Former England player Jamie Carragher has defended English Premier League club Liverpool for their decision to bend the wage structure and pay big money to keep Mohamed Salah at Anfield.
The 30-year-old Egypt international extended his stay with the Reds after signing a three-year contract extension on Friday to end speculation over his future.
Reports have emerged Salah’s new deal his worth (N175million) per-week and the 44-year-old former Liverpool defender believes there was nothing wrong with the new pay.
Carragher said as quoted by SkySports:
Maybe money [was the main factor in negotiations]. There is nothing wrong with that. Salah has been as good as anybody in the Premier League or anyone in European football, certainly in his position, and he’ll feel he deserves to be paid as well as those.
And we know the types of numbers other players get at other clubs.
Liverpool have never really gone to that level in terms of numbers, certainly under FSG – and I think that a lot of Liverpool fans respect that model because it has brought a lot of success to the club so they almost accept how they go about things not just with player contracts but also with signing players.
I don’t think there would have been much criticism if Salah had left. But I think now and again when you have someone as special as Salah the rule that you have to have in place you have to certainly bend them, maybe not necessarily break them but you have to maybe go closer to a position that maybe you don’t want to.
On whether Salah’s decision was relief or elation, Carragher, who managed 508 appearances for Liverpool, said:
A bit of both. Losing Sadio [Mane], it was sad to see that front three break up.
Lots of Liverpool fans over the last few months were kind of resigned to the fact that Salah might see out the last 12 months of his contract and then move on. And perhaps the club were not maybe prepared to go the numbers he wanted or he felt he deserved and he would leave the club.
But I think the fact that [Divock Origi] has moved on and Mane has moved on and Liverpool have brought in maybe one attacking player who is on similar sorts of wages [in Darwin Nunez]. I think the fact that two have gone and one has come in means that they could maybe get closer to the numbers Salah wanted.
I think everyone is just delighted Salah has signed and fingers crossed he produces over the next three years what he has produced over the last five years and I am sure that he can.