Mohamed Salah has left the door open to joining Barcelona in the past and his links with the Spanish giants have intensified as contract talks with Liverpool stall
Barcelona have begun working behind the scenes to sign Mohamed Salah from Liverpool as Xavi and Joan Laporta look to pull off a major coup, according to reports in Catalonia.
Salah, 29, is said to be Xavi’s priority target as he prepares to rebuild his side following his appointment as Ronald Koeman’s successor.
The Egyptian forward is viewed by many as the best player in the world due to his phenomenal tally of 15 goals and six assists in 15 appearances this season.
His importance to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp cannot be overstated, but he has previously left the door open to moving to Spain.
With just over 18 months remaining on his contract, Salah’s Anfield future has been called into question and his La Liga links have intensified.
Talks between Liverpool chiefs and the former Chelsea star have dragged on for many months without progress and the situation is reaching a critical point.
El Nacional reports Barca are primed to capitalise if no extension is agreed and Salah’s agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, has already received calls from across Europe.
The Barcelona-based outlet adds Laporta is under pressure to make a marquee signing after losing Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and support from many ‘socios’ (members) in his second term as the club’s president.
Xavi is believed to have been ‘seduced’ by Salah’s ability and views him as the player most similar to Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer last summer.
The Blaugrana have no concerns over the player’s age and Laporta will offer everything at his disposal to prise him from Merseyside next summer.
Salah will be 30 by then, and this partly explains why Liverpool appear unwilling to hand him a a lucrative new contract.
That being said, they are also hugely reluctant for another talismanic star to follow Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho by departing for Camp Nou.■
[Author: Freddie KEIGHLEY / Mirror]