Liverpool learn Salah fate for Chelsea clash as Egypt, AFCON talks reach major conclusion
Liverpool will be able to play Mohamed Salah in their crunch Premier League clash against Chelsea following successful talks over his Africa Cup of Nations participation, a report has claimed.
The Egpyt star has arguably been the Reds’ best player this season with 22 goals in 24 games. Not only is he the Premier League’s top scorer, but he is also up there across Europe’s top five leagues.
While his contract remains a pressing issue, his absence due to AFCON is a bigger problem in the short term.
Indeed, he will miss crunch fixtures such as the two Carabao Cup semi-finals against Arsenal. What’s more, Liverpool play Brentford and Crystal Palace in the Premier League in January.
There were also fears that Salah could miss the Reds’ festive fixtures, especially the January 2 clash with title rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. FIFA’s initial ruling was that countries could opt to call their players up from December 27.
As such, the Reds have been trying to convince the relevant authorities to let the player stay before travelling to Cameroon for the tournament.
And according to the Daily Mirror, that is exactly what Liverpool have done. The Reds have held successful talks with the Egyptian FA and Salah can now play against Chelsea.
The 29-year-old will depart Liverpool after the match in London. The clash with Chelsea comes nine days before Egypt’s opening AFCON clash against Nigeria on January 11.
Salah’s availability for the match will prove crucial, as will the result at the end of the season.
However, it remains unclear if Liverpool will have similar negotiating success over Sadio Mane and Naby Keita.
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Senegal star Mane has also proved crucial up top for Jurgen Klopp’s men this season.
While Guinea international Keita has shown flashes of his talent, injuries have once again hampered his progress.
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In the longer term, though, Salah’s contract is an issue at Liverpool.
The forward’s current deal expires in the summer of 2023 and he has watched on as a number of other key Liverpool players have penned extensions in recent months.
His form is the obvious reason why Liverpool and Salah should seal a deal.
However, Stephen Warnock has pointed out another factor which makes a new deal for the player a no-brainer.
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