When a world-class footballer approaches the final year of his contract with an extension far from guaranteed, it’s inevitable that the status of negotiations will be a huge story until they reach a conclusion. We have seen this first-hand with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for at least the last 8 months.
With Liverpool in the mix for three trophies to potentially add to the already secured League Cup, every match at this stage in the season is critically important. They need every ounce of their focus to be on the next match, and everyone can see that the incessant talk about Salah’s contract has the potential to be an enormous distraction when that is the last thing LFC, or Salah himself, need.
It’s something that Mo certainly sees, and he is doing his best to put the contract negotiations out of mind while he tries to focus on the task at hand. That means he has no interest in adding more fuel to the fire when asked if there are any updates to the situation.
“Not much, but honestly what can I say? There are many things people don’t know about,” said Salah when the question was posed to him during an interview with Sky Sports News.
“I can’t be selfish now and talk about my situation. We are in the most important period for the team so I have to just talk about the team, focus on what’s coming for the team and that’s the most important thing. That’s all I can say. Hopefully, we can be optimistic and see what’s going to happen.”
While Salah’s agent has shown he isn’t shy about trying to stir the pot and add to the drama of his client’s contract situation, Salah himself does genuinely seem interested in trying to keep the focus on what the team are trying to achieve on the pitch, not what he is trying to earn off of it.
Even when he made clear he wants to talk about the team, not his contract, he was still asked if he felt confident a deal would get done. Once again, he was non-committal and tried to steer the conversation back to his desire to win the games ahead and put the contract talk on the back burner.
“I can’t say yes and I can’t say no. I’ve said many times before that’s what I want. But again, I can’t really go deep in the contract right now because it’s a really sensitive situation. For the team to win I can’t just go on the news and talk about my contract. I just focus on the team and that’s it.”
Mo was then asked a question that has been on the minds of many as he has found goals slightly harder to come by in recent weeks... is the uncertainty over his contract affecting his performance on the pitch?
“No, not at all,” he declared. “I talk to the manager from time to time, I’m very professional. I know my job very well. I’m almost here the first one and the last one to leave. I know what I am doing. I’m not bothered about that. I’m just focusing on the team, that’s the most important thing for me, focused to win trophies. And I’m giving everything for the club.”