Liverpool defender Fabinho is confident that teammate Mohamed Salah is still happy at Anfield amid speculation that he could seek a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona in the future.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have long been seen as the ultimate clubs by many players, with that aura unaffected despite operating at a lower level this season. Salah himself even fuelled such gossip in December when he described the pair as ‘two top clubs’ and refused to rule anything out.
Last month a former Egypt international teammate, Mohamed Aboutrika, claimed Salah is ‘not happy’ at Liverpool, having personally spoken with him. He called the reasons ‘secrets’, although admitted that not being named captain for a Champions League game against Midtjylland was a factor.
Fabinho doesn’t see a problem, however, insisting Salah is still demanding the best of himself and working hard for Liverpool.
“Big players will always have their names involved in rumours. Salah plays for Liverpool, one of the biggest teams in the world. So I think it's normal to see his name linked to other teams, especially from different leagues,” the Brazilian told Sky Sports.
“I see him very happy here and pleased with his performances this season. He's very demanding with himself, he wants to be the best, he wants to help the team and works hard for it.
“It's always been the case and it hasn't changed at all. He keeps scoring goals, which everyone is used to seeing. In the changing room he's always talking to everyone and making jokes.
“I don't see anything affecting him. Overall, I am not following the news so I'm not sure about any rumours. As I said, top quality players will always be linked to big clubs.”
The 28-year-old is not actively looking to leave Anfield, nor is he unhappy, but there is an acceptance that he isn’t as close with manager Jurgen Klopp as some of Liverpool’s other players.
Salah’s representatives see the summer as a potential opportunity to move him on and have started to consider the options. One that could become available is a switch to Barcelona, where Lionel Messi is seriously considering his future and would leave an enormous void to fill.