Mohamed Salah update means first transfer decision could be biggest for Liverpool's new power structure

For a new-look chain of command at Liverpool, one of their first tasks might prove to be their biggest in the form of Mohamed Salah.

Heading into the final 12 months of the biggest contract of all time on Merseyside, the Egyptian has seen his future come into question since Saturday afternoon onwards after his now well-publicised touchline spat with Jurgen Klopp, which came before he told reporters at West Ham's London Stadium that "there would be fire" if he was to go on the record about the fallout.

A storm in a teacup, perhaps, but the scenes jarred given such disagreements are rarely played out in public at Liverpool as they were on Saturday lunchtime. As always when such issues arise, they are framed around results and had the Reds been pushing full steam ahead with a Premier League title bid, rather than seeing it disintegrate further in the capital, the analysis would have centred around two winners simply demanding the best of each other.

READ MORE: Mohamed Salah can say what he wants - but Jurgen Klopp will have had him in his office Monday morning

READ MORE: Liverpool civil war breaks out during month from hell

Klopp and Salah's respect for each is absolute and while it could be claimed with justification that the forward was out of line with his angry gesticulating towards his manager, any lingering issues will be resolved when the Reds' players reconvene after three days off on Wednesday at the AXA Training Centre.

Klopp will no doubt be asked about it all at his Friday press conference but that will present the boss with a chance to put the storyline to bed once and for all and for the player, a strong end to the campaign will aid that.

What happens beyond that is the source of much intrigue but Liverpool are insistent they are planning for life with Salah as part of the pack for next season. By then, though, the Egypt star will be into the final year of his eye-watering deal worth around £350,000 a week and FSG's 'CEO of football' Michael Edwards will have a huge decision to make alongside sporting director Richard Hughes and Arne Slot, whose anticipated replacing of Klopp will see him inherit the title of 'head coach'.

Salah, despite the interest from Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad last summer, has given the club no indication he wants to up sticks as things stand and the party line is that Slot's Liverpool will be able to call upon a player who has scored 210 times since his move from Roma in 2017.

It was reported on Monday that Hughes will lead talks on a new contract for Salah, who is represented by the Colombian lawyer Ramy Abbas and it will be fascinating to see how those talks progress in the coming months.

With all indicators pointing towards the Reds keeping Salah at the club, a new deal is the logical next step given he will be able to leave on a free transfer in the summer of 2025. Liverpool have made a habit of allowing key players to depart on frees at the end of their terms but Salah's standing and importance, with respect, exceeds the likes of of Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner, Emre Can, Naby Keita or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. A departure without a transfer fee is unthinkable and surely the worst-case scenario for Liverpool, its new power axis and their owners, FSG, who continue to run the club under the strictly self-sustainable model.

So if a sale is being ruled out at this stage, then the progress on new terms will need to be swift to avoid the sort of speculation that never veered too far away from the headlines back in early months of 2022. For Slot, as head coach, it will be a no-brainer to keep one of the world's most consistent goalscorers in the squad, while the chance to test himself once more in the Champions League will appeal to Salah.

The handshakes on the contract agreed and signed on the Greek island of Mykonos in late June of 2022 came in the belief that Salah could continue posting the sorts of numbers he had done prior when well into his 30s. It was faith and trust that has been vindicated with Salah having registered 54 goals in that period since, but the question now is if a player who turns 32 in June can continue earning the sorts of sums that have made him comfortably the most well remunerated player in Anfield history as he creeps closer towards his mid-30s?

Edwards, famously, is known to take the emotion out of situations such as these, trusting the data to guide him to the right decision. That will be tough to do that with Salah given his otherworldly contributions but if a new deal is agreed at some stage, it will be because there is a belief in what can do going forward and not what he has achieved previously.