The manager of Egypt’s Olympic football team has confirmed that he intends to pick Mohamed Salah as one of their overage players for this summer’s tournament, and so the forward could miss the start of next season with Liverpool.
Salah is the Pharaohs’ greatest player of all time and has already represented his country at the Olympics in 2012, but could be selected this time around as one of their three players over the age of 23.
Egypt’s Under-23s manager Shawky Gharib revealed that he wants Salah to lead their charge in Tokyo should the games go ahead this summer, although they are yet to hold talks with Liverpool regarding his availability.
“Egypt U23 team’s preliminary squad will be led by Mohamed Salah and Mohamed El-Shennawi alongside another goalkeeper,” he said, as reported by Ahram.
“Salah is currently one of the most important players in the world and it’s normal to call him for Egypt’s Olympic squad.
“We will start the official talks with Liverpool after the international break next March.”
The Reds would have to approve Salah’s release to the Olympic squad, but doing so would mean he would likely miss the start of the 2021/22 Premier League season as well as a chunk of pre-season.
Olympic football is currently scheduled to start on 23 July and conclude on 8 August – the same weekend that the Premier League is set to kick-off.
Liverpool’s current season has been marred by injuries and fitness concerns, and Jurgen Klopp could probably do without Salah flying halfway across and the world and playing in an international tournament that could run into the start of the next campaign.
Salah has scored 24 goals in 36 games in all competitions for the Reds so far in what has been a disappointing season.