Liverpool face prospect of being without star Mohamed Salah for up to FOUR MONTHS next season with Africa Cup of Nations and Olympics in 2021
Liverpool are facing up to the prospect of potentially being without star man Mohamed Salah for four months next season, if the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic games move to a spring slot.
Manager Jurgen Klopp already has an upcoming selection headache with the arrival of the Africa Cup of Nations, but now a delayed Olympics looks set to cause more disruption for the Reds.
The games have been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, with officials now desperately searching for a slot to add the decorated event into the sporting calendar. Salah, along with Egypt, are expected to attend.
Mo Salah could be away from Liverpool for four months next season with the Egypt team
Jurgen Klopp will lose his star man to the Africa Cup of Nations and the revised Olympics
The Africa Cup of Nations is to be held across January and February of 2021, in a move which Klopp has already slammed and suggested it will put teams off signing African players as a result.
Liverpool will also be without the prolific Sadio Mane, who will head to the competition as captain of Senegal. Naby Keita and defender Joel Matip are also likely to depart.
While Salah is a certainty to lead his nation at AFCON, his place in the Olympics squad was much more contentious.
Salah is the driving force in the Egypt side and vital for his nation’s chances of silverware
Competing teams are asked to field youthful stars, though are allowed a set quota of players aged over 23 who can help their side bid for success.
Egypt Under-23s coach Shawky Gharib said of the recent delays: ‘I expected the Olympics postponement. And this won’t interrupt our plans. We have a Plan B,’ reports the Sun.
‘The lives of the people are more important than sports, and the decision is good for the world.
‘Salah is one of the best players in the world and any coach would like to invite him to his team, so our door is still open.’