Cristiano Ronaldo theory shared as Mohamed Salah's Liverpool future becomes clearer

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the  International Friendly match between Egypt  v Portugal  at the Letzigrund Stadium on March 23, 2018 in Zurich Switzerland.
A 'Cristiano Ronaldo' theory about Mohamed Salah now looks less likely as the Liverpool star's future becomes clearer. -Credit:Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo more than once. Both are obviously among the best footballers of a generation, but it's quite possibly their incredible physiques as much as anything else that sees them grouped together.

After all, from a sporting standpoint, Salah probably has more in common with Lionel Messi. The Liverpool forward is a left-footer who relies on his technique above all else, and he is undergoing the same journey from goal-scoring winger to playmaker-in-chief.

Nevertheless, fate has conspired to tie him more closely to Ronaldo. Many have speculated that he could follow the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star to Saudi Arabia, for instance.

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For its part, Liverpool is not expecting to lose Salah this summer. According to The Athletic, there has been no indication that he wants to leave, while Saudi Arabia's recruitment is expected to be less 'aggressive' after last summer's drive. If he is to join Ronaldo, it might be more likely on a free transfer in 2025, although the Reds do plan to open talks over a new contract.

That brings some welcome clarity over Salah's immediate future. Speculation had briefly ramped up following his flashpoint with Jürgen Klopp, with Piers Morgan jokingly suggesting it might be time for an interview — a reference to the explosive Ronaldo exclusive that effectively saw him quit Manchester United.

Yet it was a moment earlier in Ronaldo's career that Graeme Souness picked out when theorizing over Salah's future. He harked back to the first time the Portugal ace left Old Trafford and suggested Salah might have had a similar unwritten agreement with Liverpool.

"I think there is a real chance [Salah leaves in the summer]", Souness told talkSPORT. "There's every chance that he's done a deal with Liverpool at the end of last season — the summer last year.

"'Oh there's interest from Saudi Arabia' — but he's given them an extra year. It's like [Cristiano] Ronaldo at Manchester United, he gave them another year and then went off to Real Madrid [in 2009]. I think there's every possibility that is the case."

Given the latest update, this Salah theory looks unlikely. Ultimately, the only relevant 'deal' that has been done is the contract the Egyptian signed back in 2022, which committed him to Anfield until 2025. Though Liverpool may be reluctant to risk losing him on a free transfer, the club ultimately holds the cards in terms of whether or not the 31-year-old stays put this summer. says: If major Saudi interest materialized this summer, you do still wonder whether Salah might follow Ronaldo. Liverpool was spared a major dilemma last time around because of how late the bid came in, but if a handsome offer arrived early, the conversation would surely have to happen.

But again, it's the point of comparison to Messi that could prove more salient. Salah has not been good enough in front of goal recently, but he has the credentials to become Liverpool's creative hub, potentially for years to come. It would be rash to usher him towards the exit door after a couple of bad months, when before his injury he was probably the team's key player, and not for the first time.

That being said, it does mean Arne Slot misses out on a fresh start of sorts. He looks set to inherit the same game-time dilemmas that Klopp has faced in recent weeks, with the decisions over when and how to play Salah subject to intense scrutiny.