Mohamed Salah has received his final contract answer from Liverpool

Liverpool have sold Sadio Mane and replaced him with Darwin Nunez because they weren’t ready to meet his demands to become the club’s top earner to send a clear message to Mohamed Salah in his contract talks with the Reds.

Liverpool’s management of Sadio Mane sends a message to Mohamed Salah

Now that the dust has settled on Sadio Mane’s exit from Liverpool and the arrival of Darwin Nunez, thoughts turn to what this means for the club’s protracted contract negotiations with Mohamed Salah.

There is a clear message to be drawn from Liverpool’s handling of Mane’s contract demands for Salah and their talks over a new deal. Like Salah, Mane had a year left on his contract at Anfield and reportedly wanted almost £400,000 a week to sign new terms. His argument was that as one of the best players in the Premier League, he should be paid the same as his peers like Kevin De Bruyne and Cristiano Ronaldo. But his case ignored Liverpool’s carefully managed wage structure and the club’s top earner is Virgil van Dijk on around £220,000 a week.

Liverpool do not have a sovereign wealth fund from a Middle Eastern country to fund them and they have always been careful not to spend beyond their limits. They couldn’t afford to pay Mane £400,000 a week even if they wanted to, and the same goes for Salah.

Liverpool reportedly won’t meet Sadio Mane’s £400,000-a-week contract demands

Like Mane, Salah’s side argue he should be given a new contract that reflects his status as one of the best players in the world. Like Mane, he also wants around £400,000 a week, which his side say is the going rate for a player of his ability.

But like Mane, Liverpool cannot afford to offer him such a deal as it would shatter their wage structure and bring van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and Alisson knocking on their doors, wanting similar pay rises. That’s why they reluctantly sold Mane to Bayern Munich for £35.1m, where he reportedly earns £360,000 a week, but only after landing Nunez from Benfica for a potential club record £85m. of pounds sterling.

Nunez is suddenly giving Liverpool leverage in their contracts with Salah and, in essence, they’ve already replaced him and Mane with the Uruguayan and Luis Diaz. There is no more sense of Armageddon if Liverpool cannot agree on a deal to keep Salah.

Diaz should hopefully continue the rapid progress he has made since joining in January, while Nunez has already shown he can replace Salah’s goals for Liverpool. At 22, he is also the perfect age compared to the thirties Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino.

As difficult as it is for Liverpool fans to contemplate, the club had to start replacing this legendary trio at some point as they grew old together. This process really started last week with the signing of Nunez and then the sale of Mane 72 hours later.

Liverpool believe signing Darwin Nunez is a better long-term investment than meeting Sadio Mane’s contract demands


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Salah has said he will definitely stay next season, ruling out a cut-price exit like Mane’s this summer. He may well feel it strengthens his negotiating position as it gives Liverpool just six months to pay him what he wants before he is free to start talking to overseas sides in January. a transfer from Bosman.

But Liverpool have shown by their actions over the past seven days that they are unlikely to blink. They won’t go overboard and offer Salah what they feel they can afford to pay him.

And if he keeps saying no, they’ll think the £64million they paid upfront for Nunez is a better long-term investment.

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