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‘Salah not wrong for leaving Barcelona and Real Madrid options open’ – Liverpool star doesn’t deserve ‘stick’, says Murphy

The former Anfield favourite thinks the Egyptian should not be judged for his recent comments to Spanish media

Mohamed Salah is not wrong for leaving his options open amid Barcelona and Real Madrid transfer rumours according to Danny Murphy, who insists the Liverpool star doesn’t deserve any “stick” from supporters.

Speculation over Salah’s future at Anfield has been raging in recent weeks.

Goal reported Liverpool will offer the Egyptian the chance to extend his stay on Merseyside beyond 2023, but it has been suggested that the Egyptian will shun an extension to take up a new challenge in Spain.

Barca and Madrid have both been strongly linked with the 28-year-old, who passed up the chance to declare his loyalty to the Reds when quizzed on the Spanish duo’s interest earlier this month.

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“I think Madrid and Barcelona are two top clubs,” Salah told AS. “Who knows what will happen in the future.”

The prolific forward has scored 110 goals in 173 games for Liverpool since joining the club for €42 million (£38m/$51m) from Roma three-and-a-half years ago, including 16 in the first half of the 2020-21 season.

Murphy thinks supporters should focus on his outstanding contribution to Jurgen Klopp’s side rather than his comments in the media, with his decision to leave the door open to a future transfer “normal” in the modern era.

“Salah should receive a great reception from the 2,000 fans inside Anfield for Sunday’s game at West Brom“, Murphy told the Daily Mail. “If anyone gives him stick because of an interview he gave to Spanish media, they are out of order.

“All Salah did was fail to commit the rest of his career to Liverpool or close the door completely on a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid. As a fan, you’d want him to nail his colours to the mast and shoot down any transfer speculation immediately but if you think about it from Salah’s point of view, it is understandable.

“He didn’t grow up in England, his family may want to live in a warmer climate or different culture. I’d have played forever at Liverpool if I’d been a guaranteed pick like Salah, but these days it’s normal for players to leave themselves options.

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“I always think it is best to judge players by their workrate and performances on the pitch and you cannot fault Salah this season or at any time since he joined the club. He is in brilliant goalscoring form and we should focus on that rather than what may or may not happen in the future.

“At the very earliest, Salah will leave in the summer, and even that is far from clear. So let’s enjoy him while we can and hope he continues his purple patch so that Liverpool can win the Premier League again and reclaim the Champions League.”

Salah also expressed disappointment over not being given the captain’s armband for the Champions League group stage dead-rubber against Midtjylland on December 9, which Klopp has admitted came as a surprise to him.

However, Murphy sees the Egypt international’s desire to lead as an example of his commitment to Liverpool’s cause, as he added: “It’s clear he doesn’t like being substituted and was cross that he was overlooked as captain for the last European game in Denmark. Good. For me, it shows someone who has pride and passion. It tells you someone who cares. I don’t see that as a fault.”

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