Liverpool legend John Aldridge admits Mohamed Salah’s new contract announcement took him by surprise.
Aldridge wrote for the Sunday World: “The moment he signed his new contract on Friday, Mohamed Salah elevated himself to a whole new level among the ranks of Liverpool legends.
“I have to admit I didn’t see this news coming, as it seemed that Salah was intent on running down his contract and getting a lucrative free transfer away from Liverpool next summer.
“Then, from nowhere, the announcement came on Friday afternoon that he was staying and it might just be the signing of the summer.
“To replace a player of Salah’s quality, Liverpool would have been looking at an investment of in excess of £100milli on when you include wages and transfer fees.
“This is why I was of the opinion that the club would have been wise to hand the Egyptian a huge ‘signing on fee’ to stay at Liverpool and then give him the pay rise he is due.
“It might seem obscene to hand a player £30million to stay at a club, but if it’s going to cost more than three times that amount to replace him, then it makes good business sense.
“Erling Haaland is certain to be on £500,000-a-week at Manchester City, so Salah had every right to ask for the same amount to stay at Liverpool.
“In addition, signing Salah to a new contract means the club could sell him for a huge fee if he decided he wanted to leave in a couple of years, so they are protecting the value of a huge asset.
“Whatever deal both parties have signed up for, this is great news for Liverpool and the fans who love Salah.”