Liverpool continue to negotiate with Roma over a fee for Mohamed Salah, with the Serie A club insisting they will only part with the forward on their terms.
An opening bid of £28 million from the Reds for the 24-year-old was promptly rejected, with a figure closer to £40m more in line with Roma sporting director Monchi’s valuation.
The Giallorossi have publicly taken a strong stance on the matter, however, they are in the position of having to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations by the end of the month.
This necessitates the sale of one of their key assets, while new manager Eusebio Di Francesco is also intent on tattooing his mark on the squad with incomings.
Roma’s plan had initially been to let Greek defender Kostas Manolas leave the Stadio Olimpico, with Inter having agreed personal terms with the 26-year-old, but he is now expected to commit his future to the club by signing an improved contract.
Antonio Rüdiger was reported to be close to a £27m switch to the Nerazzurri, but Monchi has insisted there “is zero possibility” the German centre-back will be sold.
Conversely, there was not such a hard-line approach with regards to Salah, who wants to move to Anfield.
“There is interest from an English club and an offer for Salah, but Roma decides the price,” Monchi responded when asked about the Egypt international’s potential transfer.
“We will decide, if this offer [at the price we set] arrives, whether to sell him or not.”
With Liverpool currently the only suitors for Salah, odds being slashed on his chances of lining up under Jurgen Klopp given his desire to do so, Roma’s FFP situation, and Di Francesco having designs on a reunion with his Sassuolo protege Domenico Berardi, the Reds may feel they have the stronger hand.
There will be a determination to reach an agreement that suits all parties soon, though, with the Merseysiders having already missed out on the explosive forward in January 2014.
Liverpool had opened talks with Basel in October the previous year, with a few offers batted away before Chelsea bulldozed in to pay the asking price and make a personal pitch to Salah through Jose Mourinho.
His £11m switch to Stamford Bridge ultimately proved unsuccessful before loan spells followed at Fiorentina and Roma, the latter making the transfer permanent last August.
Salah proved a revelation in their attack, contributing 19 goals and 12 assists across all competitions last season.
With Klopp wanting to add another intelligent, fluid and formidable player to his front-line, Liverpool will not want to miss out on the Egyptian again.