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Egypt coach makes Olympic pledge over Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

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Mohamed Salah (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool have been handed an encouraging piece of news by the Egyptian FA, who say that they will not call Mohamed Salah up to the 2021 Olympics without his club’s permission.

Salah faces an extremely busy schedule next year with the postponed Olympics and Africa Cup of Nations coming up.

The Olympics is set to run from 23 July – 8 August 2021 and Egypt are keen to call Salah up as one of their over-23 selections.

While that would not impact the 2021/22 Premier League season in terms of fixtures, it would certainly disturb Salah’s preparation for the campaign.

The Africa Cup of Nations will be even more of a concern for Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff as that is now set to take place in January 2022, although dates have not yet been confirmed.

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The 28-year-old, along with Liverpool’s other African stars, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, would certainly be called up for that competition if their countries qualifiy.

However, the Reds have been offered some hope that Salah will not be entirely burned out, with Egypt’s Under-23 coach, Shawky Gharieb, saying that they will only call him up with permission from his club.

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‘We will speak with Liverpool in March,’ Gharieb told MBC Maser. ‘We haven’t discussed the issue [a potential Olympic call-up] with the player yet.

‘The problem is that the African Cup of Nations will be played a few months after the Olympics, but the latter will end and the Premier League will start three days after.

‘But we can’t call up Salah unless Liverpool approve.’

Gharieb has spoken before of his desire to call-up Salah, though, telling Ahram Online: ‘Salah is a world class player and I hope that he will be able to play with us in the Olympics. When you have such a player in your team, the objectives of the team would be different.

‘Brazil won the gold medal in Rio De Janeiro thanks to Neymar who led the Brazilian team in this competition.’

Klopp is keen to have Salah at his disposal as much as possible (Picture: Getty Images)

Klopp would obviously prefer one of his star players not to be jetting off to Japan and competing all summer, but he also recognises that it is a huge opportunity for Salah and he is unlikely to stand in his way if he wants to join his international teammates.

‘Do I want to lose a player in the pre-season? No. Of course not,’ said the German boss. ‘But we have to consider different things. I will speak with Mo and all that stuff.

‘We are completely clear about what we want, but we need more information – how will it look, when will the preparation start, all that stuff, and nobody has really contacted us so far, it’s just in the media.

‘But come on, it’s the Olympic Games, I’m still a sports person, the Olympics is the Olympics, but we have to see.’

Salah returned from Egypt on Friday having tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty in the latest break.

He is set to miss Sunday’s Premier League clash with Leicester as a result.

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