Mohamed Salah has said that he would love to remain at Liverpool for the rest of his career, but added that his future remains out of his hands.
The Egypt international, arguably in the form of his career for Jurgen Klopp, will see his current contract at Anfield expire in June 2023, and is yet to pen an extension.
But while the Reds continue to mull over a prospective package for the striker, Salah has now put the ball in their court by stating that cannot see himself playing against the club in the future.
What has been said?
"If you ask me, I would love to stay until the last day of my football career, but I can't say much about that - it's not in my hands," the forward told Sky Sports News .
"It depends on what the club want, not on me. At the moment I can't see myself ever playing against Liverpool. That would make me sad.
"It's hard, I don't want to talk about it, but it would make me really sad. At the moment I don't see myself playing against Liverpool but let's see what will happen in the future."
The correspondent's view
Goal's Liverpool correspondent Neil Jones reacted to Salah's interview, saying the pressure is now on the club's owners to keep the Egyptian.
Over to you then, Fenway Sports Group. Mohamed Salah has just ensured that the pressure on Liverpool’s owners will be ramped up in the coming days and months.
And rightly so. ‘Sign him up’ has been the message from supporters for weeks, as Salah’s Anfield contract edges towards its final 18 months. Now the man himself has put the ball firmly in the club’s court.
The Egyptian, we know, wants a deal which would make him the highest-paid player in Liverpool’s history, but with each masterful performance he delivers, each magnificent goal he scores, the argument becomes stronger.
Give him what he wants, or risk losing one of the club’s best ever players. Salah’s form this season is as good as it has ever been.
He has now publicly stated that he wants to stay on Merseyside, and while Liverpool are understandably wary about breaking their wage structure, his influence on Jurgen Klopp’s team, his status in the game and the potential cost of replacing the 29-year-old, must all be factored into any decision.
In short, can Liverpool afford NOT to give their star man a new deal? Special players demand special treatment, and Mohamed Salah is certainly one of those.
The time to act is now.
The bigger picture
Salah will look to once more rise to the occasion when he leads Liverpool's attack against Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Egypt star has scored 12 goals in 11 games so far this season, netting in all but one of his eight Premier League games in 2021-22.