Liverpool have agreed a €40M (£35M) fee with Roma for the transfer of Mohamed Salah and the deal is expected to be made official shortly according to multiple reports today, with BeIN Sports and Sky Italia both claiming that a return to England for Salah is now a certainty.
This follows earlier reports in the English press that the player had agreed a £90k per week deal with Liverpool and was eager to complete his transfer following talks with manager Jürgen Klopp. However, the most recent reports from journalists with ties to Liverpool have only said that the two clubs are still negotiating.
Liverpool previously had an offer of €32M rejected by Roma, who were reportedly holding out for a €45M fee for Salah, though the consensus was that a compromise deal of around €40M would satisfy all parties. It’s possibly, then, that the latest reports out of Italy and Egypt are premature.
It’s possible that, in the transfer rumour echo chamber, earlier talk of a €40M compromise satisfying all parties has now turned into a €40M compromise having been made. Still, Salah’s transfer to Liverpool as the club’s first major signing of the summer increasingly looks a question of when, not if.
Salah has excelled as a scoring winger since landing at Roma in 2015 on loan from Chelsea. In 2015-16 he scored 14 goals and eight assists in 34 Serie A appearances for a goal involvement every 124 minutes. In 2016-17 Roma made his move permanent and he scored 15 goals and 13 assists for a goal involvement every 89 minutes.
Though there are some concerns about his tendency to run hot and cold as well as questions about whether he has benefitted from playing against more conservative, stand-off defenders that give him the time and space to work up to speed in Italy, it is unquestionably a world class return in front of goal.
Even for a striker it would be such, and in most ways, that is the role Salah has filled at Roma this season and would be expected to fill at Liverpool next season—that of a wide forward, a striker who starts wide and drifts off the wing, most from the right to take advantage of his left-footedness.