EPL

Rumour Has It: Salah demands new £500,000-per-week Liverpool contract

By Sports Desk September 05, 2021

Liverpool have recently re-signed a number of key players in their squad, but talks are under way with star forward Mohamed Salah. 

The two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner has less than two years remaining on his current deal with the Reds. 

Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and skipper Jordan Henderson all recently committed their long-term futures to Liverpool, as well as full-back pair Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. 

TOP STORY - SALAH DEMANDS BUMPER LIVERPOOL DEAL

Salah is demanding a major pay rise to re-commit to Liverpool, claims The Mirror. 

The Egyptian forward, according to the report, wants to earn £500,000 a week to extend his time at Anfield, having moved to Merseyside from Roma in June 2017. 

If the deal is agreed, it would make Salah the highest paid player in Liverpool's history. 

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun reports that Aston Villa are plotting a January move for Weston McKennie. The Juventus midfielder had been linked with a move away recently, though the Serie A club could not find a suitable buyer before the closure of the transfer window. 

Phil Foden will be presented with a new contract offer by Manchester City which will quadruple his current wages, according to the Daily Star. The new six-year deal is reportedly worth £150,000 per week. 

- Former France international Franck Ribery is set to complete a deal with newly promoted Serie A club Salernitana as a free agent, claims Fabrizio Romano. He will undergo a medical on Monday. 

Franck Kessie has turned down a new contract offer from Milan, claims Gazzetta dello Sport, putting Premier League trio Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea on alert. 

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    Dejan Kulusevski believes Antonio Conte's coaching style has been critical in his personal improvement at Tottenham after stagnating with Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus.

    Kulusevski rose to prominence during the 2019-20 season when on loan at Parma from Atalanta, with his form in the first half of that campaign persuading Juve to spend €35million on him.

    Although he played 55 Serie A games for the Bianconeri after linking up with them ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, Kulusevski struggled to find the same prominence and consistency he enjoyed at Parma.

    Spurs struck a deal in January to take the Sweden international on loan for 18 months, and the agreement will become permanent for £29.2m (€32.6m) if certain sporting criteria are met.

    Kulusevski quickly made an impression – from the date of his signing until the end of the season, no player registered more assists than his eight in the Premier League, while Kevin De Bruyne (17), Son Heung-min (20) and Harry Kane (21) were the only three individuals to tally more goal involvements than the Swede's 13 over the same period.

    Similarly, his three assists this season is third to only De Bruyne (six) and Bukayo Saka (four) – he is finding his feet, and he does not think he could have found such comfort had he stayed at Juventus.

    "In football sometimes things simply go wrong. I have not changed anything about myself in recent months: mentally I went always to go on the pitch and gave my best.

    "At Juve, however, it didn't work beyond what I tried to do. I didn't feel great for so many different reasons and when you realise that things are not right, then it's difficult to reverse course by staying in the same environment.

    "So, the choice to leave Italy was the best I could have made in that situation.

    "In England I am great, everything is better than in Turin, both on and off the pitch. As I said, now I really always want to play football."

    Kulusevski has no doubt what the key difference is: Conte.

    While he did not want to disparage Allegri, Kulusevski feels he has reacted positively to Conte's demands, which have in turn got the best out of him.

    Asked if there was a big difference between Allegri and Conte, the winger said: "Honestly, yes.

    "I don't want to say that one is better than the other, because I have great respect for both Allegri and Conte and both have won a lot in their careers, but the job and the ideas of ​​football are completely different.

    "At Tottenham, you struggle a lot more in the gym and you can see the results. I can say that from Juve to Spurs, the world changed for me.

    "I have never met in my life, even outside of football, a motivated person like Antonio Conte. When he speaks to you, he enters your heart by force.

    "At Tottenham my body changed – mainly thanks to the exercises in the gym – in no time. We work a lot every day and better than I did in Italy.

    "I love how we train in London and for sure the credit goes to our coach: I'm very happy to play for him."

  • Maldini confident Leao wants Milan renewal Maldini confident Leao wants Milan renewal

    Milan technical director Paolo Maldini is confident Rafael Leao wants to sign a new contract with the Serie A champions.

    Leao joined Milan three years ago in a €35million deal that reportedly also includes a 20 per cent sell-on clause.

    He made only 12 Serie A starts in his first season, but that increased to 22 the following campaign and then reached 31 last term as Milan won the title.

    Leao played a crucial role in Milan winning a first Scudetto since 2011, scoring 11 goals and setting up another eight – his 19 goal involvements was five more than anyone else for the Rossoneri, while only Theo Hernandez (51) laid on more chances than the Portugal international (45).

    The forward's improved productivity has unsurprisingly seen links to other clubs emerge, with Chelsea reportedly keen on him.

    But Maldini is optimistic about extending Leao's contract beyond its current expiry in 2024, despite a dispute with former club Sporting CP – whom the player reportedly owes €16.5m after unilaterally terminating his contract in 2018 – threatening to cause a distraction.

    "Leao has a difficult situation deriving from the move to Lille, this is affecting him a lot and has meant that our dialogues have often changed," Maldini told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "But Rafa is grateful to us, and I'm interested in what he tells us. He understands that the path in the coming years must be at Milan, he understands it and tells us [this].

    "Then there will be a negotiation, but we know that strong players must be paid their worth. If the team continues to grow, Leao will have everything to compete to the fullest.

    "But of course, there is no non-transferable [player] for all the teams in the world."

    Maldini was then asked if he was confident some form of arrangement could be found with Leao and Sporting, as the player reportedly wants Milan to help fund any future payments to the Primeira Liga side.

    "Yes, with [Leao's contract], yes [but] we have nothing to do with Sporting."

    Leao has already scored three times in six Serie A appearances this season, with Milan sitting fifth and three points off the summit after seven matches.

  • Southgate opts for 'ones we believe in' as Alexander-Arnold left out of England squad Southgate opts for 'ones we believe in' as Alexander-Arnold left out of England squad

    Gareth Southgate has left Trent Alexander-Arnold out of his England squad for Monday's Nations League dead rubber against Germany, citing a need to pick players he believes in.

    England have already been relegated from League A after failing to win any of their five matches, which have also only yielded a single goal.

    The Three Lions' form has been especially alarming given the World Cup starts in less than two months, with the Germany game essentially their final warm-up match.

    With very little riding on the match at Wembley, it was assumed Southgate might take the chance to give opportunities to those who have been used sparingly.

    But Southgate has instead given an indication as to who he does not appear to have complete faith in, with Alexander-Arnold – an unused substitute during Friday's defeat to Italy – among those left out.

    Fikayo Tomori, James Ward-Prowse and Jarrod Bowen are reportedly the others set to miss out, while Jack Grealish is suspended.

    This exclusion is just the latest blow for Alexander-Arnold at international level, with the right-back seemingly underused considering his importance for Liverpool.

    "Of course, he does have a fantastic range of passing, we're blessed with different profiles of player in that position," Southgate told reporters when discussing Alexander-Arnold's irregularity for England.

    "If we play with wing-backs, [Kieran] Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways, and we're always having to look at the full package with everything and assess the players on all of their attributes.

    "They've all been to Champions League finals, some of them have been to latter stages of major tournaments with us, Trent's won the league, Trippier's won the Spanish league, [Kyle] Walker's won the English league; there are so many good attributes about them.

    "It's a really difficult position to make decisions on, but we have to go with the ones we believe [in], and ultimately I'll be judged on the outcome, as we know."

    For Southgate, it is not simply a matter of putting Alexander-Arnold in the team and telling him to play his natural game; he operates in a certain way for Liverpool because Jurgen Klopp's system allows him to thrive, and England have not yet managed to find such a solution.

    "You can have a style of play and a way of playing, and a balance to the team, that... at Liverpool they find a way of playing that brings the best out of his attributes," said Southgate.

    "And that’s what we're all trying to do with every team, you're trying to build a team that accentuates the positives, and within the group protects yourselves against how the opponents might come from you."

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