Roma.
The Egyptian international has lit Italian football ablaze since deciding to call time on his frustrating stint at Stamford Bridge, utilising his searing pace and excellent reading of the game to regularly drift in from the wide spaces to overload the opposition box and create goal scoring opportunities. Over the past three league seasons, Salah has netted 35 times and assisted a further 20 goals in 81 appearances.
Despite the prolonged nature of the transfer discussions, Liverpool fans will still be hoping that their side can capture such qualities as they look to bolster their squad in preparation for a first Champions League campaign since 2014.
However, with Fenway Sports Group renowned for their ‘low-balling’ transfer negotiation tactics, fans will be desperately hoping that the club’s efforts to capture the Egyptian’s signature won’t ultimately run long into the summer.
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