COULD the outcome of Manchester City’s game against Liverpool have another added factor than where the league title ends?
Could it play a part in resolving Mohammed Salah’s contract situation at Liverpool?
If the Reds win on Sunday and go on to win the league, would that make the owners, Fenway Sports Group, decide that they need to continue the momentum the club is building and give in to Salah’s demands.
Were they to lose; would FSG think that the finances needed to keep Salah, and the money raised from selling the Egyptian, could be used to invest in younger players rather than a player turning 30 in the summer, in order to compete for league titles in the long-term.
City have endless funds and will happily dip into their pockets if players are needed.
Liverpool are not as free-spending as their title rivals which is why at the moment, they aren’t willing to submit to Salah’s demands.
Although Salah is at a different level to players like Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, because of how those similar situations played out for the former Arsenal players, the Liverpool owners will be cautious about making the same mistake.
Reports are that Salah is seeking just North of €350,000-a-week with a two-year extension on his existing deal which expires in 2023, meaning Salah will be turning 33 by the time the contract ends.
The questions the owners must ask themselves is; is Salah worth the investment or would they be better cashing in on their star player this summer?
For Salah, will he be thinking that winning another league with Liverpool would be enough to satisfy his time at the club, and might seek a new challenge elsewhere?
When Jurgen Klopp’s side won the title in 2020, they did so without supporters in the stadium for the latter part of the season and more importantly; when Liverpool were presented with the Premier League trophy.
Perhaps he wants to experience winning the league trophy with the fans in the ground because were Liverpool to win the league and even the Champions League this season, what more could the Egyptian achieve with the club.
Might it be a case that not winning the league this season would convince Salah to remain at the club because he would have the challenge of overthrowing City?
Like every great player; Salah will want to be remembered as one of the greats and will have ambitions of winning the Ballon d’Or.
As much as the Premier League gets touted the greatest league in the world, mainly by people in the UK and Ireland, since the Premier League began in 1992, only twice has a player playing in the league won the award (Michael Owen in 2001 and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008). And in its 56-year history, only on seven occasions has a player playing in England claimed the Ballon d’Or.
Salah might be thinking that joining Barcelona or Real Madrid would give him a better chance of winning the award because it seems the majority of the world, those who get to vote, have a higher opinion of other leagues in Europe than people in the UK and Ireland have.
On the game itself; I’ve never really been in any similar situation to what those players are experiencing.
Those games I always felt the fans had a massive impact on. The home fans always made games intimidating for the away players.
Just look how Liverpool fans create an intimidating environment at Anfield for big games. However, I’ve yet to witness a similar atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium. Perhaps this game might be the match that the City fans finally make their Stadium a cauldron!
When the chips are down, do the City crowd really inspire their players and create a hostile atmosphere for away players? I’m yet to see it. If they can’t do it for this game they never will.
If I were a City player; I would be happy with a point against Liverpool.
My concern would be having the title in my own hands which is why the Liverpool players will in my opinion be going all out for the victory, because they know if they don’t win on Sunday, they would be relying on City to slip up and for them to have a perfect end to the season.