Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool striker, provided a fresh twist in the ongoing speculation over his Anfield future by posting an uncaptioned image of himself on social media smiling broadly.
While it was taken in some quarters as a riposte to suggestions he is not happy with the Premier League champions, it came after further claims he was “upset” and looking to move from Merseyside.
Salah himself had stirred speculation at the weekend when, in an interview with Spanish sports outlet AS, he hinted at a possible move to Barcelona or Real Madrid while seeming noncommittal on his future at Liverpool.
He also said he was “disappointed” not to be made captain, in the absence of Jordan Henderson and his deputy, James Milner, for Liverpool’s Champions League match against Midtjylland earlier this month. Asked about his future at Liverpool, Salah said: “That’s a tough one but right now I can say everything is in the club’s hands.”
Further evidence of Salah’s dissatisfaction at Liverpool came with comments attributed to former Egypt striker Mohamed Aboutrika in an interview with beIN Sports. Aboutrika, a friend of Salah’s, said: “I called Salah about his situation in Liverpool and he is upset. Salah is not happy in Liverpool. One of the things that made Salah angry was that he was not the captain against Midtjylland. In my opinion, Liverpool are considering selling Salah for economic purposes.”
Salah was rested from the starting line-up for Liverpool’s visit to Crystal Palace on Saturday but came on as a substitute to contribute two goals in his side’s 7-0 triumph, taking him to 16 for the season in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has explained how tough it has been to play without fans this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, likening the experience to a training session. “It’s horrible to play without fans, it’s a very ugly sensation,” Barcelona captain Messi told Marca on Monday after receiving the sports paper’s Pichichi award for the top scorer in La Liga last season. “Seeing no one in the stadium is like a training session and it is very tough to really get going at the start.
“It’s very ugly and that’s why we are seeing such evenly matched games. It’s very difficult to win, regardless of who you are playing. “The pandemic has caused football to change a lot, and for the worse. You can see it in the matches, and I hope this all ends soon and we can get fans back into the stadiums.”