Jurgen Klopp makes Mohamed Salah and Lionel Messi claim amid Liverpool contract talks

By Paul Gorst

Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah's conditioning will enable him to play well into his 30s as the Liverpool boss compared the forward to Lionel Messi.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi made the shock move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and is expected to once again star in this season's Champions League at the age of 34.

With Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also poised to be leading men for their clubs at the respective ages of 33, 36 and 39 this term, Klopp was asked if he feels Salah is cut from the same cloth as the enduring quartet.

And the Liverpool boss, who will lead his side out against AC Milan on Wednesday night at Anfield, backed the 29-year-old Salah to follow in their footsteps as he compared the Egyptian to PSG superstar Messi.

Salah will be around 31 by the time his current contract ends in June 2023, but the club are keen to tie the forward down to improved terms that would take him well into his mid-30s at Anfield.

Talks are believed to be ongoing and Liverpool are relaxed over the situation with Klopp confident his top-scorer can perform for many more years at the elite level.

"I've never spoken to Mo about how long he wants to play, but he has all the things you need to do that," Klopp said.

"He is more physically the type of Lionel Messi, obviously, similar height and weight, probably, so all these guys need to be lucky with the injuries.

"They were not without injuries but they could always come back from that without any further harm. That is very important.

"You need to be very lucky but Mo has all the things you need and I am pretty sure the way he sees football, he wants to be a part of the game for as long as he can, somehow.

"And there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to do that. It is about attitude, obviously, you want it.

"I am pretty sure a couple of players finished their careers because they couldn't be that motivated, they say 'I want this or I want that but I am not the same as I was a few years ago'. That is why people finish their careers.

"I can't see that with Mo, I am pretty sure Mo wants to squeeze each day out of his career as well, yes."

Salah is expected to start against the Rossoneri at Anfield after registering his third goal of the campaign and his 100th in the Premier League in the 3-0 win at Leeds United on Sunday.


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