Liverpool face £15.6m-per-year transfer headache ahead of Mohamed Salah showdown talks

Liverpool could be heading for a tense discussion with Mohamed Salah this summer if they proceed with their plans to sign La Liga sensation Nico Williams. The 21-year-old winger, who had an outstanding season with Athletic Bilbao and further boosted his reputation with his performances for Spain at Euro 2024, is now being strongly linked with a move to Anfield.

New Liverpool boss Arne Slot is reportedly keen to make a splash with a high-profile signing as he takes the reins at the club.

Slot may have a battle on his hands to keep Luis Diaz at Liverpool, with rumours swirling that the Colombian is set to make a move to Barcelona. Williams is seen as the perfect replacement, especially after negotiations with Newcastle over Anthony Gordon fell through.

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Spanish media reports suggest that the Premier League giants are prepared to meet Bilbao's asking price to trigger the release clause for their star player. While the Basque side has not publicly disclosed the amount of the clause, it is believed to be around £45million.

However, it's also reported that the Osasuna academy graduate is demanding a weekly wage of £300,000. This would place him just behind Salah in the ranking of Liverpool's top earners, with the Egyptian international currently earning close to £350,000 per week, reports the Express.

Salah, 32, signed his current contract back in the summer of 2022 after protracted negotiations. Now, there could be a clash on the horizon if Williams joins Liverpool on the terms he's seeking.

The future of Salah continues to be a hot topic, with chiefs from the Saudi Pro League likely to make another move for him during the summer transfer window. With only 12 months remaining on his contract, Slot and his team must decide whether to sell now or risk losing him for free in a year's time.

However, as the club's top Premier League scorer, Salah could well demand a better deal, which could result in the club having to negotiate a higher wage bill if he is to play alongside Williams. Given his age, such a deal would pose a long-term risk.

Last summer, Al Ittihad unsettled Liverpool by making a late £150m bid for Salah during the transfer window, which was promptly rejected by the club. They may not receive the same amount this time, but they should prepare for more offers before the start of the 2024/25 season.

Salah's future became even more uncertain towards the end of last season when he had a disagreement with Jurgen Klopp during the 2-2 draw at West Ham. The two had a heated exchange on the touchline while Salah was waiting to go on, apparently over how quickly Salah had responded to being called by the manager.

Salah has also been vague about his transfer plans, not ruling out a move elsewhere. However, after Klopp's final home win over Wolves, Salah did assert that he is focused on his future at Anfield.