Liverpool fans used to roll their eyes at the sight of Ramy Abbas Issa taking to social media.
Mohamed Salah’s agent, his cryptic messages regarding his client’s future frustrated anxious fans last season. With the Egyptian out of contract in 2023 and rushing into the final 12 months of his contract, the last thing they wanted to see was Abbas ‘seeking attention’ on Twitter.
Last March, when asked about the striker’s future at a time when it looked like an agreement on a new contract might not be reached, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp told reporters: “Mo definitely expect this club to be ambitious We were the last few years and we are.
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“We can’t do much more, that’s how it is. But I don’t think it’s about that. It’s pretty much Mo’s decision. The club did what the club can do. C is like that.
“Nothing bad to say about it. It’s fine from my point of view. It’s exactly as it should be right now. Everything is settled. Nothing happened further, no signing, no rejection or whatever.
“We just have to wait for that. Everything is fine. No rush in this situation.”
Within an hour, Abbas had his say on Twitter. Without saying a word, his string of seven laughing emojis seemingly challenged Klopp’s claims.
In July he was back. This time a lone crying laugh emoji, which even got a reaction from Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
“All the Reds love your client, and if he has to leave next summer, we wish him well and say a big thank you,” the former defender wrote, quoting Abbas’ initial message. “But we can do without this cryptic shit for the next 12 months!” @MoSalah, have a word!! »
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s own official Twitter account retweeted that message from Abbas with a facepalm emoji…but shortly after he appeared it was just a ruse and part of the club’s plan to announce that Salah had in fact signed a new and improved contract until 2025 which would make him the highest paid player in the club’s history.
“We fooled them all chief,” Carragher later joked to Salah and Abbas. Relieved Liverpool fans didn’t believe him. Like all of us, the former defender had been had.
At the time of Salah’s extra time, the Reds had just completed a campaign in which they nearly completed an unprecedented four-fold and their star striker had won the Premier League Golden Boot. Committing his future to the club, more of the same was expected.
But while Salah has scored 22 goals for Liverpool this season, it has been a difficult campaign for the Reds. Currently sixth in the Premier League table, their hopes of finishing in the top four this year are hanging by a thread.
Meanwhile, their 6-2 aggregate loss to Real Madrid saw them exit the Champions League with a whimper in the Round of 16, ending their silverware hopes this season.
Since Salah was spotted having lunch with Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in January, amid struggles on the pitch at Liverpool, his future has come under intense scrutiny on the continent. . As a result, Abbas again took to Twitter twice to have his say on the latest reports, although this time eliciting a very different reaction from Kopites.
‘Nonsense,’ he wrote last month, following their 5-2 humiliation against Real Madrid at Anfield, in response to a tweet saying Salah ‘is ready to leave Liverpool if the Reds don’t qualify not for the Champions League”. “It was never discussed or thought about. Not qualifying for the Champions League didn’t even cross our minds.”
And he spoke out again today as fresh reports again suggested Salah would be looking to leave Liverpool following their Champions League exit. The only difference this time is that a move to La Liga has been mooted rather than to PSG, as has often been the case since that January encounter with Al-Khelaifi.
“Where did you get this from if even Mohamed and I didn’t discuss it?” Quote from Abbas tweeted to the journalist in question reporting this “exclusive transfer”. He added: “Please tell us.”
Of course, not discussing such a topic yet doesn’t mean it couldn’t come to fruition this summer, but for now it’s crystal clear what Salah is concerned about. Namely, scoring the goals that guarantee the Reds qualify for next season’s Champions League against overwhelming odds.
While reports abroad could speculate on his future, there have been no hints that he might consider leaving the club at home. Having signed his new long-term contract last summer, there is now every reason to be confident about his situation in stark contrast to the uncertainty of 12 months ago.
How times change. In Liverpool’s previous unwanted flirtations with the Champions League prospect, or even their years in the desert away from Europe’s top table, they have become accustomed to their star players considering their future.
Steven Gerrard would admit on the eve of the Reds’ 3-1 Champions League win over Olympiakos in December 2004 that he would have considered leaving his beloved Liverpool if they failed to qualify. Even once he got his hands on the European Cup the following May, he still flirted with leaving.
And while the Reds legend remained put, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres and Raheem Sterling would all be pushing for the exit without the lure of Champions League football to keep them at Anfield. In the case of Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, even qualifying for the prestigious tournament wasn’t enough to stay.
Yet, for all these players, Liverpool was just a bridesmaid. Despite their struggles this year and the uncertainty that awaits them, they are now a wife who has won every major honor available to them with Salah breaking records in attack.
If the Reds find themselves excluded from the Champions League next season, speculation over the striker’s future will continue. If his absence lasts more than a year, the 30-year-old can leave. It’s inevitable.
But Liverpool are still a long way from such a scenario, with Salah still fighting hard for that top four. Beyond that, more silverware and records next season. You wouldn’t expect anything else from the Egyptian king.
In truth, there would be little resentment if he actually asked to leave this summer. But such a prospect does not seem realistic at the present time.
It would take a significant fee and a hefty salary to land him away from Anfield on this new deal, regardless of a top four finish. Considering he turns 31 this summer, few clubs would be able to meet such hypothetical conditions.
Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool legend. When the time comes for him to leave Anfield, he will leave as one of the Reds’ greatest ever players.
While reports abroad might suggest that day is coming sooner than anyone would like, Abbas’ message is clear. He said exactly what the Kopites want to hear, but they are also words that hardly need to be spoken.
There is a reason why, unlike 12 months ago, there is no anxious panic over Salah’s possible exit. He is as committed to the Liverpool cause as they come.
On the contrary, the day that Abbas stops fighting such speculation is the day that Reds fans might have reason to worry.