Real Madrid are interested in signing Mohamed Salah, but would struggle to afford a deal for the Liverpool attacker, according to the club's former president Ramon Calderon.
Salah opened the door to a potential move to Santiago Bernabeu earlier this season by expressing his admiration towards the Blancos and Barcelona when discussing his future.
The Egyptian forward still has two years left to run on his current deal at Anfield and, although Calderon thinks the Reds will be reluctant to sell, he can see Madrid testing their resolve later this year.
What was said?
The former Madrid president told ON Time Sports: “He is a great player and a goalscorer. He helped Liverpool by giving his best, but I don’t think they will let him go.
“It is expected that, if they were to think about it, they would only let him go for a lot of money.
“Salah is wanted, of course, by Real Madrid, but Liverpool would ask for a lot of money and, if that deal were to be completed, it would be crucial.
“Salah is a great player with fantastic potential, and any club wishes to acquire such talents, but for Real Madrid I do not think they have the financial means to sign Salah.”
Why do Madrid want Salah?
Madrid have struggled to replicate the success of Zinedine Zidane's first spell in charge since Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus in the summer of 2018.
Ronaldo became the Blancos' all-time record scorer during his nine-year spell in the Spanish capital and played a key role in their run to three successive Champions League crowns under Zidane.
Madrid have since failed to make it beyond the quarter-finals of the competition and, although Zidane has delivered a La Liga title during his second stint in charge, they are still a shadow of the side that dominated in Europe over the last decade.
Salah would provide much-needed extra firepower alongside Karim Benzema, who recently turned 33, and he could also help to bring the best out of struggling winger Eden Hazard.
Hazard played with Salah at Chelsea between 2014 and 2016, and they could line up on opposite flanks if Madrid were to succeed in bringing the Liverpool star to the Bernabeu.
How has Salah performed for Liverpool this term?
Despite the ongoing speculation surrounding his future, Salah has been as prolific as ever for the Reds during a turbulent 2020-21 campaign.
The 28-year-old has hit 24 goals in 36 matches to date, including 17 in the Premier League as he chases down a third Golden Boot.
Liverpool have fallen out of the title race amid a defensive injury crisis, but Salah remains one of the most deadly strikers in Europe and will be crucial to their chances of salvaging a top-four finish come May.