Amid his contract stand-off with Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has now been accused of issuing a "clear threat" to the club.
The Egyptian's future remains a hot topic as his push for a higher salary continues to be negotiated between his representatives and the club's hierarchy.
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In May, it was claimed that Liverpool's latest contract offer to Salah, who has one year left on his current deal, had effectively amounted to a 15% pay rise on his current terms, which the forward's camp felt undervalued the player.
Recent reports suggest that the two parties are still not on the same page when it comes to an agreeable salary increase, although the forward has confirmed he will still be at Anfield for the upcoming campaign.
While the 29-year-old's decision to stay next season was interpreted by some as the player showing his commitment to reaching an agreement, Liverpool cult hero Robbie Fowler believes Salah essentially issued a threat of sorts with that action.
"What salary does a player in the top three in the world command? He obviously believes it's more than what Liverpool are offering," the 47-year-old wrote in the Daily Mirror.
"But if my old club are running complex calculations, then so too is Salah – and it can never be a precise science.
"I think him saying, no matter what happens with his contract, that he'll be at Anfield next year was clearly a threat.
"His calculation is that if he gets to leave Liverpool next summer on a free, with his salary and with a big bonus because there’s no fee, he’ll get that level of wages.
"That can work, often does.
"But there's another calculation, which I'm inclined to believe Liverpool are currently running.
"Will he still be the same player next summer?
"Look, he's been one of the best in the world for a long time now.
"But since the turn of the year, he's been – by his standards – pretty average."
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