Liverpool’s season starts on August 14 away at Newcastle, and there are fears their star forward will not be fit to play in the opener should Egypt go far in Japan – with the competition set to run from July 21 to August 7.
The Reds will also be concerned they could lose their top marksman in January for the African Cup of Nations, and Ahmed Megahed admits it will be ‘difficult’ to get the club’s blessing and allow Salah to depart this summer.
He refused to rule out the possibility of Salah linking up with Egypt but revealed Liverpool had already turned down their advances when initially requesting to name the player in their squad.
‘I do not want to say that it is impossible for Salah to participate in the Olympics, but it is difficult,’ he told ONTimeSport.
‘Salah agreed to lead the Olympic team during the last camp of the Egyptian team.
‘We contacted Liverpool to allow Salah to join the Olympic team, and they said they were waiting for the approval of the technical staff, but in the end, Liverpool refused the request because they do not want to lose the player at the beginning of the season, as well as next January with the Africa Cup of Nations, which will keep him from participating in the English Premier League matches.’
Having held further talks with Salah to get the matter resolved, Megahed is confident their star forward will ‘find a way’ to convince Liverpool to let him participate with the country desperate to have a player of his quality on board.
‘We spoke with Salah again, and he told us that he will make a new attempt with the technical staff of his team, to resolve the matter, and within the next two days he will find a way,’ he added.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be uneasy about the possibility of losing Salah – his top scorer last season with 31 goals – and knows he will be unavailable for most of pre-season if he leaves to play for Egypt.
The Reds endured a turbulent campaign last season – surrendering their Premier League crown to Manchester City and suffering a torrid spell of form that saw them plummet down the table, before rallying to secure a top four finish.
Klopp also saw the injuries stack up, losing key players such as centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for long spells, and he will be concerned at the prospect of Salah returning unfit as he bids to get the team back in the title mix.
Salah, who captains Egypt, has picked up 70 caps for his national side – scoring 45 times. The 29-year-old has been named African Footballer of the Year twice and will be hoping for success on the international stage this summer, having been runner up at the AFCON in 2017.
The former Roma and Chelsea star has been linked with a move away from Anfield in recent months. In March, he told Spanish outlet Marca that he could be open to a Real Madrid or Barcelona transfer in the future.
‘I hope to be able to play for many more years. Why not?’ He said when asked if he wanted to play in Spain.
‘No one knows what’s going to happen in the future, so … maybe one day, yes.
‘I hope to be doing the same thing that I’ve been doing in recent years. Winning trophies, scoring goals, helping my team win trophies.’
EDITED FROM: dailymail.co.uk