Liverpool have been in talks with AS Roma over Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah for what seems forever. The club and player have reportedly reached an agreement, with only the fee left to be decided. And there lies the problem.
Roma are reportedly seeking £35million for the winger, and this has stalled Liverpool’s pursuit of the player. Liverpool had a £28m bid for the player rejected as Roma firmly stick to their valuation.
The Reds are seemingly unwilling to pay that much, but Roma aren't budging, leading to the current deadlock.
This transfer is crucial to the club, and it is imperative that a fee is agreed upon sooner rather than later. Too many times in recent history have Liverpool come close to only fall short due to taking their time in negotiations. Players like Alexis Sanchez come to mind in that regard.
Of all the wingers currently (and realistically) linked with Liverpool, Salah is by far the most exciting option and would help bolster the Reds' already threatening attack. Furthermore, Liverpool certainly could have used a player like Salah in January while Sadio Mane was on international duty.
The price seems fair
One can’t fault Roma for valuing their player so highly. Salah was one of Roma’s top players, scoring and assisting 31 goals in 41 appearances for the Italian side. The club has an obligation to their fans to take a hard stance on the player after a season like that.
But Roma aren't seeking a world record transfer fee for the player. Liverpool are one of the wealthiest clubs in world football, and tacking £7m-£17m on the end of their £28m bid should be a no brainer and is far from breaking the bank.
Liverpool are too concerned with doing shrewd business to get deals like these done. Yes, there is the fear that the player could flop, and it would be money down the drain. But risks must be made if Liverpool want to have a chance at making an impact in the Champions League next season.
Just last summer fans were upset that Liverpool had paid too much for Mane. One season later and Mane’s transfer fee is nothing but an afterthought. Trust must be put in Jurgen Klopp and the players he wants to bring in.
That’s one the biggest differences between Liverpool and their rivals. Price never seems to be a problem for clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea. If they want their man, they get their man given the fee isn’t something purely ridiculous.
So if Liverpool can’t negotiate Salah’s price down, the club should bite the not-so-bitter bullet, pay up, and get Salah's signature on the dotted line. After the horrendous Virgil Van Dijk saga, I’m not sure if Liverpool can afford to miss out on another target.