MOHAMED SALAH could be set to miss the start of next season after Egypt confirmed their plan to call-up the Liverpool star for the 2020 Olympics.
The country’s Under-23s boss Shawky Gharib has said that the 27-year-old would be named as one of the three senior stars for the Tokyo event.
The football tournament at the Olympics will run from July 22 to August 8, the same day as the 2020-21 Premier League is scheduled to kick off.
Gharib told Egyptian broadcaster ON Sport: “Out of the three senior players we’ll call-up, Salah is the only one we’re settled on so far because he’s simply one of the top three players in the world.
“I haven’t talked to Salah at all about him joining the U23 squad for the Olympics, but in all honesty, his participation in the Olympics will need a little effort from him as well.”
Salah’s agent Ramy Abbas Issa later took to Twitter to insist that “no decision has been made yet”, but news of his potential involvement will come as a massive blow to Jurgen Klopp.
The German previously said: “No decision made yet. What I have to say to him I will say it to Mo [Salah], so that is all.
“Neither side has made a decision. I wish we could have whole squad together for pre-season but that is not possible for different reasons.
“Olympics is a wonderful thing but it would not be too cool. No decision made yet.”
Following the news that the Africa Cup of Nations moving back to the winter months for 2021, Salah’s inclusion in both tournaments would see him miss a large chunk of the Reds’ domestic and European campaign.
Klopp, who dubbed that situation a “catastrophe”, is also set to be without Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Guinea international Naby Keita during that period.
Egypt boss Gharib is expected to finalise his squad for the Olympics in June.