Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said “no decision” has been made on whether Mohamed Salah will participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Each competing nation is permitted three players in their squad over the age of 23, and national icon Salah, 27, has been touted as a potential contender to try put Egypt on the podium.
The men’s tournament in Tokyo is scheduled to begin on Thursday, July 23 will end on Saturday, August 8, the same date the 2020-21 Premier League campaign is due to start.
Klopp spoke at a press conference on Friday and admitted that while he doesn’t want to lose the services of one of his best players, more information is required before a decision is made, per Paul Gorst of the Liverpool Echo:
"No decision. Like always, it is clear, do I want to lose him? Of course not. We have to consider different things. I will speak with Mo and we are clear what we want. We need more info and no one has contacted us so far.”
Egypt’s Olympic coach, Shawky Gharib, has included star winger Salah on a provisional 50-man squad for the competition, but he told Reuters it will be up to the player and Liverpool as to whether he competes.
The Pharaohs have qualified for the men’s football tournament at the Summer Olympics for the 12th time, almost twice as many participations as any other African nation (Nigeria and Morocco have each appeared in seven).
Egypt have finished fourth on two occasions (1928, ’64) and have never managed to win an Olympic medal, but Salah’s presence in the squad could stir the belief that record will change in 2020.
Liverpool are currently 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League and could begin next season as title defenders, with Salah an essential cog for both club and country.