Mohamed Salah and his agent Ramy Abbas Issa may have dropped hints about the forward’s Liverpool future in the 4-2 Premier League win over Manchester United on Thursday night.
The Reds secured their first Old Trafford triumph in seven years with two goals in either half helping them to a crucial win in their chase for Champions League qualification.
Diogo Jota cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’ opener before a Roberto Firmino brace, with strikes either side of the break, gave Liverpool a two-goal cushion.
While Marcus Rashford threatened the Merseyside outfit’s prospects of victory when he made it 3-2, Salah stole away on the counter-attack for a killer fourth goal at the death.
The Egyptian’s finish beyond Dean Henderson into the far corner was his 30th goal of the season across all competitions and his 21st in the Premier League.
That puts him level with Tottenham striker Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race and there was the added bonus of him wearing the captain’s armband as he scored.
Salah was upset earlier in the season that Trent Alexander-Arnold – who skippered the side after Salah went off late on – was handed the armband over him in a Champions League dead rubber against Midtjylland.
DON’T MISS: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has big call justified in Man Utd win
And his emotions were obvious once he made it 4-2 for Liverpool in Manchester as he sunk to his knees to toast an unforgettable victory, letting out a triumphant roar.
Abbas Issa, the player’s representative, tweeted shortly after: “My celebration of that goal wasn’t that different than Mohamed’s.”
Salah’s goal means Liverpool sit four points off of fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, though the Blues face third-placed Leicester in their next league match, with both teams catchable for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
That fixture, which guarantees at least one of the two teams dropping points, means should the Reds win all of their final three games against West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace, they stand an excellent chance of securing fourth spot.
And the unified reaction of Salah and Abbas Issa hints that despite rumours the Egypt international might be on his way out of Liverpool this summer, perhaps he’s staying after all.
Of course, there are a multitude of reasons Salah will have been delighted to have found the net, not least sealing a win over Liverpool’s biggest rivals.
Salah has made it clear he loves chasing individual records and so hitting the 30-goal mark again will have meant a lot to him, as will tying Kane as he bids to end as the Premier League’s highest scorer again.
There are other less important but still notable reasons too. It was a big win for Liverpool’s top-four chances, and qualifying for the competition of course nets the players a nice financial bonus each.
Plus there’s the again-more-important fact that he is a relentless competitor and loves to win.
As well as that, a late goal away at United for such a big victory keeps Salah’s profile high, with it clear he wants to be regarded as one of the very best in the world – and the numbers speak for themselves during his time at Anfield.
Yet there is one main reason why Salah and his agent would be so delighted by his goal and the three points.
That is because it gives Liverpool such a good chance of having Champions League football to play next term, and if Salah wants to stay, he will obviously want to play in UEFA’s premier competition rather than the lesser Europa League.
MORE LIVERPOOL NEWS…
Liverpool sweat on Wijnaldum transfer amid Koeman’s Barca uncertainty
Steven Gerrard should swap Rangers for Newcastle this summer – SQUIRES
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has West Brom fear after Man Utd win
He may have flirted with Real Madrid and Barcelona in the press earlier this season but clearly Salah is still happy playing his stuff under Klopp, provided the team continue to compete. They haven’t done this season of course, albeit in unusual circumstances.
A top-four finish would allow Liverpool to wipe the slate of this season clean and start fresh next term once injured players such as Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson return.
Staying in the Champions League would be huge for Liverpool in many ways, not just because of how much easier it would make keeping Salah, although they still must decide whether to hand the 28-year-old – who is 29 in June – a big-money contract extension to his current deal which expires in 2023.
And clearly the forward agrees about the importance of the competition.
Salah’s goal at United in addition to being his 30th of the season was his 124th overall for Liverpool in what was his 200th appearance for the club.
Only Roger Hunt (133) and Gordon Hodgson (125) have outscored Salah in their first 200 matches for the club, with the African also having laid on 42 assists in that time.
At his current goalscoring rate, should he play as many times for Liverpool as Hunt did (416 appearances) then he will end on 258 goals which would make him the third-highest scorer in the club’s history. He’d love to add plenty more Champions League goals to his Anfield tally.