By Mike McGrath in Milan
Jurgen Klopp is confident Mohamed Salah will sign a new contract at Liverpool and believes only the complexities of a deal for a player of his profile has delayed him committing to the club.
Salah, the Premier League’s top scorer this season, has one full campaign left on his current terms and spoke on Egyptian television over the weekend and insisted the issue was in the hands of the club as he wants to remain at Anfield.
While he turns 30 next June, Salah is also arguably the most effective current player in Europe and his status would command a salary in excess of £400,000-a-week judged on the current market.
“We are talking. You know exactly what it’s about,” said Klopp. “Extending a contract for a player like Mo is not a thing you do meeting for a cup of tea in the afternoon and find an agreement. That is completely normal.
“Mo speaks about it when he gets asked about it. I can only really say a few things because the rest is not for the public but I’m not sure if the interview was translated from Arabic to English as that is a massive issue. A lot of things can happen when someone tries to do that.
“He is fine. I’m fine. What we all want is clear and things like this need time.”
Klopp has not ruled out playing Salah tonight in Milan despite his team already securing a place in the knockout stages as group winners.
AC Milan have everything to play for – they can qualify for the Champions League, Europa League or get eliminated completely – but Klopp will make changes to cope with six more games in December when his squad returns from Italy.
He also has one eye on Saturday’s clash against Aston Villa when he will be reunited with Steven Gerrard in the opposite dugout,
“We have to rotate, that is clear,” said Klopp. “The medical department will smash me if I play the same side again, so we will make changes. We will try to get fresh legs, a higher energy level, and that gives you a chance to win the game.”
With that in mind, Klopp said “it’s pretty likely” that Divock Origi will start at the San Siro after his last-gasp winner at Wolves on Saturday, adding another priceless goal to his haul despite his lack of regular first-team games.