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Why Jurgen Klopp signing a new contract is just brilliant for Liverpool

If Salah does head off this summer he will be leaving success and a special boss behind him

John Aldridge

LIVERPOOL have been waiting all season to get their star performer to sign a new contract - but they went one better last Thursday.

Mohamed Salah's contract wrangle has been going on for far too long now and as we get to the point where a decision has to be made, he might well be leaving the club this summer.

That would obviously be a massive blow, but it has already been softened by Liverpool's latest contract extension.

As news broke that manager Jurgen Klopp has signed a two-year extension to stay at Liverpool until 2026, Salah had to be given something extra to think about.

If money is the driving force of the Egyptian right now, he might not get what he wants from a club that are determined to maintain control of their wage structure.

Yet Salah and his agent would be wise to consider what Klopp's decision to extend his stay at Liverpool means.

Make no mistake, getting this magnificent manager to stay at Anfield is the best piece of business the club could have done, as Klopp is more important to this Liverpool success story than Salah or any of his team-mates.

As we saw in the 1-0 win at Newcastle yesterday, Liverpool could afford to leave Salah on the bench and still find a way to win a tough away game.

That's all down to Klopp's brilliant organisation, his ability to keep his back-up players hungry and a winning mentality that has been instilled in the club since he arrived in 2016.

No English team has ever come as close as Liverpool to winning a quadruple of the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup in the same season, with all four trophies still in their sights as the clock ticks into May today.

So if Salah wants to walk away from a side that is destined to enjoy success for years to come in pursuit of a pay rise, then he will be gone this summer.

With Klopp and his coaching staff in place, losing a place of Salah's undoubted quality doesn't seem quite so frightening as history tells us a replacement will be found to take his place.

Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota have been added to the Liverpool forward line and they have proved to be great signings.

So if Salah leaves for £100million this summer, I'd expect Klopp to be given all that cash and more to sign a couple of high-quality replacements.

The manager would not have signed this contract extension unless he has been assured by the club that he will be given plenty of cash to spend and money will be needed to strengthen this summer.

When you look at the Liverpool bench at Newcastle yesterday, it highlighted what a powerful squad Klopp is now working with.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Ibrahima Konate and Salah were all in reserve at St James' Park, with the players who came into the team showing they were more than ready to do a job.

That's the reason why this Liverpool team are so formidable and if Salah does leave, I'd be confident the management in place at the club will fill that massive void.

There are also contract issues looming for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, but everyone at Liverpool can be replaced so long as Klopp is steering the ship.

Announcing his contract extension when they did was a masterstroke as it gives Liverpool a massive boost ahead of this crucial month.

The FA Cup final and hopefully a Champions League final beckon in the next few weeks and I feel this team have a few more gears to crank through for those massive matches.

The performance of Newcastle yesterday was similar to a lot of matches we have seen in the last few weeks.

Chances came and went, Liverpool were not clinical enough in front of goal and they still found a way to win.

The nerves were there in the closing stages because Salah, Diaz and Mane missed huge chances to get the second goal that would have killed off Newcastle.

The concern must be that Liverpool will not get away with slackness in front of goal in the FA Cup final against Chelsea or a possible Champions League final against Manchester City or Real Madrid.

This has been a concern for some time now and one of the reasons why an out-and-out goal scorer could add an extra dimension to this brilliant team.

Yet with Virgil van Dijk at the back, Liverpool have a defence capable of winning matches with one goal and we saw that again yesterday.

The introduction of VAR has really helped Liverpool use the high defensive line and the off-side tactic, as it would be too risky to use it if they were relying on assistant referees to put their flag up.

Manchester City tested that defensive line in the match at the Etihad Stadium last month, but VAR came to Liverpool's rescue when Raheem Sterling thought he had scored.

Klopp has built a slick winning machine and while I believe they will come up short in a Premier League title race that is in Manchester City's hands, a cup treble is now very much within reach.

And even if Liverpool falter in one of those competitions, the great news for all fans of the club is the success of the last few years is almost certain to continue.

Salah, Mane and the rest may not be here for the long haul, but the best manager in world football is staying at Liverpool for another four years and that's better than any signing they might announce this summer.

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