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Mohamed Salah is reportedly not Real Madrid’s top target to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Spanish club still retains an interest in the Egypt international.
Italian source TuttoMercatoWeb (h/t James Benson of the Daily Express) reported Los Blancos will still consider Salah, who is valued at £133 million, if they cannot sign other targets.
One of those targets could be Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, who may be the subject of a bid worth £150 million from Real, according to Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail.
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Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have also been named as possible options, per James Robson of the Manchester Evening News. For their part, Los Merengues have denied interest in Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar twice in recent weeks, releasing an official statement to that effect on July 13.
If Real’s sights do set on Salah, signing him won’t be easy. Benson noted how the contract the 26-year-old attacker signed recently doesn’t contain a release clause.
There may not be a clause in the five-year deal Salah signed earlier this month, but it’s unlikely to deter Real if the Spanish giants are truly keen. They may well be after Ronaldo signed for Juventus on Tuesday.
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The move means Los Merengues have lost their all-time leading scorer, a forward whose goals powered the club to four UEFA Champions League trophies in the last five seasons. Ronaldo and Real lifted Europe’s top club trophy for the third year running when they beat Salah’s Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev back in May.
The game wasn’t without controversy after the Reds’ marquee forward left with a shoulder injury following a controversial challenge involving Real centre-back Sergio Ramos that left some angry:
101 Great Goals @101greatgoals
Why does Ramos have hold of Salah’s arm at this point????!!!
Real had already been keen on Salah beforehand, per the Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle, who noted the Spanish club had “been linked with Salah on an almost regular basis for the previous six months – and most intensely during the build-up to the Kiev showpiece.”
Yet Doyle also pointed out how “the Liverpool man hasn’t featured in the conversation for possible Ronaldo replacements.”
The landscape could change if Chelsea are determined to hold onto Hazard, and if Real stick with their stance on Neymar. Speculation may increase after Liverpool announced the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City, per BBC Sport.
Like Salah, Shaqiri is a versatile winger who can play on either flank, though the middle or behind the striker. He’s creative enough to be a provider and prolific enough to be a major goal threat in Liverpool’s high-pressing system.
Shaqiri may fill in for Salah if needed, but could also be tasked with replacing him, should the dynamic ace move on this summer. However, it’s unlikely the Reds would part company with a forward who accounted for 43 goals in his debut season at Anfield.