Mohamed Salah wants £500,000 per week to stay at Liverpool beyond 2023, according to reports.
The Egypt international is in the form of his life and has made a sensational start to the season.
His hat-trick in the 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United on Sunday means Salah has scored 15 goals in 12 appearances in all competitions so far this term.
The forward is arguably the best player in the world right now – but that provokes concern as well as celebration in the red half of Merseyside.
Salah’s current contract runs until 2023 and there has been little progress in talks over an extension.
Liverpool have successfully tied Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson down to new deals in recent months.
But negotiations with Salah’s representatives have proved more difficult, despite the player’s resent declaration that he wants to spend the rest of his career at Anfield.
According to Football insider, the 29-year-old is holding out for an enormous £500,000-a-week deal.
That would make Salah one of the highest-earning players in world football while also shattering the club’s wage structure.
It also makes Liverpool’s task extremely difficult. The Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the club’s owner, will not want to be accused of losing one of the Reds’ greatest ever players.
But handing a contract of that size to a player who will soon be in his 30s would be a huge risk.
Ramy Abbas, Salah’s representative, is fully aware of the value of his client and plans to use that to the Egyptian’s advantage.
But Liverpool could call his bluff. There are not many clubs in world football who would be willing and able to pay Salah what he wants.
And with the forward playing the best football of his career at present, Salah himself is unlikely to rock the boat.
There could be plenty of twists and turns still to come in this saga…