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'Salah just behind Messi & Ronaldo' - Liverpool told how to keep star forward from Real Madrid & Barcelona

15:10 GMT+3 28/04/2019
Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2018-19
Former Reds star Luis Garcia believes major silverware at Anfield would make it easier to convince an Egyptian that he should be staying put

Mohamed Salah sits just behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the global pecking order, says Luis Garcia, but Liverpool need trophies in order to keep him from Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The Egyptian forward is enjoying another stunning season at Anfield, with 25 goals added to the 44 he managed across all competitions in 2017-18.

His efforts have helped to keep Jurgen Klopp’s side in the hunt for Premier League and Champions League crowns, and himself in the race for another Golden Boot.

Salah’s efforts are attracting unwelcome interest from afar, though, with talk of a potential switch to Spain never far away for a man who has seen his value soar across two years on Merseyside.

He is tied to a long-term contract and offered no indication that he is looking for a move, but Garcia admits that major silverware would aid the Reds’ cause considerably.

A member of the club’s 2005 Champions League-winning squad told the Daily Mirror: “If Liverpool win trophies then I think it will be much easier for the club to keep Mo Salah.

“We know that Barcelona and Real Madrid will be in the market for the best players in the summer.

“And if you talk about the best players in the world right now then Mo Salah must be included.

“I have seen the talk that Barca and Madrid are interested in him and we have seen in the past with [Luis] Suarez and [Philippe] Coutinho how difficult it is for players to say ‘no’ when they get the chance to sign for one of those clubs.

“At this moment, though, I think Liverpool are a different club than what they were.

“Last year they reached the Champions League final. This time they are challenging for the Premier League and the Champions League.

“They are now a club with the potential to win the big trophies.”

Garcia added on a familiar fight to keep star turns at Anfield: “If Barcelona or Real Madrid come you will be flattered. They are probably the only two teams that a Liverpool player would think about signing for.

“As a player you want to win trophies. If you sign for Real Madrid or Barcelona you know you are going to win trophies.

“At this moment, Liverpool are also a club that gives you the chance to win trophies - and they will now want to take that final step.

“There is no doubt that Salah would be a star at Real Madrid or Barcelona because he has such fantastic quality.

“I have heard people compare him to Messi. For me, that is a little too much, but he does have that speed and skill and he could perform for any team in the world.

“In my opinion, he is just behind Messi and Ronaldo – at the same level as [Eden] Hazard and [Raheem] Sterling.”

Salah was back among the goals on his most recent outing, with a brace against Huddersfield helping Liverpool to a 5-0 win which has carried them to the top of the Premier League table.

They could be knocked from that perch on Sunday when Manchester City take in a meeting with Burnley, with the Reds now having just two domestic games left on their 2018-19 schedule.